Ian W. Davis
Vincent B. Chen
KING (Kinemage, Next Generation) is an interactive system for three-dimensional vector graphics. It supports a set of graphics primitives that make it suitable for many types of graphs, plots, and other illustrations; although its first use was to display macromolecular structures for biophysical research. KING builds on MAGE, JAVAMAGE, and the “kinemage” (kinetic image) concept to deliver a full-featured Java application with a user-friendly interface and integrated editing features. It also operates as a Java applet to promote easy access to kinemages from a web browser.
A kinemage is a “kinetic image,” an interactive, three-dimensional illustration. Because kinemages contain simple geometric objects — points, lines, spheres, etc. — they are suited to a great variety of subjects, from simple sketches to sophisticated plots to detailed schematics of 3-D objects. Their strength is in selective presentation of information — they were originally intended as an alternative to flat, static illustrations in scientific journals.
In fact, kinemages were first created as a way of visualizing macromolecular structures, particularly x-ray crystal structures of proteins. However, such a kinemage is a drawing of a molecule, albeit a 3-D drawing, and not the molecule itself. Thus, the kinemage lacks most of the information in a PDB file, and kinemage display program cannot read PDB files directly. Since their creation, kinemages have been extended to a variety of other fields, from the social sciences to ecology to education.
The kinemage concept is the brainchild of Drs. David and Jane Richardson at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA. Their website is at http://kinemage.biochem.duke.edu.
If you’re reading this, you may already have KiNG running. In that case, feel free to skip this section. If not, we’ll guide you through getting KiNG up and running on your system.
If you don’t already have a copy of KiNG, you can download it from http://kinemage.biochem.duke.edu. Even if you have a copy already, you might check periodically for new version that add features and fix bugs. If you run on a Windows or Linux machine and aren’t already knowledgeable about Java techonology, we recommend downloading the package that includes a Java Virtual Machine in the bundle. (This isn’t an issue for Macintosh owners.)
If you just want to run KiNG as an applet on MolProbity or some other web page, you can skip this step. You can always download a copy later if you want to run it off-line.
KiNG is written in the Java programming language, and so requires that the Java libraries (version 1.5 or later) be present on your computer in order for it to run. Newer Apple computers (those running Mac OS X) come with Java. Most PCs do not, though recently several manufacturers have agreed to pre-install Java on their new computers. Look for the coffee-cup icon in your Windows task bar or in the Control Panel.
If you don’t have Java, you may have downloaded a copy of KiNG that was bundled with its own installation of Java. If you ran the InstallAnywhere installation program, this is the copy you have; don’t worry about downloading and installing another copy of Java.
If you don’t have Java and you didn’t download the bundled version of KiNG, point your web browser to http://java.sun.com/getjava/index.html. The software is free and available for Windows, Linux, and Solaris computers. We recommend getting the newest version that is available.
Launching KiNG is as simple as double clicking on the “KiNG” icon. If you didn’t download a package with an installer, etc. you may need to click on king.jar instead.
For Unix types who want a shell script, we recommend something like this:
exec java -Xms32m -Xmx512m -jar /home/ian/bin/jars/king.jar "$@"
The -Xms and -Xmx switches control the amount of memory initially allocated to the Java program and the maximum memory it can consume. The default maximum of 64 MB should be enough for almost any kinemage, but a few of the largest require more (hence the -Xmx512m recommendation).
If you just want to run KiNG as an applet from a web page, you can just visit that web page now. If you don’t see the “Kinglet” logo after a minute or two, make sure your browser is properly configured to work with Java. How you do this depends on which browser you have; consult its documentation for details.
If you already have a kinemage you want to look at, this step is simple: just choose Open from the File menu, and select the kinemage you’d like to view. If you don’t have anything to look at right now, don’t worry! Choose Help | Built-in kinemages, and select one of the provided files to explore. See 8 on page § for more places to get kinemages from.
A kinemage is a dynamic, 3-D illustration. The best way to take advantage of that is by rotating it and twisting it around. Just click the mouse near the center of the graphics window and slowly drag right or left, up or down. If you have multiple buttons on your mouse, use the left button or button 1. You can also use the left and right arrow keys for small rotations. If you get lost or disoriented, use the Views menu to get back on familiar ground.
By clicking on points with the mouse (left button again), you’ll be able to identify them. The label associated with each point will appear in the bottom right of the graphics area. Furthermore, the distance from this point to the last one you clicked will also be displayed.
For keeping track of which point is selected, markers can be displayed. Two markers are displayed normally. The checkbox for markers is just below the graphics area, with the pickcenter checkbox.
