[Chimera-users] non-GUI use of Chimera

Daniel Greenblatt dan at cgl.ucsf.edu
Thu May 20 11:58:34 PDT 2004

Hi Randy,

> I am evaluating Chimera as a tool for providing (pseudo-interactive) vis
> functionality from a web server and therefore would like to use it in a
> non-gui mode.

I'm not completely clear on what you mean by this.
Exactly what type of functionality do you want to provide?
Do you plan on using Chimera on the server-side, or client-side?

There are several different [potential] solutions here, depending on
what it is you want to do:

(1) Chimera as a web-browser client
   A locally installed copy of Chimera can be used as a
   web browser 'helper application', responding to certain
   links clicked on in a web browser. These links contatin information
   about files to open, and commands or python code to execute in
   Chimera (Chimera runs in its own window -- not embedded in the browser).
   for more information.

(2) The IDLE interpreter
   Currently, the only way to access Chimera's Python API in an
   interactive fashion is through the IDLE window
   (Tools->Programming->IDLE) from within Chimera. This, of
   course, requires having Chimera running in normal (i.e. not 'nogui')
   mode. If there is sufficient demand, we may include an 'interactive
   nogui' mode, that gives you access from the shell.

(3) chimera --nogui
   As you already know, Chimera can be started with the '--nogui' flag,
   which doesn't bring up any graphics windows, and is used mainly for
   carrying out molecular calculations. Since there is no graphics window,
   it is not possible to do any visualization (including saving images).

This sounds like an interesting problem - please let us know if any of 
these solutions are appropriate, or require further explanation.

--Dan Greenblatt

Daniel Greenblatt
UCSF Computer Graphics Lab
dan at cgl.ucsf.edu

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