OpenGL / GLUT / FreeGlut and the mouse wheel in PyMol.

Jan Gebauer
Tue Sep 21 21:52:00 GMT 2010


I'm new to this mailing list and hope my question is not a total obvious
one, but at the end of the day I'm more a scientist than a programmer. So
I hope I got the facts right.

I'm trying to build PyMol, an open-core molecular visualisation program
with cygwin (
This software uses OpenGL for displaying three-dimensional structures of
proteins on the screen and allows manipulating these structure in various
ways in 3D. It also allows true three-dimensional display with the
(Nvidia) shutter glasses.

It took my a while to get all the dependencies right, but I was finally
able to build it successfully and it works in nearly all aspects.

However, the program does not recognise any input in the "graphic/display
window" from the mouse wheel, although the TKinter/Tcl based menu window
does accept scroll events.
Together with a colleague, we figured out that the win32 port of GLUT
might be the problem, as it seems not to handle mouse wheel events
My colleague was able to build PyMol with the X11 headers and Libs and
then the mouse wheel worked, but the speed was (as expected) not

What are you thinking, is the win32 version of GLUT really the problem?

I did found FreeGlut and as it should be a "modern clone" of GLUT´, I
tried to compile it for Cygwin. I got an cygglut-0.dll and some header
files, but they never compiled well with PyMol (which uses a rather
complicated python script).

My colleague found this message from André Bleau, where Mr. Bleau
stated he hopes to publish GLUT32 replacement based on FreeGlut around

I just wonder if this new package will be available any-time soon or if
anyone else has a good idea how to proceed with this problem?

With kind regards,
Jan Gebauer

PS: Thanks to all the cygwin contributors, it's the first time I used it
and it works rather great!
Dr. Jan Gebauer
Phone: +44 20 7594 7915 | Fax: +44  20 7589 0191

Research group: Dr. E. Hohenester
Division of Cell & Molecular Biology
Imperial College London
Biophysics Section, Blackett Laboratory
London SW7 2AZ

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