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Jmol 3D chemistry structure plugin updated to use JSmol (HTML5/JavaScript)l

Geoff Rowland's profile picture
Posts: 108

28 May 2013, 9:55 AM

I have updated the Jmol plugin to use JSmol, as recently developed by Bob Hanson and collaborators.

This means that (in most cases) JSmol (JavaScript/HTML5) is used in preference to Jmol (Java applet). JSmol works on platforms that don't have Java installed/available and also avoids the security issues/fixes/popups that have recently affected Java-browser combinations. JSmol performance is a little slower than that of Jmol, but still very usable.

Multiple JSmol instances can be inserted in a Mahara page, though too many may increase page load times.

In my hands, this version of the plugin works with Mahara 1.6 and 1.7. Earlier Mahara versions may work, but have not been tested.

Similarly, it works with any recent browser with HTML 5 support (Firefox 20, Chrome 26, Opera 12, Internet Explorer 10 and 9 tested). Internet Explorer 8 also works, but only by defaulting to the Jmol Java applet.

Since JSmol is the same program as Jmol, just converted to JavaScript, and is effectively a drop-in replacement for Jmol, I have retained the Jmol name for the plugin.

Jmol/JSmol is under active development and it should be relatively straight-forward to add options for WebGL display or minimal JSmol lite display (for, say, mobile platforms).

This should be considered development code. So, please test on a non-production server in the first instance. 

The latest version can be downloaded from GitHub:


Aaron Wells's profile picture
Posts: 896

28 May 2013, 11:35 AM

Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing! Laughing

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3632

09 June 2013, 5:42 PM

Hi Geoff,

This is tempting to take up chemistry again. :-) Great work.




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