What is Garlic?
free molecular viewer and editor,
free molecular visualization program,
protein structure, DNA structure, PDB,
molecular rendering, biological macromolecule,
Unix, Linux, free software download, open source software,
Garlic is a free molecular viewer and editor written for Unix and Unix
clones, like GNU/Linux.
Garlic was born September 30, 1998. At that time I needed a good
molecular visualization program and almost the only thing at hand was RasMol.
I had some hard time with RasMol so I tryed to adapt it to my needs. However,
I realized that it is very hard to read and change RasMol source code, so I
decided to write my own molecular visualization program.
Further, I decided to learn programming for the X window system, and this is
my first serious program written for X11.
Since 1997 I use GNU/Linux software, so I concluded that it would be fair to
add something useful and modern to the existing collection of free software
because this software significantly improved my working conditions.
Garlic was forgotten few times, for months, as I had some other things to do,
but now it is finaly operative.
Though the version number of the current version (1.5) is not very high, the
program is very stable and robust, at least on systems which were available
for testing here at University of Osijek, Croatia.
The name garlic was choosen because my original intention was to write a
modular program, which will be capable to call a number of modules via
system calls. In fact, I did the opposite thing: garlic now consists of a
single unit which integrates all functions. Anyway, back in 1998 I thought
that this program will be similar to garlic - a small core with a number of
units packed around this core. I also like garlic.
Later, I reallized that program name may be reinterpreted as follows:
G stands for GNU (license),
AR for analysis and rendering,
LI for Linux,
C for C (the computer language).
Who might be interested to use this program?
As garlic is free and open, students may find it interesting as a learning
tool. Garlic may be installed on a cheap, no-name PC (running a free Linux
distribution) or even on a laptop (very handy!).
University assistents and professors
It is somewhat delicate to use commercial software for lectures and
seminars (assignments). In their later carrier students may be boosted toward
the software which they used during their study just because they have some
experience with it. Universities should not influence the software market by
choosing certain commercial product just because it is cheap or for some
other reason suitable for university assignments.
Many professionals would like to use some molecular visualization program at
home or on a portable computer. Some others may be interested to adapt the
program to their own needs. Software makers are unwilling to give the source
code and to allow modification of their product. They also try to drain as
much money as possible for additional (home) copies. Anyone wishing to cut
the rope is invited to use and modify garlic, but the final product has to
remain free and open, in agreement with the
GNU General Public License
Anyone interested to learn something about proteins, DNA and some other
molecules may find garlic useful.