Like all desktop applications, Hugin integrates into a desktop environment. Integrating into a desktop environment means adopting its look and feel and adapting to the reflexes of the users using that platform.
Each platform has its particular user interface. Platforms also provide a set of controls so that developers can produce applications that blend into the platform seamlessly without the need to re-invent the wheel. Users of the platform develop reflexes that are different from the reflexes of users of other platforms.
Hugin aims to be a multi-platform application. It is available for Linux, Windows, OSX, FreeBSD. But the developers don’t have the resources to cater individually to each such platform. This is where wxWidgets comes to the rescue. wxWidgets is a mature, cross-platform toolkit that aims to looks and feel native to the desktop it runs on. And it does look and feel native, because wxWidgets uses the platform’s own native controls rather than emulating them.
When there are user interface issues in hugin, it may be related to hugin’s codebase, to the toolkit, or to both. This becomes particularly critical when the platform on which the issues surface is not available to the developers. Unfortunately, Pablo does not have an OSX box. Harry builds hugin on OSX and there is a user community that provides feedback, but all of this can’t really compare to the direct experience of developing/debugging directly on the platform.
There have been a few nasty issues with the control points list of hugin. On OSX only. I kicked off a bug hunt amongst the OSX users, but on our own we could not do much. The solution required changes to both wxWidgets and hugin. But it first and foremost required skill and resources that none of us had on our own.
So I respectfully knocked at the door of the wxWidgets developers. The response was fantastic! Stefan and Axel guided me into providing them with the necessary feedback and supporting information. Harry joined the effort, he is more qualified than I am on the hugin side. Axel joined our mailing list. Communication got going, the bug addressed. Hugin is now a better software, and wxWidgets too. Cooperation pays off big time!
And if you are a decision-maker in the process of choosing a GUI-toolkit for your next application, wxWidgets gets my full endorsement!