Thursday, April 22, 2010

Solving the 'big finger vs. tiny screen' problem

  • Learn how to make custom View controls - check
  • Learn to make compound controls - check
  • Learn how to paint on the canvas - check
  • Design a effective 2D rendering pipeline for undirected graphs- check
  • Remember basic planar trigonometry - check
  • Design a fuzzy lock-on selection method for the touchscreen - check
  • Design a robust backing model - check
  • Design an effective UI for the touchscreen - check
  • Implement all the nasty details - check

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NexusOne: Big finger vs. tiny screen

I now have a NexusOne at hand.

And while it is much faster than the Emulator, a very profane problem has come up. It is impossible to precisely draw a chemical structure with an editor designed for the mouse! It is just to sensitive to use it with a finger on a tiny screen. And a pen won't work with a capacitive touchscreen...

Maybe i have to take an intensive look at the package.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

JavaScript molecule editor roundup

Next to JsDraw which had it's 1.0 release recently, I've found two more pure JavaScript molecule editors:

WebCME which has a lot of features, notably a large library of molecules but is quite painful to use. This is because it's developers have chosen a system of 'select two atoms, add bond, deselect them, select another two atoms, add bond, oh wrong one, delete bond, add correct bond...' for drawing.

The ChemDoodle web components on the other hand have a totally minimalistic, yet powerful UI. Atoms are drawn by mouseclick, bonds drawn by mouse drag. Atom types can be changed via keyboard, bond types by mouseclick and delete is done by the Backspace or Delete key.

Unfortunately none of the three works on mobile browsers. Either they don't work at all or only by half.

In contrast, the jsMolEditor does work even in Android WebViews, but seems to be not under development anymore. I suspect that it was abandoned in favour of JsDraw.

What a pity. Having a (even simple) but working JavaScript molecule editor, that works in Smartphone WebViews would open a whole new world of applications for those devices. They now have the computational power to handle chemical data, but who wants to enter SMILES strings by hand...

pgchem::tigress 1.2 is out

Built and tested against PostgreSQL 8.4.2 with OpenBabel 2.2.3 on XP 32 bit, Windows 7 64 bit and Ubuntu 8.04 LTS 32 bit.

MACCS166 binary fingerprints.

Dice and Tversky similarity.

Small bug fixes.