Browser/Chime Prerequisites for UMass Chime Resources

The current version of Chime must be installed.

If you have not already done so, you will need to install Chime 1.0. This takes only a few minutes and you will be amply rewarded! Here's how to Check Your Chime Installation and Version. Macintosh users: installation of Chime on the Mac is a bit tricky. Step by step instructions are under Section 7, Procedures in a recent workshop agenda.

Browser/Platform Compatibility

The Chime resources at this UMass site work best with Netscape Navigator 3.01. We assume they also work well with Navigator 3.02 but we have not tested it. Due to changes between Navigator 3 and 4 in the plug-in interface and javascript, some of the resources do not work in Navigator 4. (Eventually we hope to figure out how to modify them so they work in Navigator 4; when we do, it will be indicated in the compatibility table below.)

Netscape Navigator 3.01 remains available from Netscape under Get Any Netscape Software, then Previously Released Navigators, then the Get Software button. Here's how to Check Your Navigator Version.

You can install multiple versions of Netscape Navigator on your computer simultaneously -- just be sure to specify that each goes in a differently named folder. And of course you can install Navigator plus Internet Explorer on the same computer.

Incompatible browsers may show some molecular images, but will not display the intended images and movements correctly. The following are at least partially INCOMPATIBLE with all Chime resources at this site:

The failure of Chime to work properly with Internet Explorer 3 is not the result of lack of support by MDL, the creators of Chime. It is because (i) Chime is a plug-in with interfacing to javascript, (ii) Netscape defined the plug-in interface and javascript, and (iii) Microsoft had not yet provided full support for plug-ins nor javascript in Internet Explorer 3. More details are available in a message by Bryan van Vliet of MDL dated April 10, 1997, available in the history of the RasMol email list. Use your browser's Find command to look for Vliet in the Jan-Apr 1997 history file.


OK, Partially OK, Fails. N=Navigator; n.t.=Not Tested;
Resource Windows 3.1x/95 Chime 1.0 Macintosh/PPC Chime 1.0 SGI Chime 0,9e
N 3.01 N 4.01 N 3.01 N 4.01 N 3.01 N 4.01
Chime: How to Use It. Fully compatible Fully compatible Mostly OK. See below n.t. See below See below
RasMol-Saved Scripts in Chime: Gal4:DNA. Fully compatible Fully compatible Fully compatible (Bug: see below) n.t. See below See below
Protein Secondary Structure. Fully compatible Does not work at all Mostly OK. See below n.t. See below See below
DNA Fully compatible New version 2.2 is fully compatible Fully compatible n.t. See below See below
XYZ animation of thermal motion of alpha helix Fully compatible Fully compatible n.t. n.t. n.t. n.t.
Command line Fully compatible Fully compatible n.t. n.t. n.t. n.t.

Javascript Errors

While running our Chime resources, if you occasionally get javascript error messages, try closing Navigator and restarting it. Navigator handles javascript properly most of the time, but tends to get confused, particularly after a long session involving javascript. If the error is reproducible after a restart, please report the error message verbatim by email, giving the location (as reported in Navigator's Location slot at the top).

Known Mac and SGI Problems

The UMass Chime resources were developed and tested on Windows3.1/95, where they work as intended. Most of the resources work on the Macintosh, but some have known problems for which a fix has not yet been found. Known problems with Mac Navigator 3.01 for the Protein Secondary Structure tutorial/LCS2 include appearance of the 'Next' button in the wrong place or failure of it to change from red to green (it still works tho), and failure of the yellow and red buttons to appear when 'Stop' is pressed during continuous play (just close the window).

Chime 1.0 for the Macintosh only contains a bug which prevents clicking by the mouse on an atom from producing the intended result (e.g. identifying the atom, or any other 'set picking' operation).

Most of the resources do not work on SGI/Irix with Chime version 0.9e. Chime's 'immediate button' mechanism does not work if the button is hidden (see file chiimmed.js if you download the DNA or ProtSecS tutorials). This can be worked around by leaving the button unhidden, which causes no problem. However several other serious problems occur. Moves usually stall before completion, the molecule disappears for unknown reasons in ProtSecS in debug mode, etc. We'll just have to be patient until MDL can finish version 1.0 for this platform.

See the RasMol Home Page which provides a wealth of information on educational molecular visualization, general information on Chime including links to the best Chime web pages we've seen.

Feedback to Eric Martz.