Most kinemages have many different components to them, grouped together in logical ways. A protein might have one group for each subunit; or one group for mainchain, another for side chains, and yet another for hydrogens. Groups and subgroups are given names and can be made visible or hidden by the viewer — you might want to see only one subunit, or only the backbone (without sidechains and hydrogens cluttering up the view).
The groups and subgroups appear in the button pane, to the right of the graphics area. Each one has a button to turn it on or off. Groups that are on (visible) usually have a check mark or an X in there box; a blank button means the group is hidden. Many kinemages start off with some information hidden, to avoid overwhelming the reader. Always check to see if there’s more information available than is being displayed!
You can make any point in the kinemage be the center. The center point will be in the middle of the graphics area, and the kinemage will rotate about that point. There are several ways to set the center: you can hold the Shift key while you click the point, or use the right mouse button if you have one. You can also press the Pick center button below the graphics area and then click on the desired point.
Since re-centering brings a point to the center of the screen, using this repeatedly allows one to “walk” through a large structure.
KiNG allows you to zoom in to see small details in a kinemage. Use the Zoom slider, below the graphics area, to control how far you zoom in. You can click the mouse right or left of the knob for small movements or click the knob and drag it for larger ones. A small motion is usually all that’s needed.
For easier access, one can hold Shift and drag (or drag using the right mouse button) in the graphics window. Dragging down zooms in; up zooms out. The up/down arrow keys and mouse wheel (Java 1.4 and later only) also control zooming.
Objects that are too near the viewer, or too far away, are not displayed; otherwise, zooming in would result in a useless superposition. The depth of the clipping “slab” can be adjusted using the slider along the bottom, or by dragging side-to-side with the right mouse button (or with the Shift key held down).
For more ways to explore the kinemage and interact with it, be sure to read about the Navigate tool (see 5.3 on page §).
Exploring on your own is great, but the best guide to a kinemage is its author. Often, he or she includes a short text of a few paragraphs or pages that explains what the kinemage depicts. You can access this text using the Show text button, located just below the graphics area. An equivalent command is also available in the Edit menu.
Most kinemages have one or more “views” that were selected by the author to highlight some significant feature. These views are accessible from the Views menu. Just click on one of the named views and the kinemage will “jump” to that view. You can then rotate it, zoom in or out, etc. to explore further. You can always return to the original view by selecting it again from the menu.
Kinemages without any predefined views still get an automatic “overview” view. This is a useful way to return to a known starting point if you get lost in a complicated structure.
The kinemage format also allows for flip-book style animations, automatic searching for points based on their name (the label that appears in the lower left when the point is clicked), and much more. There is also a rich selection of features to control exactly how the graphics are rendered. See 3 on page § to learn more.
To open a new kinemage, go the the File menu and choose Open. Browse through your file system and find a kinemage file. These files typically end in .kin. The new version-control convention is to name modified files .1.kin, .2.kin, etc., though older kinemages that have been edited may have revisions named .kip, kip1, kip2, etc. Click the button marked OK and KiNG will begin loading the file. You’ll see a progress bar as KiNG loads the contents of the file, and then the first kinemage in that file will be displayed in the graphics area (where the logo used to be).
You can also drag and drop kinemages into the KiNG graphics window in order to open them, but this feature is not supported for Java versions prior to 1.4. On Mac OS X machines, you can also double-click .kin files in the Finder or drag kinemage files onto the KiNG Dock icon to launch KiNG and open the file.
Additionally, files can be specified on the command line, as in king -s foo.kin bar.kin, which will load all the kinemages in those two files upon startup. The -s (or -single) flag is required so that KiNG knows not to merge the two files together.
If your file has more than one kinemage, you can choose which one you want to look at from the drop box on the right, just above the buttons. You can also use File | Open to load additional files; those kinemages will also appear in the drop box. When you’re done, use File | Close to get rid of the current kinemage, or use File | Close all to get rid of all the open kinemages.
If you save your file when more than one kinemage is open, they will all be written out to that file, in the order they currently appear in. This is an easy way to create multi-kinemage files, but be careful that you don’t save more than you intended to!
Sometimes you want to combine the contents of multiple kinemages. You might want to combine a graph of your latest sales data with some nicely formated and labeled axes you prepared last month. Or maybe you want to combine a ribbon drawing of your favorite protein with a representation of the atomic detail at its active site. In either case, using File | Append will combine the contents of a new file with the contents of the currently displayed kinemage. Be careful — if the new file contains multiple kinemages, they’ll all be merged into the current one!
This behavior can be achieved on the command line by specifying multiple files, as in king -m foo.kin bar.kip1, which will merge all the kinemages in those two files upon startup. The -m (or -merge) flag is optional; merging multiple files is the default behavior.
You can save kinemages using the File | Save as menu; these files are typically given the extension .kin. KiNG will try to help you by automatically appending a number to the filename so that your changes don’t overwrite your original. The resulting kinemage file will be plain text that you can view and even edit by hand using any text editor (though of course you don’t have to!). If you choose to do this and want use a word processor (like Microsoft Word), make sure that you load and save the file in plain text format.
Note that due to the security restrictions that web browsers place on Java applets, saving will never be possible when KiNG is running inside a web browser.
You can use File | Print to send the image in the graphics area to your printer. The image will fill as much of the page as possible without distorting it. The relative size of the elements will be exactly the same as on screen. Among the consequences of this are that an image printed from a small graphics window will have thicker lines when printed than will the image when printed from a larger graphics window. Don’t worry about this too much; just remember printing is WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get). If it looks right on the screen, it should look right on the paper! Some images will fit better in landscape mode than portrait mode; this decision is left up to the user.
Printing should work even when KiNG is running in a web browser, although the user will generally be asked for permission first.
Several facilities are provided that can help get data out of kinemage format and into other forms, either for making figures for publication or for further processing. Due to security restrictions placed on applets, the export features are unavailable when KiNG is running in a web browser.
The File | Export menu allows one to save the current graphics image as a standard image file. Image export requires that you have Java 1.4 or newer; otherwise, an error message will appear. Several image formats are supported, including JPEG and PNG; the format can be selected from the export dialog box. These images are very useful for creating web pages, PowerPoint-style presentations, etc. For high-quality publication graphics, however, you’ll want to use a vector-based format like PDF.
Rather than sending the image to the printer, it can be captured for inclusion in a publication or later manipulation in a graphics program like Adobe Illustrator. Note that there are several relevant options under the Display menu, particularly White background and Monochrome.
All platforms can generate PDF files using the File | Export menu. This is the simplest and best option for almost any use. “PDF” stands for Portable Document Format, the successor to PostScript as the standard for vector graphics. You can learn more about PDFs at http://www.adobe.com. It does require the (free) iText PDF library from http://www.lowagie.com/iText/, which is distributed with KiNG.
If for some reason you don’t want to use PDF export, it is also often possible to hijack the print output into a file. For instance, with Macintosh OS X, both PostScript and PDF output are supported directly from the Print dialog. Under Linux, choosing Print to file from the Print dialog will generate a PostScript file, which can be converted many other formats using e.g. Ghostscript tools like ps2pdf (PDF) and ps2epsi (EPS, Encapsulated PostScript). Under Microsoft Windows, things don’t seem to be as straightforward, but one possiblity is to install the generic PostScript printer drivers from Adobe and then direct this “virtual printer” to FILE (rather than, e.g., LPT1). Your mileage may vary; I’d be interested in hearing about better ways to do this from any Windows experts out there.
Every point in a kinemage has an associated identifying label, which appears in the graphics area when the point is clicked on. You can find one or more points by searching through those labels for a word or phrase using the Edit | Find point dialog. When you press Search, KiNG will center the view on the first point that matches your criteria (you may need to zoom in/out to see it appropriately). Edit | Find next will then jump to the next matching point, until all matches are exhausted.
This is the easiest-to-use of the search options, and usually produces the desired results. You can enter one or more words or numbers in the search field (separated by spaces), and KiNG will find all the points that contain all of those words, in any order. A search for “val 17” would find “17 A val cb” but not “valine 117”.
This works like whole word searches, but will even find points that have the search terms embedded in a larger word or number. In this case, a search for “val 17” would find “valine 117”. This often produces extraneous results but may occasionally be useful.
This search is done with a simple “regular expression”, as is often used for specifying file names on the command line. A star (*) matches any group of zero or more characters, and a question mark (?) matches any single character. Notice that the search is treated as a single term, rather than multiple words — the pieces must be in the correct order. Thus a search for “val*17” would find “val17”, “val 17”, and “valine 117”, among others; but would not find “17 val”.
This search is like the simple regex search but uses the full syntax of Perl 5 regular expressions, as implemented by the gnu.regexp library. (I’m no expert, but it seems to be a very complete and official implementation. All but the most esoteric features are available.) Regular expressions are a very involved subject, and many books and on-line references are available for the interested reader.
