Successful navigating of the ever-changing landscape of molecular visualization programs requires a common thread that can offer users an oasis from the maelstrom of new languages, proprietary applications, and miniscule software life-cycles. Crossapplication scripting remains the benchmark, allowing scientists and researchers to speak a common tongue. The introduction of a new, powerful visualization language, Molecular Biology Toolkit (MBT), has tempted many users to abandon previous methodologies and adopt a new mode of research. MBT, however, is not without drawbacks. Its lack of scripting capabilities creates unmanageable complexity for unsophisticated end-users, namely those without the ability to program. MBT, thus, lacks the basic handholds for its widespread acceptance in the molecular visualization community. As a toolkit package without its own mode of execution, its design challenges users to develop their own customized features and applications. However, able to contribute as a text based virtual molecular collection or a fully rendered 3D molecular representation, MBT has the tools researchers want in a new visualization program. Using JavaCC to parse legacy commands and in turn executing MBT methods all from a single, simple command, I have reintroduced scripting to the modern molecular visualization landscape. Combining these two programs, this project takes steps to encourage the exciting molecular manipulations capable in MBT while bridging to a friendly, user-centric scripting patterns required by end-users not entrenched in software development.
Department, Program, or Center
Computer Science (GCCIS)
Newell, Todd, "Introducing legacy program scripting to molecular biology toolkit (MBT)" (2008). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus