Category Archives: Bio7

Bio7 1.6 for Windows and Linux released!


Finally i released a new version of Bio7 with many improvements and new features. Updated tutorials are available, too. The new Bio7 1.6 release can be downloaded here. Please also download the examples *.zip file from the sourceforge website which contains new examples for Bio7 1.6 (e.g. an example to cluster an image folder with ImageJ and R).

New Features:

 Bio7 General

– Bio7 1.6 is now based on Eclipse 3.8.0.

– The option “Always run in background”  is now selected by default.

– Integrated new Bio7 grid file format to import or export formatted spreadsheet data (for images and fonts, etc.).

– Updated the integrated Java Libraries.

– Added the application API from “Processing”  (a few programming examples are available in the examples for Bio7 1.6).

– The main “Processing” panel can be embedded in the “Custom” view of Bio7 for integration (see screenshot below)).

– Updated WorldWind to the latest version.

– Integrated more syntax coloring options for the editors of Bio7.

– Now fonts for selected syntax types can be adjusted in the Bio7 editors, too.

– Added drag and drop text support for the different Bio7 editors.

– Double-Click in brackets selects the code in the brackets of the editors.

– Added some default Update sites for Bio7 (e.g. EGit).

– Updated links in the Bio7 browser.

– Updated the Bio7 API description!

– Refactored several plugins.

– Updated and improved many Bio7 API methods.

– Created new Bio7 API methods for the Bio7 grid.

– Added update support for the Bio7 plugins with the integrated p2 Update Manager (see screenshot below).

– Fixed some bugs.

– Reorganized the file wizard of Bio7 (see screenshot below).

Java Compiler

– Added Java 7 support for the Java compiler and editor.

– Bio7 now uses the standard Java compiler to compile Java source (with the support of the Janino API).

– Improved the error messages for a Java compilation (if errors occur).

– Compilation errors are now marked within the Java editor (selectable – see screenshot and video tutorial below).

– In the Outline view selected members of a Java class are now shown (created from the “Abstact Syntax Tree” (AST)).

Video Tutorial:

– Now a complete Java classes can be compiled with the Java compiler dynamically (context menu Navigator view). If a main method is available it will be invoked automatically after compilation (see screenshot below).

– If a class extends the “Model” class it will be compiled like the default Java classbody (ecomain method can be invoked!).

– New option to switch between classbody AST parsing and class AST parsing (for the display of the Outline view) .

– New Wizards are available for Java files and ImageJ files, etc.

– New rearranged Wizard Pages are available for an improved overview.

R Specific

– Update to R 2.15.1.

– Update to Rserve 0.6.8.

– Added text drag and drop support for the R editor.

– Added more source formatting options for the editor.

– Added a display for the loaded packages (use the “Update” method in the R-Shell view to see the current loaded packages).

– Added a simple Sweave support for Bio7 (installation of e.g. MikeTex necessary!  The actions for Sweave are available in the context menu of the  Navigator view if a Sweave or Latex file is selected!)

R + ImageJ

– Added a new image transfer option to transfer RGB image values to R in one shot (as raw vectors or as a  R, G, B integer matrix – see screenshot below).

– Added a new transfer mode to transfer selected pixels (all pixels within an area selection). If the ROI Manager in ImageJ is active all ROI image data (selected pixels)  for all opened images (every roi is applied to all opened images regardless in which image the ROI was created!) is transferred to R (also recognizes now the transfer type adjustments!). For e.g. supervised classification purposes a signature is added to each selection matrix, too. If the ROI manager is not active the standard transfer method is invoked (see screenshots below – for an explanation please follow the video tutorial link below the images).

Video tutorial:

– Added a new API to transfer images to R with ImageJ in a windowless mode for the purpose of batch computing of images (see examples).

Video demonstration:

– Added a new API to transfer R image vector data as an ImageJ float image in place e.g. for gridded simulations in R (and in silent mode without printing evaluation messages).


– Updated the integrated ImageJ application to the latest ImageJ version 1.47a.

– ImageJ Plugins can now be compiled dynamically with the integrated dynamic Java compiler. The action is available in the context menu of the Navigator view if a Java file is selected. The action compiles the active Java file in  the editor. For this action it is not necessary anymore to put the class file in the plugins directory of ImageJ. Classfiles and *.jar archives can be created with available actions in the Navigator view, too.

3d view

– Added speed adjustments for the 3d view in z-direction.

– Added a “Reset View” button.

Bio7 examples

– Added a few examples for the new image API methods.