Remember that KiNG searches through all visible points to find ones matching your criteria. Turning off (i.e., making invisible, hiding, unchecking) large groups that you’re not interested in will skip searching those groups. Since all the varieties of search are implemented internally with regular expressions, they are relatively computationally expensive. A search through a large kinemage may take several seconds.
Kinemages often include animations. An animation in this sense is not a movie, but more like a flip-book, where similar images are aligned and displayed one at a time, in a series of discrete frames. If a kinemage contains animation(s), there will be forward and reverse buttons for the animation located below the checkboxes for groups and masters.
The Display menu offers several options for controlling how the kinemage is rendered. Of particular interest is the Perspective option. By default, KiNG renders objects with orthographic perspective; objects near the viewer are no larger than those far away. This is the preferred mode for viewing macromolecular structures and many 2-D graphs and figures. However, for geometrical objects and other cases where the eye expects perspective, enabling this option will result in a much more natural-looking image.
There are also several ways of controlling the coloring of the points. Each point may have its own color, and several “aspects” as well. For example, a map might be colored by the aspects of temperature, elevation, and annual rainfall; one could then choose which of these colorings to apply.
The first level of grouping above the individual point is the list; every point belongs to a list. Points that don’t have a color specified take their color from the list, but there are times when one might want to suppress the individual colors and color points by the color of the list they belong to. This option is available as well.
Upon request, KiNG will render the kinemage as a stereoscopic pair of images. The two views are very nearly the same, except that one is slightly rotated with respect to the other. If you can get one eye to look at each image, you can fool yourself into seeing additional depth information. Stereo can be either “cross-eye” or “wall-eye”; the former is somewhat easier to learn, but the later is more comfortable for long periods of time.
To see cross-eye stereo, cross your eyes and then look at the screen without refocusing. You should see 4 identical (though blurry) images. Relax your eyes slightly, and the center two will overlap. If you can focus on this phantom central image, you’ll be seeing in stereo. It may help bring the image into sharp focus to rotate the kinemage slighly using the mouse.
If you’ve got KiNG set for wall-eye stereo and your eyes set for cross-eye (or vice versa), you will see a stereoscopic image, but the parts that should be in back will be in front, and it will rotate the wrong direction when you move the mouse. Change one or the other to get a more reasonable image.
Incidentally, although KiNG doesn’t support multiple simultaneous views of the same kinemage, you can simulate a pair of orthogonal views by setting the stereo separation to 90 degrees in Edit | Configure KiNG. Of course, the views no longer forms a stero image, but they’re useful in another way. Particularly applicable for “info-vis” kinemages, you can examine (for instance) the x-y plane and the y-z plane at the same time using this trick. It pairs well with the 90-degree rotations plugin.
KiNG is capable of using OpenGL rendering commands to take advantage of your graphics hardware and get (hopefully) accelerated graphics performance. You’ll need to have an up-to-date version of Java installed, along with the JOGL libraries (https://jogl.dev.java.net/). Make sure you get both jogl.jar and the native library or libraries (they end in .dll, .so, or .jnilib). 2008 update: It is no longer necessary to download separate files; everything needed is included in the platform specific downloads at the JOGL site. The download includes directions for installing JOGL (which discourage dropping the JAR files in the extension directories as originally recommended). Essentially, the JOGL JAR and the GLUEGEN_RT JAR need to be added to the classpath in order for JOGL to work. If you downloaded a platform-specific version of KiNG, the necessary libraries may already be included. 2016 update: With the newer versions of Java, JOGL 1.1.1 doesn’t seem to be currently working. We’re exploring the possibility of updating to use JOGL 2.0.
This feature has been tested with various combinations of Java 1.4.2 through Java 1.6.0 and JOGL 1.1 through JOGL 1.1.1. JOGL is still under development, as is this feature, and interacting so directly with the hardware is always risky, so it’s possible that OpenGL rendering may hang KiNG on your computer. You’ve been warned.
Hopefully, a future version of Java (possibly the 1.6.x series) will use OpenGL behind the scenes for all graphics operations, making KiNG much faster and making this feature obsolete. Until then, this is a work-around for large kinemages where performance is an issue.
Not all the buttons to the right of the graphics control groups and subgroups of points; some are “masters.” The master buttons sit below the others, separated by a spacer. When activated, a master turns on all the groups it controls; when deactivated, it turns them all off. The effects are only momentary; the group can be turned on or off directly regardless of the state of the master(s) that control it.
