[ghemical-devel] Re: about versions and organizing tasks

Jean Bréfort jean.brefort at normalesup.org
Wed Apr 12 10:02:15 EDT 2006

Le mercredi 12 avril 2006 à 12:21 +0300, Tommi Hassinen a écrit :
> On Tue, 11 Apr 2006, Michael Banck wrote:
> > On Tue, Apr 11, 2006 at 03:25:43PM +0300, Tommi Hassinen wrote:
> >>
> >> Just FYI, I'm still thinking whether VERSION_2_BRANCH and HEAD really
> >> should look the same, or should I change some of the GTK gui-elements into
> >> OpenGL-rendered ones (I mean the main menu and toolbar buttons). The
> >> change would help porting the program to other platforms in future.
> >
> > Oh, why that?  GTK+ is fairly portable in theory, and it provides a
> > common look 'n feel at least on GNU/Linux.
> Hello,
> I thought about this more yesterday evening, and I think I have found a 
> solution ; I'll explain it later.
> The reason I started worrying about portability and OpenGL gui, is about 
> longer-term plans and strategies. In addition to desktop apps, the net and 
> web browsers are getting more important in future. I have been learning 
> about them, and I would like to be ready to do something with them when 
> the time is right. Now when a new stable release is coming, it's time to 
> make important decisions for the future, and to make sure we are not 
> "painting ourselves in a corner", limiting our choices in future.
> Perhaps at some point in future we would like to have an OpenGL-based 
> browser plugin (let's call it "npghemical" for the NPAPI plugin 
> programming interface) for displaying molecules on web pages. It would be 
> easiest to use an OpenGL-only gui for a plugin like that. Of course there 
> is already Jmol which is doing very good job at displaying molecules using 
> a java applet ; therefore it's uncertain whether a native plugin is worth 
> the effort, time will tell.

I already have a mozilla plugin in gchemutils. It has not many feature
at present, but I intend to extend it when time permits. It is based on
GtkGLExt and OpenBabel.
I do not see why an OpenGL-only plugin make things easier. If you need
buttons or other controls, any toolkit will work.

> > I think the current GUI could need some face-lifting to look more
> > GNOMEish, but I didn't have the time to look into this so far (and I'm
> > no GTK hacker (yet?)).
> >
> > If you commit to a GTK GUI, maybe we could get help from some of the
> > GNOME artists (for our icons), UI and usability people.
> >
> > Otherwise, maybe reducing the GUI to a thin layer around the GL canvas
> > and motivating people to write e.g. native Cocoa and Windows GUIs would
> > make sense?
> I agree on the benefits of GTK (also those mentioned in Geoff's mail). It 
> is definitely so that the "flagship version" is now and in future the GTK 
> version (re-implementing all those glade-dialogs alone would be a horrible 
> job). There are good chances that the GTK version can be ported on other 
> platforms (win32, MacOS) in future.
> In additon to the GTK version, I'm trying to do things at HEAD version so 
> that also other native desktop app versions could be made (like win32, 
> MacOs). I have limited interest for a win32 version (I used to know the 
> win32 API ~10 years ago) but it's not a big priority. I have seen that 
> writing code for a couple of platforms simultaneously will result in a 
> better quality result, and I have no interest to work on a GLUT version 
> anymore (ghemical-1 used to have one) since no-one would ever use it. 
> Perhaps there would be use for even a limited win32-version.
> Like I mentioned, I found a solution how I can leave room for other future 
> developments (like a plugin version) as well : I can take some stuff out 
> from ghemical source tree and make a new library of it (let's call it 
> libghemicalviews for now). The new library contains code for rendering 
> different views using OpenGL commands but is agnostic to all platform- 
> dependent "widget sets".
> Regards,
>  	Tommi
> _______________________________________________
> ghemical-devel mailing list
> ghemical-devel at bioinformatics.org
> http://bioinformatics.org/mailman/listinfo/ghemical-devel

More information about the ghemical-devel mailing list