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> What's the real cost of just leaving those formula around?

Maintenance.

When unused and unmaintained projects and formulae pile up in Homebrew, we end up spending a tremendous amount of time and effort patching mostly unused software for a very small part of the userbase. That dis-proportionality hurts the 95% of users who expect timely and well-tested updates to major packages.

We used to provide a "boneyard" tap for unused/unmaintained formulae, but even that led to a lot of requests for support that we simply can't provide. If something is being removed from the core tap, our current recommendation is to put it a personal tap[1].

> The culture of deletion surrounding the long tail of digital artifacts just doesn't make any sense.

Keep in mind that the "artifacts" in question are still available, since Homebrew and all Homebrew taps are just Git underneath. You might not be able to build an old formula for compatibility reasons, but all prior work is available for reference.

[1]: https://github.com/Homebrew/brew/blob/master/docs/How-to-Cre...




Somewhat of a tangent, but a lot of these reasons seem to boil down to "we don't have the resources". The HomeBrew project does appear to have a Patreon account, but to find it you have to go to the GitHub repo and scroll to the bottom of the readme. It might help to promote that a bit more on the homepage. It might also help to engage a bit more with the community other than "here's a new release".

IOW, HomeBrew seems to be big enough that it needs to start engaging in some PR.




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