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C4002 - How can I get the source back from a packaged file in 3.0 or later?

by - Joseph Ganci

Joe - I thought if anyone knew, it might be you ! 

Scenario: Someone I know had worked on a big project for several months and had got beyond beta version. Their server held all of the Authorware files (600MB+). One Monday morning they came in and discovered that 2 disks on the server failed, who cares, we'll dig out the DAT backup's. Then the horror unfolded. The backups that were being done were not really backing up the data - it was going through the process, making a log etc., but nothing was getting put on the tapes. 

Therefore the question is: Do you know of anyone inside or outside of Macromedia who can recreate .A3W and .A3L files from their packaged .APP and .APR counterparts? 

I had a program I wrote which worked for version 2 but does diddly squat for the version 3.5 files. Apparently Randy Cox in Macromedia US was asked to do this for a customer in Europe some months ago, but the answer at that time was "No way, Jose, the formula/program doesn't exist." 

Yours on behalf of a desperate development team - GR 

I would love to help you but there is no way I know to do this. The 2.0 solution works (and I have used it on 2.0 files) because the only difference between the source and packaged files in 2.0 is a small header. With the advent of 3.0, though, and all of the efficencies built into packaging, the packaged versions are much different. 

Is there any way to reverse them? If there is, no one at Macromedia is talking. I have to believe there must be a way, but it may prove so problematic that no one has bothered trying. The obvious reason Macromedia wouldn't want to say how it's done is that it would defeat one of the purposes of having a packaged version - that of protecting your code from being copied by unscrupulous competitors. 

So, I'm afraid I don't have the answer, and my suspicion is that neither will anyone else. If you do find someone with the answer, I would LOVE to know it as well. 

Good luck recreating the code - the good news is that it always goes faster the second time. And, of course, I have no choice but to reiterate: backup, backup, backup onto everything you can - your second hard drive, your Zip disk, your Jaz, your Syquest, your grandmother's embroidery, everywhere you can.   

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