– Added a Swarm example (for the OpenGL 3d view).

– Added Java Processing examples.


System requirements:

It is recommended that your computer should have at least 1024 mb ram and a 1 ghz processor.
A 3d Graphics Card which is OpenGL enabled (only necessary for the “Spatial” view and the embedded “WorldWind” view.
To use the OpenOffice (LibreOffice) feature of Bio7 an installation of OpenOffice (LibreOffice) >= 2.0 is
required. The path to OpenOffice will be automatically fetched by Bio7 from the registry (Windows) or can be adjusted in the Bio7 preferences (Windows, Linux, MacOSX) to the default path.
For the MacOSX version a JRE >=1.6.0 has to be installed if not available on the OS by default (For Windows and Linux a JRE is bundled in the Bio7 installation package).

Installation Windows, MacOSX and Linux:

The installation of Bio7 is similar to the installation of the Eclipse environment. Simply decompress the downloaded *.zip file in a preferred location on your file system.
After decompressing with a standard zip-tool (like WinZip, Win Rar) the typical file-structure of an Eclipse based application will be created.
To start the application simply double click on the Bio7.exe (Windows) or Bio7 (Linux, MacOSX) file.

R Windows specific:

Because Windows Vista, Windows 7, etc. is very sensitive to user rights etc. the package installation was reorganized in Bio7 1.4 for installable add-on packages inside of Bio7. The default add-on package location in a Bio7 release is now:


At this location inside of Bio7 the packages will be installed by default (if not changed!).

Windows only (if needed)!:

To write the R package location path to the Windows registry please start Bio7 with the enabled
option “Install path at startup” to set the registry path to the bundled R location. By default this option is disabled not to harm any default user installation of R.
In Bio7 x.x please install the R package rgdal which is needed for some spatial import and export scripts.
Please note that the import scripts for spatial data can have problems with special text encoded filenames. If an rgdal import script produces an error the Rserver will probably die and you have to restart Rserve.

R Linux specific:

To use R from Bio7 please install R with a package manager.
Also the installation of the Rserve library is required. This can be easily done inside R by typing:

> install.packages(“Rserve”, dependencies=TRUE)

in the R console.

After the installation of R the path to the R (if not using the default path) application has to be
adjusted inside of Bio7 (“Preferences->Preferences Bio7”). In addition the path to the (add-on) packages
install location has to be adjusted, too (“Preferences->Preferences Bio7->RServe Preferences”).
Please also set the user rights for the folder. This is sometimes necessary if you would like to install packages with the Bio7 interface and you don’t have the user rights. (Start Rserve with a shell for an analysis if problems occur!  ->  R->Preferences->Rserve preferences->Start with shell)
Since Bio7 1.4 default paths are set which are usually correct for a Linux distribution.
If Rserve is running you can then easily install the package rgdal with the Bio7 interface which is needed
for the import/export scripts (you can also install it beforehand with R!).

Linux (only 32bit): Scanner with Sane:

If the Sane interface is not running by default please set a symbolic link (the shared library has to be found!):
ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

R MacOSX specific

To use R from Bio7 please install the latest R. After the installation of R start R and install the Rserve package:

> install.packages(“Rserve”, dependencies=TRUE)

The default installation paths of Bio7 are pointing to a standard installation of R but can be adjusted in the
preferences of Bio7 (“Preferences->Preferences Bio7”). In addition the path to the (add-on) packages install location can be adjusted, too if necessary (“Preferences->Preferences Bio7->RServe Preferences”). If Rserve is running you can then easily install the package rgdal with the Bio7 interface which is needed for the import/export rgdal scripts (you can also install them beforehand with R!).


On the Bio7 SourceForge website you can download examples for the Bio7 application (recommended!). In addition the examples can
be accessed on github. To install the Bio7 examples please import the examples from the file.

“File->Import->Existing Projects into Workspace”.

Select the archive file “” and the two projects “Bio7 Examples” and “Ecological Modelling”. Press “Finish” to import them into Bio7 (they will be imported to the workspace location).

Increased Java memory

Windows and Linux

For an increased Java heap space open the Bio7.ini file in the install directory of Bio7. In the file you can change the default memory settings e.g. the initial heap size -Xms and the maximum heap space -Xmx.


For an increased Java heap space open the Bio7 package (context menu if you click on the icon) then go to Contents->MacOS and open the Bio7.ini file with a texteditor. In the file you can change the default memory settings e.g. the initial heap size -Xms and the maximum heap space -Xmx.