A single group can be controlled by multiple masters. Note that the “off” state of a master is dominant in this case: a master will always turn off the groups it controls, but will turn them on only if they are not also controlled by another master that is already off. Since the buttons of the individual groups, subgroups, and lists are sometimes hidden, one can generate a variety of patterns by turning the masters on and off in specific patterns.
Kinemage files are stored as human-readable, plain-text files. They’re also designed to be easily edited by human beings, using a text editor like Notepad (Windows), TextEdit (Mac), or vi (Unix). You can also use a word processor like Microsoft Word, but you have to be careful to save as plain text (.txt) rather than formatted text (.doc and others). A description of the kinemage file format is distributed with KiNG as a separate document from this manual.
The most basic sort of editing is to combine two kinemages into one. For this, simply use the File | Append command (see 2.3 on page §).
The text of a kinemage is often critical for clarifying and amplifying its meaning. It’s analogous to the caption that accompanies a printed figure. You can edit the kinemage text in the same window that you use for reading it (just press the Show text button).
A simple editing tool is Views | Save current view, which records the current orientation and position of the kinemage as a new view in the Views menu. Creating a series of meaningful, clearly labeled views is a great way to make a kinemage more informative. You can delete, rename, and rearrange views using Views | Edit saved views.
One of the goals of KiNG is to enable simple, visual editing of most parts of a kinemage. Many of the editing commands are activated using a tree-like display of the hierarchical kinemage structure, which will resemble the layout of buttons.
The structure of the kinemage can be rearranged by cutting, copying, and pasting elements; creating new elements and deleting unneeded ones; and reordering elements (using the Up and Down commands). Play with these commands, and their operation will soon become obvious. Elements can even be cut out of one kinemage and pasted into another!
Also, the properties of individual elements can be adjusted, which allows them to be renamed. What other properties are available depends on the level of the hierarchy (kinemage, group, subgroup, or list). Each element can also be toggled on and off, even if it doesn’t have a button visible in the button pane.
Using the hierarchy editor effectively depends on a decent understanding of the kinemage format. If you’re unfamiliar with kinemages, reading the kinemage format reference may be very helpful to you.
The Tools menu has a variety of tools and plug-ins for interacting with the kinemage. Many of these are highly domain-specific — tailored to doing structural biology, for example. Each tool “takes over” the mouse, assigning specific meanings to the various kinds of clicks and drags. Normally, the familiar Navigate tool is active, so mouse motions result in the sort of rotations, pans, and zooms that most users are accustomed to.
Plug-ins, on the other hand, just offer additional functionality that doesn’t change what the mouse does. Because of this, you can have several plug-ins active at once, but only one tool.
Some special-purpose tools and plugins have been developed by other people and ship separately from KiNG. Installing these additional tools and plugins for KiNG is easy, though. Just take all plugin files that end with .jar (e.g., chiropraxis.jar, pyking.jar) and put them in the plugins/ folder that’s part of your KiNG distribution. There will probably be a few JAR files in there already. Then just close KiNG and restart it to load the new tools and plugins. Note that these will not be available when running KiNG as an applet.
The tools menu also has some other options that are related to how mouse clicks and drags are interpretted, which are discussed below. The tools and plugins listed in the menu can be rearranged, grouped into submenus, or hidden entirely by using the Tools | Customize dialog box, which is also accessible from Edit | Configure KiNG.
In addition to tracking the distance between the last two points, clicking on points to identify them can track the angle between the last three points and the dihedral angle between the last four. When these measurements are active, the Markers option will display four markers instead of two.
Likewise, KiNG can display the original, unrotated coordinates of the point. This is sometimes helpful when the kinemage is a graph or plot of some data, and the position has some absolute meaning. The display of this information can be enabled in the Tools menu.
Traditionally, one can only “pick” points in a kinemage. Enabling this option allows KiNG to recognize mouse clicks that hit the actual lines drawn between points and the surfaces of triangles. In each case, the result is equivalent to clicking on the point that determines the attributes (color, line width, etc.) of that graphics object.
In KiNG, even a one-button mouse is sufficient to access all of the available functions. However, it has also been designed to take full advantage of a three-button wheel mouse. The primary function of every tool is accessed by clicking or dragging with the left (or only) mouse button. This button is referred to as “Normal” in the command reference charts.
Other functions can be accessed either by holding down keyboard keys at the same time, or by using one of the other mouse buttons. Holding the Shift key is equivalent to using the right mouse button, and holding the Control key (often written Ctrl) is equivalent to using the middle mouse button. A few tools assign some function to a mouse action with both the Shift and Control keys held down. In this case, you can get the same effect when dragging by depressing both the left and right mouse button. Because of the difficulty of clicking two buttons at once, however, this shortcut does not apply to Shift+Ctrl+Click.
