Wednesday, February 04, 2009

YouTube for Chemistry

ChemSpider has set up embeddable chemistry widget (per Cameron's idea), much like YouTube. I just have to try that. Unlike YouTube, you need to be registered and logged in to use the functionality (I hope the requirement will be dropped):

There is an option to have ChemSpider link back to blog, and I will have to figure out how to enable Chemical blogspace to extract the InChI from the underlying JavaScripts.

Update: I noticed that the ChemSpider server was a bit sluggish this morning, and that loading my blog page halts at loading the JavaScript... Tony, I suggest to use some Ajax magic here, with a really fast JavaScript download (using an almost static bit of JavaScript), and then a Ajax to access to slower bits, which might involve image generation and database lookup.

Update2: the feature was already under development before Cameron asked about it.


  1. Isn't this already possible with img src=Rajarshi's web server?

  2. Yes, likely. I had in the back of my mind that ChemSpider's widget will do more stuff later, like report chemical and/or physical properties, etc.

    Also, one can upload stuff to ChemSpider...

  3. Egon...couple of comments..

    1) We are leaving the login there for now because it is in beta test mode for the public. We release all beta capabilities under login then decide later whether to remove that restriction. The system has been in plcae long before Cameron's request, which was about spectra, and we have had a small number of people testing it. Time to make the test bigger

    2) We already have the Embed for Spectra capability in place and are resolving a couple of issues with JSpecView before unveiling it.

    3) We are looking at how to manage the datalinks that are populated into the data sources table when people use embedded images.

    Best wishes.

  4. From what I can tell, there is an important difference between embedding a YouTube video and embedding ChemSpider content in its current form.

    When I embed a YouTube video on my blog, I'm just adding a SWF object. My Flash plugin ensures that the object stays within a security sandbox.

    When I embed ChemSpider content, I'm adding JavaScript. And that code can potentially do a lot more.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with embedding JavaScript. Those of use who use Google Analytics do it all the time.

    But embedding someone else's live script in your application, creates a potentially exploitable vulnerability.

    Just something to think about.