Announce: VMD 1.6a3 is available

John Stone johns at ks.uiuc.edu
Fri Oct 6 14:52:57 EST 2000

  We have just made VMD 1.6a3 available for download on our 
software downloads page:

Brief change summary:
VMD 1.6 Alpha 3 fixes PR 114 (Cartoon rep problems with certain
molecules), and has a bunch of small user interface improvements 
some of which were only on Windows, and some which are on all versions.
We're now providing pre-compiled binaries for Linux on PowerPC and Alpha
processors, which are new to this release.  I intend to continue providing
these binaries as long as we have access to such machines.  We have also
recently started adding Python support into VMD, although it isn't visible
in the binary distributions we're making available at this time, it will
begin to be more prominent in future revs of VMD.  Those individuals curious
about Python support in VMD that are willing to play with bleeding edge code
may feel free to send us email and get in on the ground floor of VMD's Python

What's new in VMD 1.6?
  New Features
    o New support for Linux on Alpha processors
    o New support for Linux on PowerPC processors
    o New support for generation of RenderMan .RIB files from VMD scenes.
    o New VMD Python scripting interface (developmental stage)
  General Improvements and Bug Fixes
    o Windows version of VMD now implements mouse capture so that you can
      drag the mouse outside of the graphics window while doing rotations,
      translations, scaling, and other mouse dragging operations.
    o Improved interactive rendering speed of molecular surfaces by a factor 
      of two or more on most platforms.
    o Improved OpenGL materials rendering and gave VMD better looking
      default material properties.
    o Tachyon ray tracer binaries are now packaged along with VMD on all
      supported platforms.
    o Added the ability for Tcl code to capture VMD events as through
      the logfile mechanism, but through a Tcl variable, so that one VMD
      can easily remote control other VMD's through a bit of Tcl sockets code.
    o Significant speed increases for many common VMD commands, 
      many commands are 5 to 200 times faster now, using new Tcl 8.x 
      interpreter interface. 
    o Made it easier to customize size/position of the VMD command window
      on Unix versions of VMD.
    o Built with FLTK 1.0.9
    o Built with VRPN 5.01 
    o Fixed PRs: 60, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 114

  User Interface Changes
    o New Tcl/Tk based RMSD fit GUI
    o Save state uses a GUI dialog now when possible.

  User Documentation Updates
    o Updated various sections in User's guide, particularly relating to new
      rendering features, RMSD fit, etc.
    o Started lengthy update to Programmer's guide.
    o Added commit email capability to CVS, may make it an option 
      for read-only CVS users as well.

We welcome your feedback on this latest version, tell us what you think!

  John Stone
  vmd at ks.uiuc.edu

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: johns at ks.uiuc.edu                 Phone: 217-244-3349              
  WWW: http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~johns/      Fax: 217-244-6078

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