At the present time, the Shift and Control keys do not work properly in Java on Mac OS X. When using a one-button mouse with OS X, you should use the Command key (a.k.a. Open Apple) instead of Shift to get the same effect as the right mouse button, and you should use the Option key (a.k.a. Alt) instead of Control to get the same effect as the middle mouse button. Hopefully this will be fixed in OS X 10.4 / Java 1.5.
Some tools also use the up & down arrow keys on the keyboard; these have the same effect as using the scroll wheel of a wheel mouse. Once again, these may be combined with the Shift and/or Control keys to give access to more functions. Note that the mouse wheel is never active when running in a Java 1.3.x virtual machine; Java 1.4 or later is needed to take advantage of this control.
The Navigate tool encompasses all the usual modes of interacting with a kinemage. This is the tool that is active when KiNG is launched, and is probably the only tool many people will ever use. See 1.4.1 on page § for an introduction to using the Navigate tool to get around a kinemage. There are also a few more advanced modes of movement which are described below.
Clicking and dragging (with the left mouse button) near the top of the graphics area will cause the kinemage to spin around the Z axis like a pinwheel, rather than the more conventional sort of rotation. This is sometimes useful for putting something right side up.
Holding Control while dragging (or dragging with the middle mouse button) allows one to slide the kinemage around in the plane of the screen. Dragging at the top of the screen, as for z-rotation, slides the kinemage in and out of the plane of the screen. (Note: enabling perspective in the Diplay menu is very helpful when translating in and out of the plane of the screen.) This sort of motion is sometimes called “panning” or “flatland,” and can be made the default mode of movement by selecting Tools | Flatland.
|Normal||Mark and identify point; make measurement (pick)|
|With Shift||Center on selected point (pickcenter)|
|Normal||Rotate around X and Y axes; Z-rotate (pinwheel) near top of screen|
|With Shift||Adjust zoom (up/down); Adjust clipping (left/right)|
|With Ctrl||Translate in X-Y plane (flatland); Z-translate near top of screen|
|With Shift+Ctrl||Rotate around Y axis only|
Mouse wheel / Up & Down arrow keys
|With Shift||Adjust clipping|
The Draw New tool provides a variety of simple tools for creating new objects in the kinemage or removing existing ones on a point-by-point basis.
This plug-in is for viewing electron density maps while exploring kinemages of crystal structures. (If that doesn’t mean anything to you, then you probably don’t need this plugin.)
Choose Open from the Tools menu in order to open a map file. Supported formats include X-PLOR (ASCII, not binary), O (DSN6 or Brix), and CCP4 (mode 2, the only one in common use).
Each map opens a new control window, which allows adjustment of its extent, color, and level. The segment of map that is visible at any given time is centered in the current view; when the view changes, the portion that is visible will automatically be updated.
Any dynamic segment of map can be "captured" as part of a static kinemage; just use the Export button to make the currently visible map segment part of the current kinemage. When you’ve finished with a map, be sure to Discard it to free up the memory it consumed.
If you don’t have an electron density map for the structure you’re interested in, you can try looking at the Uppsala Electron Density Server (http://fsrv1.bmc.uu.se/eds/). They offer standard maps for many of the structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank.
Maps can’t be loaded from the local filesystem when KiNG is running as an applet due to security restrictions. However, you can use the XMAP or OMAP parameter along with the <PARAM> tag to load a (single) map from a URL. For example:
<PARAM name="omap" value="http://example.com/electron/density/my-protein.dsn6.gz">
You can also use the EDMAPBASE and EDMAPLIST parameters to allow the user to select and load a map. EDMAPBASE specifies a path to the maps relative to the current document base URL. EDMAPLIST is a space-separated list of filenames that can be loaded from that path. Users can also enter and modify URLs directly, though obviously this isn’t very convenient.
The Update KiNG plugin allows you to quickly and easily update KiNG to the latest version published on the Kinemage website (kinemage.biochem.duke.edu). After you confirm your intentions, KiNG will begin downloading the new version. If the download proceeds too slowly, you can cancel with no changes to KiNG. Once complete, the downloaded version will be unpacked in the same place as your current installed version of KiNG, and the existing version will be overwritten. You can then quit KiNG and restart to take advantage of new features and capabilities.
