This is the objective reality duplicacy needs to deal with to make it work for mac users.
I agree with everything you said here, saspus.
Taking a step back: what is the intended goal of all this authentication complexity? What problem does it really solve? Piracy prevention? Keeping the freeloaders out?
At what cost?
If one drew a line for all the various license verification schemes available to a software developer, with “100% honor system” on one end of the spectrum, and whatever Adobe is using to validate Photoshop these days, on the other end… where does the current Duplicacy implementation fall?
Does it really maximize revenue?
Is piracy really a threat to the business model of niche backup software, used exclusively by sophisticated tech enthusiasts? (Many of whom, while capable of using a CLI, are happy to pay the developer anyway because of the belief that good software should be rewarded?)
One could make the argument that the current verification implementation is counter-productive. Instead of increasing revenue, I’m convinced issues like these drive away current and future customers. Given the technical sophistication already required for regular use I can’t, in good faith, recommend Duplicacy to friends or family in its current state – even recommending it to SWE friends gives me great pause. And now layer on this issue of the software effectively harassing legitimate users; locking them out cold for no fault of their own, only to seek refuge on a web forum.
I own software from other small developers, too, and the verification is always easy peasy. I’m not sure what Beyond Compare uses, but when I reinstalled MacOS it was a * cinch * to get it working again: 1. download and run the .exe, 2. get prompted for a key, 3. go to my email from years ago with the key, 3. copy/paste/DONE. And it has never asked for it again.
Maybe you could consider a much lower-tech approach. Who cares if a few folks slip through the cracks, at least you’re not alienating the paying customer base. (Folks who, in theory, will act as referrals for future paying customers.)
I hope I’m not coming off as too harsh, just trying to give constructive feedback. I think we all love the core product, want to see it improve, and want the developer to be rewarded for it.