Daylight's Future Java Possibilities
Migration to JFC
With the next Java release (version 1.2), JFC will become
a core part of Java and thereby be included in the browsers standard Java
implementation. However it remains to be seen
Depending on how these issues develop we will convert our
IFC based version of JavaGrins to be JFC based. The IFC and JFC models
are quite similar (Sun hired the IFC engineers from Netscape to develop
JFC). Hence conversion is not a major hurdle.
when the next version of Netscape that is JDK 1.2 enabled
will be released
if Microsoft Internet Explorer will ever be 1.2 compliant
or include JFC in their core Java.
Since RMI is not a part of the standard Microsoft Internet
Explorer's Java implementation, JavaGrins cannot be run on Internet Explorer
now. However with the next release (4.62), JavaGrins will run on both Netscape
and Internet Explorer.
While incorporating SMARTs capabilities is not the dominant
question, the form to do this in, is something that we'd like to hear
ideas from you about. Some of the evident methods are
As in xvgrins, allow the user to type in a SMARTs expression
for an atom. However this would mandate the user to know SMARTs, something
not all chemists prefer.
A more sophisticated interface with multiple windows and
SMARTs choices that read like English, along with pulldowns/choices that
will enable altering the SMARTs. While more complicated, this has the advantage
of not requiring erudite users. It can also be extended in interesting
ways to include recursive SMARTs. The negative is that as we put more logic
on the applet, it gets heavier and takes longer to download.
A Daylight plugin with a published interface
While Java is great in terms of platform portability and
application management, it can be telling as applet download times increase.
It can also limit capabilities, as Java's security model
wont permit easy access outside the browser without using certificates.
Furthermore Certificate API's in different browsers have not converged,
nor is it clear that certificate administration for our clients and the
ensuing support cost for us are acceptable.
Hence we are considering creating a Daylight plugin with
limited capabilities, that will enable controlled access outside the sandbox
and that will store Daylight applets locally the first time they are downloaded,
thereby reducing applet download time, then on. Since such a plugin can
also enable calls to local libraries, it could further speed up our applets
or your applets/web-page elements that used it.
Since plugins communicate via LiveConnect they will be compatible
with all web-elements and future web languages.
A Java Depict widget
Multiple levels of preference for depictions
Corporate (set by the system manager)
User-based (Overridable by the user)
Published interface for possible extension by users