On Thu, 15 May 2014 17:12:57 +0300, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:
> A definitive Python source file could be binary, XML, .py, .ast,
Containing *what*? You can't just wave your hands and say "binary". What
sort of binary file? Perhaps a JPEG file, where red triangles of
different sizes represent keywords. Variable names can be encoded using a
pattern of purple dots. Expressions and blocks of code can be formed by
joining components with lines. Operators by squares of different colours
(green means +, blue means -, etc.).
No? Then what?
Besides, where does the information inside the file come from? You surely
don't expect people to write the binary data/AST/whatever directly. How
can the zip file be "definitive" when it is derived from something more
Source code is, *by definition*, the definitive version. (It's the
SOURCE, see?) Zipping the source code just means that the *source* inside
the zip file is the definitive version, not the compressed binary data.
The AST is not definitive. Human beings write *text*, which is what the
source code is. It may be text with an especially restrictive grammar,
but it's still text. Everything else -- the parse tree, the abstract
syntax tree, the byte code, the machine code, the compressed text,
encrypted text, the pixel rendering of the text, ... are derived from the
code as written by human beings.
Code is written primarily for human beings. Many programmers, and many
language designers, don't realise this, which is why so many programs are
write-only code. Presentation *is important*, and cannot always be
separated from semantics without hurting the primary audience, the human
reader. This is what code obfuscators do, deliberately: mangle the
presentation while keeping the semantics the same. You're inadvertently
proposing the same thing (albeit to a lesser degree).