Zend or IonCube?

Unfortunately, encryption of SnippetMaster is necessary to keep the source code safe from software pirates. Zend and IonCube are the two most commonly used software encryption systems and SnippetMaster is available in either Zend or IonCube format.

To use SnippetMaster, an encryption decoder (either the Zend Optimizer or the ionCube Loaders) is required to be installed on your web server. Don't worry, both are freely available... and one or the other is probably already installed!

So Which One Should I Use?

If you are using the Auto-Installer to install SnippetMaster then you don't have to do anything! the Auto-Installer will perform several tests on your server, determine whether to use Zend or Ioncube, and install the right package for you. No problem!

If you are using the manual method of installation, then I recommend downloading and trying the Ioncube-encoded version of SnippetMaster first. In most cases, it will work just fine and you'll never have to worry about any of this stuff.

What If The Ioncube Version Doesn't Work?

If you try the Ioncube-encoded version of SnippetMaster and get an error that says something like "Site error: the file [filename] requires the ionCube PHP Loader...", then this is the section for you.

Rather then trying to figure out what might be the problem with the Ioncube system, it is probably easier to just try the Zend version and see if that one works. Many web hosting companies already have the required Zend Optimizer software installed on their web servers, and you can easily check if your server already has the Zend software installed.

Note: When uploading any Zend-encoded files to your web server you must be sure to upload the file using BINARY file transfer mode.

  1. Save this Zend test file to your computer. (Right-click on the link and then choose "Save as".)
  2. Upload it to your web server in BINARY mode. (Click the link for help.)
  3. Using your browser, navigate to the file you just uploaded. (ie: http://www.yourdomain.com/zend.php)
  4. If you see the "Hello World" message, then it works and you can download the Zend-encoded version of SnippetMaster.
  5. If you get a "Fatal error: Unable to read 7917 bytes ..." error message, then make sure you uploaded the file in BINARY mode and try again.
  6. If you get a page that says something about the Zend Optimizer not being installed, then send me an email and I will install the program for you.

Which One Is Better?

There is really no performance difference between Zend and IonCube. You should use whichever one works for your web server.


Upload in BINARY mode

The Zend encoded files must be uploaded to your web server in BINARY file transfer mode. This means that you will need to manually set your FTP program to transfer all files in BINARY mode to your web server. Some FTP clients have an automatic setting that can detect if a file is ASCII or BINARY, however they are not always accurate. The following error is usually the result of files being uploaded in ASCII mode instead of BINARY mode:

Fatal error: Unable to read 7917 bytes in /path/to/program/includes/diag/decoder-zend.php on line 0.

WARNING: DO NOT use the automatic transfer detection setting in your FTP client when uploading the Zend-encoded files.. It will probably will most likely corrupt the encoded files.