[Chimera-users] chimera in fink

Eric Pettersen pett at cgl.ucsf.edu
Wed Sep 15 10:36:57 PDT 2004

On Sep 14, 2004, at 4:42 PM, Grant Jacobs wrote:

> FWIW, I prefer the .dmg style installer, or at least single package, 
> one click installers. Its also useful to have the application 
> relocatable to any folder within /Applications.

Certainly if you're _not_ using fink, the .dmg is almost certainly what 
you want.  I find it highly convenient too.  If you're using fink, 
perhaps you'd like to be able to do everything through that mechanism, 
but as you point out sometimes even fink users prefer the .dmg install. 
  And given the work we would need to do before we could even try to 
have Chimera available via fink, it won't be happening soon.

>> We haven't really seriously considered it, no.  One stumbling block 
>> is that Chimera really isn't completely open source yet.  We 
>> distribute the source to the Python part of Chimera but not the C++ 
>> part.  We plan on distributing the C++ part once we have organized it 
>> enough that outside developers would have a prayer of compiling it,
> :-)
> For my money I'd be more concerned about good documentation of the 
> APIs (etc) so that people can build on what already exists without 
> having to decipher someone else's code base. Just my 2c - my pet peeve 
> about open source is that poor or non-existant documentation forces 
> everyone up the same time-wasting learning curves.
>> but we haven't put in the work to do that yet -- always so many 
>> things to do!

Yes, better documentation would be part of "organizing" the C++ part.  
Right now, the only comprehensive API documentation we have is the 
programmer's reference guide, which amounts to simply a dump of all 
APIs with some doc strings thrown in -- barely more useful that using 
'dir' on Python objects of interest.  The best documentation we have is 
the programmer's examples, which do a good job of explaining how to do 
various commonly-desired tasks in Chimera, such as getting your 
extension into the menus, using molecular data, and saving into 
sessions.  Once you want to go beyond the realm of the examples, we 
trust that people will look at other Chimera extensions that do similar 
things to what they want to do and figure things out.  It's the best we 
have until we get that "organizing" done.  Of course, we do answer any 
development-related questions we get on chimera-dev at cgl.ucsf.edu.

The other thing about a documented API is that you can expect that it 
won't disappear from one release to the next -- at least not without a 
migration path being provided.

                         Eric Pettersen
                         UCSF Computer Graphics Lab
                         pett at cgl.ucsf.edu

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