Chemists can code! sorta …

Anybody who knows me knows that I’m not a programmer, I don’t even play one on TV 😦 .  I’m a PhD Physical Chemistry student and an experimentalist at that. I knew nothing about distro or software development for most of the time I’ve used Linux. A little over a year ago I figured out how to get on freenode hopped on #ubuntu-motu . I was sucked into the MOTU world and have been known as a raging Ubuntu-holic MOTU.  So now that I’ve experienced a little distro development I’ve been itching a little to do some software development.  Well, the short story is through a series of events I found Gnome Chemisty Utils (and it’s author Jean Bréfort) and a group of chemists interested in open standards and open source in the area of chemoinformatics called Blue Obelisk. Now, putting this all together I ended up learning a little C++ and GTK to create a new color scheme for the gchemutils periodic table app that reads in data from the Blue Obelisk Data Repository (BODR). The new scheme “colorizes” the elements by family (noble gases, alkali metals, etc. ). The fruit of my labor, released today as a part of Gnome Chemistry Utils version 0.7.4, is shown in the following screenshot:


So if you happen to be interested in periodic tables (you know you are) then grab BODR 4 and gchemutils 0.7.4 and have fun.

Next step: figure out how to get all this fun stuff in Universe for Feisty!


5 thoughts on “Chemists can code! sorta …

  1. If you port it to KDE/Qt I will go ahead and use it. I have a chem class next semester, which of course I will be acquiring your knowledge to do my homework I am sure. Maybe we can trade a couple of packages for a weeks worth of homework 😉

    /me bows to the raging Ubuntu-holic MOTU and Coder

    I would have been lost doing that, actually I am lost right now. Where am I? Who are you again? Uh oh, keyboard is going dea….

  2. Any reason why you have the colours chosen the way you do? Are the green ones more like the blue ones on the left than the yellow/orange and red on either side?

    I never took chemistry in University, but I thought it would be more like a gradient than jumping back and forth.

  3. @nixternal
    If you want a good KDE app for this definitely check out Kalzium. It is one of the best educational chemistry apps available in Linux.

    @Ben Wendt
    Well, it isn’t so much of a gradient. I mostly went with distinct colors so you could easily see the different families. I’m certainly open to suggestions 😉
    BTW, I’d like to do some gradients in the future with atomic radius or electronegativity.

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