Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Prototyping NBC's GEnesis Broadcast Automation System Using Tcl/Tk

Brion D. Sarachan
GE R & D Center

Alexandra J. Schmidt
GE R & D Center

Steven A. Zahner
National Broadcasting Company, Inc.


As part of the re-architecture of their television broadcast transmission facility, NBC is using Tcl/Tk in developing a prototype system, known as GEnesis, for monitoring and editing on-air television broadcast schedules. This paper discusses application of Tcl/Tk and its extensions to rapidly prototype a highly-interactive GEnesis user interface that leverages the power and flexibility of the Tk widget set. In particular, canvases are used to implement custom graphics, while tags and the binding mechanism enable a high degree of interactivity. The ability of Tcl/Tk to work seamlessly with other, heterogeneous software components enables the GEnesis system to combine its custom Tcl/Tk user interface with a Sybase database and C-based device controllers. We address a number of implementation issues including the handling of display updates and managing the Tcl data space.

Download the full text of this paper in ASCII (35,715 bytes) form.

To Become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.