From: Justin Gullingsrud (
Date: Tue Oct 26 2004 - 18:38:05 CDT


On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 18:07:07 +0200,
<> wrote:

> The question is: why do people use Python within VMD? If most users
> just want to script VMD and happen to prefer Python to Tcl, that
> approach would help. If, on the other hand, most users are Python
> programmers who see VMD as "yet another Python module", then they
> wouldn't be interested: they would most certainly want to use the copy
> of Python they already have fine-tuned for their needs with added
> modules.

This actually raises another question in my mind: does the ability to
run Python commands interactively within VMD come in handy to any of
you? Or would it be sufficient to tell VMD to run a pre-written
Python script, and trigger Python-scripted callbacks? VMD jumps
through some minor hoops to allow the user to script from the console
in Python as easily as Tcl, but I haven't seen too much evidence that
this is a needed feature. Even if console access to the VMD Python
interface were abolished, one could still script Python interactively
by running Idle or some other Tkinter-based widget from within VMD
(I've done it; I think it required some small modification to Idle).
Thoughts on this?

> Either that, or have interpreters in separate processes that
> communicate over sockets.

There is, of course, nothing stopping anyone from implementing this
sort of interface. You can even control VMD from a web browser using
this approach; see for
an example.


The spirit of Plato dies hard.  We have been unable to escape the
philosophical tradition that what we can see and measure in the world
is merely the superficial and imperfect representation of an
underlying reality.
                -- S.J. Gould, "The Mismeasure of Man"