Open Babel:About

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Open Babel is a chemical toolbox designed to speak the many languages of chemical data. It's an open, collaborative project allowing anyone to search, convert, analyze, or store data from molecular modeling, chemistry, solid-state materials, biochemistry, or related areas.

That means that Open Babel has two main pieces:

Heredity

In the beginning there was Babel, which translated between computational chemistry file formats. And it was useful, liked by many and lived many years. Eventually there was OBabel which never saw the light as a released product. But OBabel lead to OELib. This was open and free. OELib has now become Open Babel (C++) and JOELib (Java) and both will remain open, free, chemical software toolkits.

As for Open Eye, they've created a closed, proprietary library similar to Open Babel called OEChem.

So maybe it's not an epic story. But it's a continuing one. Open Babel is a community effort -- many thanks to many previous contributors!