Monday, December 01, 2008


When you are talking about chemicals, pretty pictures can express much better the complex relations between the various atoms that make up a molecule then a lot of words. JMOL is a set of applications that illustrate chemicals The software is open source, there is an extension for MediaWiki and it is not used in any of the Wikipedias.

The problem was that security issues were found with the software, further developments happened and then nothing. Recently, the subject of JMOL was raised again. The software had stopped working against the "bleeding edge" of MediaWiki, this has now been fixed.

Only one question is left. Now what ?


Unknown said...

You summed it up well. It needs someone who understands mediawiki and php much better than me to implement it properly. I would just add that Jmol does not just give pictures. They can be animated images as the one on the left of the diagram is, showing the vibrations of the molecule. Move importantly if you right click on the Jmol image you get a menu that allows you to manipulate it to get greater insight. It is a great tool with a good team of developers. It is just that the developers concentrate on the stand alone application and the html embedded application not the mediwiki extension.

Anonymous said...

Great descriptions, Gerard and Brian.
A little bit more for the non connoisseurs: not images, not animated images: three-dimensional models (both static and animated) than you can rotate, zoom, interact with, just using the mouse. Menu and console are also available for more in-depth control.
Most features are available when integrated in the MediaWiki, but a bit of polishing is still needed, as Brian says.
The Wikipedia target seems a little bit more complex (and far away) because of the security, but IMHO it's a must be.
Open source = volunteers needed!