OS X developers selling software through the Mac App Store are satisfied with the inclusion of Gatekeeper in OS X 10.8. The security-centric feature determines which software gets installed on a Mac, and which programs don’t.
Allowing three types of program installation, one of which removes all restrictions, Gatekeeper is viewed as a thoughtful addition by many developers in the industry, including Delicious Monster, Iconfactory, Panic, and many others.
Interviewed by ars technica, the studios all convened that end-users are much better off with Gatekeeper, than without.
But that thought isn’t shared by hobbyists.
Wesley Reynolds used to maintain a popular Dropbox Droplet widget, but now he gave up development, in part because of Mountain Lion and GateKeeper.
“I could pay my $99 to find out how to fix this problem and sign my app, but I did this as a bit of a hobby to learn how dashboard widgets work, and the $99 was too big a pill to swallow,” Reynolds said.
“I think Gatekeeper is pretty much killing the hobbyist coder on Mac,” he said. “No longer will you be able to grab the tools for free that you need to code a program and then share it with whoever may be interested in it.”
Reynolds continued, saying “It was exciting for me to have created a handy little widget as an experiment to learn about Dashboard Widgets, and then, just because it's done, throw it up on the Web and have many thousands of people download it and use it.”
“Now, a hobbyist coder can still download the tools for free, and learn to code and make a neat app that will run on their computer, no problem, but they can't give it to anyone over an Internet connection without Gatekeeper kicking in,” he added.
What most people will probably extract from this opinion is that Apple is to blame for “killing the hobbyist coder on Mac.”
Actually, it’s the imminent rise of malware on OS X that’s causing it. Apple is simply taking the natural steps to protect its user base.