According to the DMCA [ § 1201(f) ], legal precedent [ see ], and common
practice, there is nothing that prohibts a "clean room
implementation". (

That said:
        PHP *is* open. The Zend debugger is not. It is a commercial
product, developed by people who know the internals of PHP/Zend *very*
well. There is nothing that precludes you from dropping the same time
investment into the PHP code as the Zend folks have. If you do invest
this amount of time, I feel pretty sure that you could see how to
develop a debugger, but this is just a guess.

        I have been told that the Zend Debugger license explicitly
prohibits such activity. I, for one, do not begrudge Zend trying to make
a little money. Just because some of us manage to live an idealistic
world does not mean that everyone can afford to do so. Anyone can take
the PHP code and do the same. Not everyone will have the same degree of
credibility, though.

        BTW, the PHP3 debugger was NOT really a debugger, IMNSHO. Not
having used the Zend debugger, I cannot make any claims.

        I do not recommend trying to do this. IANAL. I would like to see
people's hard work rewarded. When one of my companies makes me rich and
famous, one of my first actions will be to turn around to those people
OUTSIDE of Zend that also deserve a reward for hard work that has kept
me employed for 3 years or more. =)

On Tue, 20 Mar 2001, Varun Shoor wrote the following to [EMAIL PROTECTED] :

> Hi there,
>            I have been working on an Open Source IDE for PHP but from
> what i heard in the #php the debugger protocol is no more open in
> PHP4? And only binaries are distributed and above all it is illegal to
> reverse engineer the protocol. Why in the world is this done?... I
> mean PHP is supposed to be open, right?.. The protocol was open in
> PHP3 but now i hear that it is closed.. isnt this a perfect
> monoply?.. Everyone knows an IDE is nothing without a good debugger
> and if i cant add it then all of my time devoted to this thing will go
> waste.. Someone care to tell me a way out?
> Regards,
> Varun Shoor
> ---------------------------------------
> (Programmers Resource)

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