Saturday, March 22, 2008

Be in my Advisory Board #3: JChemPaint widgets?

As promised, I am working on JChemPaint. I have progressed in cleaning up the CDK trunk/ repository by removing traces of the old JChemPaint applet and application. And, importantly, removed the GeometryTools class that took rendering coordinates. The history here is that the original GeometryTools was renamed to GeometryToolsInternalCoordinates, but is now available as
GeometryTools again. I still have to merge Niels' additions with it, though. And, I have set up a new JChemPaint trunk/ where I have moved Niels' demo editor.

Main goal for the next weeks is to further clean up things, and get the new JChemPaint project further up and going. There are, however, some new choices for focus now. Bioclipse needs a SWT widget, the applet would need a Swing widget, and an application could be based on that too, while I could even create a Qt widget, so that in the foreseeable future we can have JChemPaint on our cell phones. So, might my advisory board (that can be you too) take the opportunity to advice me in these matters, and indicate what you would prefer?

The SQT Widget
For Bioclipse mostly. Bioclipse provides a perfect opportunity to replace the old JChemPaint appliaction (not applet), with a attractive and powerful GUI.

The Swing Application
Maybe you'd rather see the old JChemPaint application reinstated, with the less attractive Swing-based GUI. I'd really suggest the Bioclipse approach, so if you pick this option please explain in the comments of this item why I should do this.

The Qt Widget
The Qt lib comes with Java support, and this might be an interesting alternative. Besides being able to make an Qt-based application, the widget would also make it easier to port JChemPaint to the cell phone and to the KDE desktop.

The Applet
The applet is important, and requires a Swing or AWT widget. Personally, I'd rather focus on the SWT widget first, as that is a place where no good alternative is available. On the applet side, we compete with the JME applet and Rich' nice applet.

I do intend to provide an applet version, but this request for advice is for setting priorities.


  1. I'd like to see a version of JCP tha does not require the whole of Bioclipse just for drawing 2D structures

  2. I can understand Rajarshi's point. It may be possible, however, to get a Bioclipse-based JCP with a minimal memory footprint but the look-and-feel of a "real" native application.
    I agree that this will not be easy. It needs to have only a subset of CDK code and nothing else but rendering and controlling.

    The single area where JCP could make its largest impact, however, is still the applet, I think.

    Cheers, Chris

  3. As my own experience teaches (I'm currently trying to develop a chemical database using open source tools only) the applet, being the only OS database interface presently available AFAIK, is by far the most critical application.
    Incidentally, I'm having a really hard time trying to build the available versions of JCP applet using Eclipse or Netbeans...