Thursday, September 15, 2011

RCSB PDB web site September update

This week the latest update to the RCSB PDB web site went life. One of the major new features in this release is a new search interface. Alex has redesigned the top bar search box:

If you enter a search term, the new auto-suggest box provides suggestions what you might mean and allows to trigger precise searches, which are powered by an efficient new lookup mechanism in the background (written by Dimitris).

If you are not happy with the suggestions that you see (I can hardly imagine that ;-), you can still press enter and do the full text search across the PDB, which has been there already before.

Another major new feature of this release are the improvements to the PDB101, the educational section of the site. Proteins that are described in more detail as part of the Molecule of the Month articles, now have a Discussed Structure page. A particular nice detail that I want to point out is Greg's new 3D molecular viewer that works on iPhones and iPads. These gadgets usually can't display Jmol, our standard 3D viewer, due to the lack of Java support.  To work around this limitation there is now a new HTML5-sprite base animation. If you access a Discussed Structure page with a mobile device this is displayed and can be rotated left-right by "moving" it with your finger. Other improvements on the educational section are that the molecule of the month articles now show up in search results and you can download an article onto your phone. 

I will describe more new features some other time..