From: Charles McAnany (
Date: Sat Nov 16 2013 - 16:14:21 CST

I want to get comfortable developing for VMD. I'm interested in getting
rid of "three-minute steps", which are the most irritating part of
analysis. It's almost time to get coffee, but not quite enough; it's
almost time to respond to an e-mail; but I can't make the mental context
So, as a starting project, I was going to replace the RMSD heatmap tool
with an equivalent in C that is multithreaded (or MPI-aware). The issue
is, I'm just not getting how plugins (in C) get vmd's data. I've read
the programmers' guide and the plugin development guide, and I'm still
not clear how all the executables link to each other.
For example, if I compile vmd with MPI, how do the plugins take
advantage of that? How do I get access to atom positions at a given
timestep (in a thread-safe manner) from a plugin? I looked at the
pmepot, but the C files there don't seem to #include <vmd.h> or anything

I feel that asking all my questions to this list wouldn't be very
productive (I'll have so many); does anyone have some references they
can point me to?

Oh, as an aside, if I alter the surf source so that it doesn't require
makedepend (or sgidefs.h), who do I send the new version to?

Charles McAnany,
Graduate Student, Mura Lab, University of Virginia.