Saturday, September 05, 2009

MeTA Studio update: GTalk, other improvements and some experimental ideas…

A new full binary version of MeTA Studio (2.0.05092009) is available for download from the usual place:

New features in this release:

- GTalk/ Jabber integration with the talk and collaborative framework in MeTA Studio, allowing one to have more means of communication than just direct LAN based talk. Note that both the parties need to be using MeTA Studio to take full advantage of this feature. To access this feature use Tools –> Down-arrow –> GTalk –> Sign in

imageNote that if you have a proxy you will need to make those settings first before trying to log into GTalk / Jabber. All features of MeTA Studio talk except voice talk is supported via GTalk. With this the issue reported here is addressed. The original issue did mention yahoo and irc, but there are no plans to support these. GTalk and Jabber protocols are fairly open and are well supported by Smack APIs which are inturn used with in MeTA Studio.

- Staggered reading and connectivity formation for large molecules. With earlier version of MeTA Studio, large molecules (> 1000) atoms took long time to load, as there is huge amount of pre-pressing done to identify and classify bonds, rings and other structures in the molecule. Starting from 2.0.05092009, staggered reader and molecule builder APIs are introduced which allow for faster loading of molecules and at a later stage selectively obtaining the required details.

image You might experience some problems using this feature, if you find problems, report them at:

- “Share this!” feature in MoleculeViewer, allows one to instantly share a molecule object to peer MeTA Studio users on LAN or on GTalk/ Jabber network.

- The update sever has been changed to and with this the online updates are back. So expect quicker updates in coming days. **

- Support for Apache Derby embedded database has been added to MeTA Studio. Expect some interesting features based on this in near future.

- Additional BeanShell functions to ease programming:

atof(): String to float

atoi(): String to int

au(): Convert to a.u. (overloaded for value, Point3D and Atom)

angstrom(): Convert to angstrroms (overloaded for value, Point3D and Atom)

- Under the hood graphics and other API changes. And as usual there are assortment for other bug fixes and improvements. For a complete list of changes browse through


Experimental features with this release:

- I will be experimenting with symbolic language interface for MeTA Studio in coming weeks. A simple demo interface has been added for this purpose and is called a Workbook (accessible from Workbook –> New workbook). The only symbol currently interpreted is: Molecule[H2]


- An App Builder tool to simplify making completely new applications based on MeTA Studio runtime (accessible from App builder –> New app builder workspace). This is currently not functional, and is only a design spec.


MeTA Studio on

MeTA Studio is also now hosted on, which currently is providing a means of on-line update. This also serves as a way of showing off the way for displaying users and developers of MeTA Studio. So if you use or develop for MeTA Studio, help spread the word, click on “I use it” button at the bottom of MeTA Studio home page at:


Have fun! And check out for some new updates with MeTA Studio in coming weeks.

Update: Just realized that this is not the case. Once a file is uploaded on, it is immutable. So this issue is not fixed yet. Any suggestions on online update server place are still welcome.

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