Maintaining OpenRefine's Homebrew cask
Homebrew is a popular command-line package manager for macOS. Once Homebrew is installed, OpenRefine can be installed via the simple command,
brew install openrefine. OpenRefine's presence on Homebrew is found in the Homebrew Cask repository project, as a "cask", at https://github.com/Homebrew/homebrew-cask/blob/HEAD/Casks/openrefine.rb.
Terminology: "Homebrew Cask" is the segment of Homebrew where pre-built binaries and GUI applications go, whereas the original "Homebrew" project is reserved for command-line utilities that can be built from source. Because the macOS version of OpenRefine is released as an app bundle with GUI components, it is handled as a Homebrew Cask.
When there is a new release of OpenRefine, registering the new release with Homebrew can be easily accomplished using Homebrew's
brew bump-cask-pr command. Full directions for this utility as well as procedures for more complex PRs can be found on the Homebrew Cask CONTRIBUTING page, but, a simple version bump is a one-line command. For example, to update Homebrew's version of OpenRefine to 3.4.1, use this command:
brew bump-cask-pr --version 3.4.1 openrefine
This command will cause your local Homebrew installation to download the new version of OpenRefine, calculate the installer's new SHA-256 fingerprint value, and construct a pull request under your GitHub account. Once the pull request is submitted, continuous integration tests will run, and a member of the Homebrew community will review the PR. At times there is a backlog on the CI servers, but once tests pass, the community review is typically completed in a matter of hours.
Note: It is important that the OpenRefine release tag and version number are identical, so that the Homebrew cask can find the installer's URL. This is because Homebrew's cask for OpenRefine uses the following formula for constructing the URL to OpenRefine's installer for a given release:
That is, when you tell Homebrew that OpenRefine is now at version
3.4.1, Homebrew will try to download the OpenRefine installed from the following URL: