Abstracts - 12th Systems Administration Conference
NBC's GEnesis Broadcast Automation System: From Prototype to Production
Stephen J. Angelovich
NBC Broadcast and Network Operations
Kevin B. Kenny and Brion D. Sarachan
GE Corporate Research & Development
GEnesis is a system in use at the NBC television network for
automating the composition and distribution of video. It works in a
mission critical environment; a system failure could potentially
result in a substantial loss of revenue for the network. Tcl/Tk has
been an integral part of the operator interface and data handling
portions of the GEnesis system from the earliest stages of
prototyping. We originally planned to replace the system prototype
based on Tcl/Tk with a production system built in a compiled,
object-oriented language and using commercial component software.
After the prototype phase was completed, the developers and management
together decided to keep numerous system components in Tcl, while
migrating some complex and performance-critical functions from Tcl to
a C++ message passing architecture. This paper discusses that decision
and presents our experience with converting the prototype into a fully
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