Henry Rzepa's Blog Chemistry with a twist

December 24, 2010

Embedding molecules in blogs: ChemDoodle, WebGL and SVG

If you get a small rotatable molecule below, then ChemDoodle/HTML5/WebGL is working. Why might this be important? Well, the future is mobile, in other words, devices that rely on batteries or other sources of built-in power. This means the power guzzling GPU cards of the past (some reach ~400 Watts!) cannot be used. Rather than using e.g. a full power OpenGL library, one will use Web-based graphics libraries, which (to quote Wikipedia) extends the capability of the JavaScript programming language to allow it to generate interactive 3D graphics within any compatible web browser. A typical target device might be for example Apple’s iPad (for which the redoubtable Jmol, which is based on Java, is unlikely to ever work).

To find out if your device and its browser can support this type of graphical display, go to either this test page or this more general one (which at the time of writing actually gets the WebGL test wrong!).

I have deployed an earlier graphical methodology in other posts (SVG), which many browsers now support. This combination of HTML5, SVG and WebGL is the future! For its use on another blog, see here.


  1. […] of the first three (commercial) publishers above has adopted their own programming format. Although HTML5 may be at the heart of some of this, programming may also mean control (in the sense that the […]

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  2. […] open epub3 which strives for the same. Other features of HTML5 include embedded chemistry using WebGL and the same mechanisms are being used for the construction of modern chemical structure drawing […]

    Pingback by Science publishers (and authors) please take note. « Henry Rzepa — October 24, 2011 @ 8:05 am

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