The Update plugin has been tested on a variety of platforms under a variety of conditions, but there is always a chance that it won’t work quite right on your computer. The chance is greater if you created a non-standard custom installation from the JAR files rather than using the pre-packaged platform-specific installer. If KiNG fails to start after the update, you may have to remove it and then download and install a clean copy by hand.
There are certain things the automatic updater can’t update, like the bundled binary programs (probe, etc.) or the displayed version number of the Mac application bundle. For this reason, you may want to periodically remove the existing installation completely and reinstall from scratch.
By choosing Edit | Configure KiNG, one can adjust several aspects of KiNG’s behavior and appearance, such as font sizes, stereo settings, and whether or not certain warnings are issued. The configuration dialog also allows for reorganizing the Tools menu to suit your own work habits. Preferrences may be saved to disk, where they are stored in a simple text file named .king_prefs in the user’s home directory. There may be some settings accessible only through this file; that is, they cannot be edited from the graphical interface. Nonetheless, pressing Reset to defaults will restore them to their standard values.
Note that due to security restrictions, configurations cannot be saved when KiNG is running as an applet. However, the web page creator may provide a custom configuration file in the same format as the one saved by KiNG the application, thereby altering the default behavior for all visitors to the website. If you create a preferences file named MyKingPrefs.txt and place it in the same directory as king.jar and your HTML file, add something like this to the APPLET tag of your webpage:
<param name=”king_prefs” value=”MyKingPrefs.txt”>
KiNG runs both as a stand-alone application, and as an applet that can be included in web pages. In any case, KiNG requires a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), version 1.5 or higher. You can get Java from http://java.sun.com.
How you launch the KiNG application will depend on what operating system (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, etc.) you’re using. With Windows and the Mac, you can usually just double-click on the king.jar file to start KiNG.
On all operating systems, you can type
java -jar king.jar [-merge | -single] [file1 file2 ...]
All the files listed on the command line will be merged together into one kinemage, unless the -s flag is included, in which case all the files will be opened as separate kinemages.
As of KiNG 2.16, the files KiNG can read in from the command line include kinemages, PDB, mmCIF, and electron density maps. For the structure files, QuickKin is used to generate quick-browsing ribbon+stick representations of the structures.
KiNG can also be included as a web page applet. The following HTML code is a simple example that uses the <APPLET> tag, which will work with browsers using a recent JVM. Older browsers may need <OBJECT> or <EMBED> tags; more information on this is available from Sun Microsystems, Inc.
<applet code=”king/Kinglet.class” archive=”king.jar” width=300 height=150>
<param name=”kinSource” value=”some_file_name.kin”>
Just put all the jar files, including king.jar, in the same directory as the HTML file. Users who visit the page will see a 300x150 KiNG logo in the web page, along with a floating KiNG window that looks very much like the stand-alone application. However, due to security restrictions imposed by the browser environment, some functions (e.g., saving files) will be disabled.
Note that the code property really must have the value king/Kinglet.class, even though king.jar is not in a sub-directory called king/ . This is the most common problem that people have when trying to run KiNG as an applet. If you did place king.jar somewhere else, that path should precede the jar file name in the archive property instead.
If you want to include additional jar files for plugins and tools, you need to list those in the archive field, after king.jar, separated by commas. For example:
<applet code=”king/Kinglet.class” archive=”king.jar,chiropraxis.jar,extratools.jar” width=300 height=150>
It is possible to run KiNG in two other applet modes to achieve a slightly different effect. First, the large KiNG logo can be replaced with a small one that serves as a launcher button. Thus, loading the main window is defered until the user clicks the button, at which time the main window appears and the kinemage is loaded. Below is sample HTML for this effect. Note the smaller width and height, to account for the small size of the button.
<applet code=”king/Kinglet.class” archive=”king.jar” width=60 height=21>
<param name=”mode” value=”launcher”>
<param name=”kinSource” value=”some_file_name.kin”>
If you would like a custom image for the launcher, specify its URL with the launcherImage parameter. You may need to change the applet width/height to match. If no image is specified, the default one will be used.
Second, the applet can be embedded in the web page (rather than floating in its own window), by placing this line inside the <applet> tags instead:
<param name=”mode” value=”flat”>
One also probably wants to specify a larger width and/or height, possibly as a fraction of the page size (e.g. 95%). Be warned that using KiNG this way may not work well in some browsers; test your pages thoroughly.
Normally, a KiNG applet displays only the kinemage specified in its kinSource parameter. However, you can also use the kinfileBase and kinfileList parameters to allow the user to open and/or append additional kinemages from a pre-specified set. kinfileBase specifies a path to the maps relative to the current document base URL. kinfileList is a space-separated list of filenames that can be loaded from that path. Users can also enter and modify URLs directly, though obviously this isn’t very convenient.
