Going forward


Almost two years ago, I decided I wanted to rewrite MolView from scratch. I put great effort into designing a sophisticated architecture that could handle all use cases I could imagine. There have been some post dedicated to this subject including a user survey and a new design. After working on this for almost a year I decided to trash my code. My idealistic design had gotten to a point where it became a huge burden.

In the year that followed I have worked on other projects that caught my attention. In particular Bromium, a simulation engine for stochastic particle simulations, and QEDb, a database for mathematical proofs (an ambitious goal that has challenged me profoundly, and a project that has arrived at a very complicated stage now). While these projects are great fun, the truth is that none of them has gotten anywhere near MolView when it comes to users. I still get emails about MolView almost every week. Some are questions, others are feature requests, but one recurring theme is that everyone really, really likes MolView.

Even though I have barely changed anything about MolView in the past two years, it has not left my imagination! Being a college student now, I am faced with many new subjects that call for more advanced visualizations. MolView could do much more that it does now. Some of the more frequently requested things include the ability to draw Lewis dot diagrams and export OBJ files for 3D printing. MolView could also help teachers by integrating interactive exercises and linking to relevant study content. One of my dreams is to show interactive animations of protein interactions. Don’t worry though, simplicity is my main goal with MolView, I want to make a tool that is accessible above all.

So what is this post really about? I want to rewrite MolView from scratch so I can work on new, exciting tools. However, I think I am at a point where I cannot just work on MolView for free anymore. Doing so might be possible now I am a student with a lot of free time, but it is not sustainable on the long run. I want to avoid adding advertising to MolView, and I want to keep the service free and running for years to come. This is why I ask MolView users to donate to the project. This enables me to make time available, and to pay for better servers. So if MolView is useful for you, and you are exited about seeing more, consider contributing!

Supporting MolView is possible in two ways:

Thank you for reading this, and thank you for using MolView and being part of this community!