From: Olaf Lenz (
Date: Wed Jul 25 2012 - 03:07:49 CDT


On 07/24/2012 06:48 PM, John Stone wrote:
> Going forward, I am hoping that we can choose to support just one
> major version of Python and that we can start removing the remnants
> of the oldest Python interface code in VMD to streamline future
> efforts. If Python itself ends up being more stable in the next few
> years, that would go a long way toward making it feasible to provide
> a greater degree of integration in VMD than is currently provided.

What I do not completely understand is why you chose to integrate the
Python interpreter into VMD instead of making VMD a Python module. We
have done this with our software ESPResSo, and we see various advantages:

* It removes the versioning problem, as the API for Python extensions is
pretty stable over various versions - in contrast to the interpreter API.

* It would allow users to run VMD with the version of Python provided by
their system.

* It would allow users to use VMD in conjunction with any of the various
other Python modules.

BTW, the same goes for Tcl: one could also make VMD a package for Tcl,
instead of integrating the interpreter into VMD. But I see that the
effort is probably not well spent, as Tcl is mostly a dying language anyway.


Dr. rer. nat. Olaf Lenz
Institut für Computerphysik, Pfaffenwaldring 27, D-70569 Stuttgart
Phone: +49-711-685-63607