Exceptions to the no formulas for "Stuff that builds an .app" rule for apps with upstreams that paywall binaries

There seems to be an increasingly popular trend of open source projects dropping public distribution of binary .app's(pay-walling the binaries essentially), this leaves these projects seemingly with no place they can be put in the homebrew project at all at the moment. Is there any solution to this issue that might be acceptable such as an exception to this rule for these cases?

What kind of projects are we talking about here? Because this seems like it would also violate the “must be open source” rule: https://docs.brew.sh/Acceptable-Formulae#we-dont-like-binary-formulae

Projects like pgmodeler and rdm, definitely open source, the issue is that they paywall the binaries, not the source.

One is available in the appstore so you could use mas to manage it on the commandline. As for pgmodeler, they’re providing a service by providing binaries. It’s not Homebrew’s place to undermine that IMHO, but you could always fork it and start providing your own binaries to use in a tap.

Isn’t that version pay-walled as well?

The intentionally make the product difficult to use business model to sell the fix is one I find a bit odd, not a fan of it myself but I guess it must work. I can build apps from source like these quickly myself(I’m somewhat of a build system expert though and maintain a number of package builds in buildroot) but other developers I collaborate with often have trouble with unfamiliar build systems. I’m trying to at least come up with a way to avoid having to walk developers through manually compiling apps to show them one-off things with these.

Well I’m trying to come up with something homebrew acceptable, mostly since people generally aren’t going to trust some random tap, I mean it’s not a huge amount of work to maintain one but without the network affect of being in homebrew the build formula wouldn’t get many bug reports or contributions in all likelihood.

mas just tells your machine’s App Store client to install rdm from Apple’s servers. Homebrew has no truck with anything you choose to install from the Mac App Store, and since the actual installation and software source are entirely mediated by Apple, why should it?

Yes it is, my point was mostly that homebrew isn’t aiming to avoid paying for software. As a developer myself I like getting paid for my work. There have recently been some projects that had to close down the source because people just compiled it and never contributed and I’d hate to see more projects take that road.

If there’s an easy method to pay for software that people work on, just pay for it.

Sure, I’ve funded a lot of open source development myself and personally contribute to a huge amount of projects(often unpaid), although what I fund tends to be more for specific feature development rather than for simple stuff like un-paywalling a binary.

Yeah, sustainably funding open source development isn’t always the easiest thing to figure out, it’s also one reason I don’t want to distribute a forked/renamed version of the binaries myself as I don’t want to accidentally divert donations or anything like that from the existing upstreams. Also having formulas for these sort of packages in homebrew would encourage more upstream contributions by making the projects easier to build. I work a lot on open source build systems and project packaging in general and find having a low barrier to entry for building a project can significantly increase contributions, especially bug fix contributions.

I’m skeptical the paywalled binaries approach to open source funding is something that should be encouraged too much as it significantly increases friction for using software(I think this approach annoys me a bit just because I put a lot of work into reducing friction in open source projects, especially on the build system/packaging side of things), at least I don’t think OS package managers should be excluding projects from being packaged that choose this funding approach.

I mean if all open source upstreams and OS package managers went with this paywalled binaries approach things would be a huge mess as an open source Linux based OS typically has hundreds of binaries needed just to have a somewhat useable OS. I guess this funding approach somewhat works for standalone gui apps but less so for all the systems tools(which is a lot of what I contribute to) needed to say build a Linux distribution.

I don’t mind paying for software but that wouldn’t really solve the issue here as it would still not have good OS package manager packaging. In any case having homebrew formula support isn’t something that sounds like it would cause a meaningful revenue loss or anything like that as it would likely bring in more developers who would pay/donate.