Re: Decompilability

Stefan Monnier <>
16 Mar 1997 23:17:56 -0500

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Decompilability (Thomas M. Farrelly) (1997-03-14)
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From: Stefan Monnier <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 16 Mar 1997 23:17:56 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 97-03-063
Keywords: Java

"Thomas M. Farrelly" <> writes:
> Would the ability to be decompilable (make close to original source code
> out of a binary file) be a drawback for a programming-language?
> [Doesn't seem to have hurt Java too badly. -John]

I doubt this is a Java characteritic. It looks more like a JVM for
Java characteristic.

It also depends on the compiler's sophistication. I'm sure that a Java
program compiled with an aggressive compiler (using partial evaluation
for instance) will not be easily decompilable.

So I would say that it's probably not a drawback in and of itself, but
it shows that your compiler is pretty dumb (which is not to say it's
bad: very few people expect a compiler from assembly to binary to be


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