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Justin Silverton's Blog:
protecting your PHP code
March 27, 2006 @ 07:32:16

Some PHP developers out there are very protective of their code for one reason or another. Sometimes it's a matter of their hard work, slaving over a keyboard for hours and hours to get it exactly right. Then there's the other reason - money. Of course, no matter what your situation, a new post from Justin Silverton might help you narrow down the encoder software field a bit.

A client of mine approached me today and was interested in releasing a PHP based product, but didn't want his source code to be viewed, in plaintext, by the people purchasing it (mainly because competitors can could easily just purchase a copy and integrate his source code into their product). So, I researched the different options available to protect source code.

He includes his suggestions on "what doesn't work" (encoders that can be broken by sites like and "what works" - code obfuscation. His personal favorite in this department is POBS, a simple application that alters your code by changing function names/variable names and obscuring the code by modifying the structure of the code (adding/removing newlines, stripping spaces, etc).

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