GPL enforcement: waiting for the Monsoon
Posted Sep 27, 2007 22:10 UTC (Thu) by giraffedata
In reply to: GPL enforcement: waiting for the Monsoon
Parent article: GPL enforcement: waiting for the Monsoon
It is the opposite of normal engineering -- you take something that exists and trying to figure out how to make a set of requirements out of it (normally for the purpose of making a similar design and then implementing it).
I don't think that's what is meant by reverse engineering. What you describe would be pretty useless, because the requirements are usually glaringly obvious. In typical engineering, you go from requirements to design, and then in manufacturing you go from design to implementation. Reverse engineering is like any other engineering, in that its goal is a design that fulfills certain requirements. But you get to it by starting with an implementation -- i.e. the reverse direction of normal.
In engineering a ballpoint pen, you start with requirements such as "must write upside down" and "must fit in a human hand" and end up with blueprints sufficient for the manufacturer to make one or more pens. Blueprints are the design. In reverse engineering a ballpoint pen, you take a manufactured pen and dismantle and measure to arrive at equivalent blueprints. You then give those to your own manufacturer to make identical pens.
strings is a great reverse engineering tool. It helps you see what pieces the system is made of -- what engineering choices went into it, so you could possibly make one yourself.
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