In order to view many special format files on the WWW that are available, you
often need a separate application or "helper" application. The browser
will download the special format file and pass it seamlessly to the helper
app if everything is configured properly. This document is intended to
explain some of the basics of this process, how to get the helper apps, and
how to set things up.
What are MIME types?
MIME, or Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension, types are standard
classifications of documents that have been agreed upon to allow for
the exchange of non-text information between computers.
Chemical MIME types describe the many different file types for data
of chemical interest. The chemical MIME type has been accepted for
use by the NIH
and therefore will probably catch on with the chemical community.
For more information see the Chemical MIME type WWW site at
- MIME types are broken down into two parts, type/sub-type.
- The type for most chemistry related graphics is chemical. (Exceptions
are the application type that is used for mathematica and postscript)
- The sub-type for a given document depends, of course on the type
of information. There are several types that we will be using in the
Subtypes that begin with x- are experimental.
Protein Database, a text type used for 3D structures
of proteins in the
Brookhaven Protein Database.
This type is very
popular and supported by a wide range of 3D chemical applications.
The type for Adobe PDF (Portable Digital Format). We
will be using this type for NMR spectra. Requires an