Saturday, 14 February 2015

cheminformatics.js: Conclusion

And that's brings me to the end of my emscripten adventures. I also looked into compiling Indigo, the core of which compiles fine (*), but as the SVG rendering requires Cairo, it was no-go (although others seem to have gotten it working).

I didn't discuss performance as I didn't look into it. Emscripten creates asm.js friendly JavaScript, which is where some of the extra speed boost comes from, and based on benchmarks the author claims that it runs between half and one tenth of the speed of native code...which I think is pretty good.

For converting Java toolkits to JS, an alternative approach using Google Web Toolkit has been adopted by JMol and JME. And finally, one could actually write a cheminformatics library directly in JavaScript - this is the approach used by the Kemia project.

* A minor patch to gzguts.h is needed (add #include <unistd.h>)

Image credit: "Alon Zakai lowres - Emscripten" by Anna Lena Schiller (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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