After some five years of work on the Boomerang machine code decompiler, the two main developers (QuantumG and Mike Van Emmerik) are withdrawing from further development.
The reason is that they have both joined a company which owns technology that is sufficiently similar to that of Boomerang that there is a conflict of interest.
We both have a great fondness for the Boomerang project, and will probably watch it with interest and answer emails where time permits and where answering would not conflict with our new employer's interests. So we can answer questions such as "How does Boomerang do X?" but not "How could Boomerang do Y?" (or "do Z better").
The main goal of the Boomerang project was to provide an open source machine code decompiler that the public could use, study, and enhance. This goal is partly achieved: Boomerang has all the main components needed for a successful decompiler, except for the handling of object oriented languages and exceptions. Much needs improvement, paricularly the ability to handle non trivial sized programs.
Another goal was to get involvement from the open source community. This goal has largely not been achieved. In part, this is no doubt because Boomerang is a very complex piece of software, and it is poorly documented. To those brave people that did take the time to understand at least a small part of it and contribute some changes, we thank you very much.
There is so much more that can be done with Boomerang. Now, it will have to be done by people other than us, who can see the potential that Boomerang has to offer, and are prepared to invest some effort into improving it. Perhaps there are very few such people; in that case, Boomerang will stall and little more will happen to it. Perhaps now that the only way for Boomerang to progress is for new people to invest time and envegy into it, more will be prepared to do so.
One of the first things that Boomerang needs is new developers that can check in any new code submitted in the form of a patch, and a new administrator to add developers and generally manage the Boomerang Sourceforge project. We can perform minor administrative functions for a while, but our time for this will be very limited. We have contacted the more active correspondants to see if they are willing to take on the role of evangelist, but so far none has responded. Please consider whether you could take on this role, even if only until someone better comes along.
It's been an interesting time for us, and I suspect that most who have watched Boomerang would agree that it is an interesting project, different in many ways from most other software. Let's hope that this is the beginning of a new era for Boomerang, not the end.
QuantumG and Mike
2006-09-18 05:11:06 PDT by emmerik
Six months have passed since the last alpha Boomerang release. Since then significant stability and functionality changes have been made. A new Qt4 based GUI has been developed which has spearheaded this new focus on stability and usability.
This time there are two packages available, Linux and Windows, both of which contain binaries for the command line and gui tools.
This is still an alpha release, which means that you should not expect to do any serious work with Boomerang without hacking on the source code yourself. The only place to get source code is from CVS and using the head of the tree is recommended.
For regular updates on the progress of Boomerang development, see the Boomerang web site (http://boomerang.sourceforge.net) or my blog (http://quantumg.blogspot.com/).
2006-06-13 04:32:05 PDT by quantumg
It's been almost 18 months since the last binary release. There are now two versions for Linux, one for systems with libstdc++.so.5, and another for those with libstdc++.so.6. Make sure you download the right one for your system.
There is also a console release for Windows, built with MinGW.
Machine code decompilation is still in its infancy, and Boomerang is still not usable on large, real-world binary files. A number of things have improved incrementally, but there is still a long way to go.
So, if you've been wanting to get a feel for what Boomerang can do and you don't want to have to download 20MB of source code and compile it all, these binary releases may be for you.
2005-12-27 17:12:37 PST by emmerik
Thanks to a generous donation from a loyal supporter of Boomerang we're able to offer a fun challenge to C++ developers. We're offering a cash prize (transfered to your paypal account) of $40 to the person who fixes the most bugs by the 20th of December 2004. The two admins of the project have disqualified themselves :) We classify something as a bug if it is something that causes: a segfault, an infinite loop, blatantly incorrect output, blatantly poor output. The bug must be found in the latest CVS version of Boomerang and be not a duplicate fix of some other bug (only the first applicant to submit the same bug will be counted.) All applicants must conform with our patch submission process (see http://boomerang.sourceforge.net/FAQ.html#Contribute) and have their patches in by the due date. See the competition web page at http://boomerang.sourceforge.net/competition.html) for more details.
2004-09-26 00:52:26 PDT by quantumg
The open source decompiler Boomerang has reached an alpha level usability. As such we have made the first binary file release. This release is for developers and experimenters only. If you're wanting to do real work with Boomerang you're not going to have a very fun time, but if you're interested in decompilation and have some experience with alpha grade software, please download the release and report any and all bugs you may find.
2004-07-16 04:40:19 PDT by quantumg