Mobile Molecular DataSheet landscape mode on iPhone

mmds_landporThe next major release of the Mobile Molecular DataSheet for iOS will be version 1.5, and it will include quite a few new bits, including the basic linear pipelining feature, as well as a major new service that I’ll describe later. The change that affects all of features is the migration to iOS 7, but perhaps more noticeably, when the app is used on the iPhone (or iPod) form factor, it now allows landscape mode, if you tilt your phone sideways. Continue reading

Linear pipelining operations with the Mobile Molecular DataSheet app

pipeline01The next release of the Mobile Molecular DataSheet (MMDS) app will have a fairly major new feature: pipelining. First let me point out that it is not the grandiose feature that the name might suggest. Pipelining usually suggests a graphical layout tool allowing arbitrary nodes with multiple branches and huge volumes of data with sophisticated calculations at each step, and the new feature is much more constrained. But it is still useful, and intended to evolve into a midpoint compromise between power and simplicity. The system is engineered to provide linear pipelines (e.g. no branching, no alternative pathways, etc.): any number of datasheets can be jammed into the input funnel, but the outcome is always just a single resulting datasheet. The kinds of operations fit into 3 categories: filters, sorts and web operations. Filters are boolean logic clauses used to reduce the number of rows, sorts are are exactly what they sound like, and web operations are going to be implemented in a later iteration (keep reading for more about that). Continue reading

2013 redux

The year is almost over, which means it’s time for a blog post summarising all that went on as pertains to my entrepreneurial experience, in year 4 of the existence of Molecular Materials Informatics, Inc. First of all, it has been a turbulent year. Before I made the jump from a comfortable job to a new company with a bag of crazy ideas, I consumed a lot of literature about what to expect at the helm of a tech startup, and the universal opinion was that it’s a manic depressive roller coaster ride, with euphoric highs and devastating lows. I can now report that these prophecies are starting to ring true! Due to the unusual trajectory (single founder, no dependencies on hired talent, anticipated market doesn’t actually exist yet) things just hummed along quietly for the most part, until this year. While I’m not at liberty to blog about any of the details, I can focus on specific milestones, which are all part of the public record. Continue reading

Mobile Molecular DataSheet refit: icon menus and importing

mmds1312rev2The Mobile Molecular DataSheet (MMDS) app has been out there on the appstore for quite a long time (3.5 years), and has picked up quite a few rather advanced features. Along the way it has also accumulated an equally long wishlist of things to do, and things to improve on after the original iterative attempts to get it right. The next version that is waiting for review in the appstore (1.4.9) has two most noticeable changes: icon menus on the front-facing panel, and a redesigned import process. Continue reading

Multistep reaction viewing and editing: taking shape

gln_rxnlayoutThe previous chemistry-related post described some of the issues involved in representing chemical reactions. The Green Lab Notebook app-in-progress needs to be able to express multistep reactions as a collection of highly marked up molecular components, and it also needs to be able to render them on demand, to a level of quality that is comparable to what a user might draw themselves, if they happened to be in total control over where everything is positioned. Drawing a multistep reaction algorithmically is not an entirely trivial task, though, since there are multiple opportunities for making judgment calls for how best to fit the scheme on a piece of paper to achieve close packing, aesthetic readability, and consistency across a series. Continue reading