RasMol 2.2 Molecular Graphics Package Available

RasMol Molecular Graphics rasmol at dcs.ed.ac.uk
Thu Oct 14 11:55:43 EST 1993

                            RasMol 2.2
              Molecular Graphics Visualisation tool.

                           Roger Sayle 
		    Biocomputing Research Unit
                     University of Edinburgh
                           October 1993

    This posting is to announce the public release of RasMol 2.2 molecular
graphics visualisation program.  This package has been developed in the
BRU over the last few years, and the latest version has a significant 
number of improvements over RasMol 2.1. These enhancements include protein
ribbon diagrams, secondary structure assignment (based on Kabsch and 
Sander's DSSP algorithm), better amino acid classification, DNA hydrogen 
bonding, DNA backbone representations, stick representations of hydrogen 
bonds and disulphide bridges (either between backbone or sidechains), the 
ability to write out selected atoms to a PDB file, support for Alchemy 
format files, colouring of hbonds by their type, compressed PostScript
output, extended atom expression syntax, increased scroll bar functionality,
and many more additions (and bug fixes) too numerous to mention. For a 
complete list of modifications (and acknowledgements), refer to the 
distribution ChangeLog.

    RasMol is an X Window System tool intended for the visualisation of 
proteins and nucleic acids. It reads Brookhaven Protein Databank (PDB) 
files and interactively renders them in a variety of formats on either an 
8bit or 24/32bit colour display. The complete source code and user 
documentation for both the UNIX/X11 version and the IBM PC/MS Windows 3.1 
version may be obtained by anonymous ftp from ftp.dcs.ed.ac.uk 
[] in the directory /pub/rasmol. The UNIX/X11 source code is
contained in the file RasMol2.tar.Z and the MS Windows source code and
executable in the file raswin.zip. Both of these files include a slightly
dated version of the PostScript user reference manual.

    The program is intended for teaching and generating publication 
quality images. The program has both a menu system and a full featured
command line interface. Different parts and representations of the 
molecule may be coloured or displayed in a number of formats independently.
Currently supported formats include wireframe, ball and stick, backbone,
space filling spheres and protein ribbon models. The space filling spheres 
may even be shadowed. The molecule may be manipulated using scroll bars, 
the interactive command line or from a dials box if attached. The resulting 
image may be saved at any point in PostScript, GIF, PPM, Sun rasterfile or 
Microsoft BMP formats.  For more details see the RasMol user reference.
It was claimed at a recent conference to be the fastest available 
uniprocessor program for drawing shadowed spacefilled molecules. On a 
SparcStation it can shadow a 10,000 atom protein in less than 10 seconds.

    The current version of the program has been tested on sun3, sun4, sun386i,
hp9000, sequent, DEC alpha, IBM RS/6000 and SGI, DEC and E&S mips based 
machines compiled under both gcc and the native compiler. The version for 
Microsoft Windows requires version 7 of the Microsoft Optimizing C Compiler 
and the Microsoft Software Development Kit (SDK). 

    The source code is public domain and freely distributable provided that
the original author is suitably acknowledged. Any comments, suggestions or 
questions about the package may be directed to "rasmol at dcs.ed.ac.uk".

Roger Sayle                        JANET: ros at uk.ac.ed.dcs
Department of Computer Science     UUCP:  ..!mcsun!uknet!dcs!ros
University of Edinburgh            ARPA:  ros%dcs.ed.ac.uk at nsfnet-relay.ac.uk
Edinburgh EH9 3JZ, UK.             Tel:   (+44) 031 650 5163 (direct line)

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