The KiNG applet also supports a kinfileSaveHandler parameter, which is the URL of a CGI script that can accept HTTP POST kinemage output. On a properly configured webserver, this allows users of the KiNG applet to save their modified kinemages directly to the server! However, this is definitely a custom programming job on the server side and so is not an option for most “normal” uses of the KiNG applet.
Some Tools and Plugins may define their own <PARAM> tags, which will be described in their documentation.
As of KiNG version 2.16, the KiNG applet can read PDB or CIF files as well as kinemages. In order to supply a PDB or CIF file for KiNG, instead of the kinSource parameter, use pdbSource or pdbFile. This feature uses QuickKin to generate a quick ribbons and stick representation of the input file.
In addition to this User’s Guide, KiNG may be accompanied by a guide to the kinemage file format. Kinemage files are simple text files, so that anyone can create kinemage illustrations by hand. This is especially important to fields where no automated tools for kinemage creation yet exist.
Under the Help menu, KiNG has several built-in kinemages that demonstrate various capabilities of the graphics system. The palette is particularly useful to kinemage authors when they are designing color schemes.
The best resource for learning more about kinemages is the Richardson lab website, http://kinemage.biochem.duke.edu. Many other resources exist; hopefully, they will be documented here in the future.
Ian Davis, the original author of KiNG, has graduated. KiNG is currently being maintained by Vincent Chen. Please, do not hesistate to report bugs and problems with KiNG — your input can only improve the program. Reach us at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=KiNGissues/questions
The KiNG program and all its associated original resources and documentation are copyright (C) 2002-2016 by Ian W. Davis & Vincent B. Chen. KiNG makes use of the gnu.regexp library, which is copyright (C) by Wes Biggs, and of icons copyright (C) by Sun Microsystems provided for use with Java programs. It is also capable of using the iText library for generating PDF files, and the JOGL library for OpenGL rendering.
KiNG is free software available under the terms of its own BSD-style license (see A on page §). The source code and new versions can be downloaded from the Richardson lab website, http://kinemage.biochem.duke.edu. The gnu.regexp library is covered by the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). In accordance with that license, the full source of the gnu.regexp library is available from its website at http://www.cacas.org/java/gnu/regexp/. The iText library is dual-licensed under the LGPL and the Mozilla Public License (MPL). iText is available from http://www.lowagie.com/iText/. JOGL is available under a BSD-style license from https://jogl.dev.java.net/. Many of the icons are the property of Sun Microsystems and have their own license; they are available from http://developer.java.sun.com/developer/techDocs/hi/repository/.
All license documents are provided in the downloaded KiNG bundles and are found in the doc/ directory. Additionally, the KiNG license appears in the Appendix (see A on page §).
I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to many, many people for making this program possible. First and foremost, I thank David and Jane Richardson, who are my bosses and mentors, and who developed the kinemage concept, the file format, and most of the features found in KiNG — my contribution was only the Java implementation. Second, I thank Vincent Chen for his ongoing contributions to KiNG; he has developed many useful plugins and has made significant contributions to the core. I am also grateful to the other members of the Richardson lab, who have supported and encouraged me in developing KiNG, providing invaluable insight into how to improve the program. Of course, this work would not have been possible without support from the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
KiNG is free software built on free software. I can’t hope to acknowledge all the authors of all the software that has been used to create KiNG, but I can mention a few of the most prominent: Sun Microsystems, the creators of the Java language and libraries; the LY X document processor, used for writing the documentation; jEdit, a fantastic programmer’s text editor written entirely in Java; and the entire Linux movement, for providing a real alternative to comercial operating systems. I have also taken advantage of a number of excellent free Java libraries, which are described above.
This manual was last updated 28 Sept 2016 by VBC for KiNG version 2.23.
This license applies to everything in this project that is the original work of the copyright holder(s) and contributor(s), including but not limited to the source code, binary executables, artwork, and documentation. This distribution includes certain third-party libraries and resources which are not covered by this license, and which are governed by their own license terms. See documentation for more details.
Copyright (C) 2002-2009 Ian W. Davis & Vincent B. Chen. All rights reserved.
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
"This product includes software developed in the Richardon lab at Duke University (http://kinemage.biochem.duke.edu)."
Alternately, this acknowledgment may appear in the software itself, if and wherever such third-party acknowledgments normally appear.
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This license is based on the BSD and Apache licenses. See http://www.opensource.org/ for more details on these and other licenses.