Friday, June 19th 2009

QuickGene Beta 0.4.1 Improves Large File Support

The newest update to QuickGene, which just rolled out a few minutes ago, brings with it many behind-the-scenes improvements. The small version number change, from 0.4.0 to 0.4.1, reflects the relatively small number of obvious differences. The first difference will be clear immediately upon opening QuickGene after the update. The welcome screen now allows every user to easily rate popular ideas, letting us know which items are high priority and allowing us to focus on these during development. Additionally, providing new ideas and feedback regarding problems or suggestions has become much easier.

Behind the scenes, and tucked in various corners of QuickGene, are some larger changes. Much focus has been placed on enhanced support for large files, as many users have noted that QuickGene handles files containing over five million bases with ease. We have expanded this support to include massive GenBank files, which may contain tens of thousands of annotated features, and increased performance and loading times. In general, file loading capabilities have also been tweaked for reliability. Drawing maps at these vast sizes is currently not functional, however we have a number of enhancements to the map view coming up soon!

Support for Mac OS X has also been broadened to include 10.4.x, so Tiger users no longer need to feel left out. Another much requested feature has been partially implemented, allowing selection of reading frames for translation as well as selecting single-letter translations. In a future update, annotated features may have a reading frame assigned to them, so that relevant translations can be shown locally, as opposed to throughout the entire sequence.

The full list of changes is as follows:

New features

  • Added a rating system for popular feedback

  • Added an option to view single letter translations

  • Added an option to view only specific reading frames


  • Broadened Mac OS X support to include 10.4.x

  • Greatly enhanced performance for large files

  • General improvements to file loading

  • Improved support for malformed GenBank files

  • Improved display of features next to the scroll bar

  • Simplified feedback dialog

  • Increased performance when scrolling

  • Made general improvements to stability

  • Fixed: Features are displayed in the correct order

  • Fixed: Closing projects always returns to the welcome screen

  • Fixed: Feature colors are saved correctly on Mac

  • Fixed: Numerous mouse-related bugs in the sequence editor

The next major update will complete support for GenBank files, allowing for saving of sequences according to the exact NCBI specifications. Furthermore, the aforementioned enhancements to the graphic maps will be added, allowing for much more intuitive navigation and additional support for large files. As usual, you can expect a lot more changes soon!