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jawz101's picture
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Webassembly is a newer web technology meant to run more directly on the bare metal of your computer (performance). Rather than having 3 clients, why not implement it in webAssembly to run in the browser?

I'd replace the 3 desktop apps with a wasm version and maybe have a mobile app. The mobile app would be more popular but the interface would stink. A web assembly version could be centrally updated, cross platform, and possibly work behind corporate mitm ssl certificates.

bkoep's picture
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Yes!

We would love to have Foldit run in-browser, and we're actively looking into this!

The sticking points are just that we have a LOT of code to port into WebAssembly (the backend of Foldit is an expansive molecular modeling suite), and we really ought to refactor things first so that we can update the graphics and make Foldit easier to maintain.

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That does seem like a lot of

That does seem like a lot of work indeed.
Would it be a good idea to open source the project (maybe just partially) or is that just even more work on top of everything?

rmoretti's picture
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The licensing is complicated.

Foldit relies on the Rosetta package for all the backend biochemistry computational power. The licensing for Rosetta precludes open source distribution. Currently, the frontend of Foldit is tightly coupled with the backend, meaning that we can't really open source any of Foldit at the moment.

We're looking at moving to a cleaner separation of the front end and backend systems. (This is somewhat related to the effort bkoep mentioned.) If we can make such a separation work, we can start considering if it might make sense to open source portions of it. That said, such a separation is a significant amount of work, and there's no timeframe for accomplishing it (if it will even happen at all).

jawz101's picture
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Thanks for the reply. I

Thanks for the reply. I imagine it's bigger than I can imagine and I don't know what technologies could be leveraged that could apply to this type of work: cross-platform technologies, GPU/CPU/Memory optimizations, easier codebase & central deployment, etc.

It's such a cool project and the more it abstracted away from the science and more to playing a game I think the solutions would fly. Maybe chunking up a problem into even smaller bits or having more visual feedback when things go wrong. Using analogies such as tree branches, flowers, and fruits where a child (or anyone really) could conceptualize something else instead of what it's actually doing.

jawz101's picture
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... bees, birds, spiders,

... bees, birds, spiders, spiderwebs... to add to my analogy

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Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, RosettaCommons