From: John Stone (
Date: Tue Jul 10 2001 - 18:15:45 CDT

Dear VMD-L,
  I'm happy to announce that beta 1 of VMD 1.7 is available
for testing. This release includes a number of new features,
though not as many as we wish we could have integrated in the
time available. We intend the beta period on VMD 1.7 to be
two weeks or less in order to get things finished up before
our efforts are diluted by other projects, so we would definitely
appreciate timely feedback and comments if you're able to give them.

If time allows we may yet be able to upgrade VMD's Tcl and Python
interpreters prior to the final release, we're working on this

Other comments and feedback are welcome of course!

  John Stone

Here's a brief list of the changes in VMD 1.7
since VMD 1.6.1 was released (4/22/2001):
 New Features
    o Integrated sequence browsing capabilities are now part of VMD, based
      on the previously available "ZoomSeq" Tcl script, with many
      improvements. The sequence browser is significantly faster than the
      older separately distributed ZoomSeq script, and will eventually
      provide several new interfaces not included in the production version.
    o Integrated Ramachandran plotting capabilities are now part of VMD.
    o Support for joysticks and other game controllers on Windows.
    o Windows versions of VMD now include support for VRPN, haptic feedback
      and interactive molecular dynamics.
    o Unix and Windows versions of VMD now include built-in support for
      Spaceball 6DOF 3-D controllers, which can be used for rotation,
      translation, and scaling. The Spaceball can be used simultaneously
      with the Mouse, so that one can use the mouse for picking, measuring,
      controlling of user interface menus, while using the Spaceball to
      orient the molecules in 3D. Future versions of VMD will make the
      Spaceball interface even more powerful.
    o New support for OpenGL ARB multisample antialiasing extension, provides
      multisample antialiasing on Linux/GeForce, Solaris/Expert3D and
      other platforms.
    o An easier-to-use -webhelper flag for use with Unix versions of VMD when
      setting up VMD as a web helper application for PDB files and VMD

  General Improvements and Bug Fixes
    o POV-Ray render export now provides basic support for orthographic
      views, with other renderers to follow.
    o Replaced O(N^2) hydrogen-bond finding code with a call to the bond
      search subroutine, resulting in a 2-4x speedup and better scaling.
    o Postscript scene exports now includes text labels
    o The axes are drawn using lines for Mesa builds of VMD. Mesa builds
      use software rasterization, so axis lines improve display redraws
    o Atom selection keywords lookups which operate on integer values
      now use a hash table to accelerate keyword list processing for a
      significant speed increase when working with large molecules.
    o Contains improvements donated by Sergei Izrailev, which make VMD more
      suitable for use as a library callable from within other applications.
    o Updated Tcl and Python callbacks to pass shift key state so that
      scripts like ZoomSeq can do more complex selection and highlighting.
    o The 'mol pdbload' and 'mol load webpdb' functions now download
      compressed PDB files from the RCSB, which is both faster and generally
      more reliable than downloading uncompressed files from the RCSB server.
    o Rewritten MSMS interface, fixes PR 20.
    o VMD is now built with VRPN 6.0
    o Fixed PRs: 20, 157, 158, 159

  User Interface Changes
    o New sequence browsing window, and associated menus

  User Documentation Updates
    o New molecular analysis section explaining how to use VMD for common
      analysis tasks, particularly those involving atom selections and
      molecule data.
    o Added documentation for new sequence browsing features
    o Added documentation for new Ramachandran plotting feature
    o Added documentation for new Spaceball and Joystick input devices
      on Windows and Unix.

NIH Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
Email:                 Phone: 217-244-3349              
  WWW:      Fax: 217-244-6078