Developers often have a love/hate relationship with wxWidgets, especially on the Mac. The common complaint, which I can’t dispute, is that wx applications don’t look and feel particularly well-integrated on the Mac. If you devote some effort to polishing the look and feel, this doesn’t have to be the case. It can be a lot of effort though, to build something that really feels native. That said, sometimes I’m just amazed at what you get for free. Here’s one of the test applications for PKIF, with no tweaks other than some mild build system manipulation, running on the Mac (not an officially supported platform). Screenshot after the jump.

PKIThing screenshot on macClick to embiggen

I’m one of the maintainers of our PKI-enablement library, PKIF. It’s open source, cross platform, and does a lot. Our main target platforms are Red Hat, Windows and Solaris 10. Every once in a while, I’ll build and test elsewhere mainly to make sure accidental assumptions haven’t crept into our code or build process. Tonight, I gave it a run on OS X Leopard and was just amazed at how much “just worked” for free (or for minor tweaks to the build system, which will be folded into the next release) especially in the GUI library and test applications. You won’t mistake it for something developed from the ground up for the Mac, but you can certainly use it. I’m particularly surprised at how well the GUI works without even a little tweaking of the interface for Mac, all thanks to wxWidgets.

I’d suggest not trying this at home until you see 2.1.6 on the sourceforge site, though, as the ease of accomplishing this is an indirect result of many improvements to our build scripts, which will be available for download with 2.1.6.