From: Axel Kohlmeyer (
Date: Sun May 24 2009 - 08:52:35 CDT

On Sun, 2009-05-24 at 02:45 -0700, Rob wrote:
> Hi,
> The list of possible file types is too long; when I want to load a new molecule
> I can choose the file type, but the list provided is inconveniently long.
> There are about 50 right now....


in addition to the suggestions that were already given to you
about a month ago, there is another, even simpler option:
you just write a "Rob's File Browser" dialog in Tk/Tcl:

all you need is a file browser (Tk ships with a prebuilt one)
and then a selector with a list of file types that only you
want to see and a "Load" button. pretty straightforward scripting
exercise i would say. if you need a "Load into existing Molecule"
option, it becomes a little bit more complicated, but there are
plenty of scripts containing a vmd-molecule selector around
(check out clonerepgui.tcl for example).

> Most of the options in the list I never ever use; in my case only two.
> Hence, it would be so much better if this list can be make user configurable,
> so that every user can cut the list to only those items which are used.

there surely is a necessity to make this list a bit configurable.
there is, e.g., also the problem that several file formats use the
same extension (.out, .log, .xml), and it would be nice to give
users an option to set a preference here as well.

> (Note: it should be *user* configurable, so that system wide still all items
> are available).

i'd rather not turn them off (you'll be needing exactly one of the ones
that you have configured out, as soon as you enable this feature), but
rather have a set of "preferred" plugins that are directly visible on
the top level and then have all of the plugins in groups (by alphabet?)
as submenus (similar to babel converted plugins).

the problem with this is mainly, that somebody has to find the time to
program this and in general priorities to change something that is
working are not as high than to make something work that is not working
or implement a new feature. if somebody wants to cut his or her teeth
working on VMD, this may be a project to try out...


> Rob.

Axel Kohlmeyer
   Center for Molecular Modeling   --   University of Pennsylvania
Department of Chemistry, 231 S.34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323
tel: 1-215-898-1582,  fax: 1-215-573-6233,  office-tel: 1-215-898-5425
If you make something idiot-proof, the universe creates a better idiot.