Mittwoch, 30. März 2011

PyMOL 002: Description of the Program

When starting the work with PyMOL, it might seem odd that there is no such thing like an 'undo' button. But I believe this only seems odd because the user has expectations towards the program which it never intended to meet in the first place. Its not a program to use as one would use Word or any other Editor. In fact, I believe its intended to be used in the way one uses a black board. One quickly fills it up with notes, and then erases it to start over again with the next part of what one wants to write down, like in a lecture. One does not want to keep the black board in the way one wrote on it. If something is required to be recalled (e.g. because one wants to be able to present something at a meeting without having to search for all kinds of files) one can prepare a PyMOL session file.
Also, PyMOL is not a modeling program (even though its modeling capabilities are already quite impressive). Instead, its a viewer and an analysing tool which is extensible. And this is the most important part about it I believe. It is extremely friendly to the user who wants to extend it by his or her own functionality. All that is required is some knowledge about Python. The PyMOL API is quite introspective, so every function documents itself and this is really makes the extension work convenient.

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