Obfuscated code is not readable. However a smarter view-source can take care of that - imagine a view-source that worked like an IDE. It could beautify the source-code (I'm sure you can already find plugins for this) and once you figure out what a variable / method does, you can then automatically refactor the code, renaming that variable/method.
All of that code is object oriented, certainly, but it is still tightly dependent and interwoven. You can't take a single piece out and make it work by itself. All the pieces are dependent on each other.
Most importantly, that code is non-functional without the server-side components. Completely. The code is about 75% client-side and 25% server-side.
So for somebody to steal my client-side code, they would need to reverse engineer my server-side code to even start to use it. That effort would take them just as long as to write everything from scratch, if not longer.
Now, can they steal my design ideas? Sure. Copying is the best form of flattery and I enjoy being flattered. But, in the end, nobody can be a better you than you, by definition, so don't worry about copying. Either way, you don't own ideas. Where do you think you get your own ideas from, anyway? From a vacuum? No! From other people! Your ideas are simply improvements on ideas you got from other people.
You can nab a copy of jQuery or another third party lib and that won't make a difference, but the non-generic code that actually forms the substance of the app, or the experience on the page, is worthless, because that's inextricably bound to the specific design the developers had in mind - something no one on the outside will know about - and is anything but re-usable in its public form.
Maybe if you spend enough time looking at it, you can start to reproduce the idea, just like if you spent enough time analysing the actual behaviour without even looking at the code. Anyone with enough skill or talent can do something like this by eye, and they won't start with a copy/paste of the original source.
Of course, this might all be beside the point, and I do like how we're seeing more *.js libs and fewer jQuery specific plugins, and in some ways I can't help but think the progress github has made is conducive to that.
You also state "Your code is your signature, and someone else's never can express your unique type of art. When it does happen (which it does), it is a matter of ethics, not law or government." - if licensed in a specific manner there are legal routes available as well. So whether you are the one writing the code, or you are the one taking the code this should be kept in mind.
Of course it depends whether you're talking about a "cool blinking mouse cursor trail" or a framework that takes a bit of understanding from the people who want to use it. The former will be "pirated" far more often, just because the target demographic isn't as aware of licensing and copyright issues (or doesn't care).
* The best form of protection lies outside the code. There are a million Twitter clones out there, so Twitter's value lies not in the source code. It's in the service, branding, and user base.
* Fortunately, the people who will outright steal your code are rarely the people you have to worry about. They usually can't innovate (though there are exceptions to be sure) and will always be following behind you.
Obfuscation: "I will provide a functional copy of my code that is not (human) reader-friendly; I want people to execute my code but present a barrier to extensive understanding or modification of its implementation."
When someone says DRM, I usually think of its least pleasant incarnations- platform lockdown software that must be installed to play a game or (interestingly) take a test, content that may only be accessed after phoning home and verifying that one is in good standing with the rights holder, etc.
To my mind, JS obfuscation protects IP in a way that more closely resembles compilation.
1. small scrappy startup uses a copied snippet of code, gets successful and rewrites code better which original author gets to enjoy.
2. big company wants to save implementation time and knows they can't copy code. asks author for licensing fee.
I'm all for trade secrets (which really already exist as consequences of employee contracts and trespassing laws), but prohibiting anyone from using code that you deliberately share with the world seems so backwards to me.
I could be wrong, but what I took from it was that (1) the code is there, so you can learn from it, and (2) that there is a culture of tolerance to people learning and using some amount of other people's code. Both of these are true, and they made the web a better platform to develop for IMO.
And it's a particularly relevant observation at a time when some segments of the industry are pushing for a VM or native code execution facilities in the browser. Having a universal client that works from human-readable code -- and having a `view source` feature for easy reading -- has provided a platform (and atop it, a culture) where every instance serves as an example and it's likely a significant portion of the reason why the web as grown and moved forward the way it has.
The other point behind the piece may be that the value "owning" an idea is limited at best; good execution generates a lot more value, both for you and your customers and the market at large. You could spend a lot of time trying to protect your ideas either by holding your cards close to your chest or through legal strategies, but the last 20 years seem to indicate you're likely to do a lot better by going to market well.
If the developer doesn't put the comments, it'll be a hell more difficult to find out how to use the code and what the code actually does.
At the end of the journey, it's not these lines of code that make a difference for my client website. It's the solution I bring.
I'm wondering what her Github username is, searches there for her only turns up other people's mentions of her twitter username and her name.
It was to make the holes work you see the TV image through on the guide.
A Post About Why I No Longer Do .NET Development
How about this: delete your stupid mean comments, I'll delete my comments, and this whole stupid thing will never have happened.
Some people only learn by being shown exactly how it feels by mimicking their own actions back to them.
If you are the person that left those comments: you have a 10 and 12 year old, what were you thinking?
Those comments are literally distilled meanness.
Design is personally my biggest weakness and any feedback on my site designs is welcomed. Yes this feedback given here is poorly worded, but its user feedback none the less.
For the third time I find myself pointing out to a site newcomer that there are guidelines linked to the bottom of every page, and the comment we're discussing violates the very first of them.
I absolutely understand --- being myself a nerd --- the pleasure commenters here take in contrariness. I can also understand that smug corrective comments might rankle and prompt objections. But I don't care. If you want to form the opinion that I'm smug and self-regarding for calling people on comments like this, that's fine, as long as the bullshit mean comments stop.
If the purpose of criticism is to prevent the person from making the same mistakes twice, then it is constructive criticism, even if the advice is 'I didn't enjoy the way you sang that song.' and doesn't suggest how to fix it or suggests the idea is not fixable. This type of criticism implies that criticizer did not like the idea (or in this case, song,) but does not imply that the person is "horrible" nor that anyone who hears the song will dislike it.
"Your singing is horrible.' is nonconstructive criticism; so is "That code is shitty, don't become a programmer"
"Did someone vomit out that design?" is nonconstructive criticism that, although points out a possible problem, doesn't suggest any advice and is too strong to be helpful.
tmcw's comment "Is it just me or is this design kind of awesomely baller?" is constructive (albeit not critical criticism) and also opens a path for discussion of the site's design instead of immediately and quite strongly crying out that the site is fundamentally right or wrong.