Organization Application for Google Summer of Code 2009

A part of Google Summer of Code.

This is draft of Tcl/Tk Google Summer of Code Appliction done by Tomasz Kosiak Indeed this is not a version which was submitted to Google by Matthew Burke. I hope it will be updated to this version soon. What is important now is Tcl/Tk Project Ideas for Google Summer of Code 2009.

Link ID:


Group Name:

Tcl/Tk Community

Home Page URL:

Public Email:

[email protected]


The Tcl/Tk community includes anybody who uses Tcl/Tk, is interested in Tcl/Tk, or just wants to be in the club! Tcl/Tk is used by a wide range of governmental, commercial and educational institutions around the globe. Many well-known and well-regarded systems have either been developed in Tcl/Tk or are using Tcl/Tk as an embedded language (e.g. Expect, AOLserver, DejaGnu, Metakit, Starkit and SQLite). We communicate through IRC (see below), an active development list (see below) and a wiki ( ). The 8th European Tcl/Tk Meeting is set for June 5-6, 2009 in Strasbourg, France. The 16th Annual Tcl/Tk Conference is planned for Sept 28 - Oct 2 in Portland, OR, USA.

Our application was written by the organizing committee of the annual Tcl/Tk conference, although all members of the Tcl/Tk community were encouraged to participate. The group we have put together to submit this application include members of the Tcl/Tk core team, developers from well-established Tcl/Tk projects (such as AOLserver and OpenACS), and educators.

Why is your group applying to participate? What do you hope to gain by participating?

Warm bodies!

We expect two things from participating in GSoC 2009: we will attract new members to the Tcl community and we will use this new talent to scratch various itches we have not yet had the resources to attack. We think there are many things about Tcl/Tk that are attractive and beneficial to students. The Tcl/Tk code base is very mature and clean. In addition, the evolution of the language over the past 20 years is an excellent case study of a reasoned, thoughtful approach to language design. Therefore, working with it is an excellent opportunity for students to learn a new language and improve their development skills. Acceptance of our application will have a large impact on the open source world both because Tcl/Tk is used by a range of governmental and industrial organizations and because of the number of large and influential software systems developed in Tcl/Tk including Expect, eggdrop, CACTVS (a system for computational chemistry) and a number of programs for NASA.

What is the main public mailing list for your group?

comp.lang.tcl newsgroup for general community discussions OR [email protected] for discussions regarding the Tcl source code distribution functionality

Where is the main IRC channel for your group?


Of course, we encourage you to use TkChat ( ) to connect to our XMPP Chatroom at [email protected]! However, many people connect up with us via irc:// . The IRC channel is mirrored to/from the XMPP Chatroom.

What criteria do you use to select the members of your group? Please be as specific as possible.

We are selecting mentors by looking at enthusiasm, expertise and their ability to get projects done. We judge these factors by examining the potential mentor's previous involvement in the Tcl/Tk community and their development history.

Matthew Burke will serve as primary admin for the second year. Tomasz Kosiak will be backup admin. Both proved they can handle this last year and presented GSoC achievements during Tcl Conference 2008 in ..

Has your group participated previously? If so, please summarize your involvement and any past successes and failures.

Yes. Last year we also acted as umbrella organization for Tcl/Tk/AOLserver/OpenACS/XOTcl/aMSN.

We mentored 9 students in GSoC 2008. Most completed their project satisfactorily. I believe that we had mostly positive reviews from the students. Our mentors have a better idea of the level of time commitment this can involve. I believe that some of last year's mentors have recognized that they became over-committed and have dropped out of this year's pool.

If your group has not previously participated, have you applied in the past? If so, for what sort of participation?

We've also applied to GSoC 2007 but were not accepted. So our admin/mentors are involved in GSoC for a few years.

What license does your organization use?

New and Simplified BSD Licences

What is the URL to the ideas list of your organization?
which redirects at

What is the main development mailing list for your group?

[email protected]

Subscription information and list archives can be found at .

What is the application template you would like contributors to your organization to use.


If you have not already done so, start by getting in contact with the mentor(s) familiar with your proposed project. They will help you polish your proposal and introduce you to the developer team you'd be working with over the Summer.

Summary: A few paragraphs describing your proposed project. Provide URLs to more information as needed.
Schedule: Work with your proposed mentor(s) to develop goals for each program milestone.
About Me: Tell us a bit about you and why you're well suited for this Summer of Code project.
Contact Info: Your email, cell number, XMPP ID, IRC nick, etc. Provide at least two methods to contact you.



Start of program:

Midterm evaluation:

Final evaluation:

About Me

Contact Info

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing contributors?

We will draw upon the Tcl Community's long history of being very welcoming and helpful towards newcomers to help provide an overall environment where the student doesn't feel cast out (the main source of avoidable abandonment of projects). In particular, we will maintain frequent communication between mentor and student, particularly at the beginning of the project; encourage communication between the student and others in the Tcl/Tk community by holding IRC (or other similar) sessions where students will give progress reports to each other (and the community); monitor students' progress so they do not flounder when they run into difficulty, and structure the projects so that the time between achievable milestones is short.

We will try to find secondary mentors within the same country/region to introduce students to the community in their mother tounge and have personal contact if possible.

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing members?

We specify a backup Mentor with each project included in our application. In addition, we have identified a pool of professionals with suitable teaching, CS and Tcl internals knowledge to be tapped if both Mentor and Backup fail.

What steps will you take to encourage contributors to interact with your community before, during, and after the program?

As mentioned above, we have plans to foster communication between the students and the community as a means of keeping the students involved in their projects. Specifically, we will schedule several presentation sessions (most likely through XMPP Chat and IRC) throughout the summer, post progress summaries to the Tcl discussion lists, create section of the Tcl wiki devoted to each project, and recruit Tcl/Tk community members to become early adopters of the students' efforts.

We feel that the ability to code in Tcl/Tk provides a leg up in several non-programming careers like chip design, telecommunications, and engineering. Consequently, we believe that our students will find their familiarity with Tcl/Tk to be a strong asset in developing their careers and therefore they will have an incentive for developing this skill.

Students will be encouraged to present their successful projects at and submit a paper to our annual conference. This will also provide them with a publication credit. We will award a "Best Student Paper" prize at the conference. Moreover, we intend to use the Mentoring Organization's share of the Google award to help fund the students' attendance at the conference.

What will you do to ensure that your accepted contributors stick with the project after the program concludes?

First, we expect successful projects are likely to be included in commercial and/or open source offerings. We think the pride of ownership that students will have after developing these projects will motivate them to stay involved. Additionally, we expect that by offering our students a real mentoring relationship will foster a sense of belonging to a community that the students will want to maintain.

Please select your backup group administrator.

Tomasz Kosiak <[email protected]>

LinkID: tkosiak