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Decompiling Java by Godfrey Nolan

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CHAPTER 1

Introduction

WHEN COREL BOUGHT WordPerfect for almost $200 million from the Novell Corporation in the mid 1990s, nobody would have thought that in a matter of months they would have been giving away the source code free. However, when Corel ported WordPerfect to Java and released it as a beta product, a simple program called Mocha1 could quickly and easily reverse engineer, or decompile, significant portions of Corel’s Office for Java back into source code.

Decompilation is the process that transforms machine-readable code into a human readable format. When an executable, a Java class file, or a DLL is decompiled, you don’t quite get the original format; instead you get a type of pseudo source code, often incomplete and almost always ...

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