Open Letter on Free Availability

Unhappy mouse at the mouse trap
“There's always free cheese in the mouse traps, but the mice there ain't happy.”

Dear Friends,

As you already might know, Eazfuscator.NET initially was a free product. The free availability was an important and essential part of Eazfuscator.NET since the moment of its inception in September 2007.

I had a nice and clean plan:

  • Make Eazfuscator.NET perfect
  • Make it free

5 months later, the first public version of Eazfuscator.NET was released in Februrary 2008. I truly thought I did it: Eazfuscator.NET, a nice and free product, was delivered to the growing community of .NET enthusiasts and customers.

It took just about several days to receive the first feedback (and bug reports) from the very first users. I was amazed at how deeply some feedback reports were detailed. And the best of all, some of them contained highly valuable suggestions for improvements.

I'm not that kind of person who drops something in the middle. Have a bug? Please install a patch then. Have a nice suggestion? Thanks, please install a new version that incorporates the suggested improvement. The rate of new Eazfuscator.NET releases increased significantly. Versions 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 and 1.6 were released just over the course of several months.

I think that Eazfuscator.NET became a pretty mature product at version 2.3, one year later after the first public version. It had a considerable amount of users and I could estimate their number by analyzing the count of accesses to update manifest file on a web server. My calculations showed about 1500 unique and active usages at the end of 2008.

Obfuscation Is an Under-Discovered Field of Science

Given all that experience I have now, I can confess that my very first reaction to writing an obfuscator was – it's easy, it should not take longer than 4 months, I thought. Only now I know how naïvely wrong I was. It is not just about a simple renaming of types and their members.

Obfuscator is a probabilistic compiler. It takes an input assembly, builds an abstract syntax tree, transforms it and produces the resulting assembly. A good obfuscator does a static analysis, traces down data and code control flows together with many other things.

This all turned out to be a great investment into science, research, development, and, most importantly, time.

With Great Power Came Great Responsibility

At the end of 2011, Eazfuscator.NET had several thousands of active customers almost approaching the bar at 10,000. My inbox was hot from a persistent flow of support inquiries. Unfortunately, I had no time to process them all. That's why I had to prioritize the items and only subjectively important ones were investigated and answered.

I had not liked that situation. I always struggled for perfection and every unanswered email was a personal shame for me.

It became evident that Eazfuscator.NET needed to transform into full-time business. Otherwise Eazfuscator.NET might become a mouse trap for its growing customers.

The Time of Changes

I had two best friends from my University life, and we shared a lot of time together during all those years. Often we could be found talking about quality, music, taste, delivery, software, buddhism, and everything in between. It was a fruitful environment we shared which matured us a lot.

It turned out that the friends became my two good partners when I approached them with a proposition to become Eazfuscator.NET co-founders.

We talked a bit and decided that Evgeni Gubenya would be responsible for delivering XAML renaming and Yevgen Zolotko would take care of a code virtualization technology. It took half of a year to deliver those technologies into production.

In March 2012, we set up a company and rented our first office. We felt the risk. Sometimes we felt the pressure. But it was the best experience in our lives: perfection, enlightenment, and freedom.

Yevgen Gubenya and a nice cat at Gapotchenko Yevgen Zolotko at Gapotchenko

We delivered the first commercial release of Eazfuscator.NET on June 22, 2012.

The Current State of Eazfuscator.NET

There were several .NET obfuscation trends set by Eazfuscator.NET during the years, and this continues to happen now.

Eazfuscator.NET has major releases every 3 or 4 months. We are keeping the support for current .NET technologies up to date. We also do a lot of R&D, delivering the new features such as code optimization and code virtualization.

We provide support for our customers with guaranteed support levels. You are welcome to become our happy customer.

Try Eazfuscator.NET >

Thanks for reading,

Oleksiy Gapotchenko on March 20, 2013
The founder of Eazfuscator.NET
Updated on May 5, 2023: higher resolution photos, added more historical context.