A 'session' in Aten is a state that includes all the current data loaded into the code - models, forcefields, gridded data etc. - but also the current view position and styling of those objects if relevant. Saving or loading a session from the Session popup allows these states to be stored and retrieved at will.

It is important to understand exactly what data is saved in Aten's session files (files nominally with an asf suffix), since it is not trivial to save references to all loaded datafiles given the flexibility of the Filters system. Currently, an asf file contains the following information:

  • Atom and bond data from loaded models - the original model files are not reloaded explicitly. Instead, a copy of the atomic data is stored in the asf file. If the original data from the model file is desired, then it can simply be loaded in.
  • Grid file information - links to grid files are saved in the asf file, along with all visual details set in the GUI (colour, shift offset, cutoffs etc.)
  • View information - Model view rotations and zoom information
  • Preferences - Any non-default preferences setting, including element colouring

Note that session file handling is a new feature, and will improve over time.