Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 3rd Jun 2011 22:23 UTC, submitted by sawboss
Internet & Networking "One researcher has decided he wants to make Skype open source by reverse engineering the protocol the service uses. In fact, he claims to have already achieved that reverse engineering feat on a new skype-open-source blog. The source code has been posted for versions 1.x/3.x/4.x of Skype as well as details of the rc4 layer arithmetic encoding the service uses."
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RE[3]: u really dont get it!
by Neolander on Sun 5th Jun 2011 09:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: u really dont get it!"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Look at the service - not just the software. Skype is video chat. Skype can connect to PSTN phones. Skype is not a part of something else. It is SKYPE.

Alright, so far so good.

Reverse engineering Skype will achieve nothing positive because the protocol is one part of the whole entity that is Skype. In a nutshell, it's been a complete waste of time from which nothing positive will come.

Wrong. Again, let's talk about WLM clones. You want to communicate with WLM users (a service), but you use an operating system that's either not properly supported by Microsoft or not supported at all (in short, anything but Windows and J2ME). In that case, having a WLM clone allows users of other platforms to communicate using the WLM service with other persons using the WLM service.

Same with Skype.

People use Skype because it provides the service they want and nothing else does.

Skype is a service - not a bloody protocol.

Do you understand the difference now?

I already know. The thing is, it is possible to write alternate clients for using the same service. But that requires knowing the protocol. Hence reverse-engineering the protocol is useful.

What is your problem with that ?

Edited 2011-06-05 09:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: u really dont get it!
by ikidunot on Mon 6th Jun 2011 01:16 in reply to "RE[3]: u really dont get it!"
ikidunot Member since:
2011-06-04

Microsoft offers the WLM service to their clients and no one else. It is not a public service like the PSTN.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: u really dont get it!
by Neolander on Mon 6th Jun 2011 05:43 in reply to "RE[4]: u really dont get it!"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Sure, but if their clients choose to use different client software and Microsoft doesn't feel like it, it's Microsoft's problem, not the client's one.

You said that reverse engineering had no benefit. I have shown you that, from a customer's point of view, there are benefits. Of course, the service provider's opinion may come into play if it successfully tries to keep breaking protocol compatibility and force clients to upgrade, or if it uses legal power to stop other people from using its proprietary protocol. But in principle, reverse engineering the Skype protocol is pure benefit for Skype's users. At worst they lose nothing, at best they get worthwhile Skype implementations on non-supported platforms. It's a win-win situation.

Edited 2011-06-06 05:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: u really dont get it!
by 0brad0 on Tue 7th Jun 2011 00:37 in reply to "RE[4]: u really dont get it!"
0brad0 Member since:
2007-05-05

Microsoft offers the WLM service to their clients and no one else. It is not a public service like the PSTN.


Tell that to the many hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of users not using their clients and a majority of them have no means of running their clients even if they could possibly want to.

Reply Parent Score: 2