Install Eclipse, R, ImageJ Plugins or Packages in Bio7


Bio7 can be extended in several different ways with Eclipse plugins, R packages, ImageJ plugins and custom scripts (scripts to extend a menu or executed at startup).

1. To install (suitable) Eclipse plugins the Update-Manager can be used to install plugins from a remote website. An How-To was already posted with the GIT plugin as an example, see:

2. R packages can be added in two different ways. One way is to use the package installer GUI of Bio7:
Additionally the command line in R can be used to install packages.

3. ImageJ plugins (*.class or *.jar files) have to be installed in the plugins folder of the ImageJ Eclipse plugin which is e.g.: Bio7/plugins/
Note: In the ImageJ Eclipse plugin the typical ImageJ folder structure can be found!

4. Groovy, BeanShell and R scripts, as well as ImageJ macros can be dropped to special folders to extend the default Bio7 menu (startup) functionality. The folders which are scanned by default are:

Path to folders: Bio7/plugins/

Folder Default (see Preferences!)
Script Type Menu Bio7 Component
export_scripts BeanShell,Groovy File->Export-Scripts Main Menu
import_scripts BeanShell,Groovy File->Import-Scripts Main Menu
image_scripts ImageJ Macros Scripts->ImageJ-Macros Main Menu
scripts BeanShell,Groovy Scripts->General-Scripts Main Menu
r_scripts R scripts Scripts->R-Scripts Main Menu
spatial_scripts BeanShell,Groovy Scripts->Spatial-Scripts Main Menu
grid_scripts BeanShell,Groovy Scripts Table View Menu
startup_scripts BeanShell,Groovy Scripts executed at startup if folder available!  –

Enable Git for Bio7


Bio7 is based on the Eclipse platform and integrates the powerful Eclipse Update Manager. Using the Update Manager it is possible to install many useful Eclipse plugins which are compatible with the Bio7 environment. One of this useful plugins is the EGit plugin.

“EGit is an Eclipse Team provider for the Git version control system. Git is a distributed SCM, which means every developer has a full copy of all history of every revision of the code, making queries
against the history very fast and versatile.” (source:

To install the plugin it is necessary to add two Update Sites to the configuration dialog (Select menu: Help->Install New Software…) of the Update Manager of Bio7 (in a regular Eclipse installation the first site below is default available!):

The Helios site has already access to the EGit plugin (see screenshot 3 below) but with the second link the latest version of the EGit plugin can be installed (see this website!)

After you’ve added the repository (plugin location) to the Update Manager select the Eclipse EGit and Eclipse JGit plugin (see second screenshot below) and accept the license agreement (see third screenshot below).

Please restart the application after the installation process has finished (confirm the restart dialog). After the restart there are new actions available in the menubar and in the toolbar. To share a Git project select the project and use e.g. the context menu in the Bio7 Navigator view.

To clone an existing repository use the import action of the Bio7 platform. For instance the Bio7 examples can be fetched from GitHub: (Read-only. No password required!)

If you have a regular Git repository availabe Git actions will e.g. show up in the context menu.

Beside the different actions there will be also new views availabe for different Git tasks.

For the documentation of the EGit plugin visit:
Free Git repositories (with some limitations)  can be created e.g. on GitHub, Gitorious or on Google Code.

Update R for Bio7


If you would like to update R to the latest version (especially on Windows which comes bundled with R) or install R in a different location (e.g. on Linux) you have to install R and the package “Rserve” for R (in R type: install.packages(“Rserve”) or use the package manager). In addition the path to R and the path to the R (installable) packages have to be adjusted in the Bio7 preferences (see Screenshots below).
For the R packages you can create e.g. a subfolder “site-library” in the installation directory (beside the “bin” folder). Please note that the path to the Bio7 “Startup Scripts” (below the OpenOffice path – first screenshot below) has to be corrected since the default path points to a folder which is non-existent. (it is recommended that you create the folder “startup_scripts” in the same directory). Only after the correction of the scripts path the preferences will be accepted in this preferences tab!

After a restart of the Rserve application the new R connection is available. The Preferences are stored persistent as long as the path is not changed or is set to the default path.

New Bio7 User Guide in Progress


I started with the new Bio7 User Guide for the documentation of the features of Bio7 1.5. For the User Guide i decided to work with Google Apps which give me less possibilities for the layout but more flexibility for updates (which are instantly adressed in the embedded User Guide Draft 1.5 in the Documents section). The present User Guide for 1.5 is an early draft and can be previewed here: