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During the duscussion is has been decided that McTools will be split into two parts:

  • one large part will be an open source repository under the GNU LGPL license to allow maximum collaboration with the Building with Nature program and the EU MICORE project for instance.
  • one part will be a closed Deltares repository.

In the last quarter of 2008 this splitting action will be carried out.

From: G.J. de Boer



Subject: McTools Sprintsession - wednesday 20 august

Sent: Fri 8/8/2008 3:12 PM

Dear matlab programmers,

Wednesday augustus 20 the next McTools sprintsession is planned at Deltares in MCM1. Because perhaps not all the addressees of this email know what McTools is, a short introduction is given first.

McTools = a source code repository.
Marine and Coastal Tools (McTools) is a Deltares inititiative to gather, control and share knowlegde and information. The main aim is to streamline our projects and to make them more efficient. The power of the initiative that is aims to maintain data, analysis tools and models operational outside the realm of individual projects, and outside the realm of individual enployees. To achieve this goal, the source code of all paricipants is stored on one central version repository server. We use the same state-of-the-art version control system (Subversion) as used to maintain the Delft3D code for instance. Regularly the latest version of all code is extracted and put on *p:\mctools* for ready use in matlab. By sharing all code on the same server, we attempt to avoid code duplication and to foster collaboration, eventually resulting in bug-free tools. The goal is to make this total repository available as open source outside Deltares as well.

McTools = a cummunity.
However, McTools is more than just a code repository server. It is mainly a group of enthousiast (matlab) programmers. We provide each other feedback and advice. And we can ask each other questions, which is often much faster then struggling on yourselves, and much better than the official mathworks support.

McTools = a philosophy.
But in addition to being a repository and a cummunity, McTools above all is an ideology. It is a firm belief that collaboration is best way to move ahead, instead of keeping everything to oneselve. And it is also a firm belief in the "let's make things better" credo. It rests on the conviction that the well-known prisoners dilemma (I do not collaborate because someone else might also not collaborate) can be overcome. After joining McTools it might initially seem that you are just giving things away, for free to make things worse. However, when multiple participants all give their routines away (although some have more to give then others), everyone ends up with much more routines than they had before, and possible with much more routines that one could ever make oneselves. McTools started with three people supplying their matlab codes (Mark van Koningsveld, Robin Morelissen and Gerben de Boer), so right now every new person joining immediately ends up with at least 3 times more then he puts in. At present, there are over 10 active contributors. So basically, there is no excuse not to join. In addition, when more people start using other persons scripts, there will be more suggestions, improvements, or repaired bugs. This will gradually improve the overall quality of the total McTools toolbox. And finally, because McTools only contains code that has been written before within projects (or in hobby time), all its code is bound to be useful, there is no McTools development without guaranteed usability.

Mctools sprintsession

McTools sprinssessions are organized every now and then to informe each other of new developments, and to do some hands-on collaborative coding of topical issues. At the end of the McTools day the tradition is to go Cafe de V for some drinks, and diner afterwards. If you can't be there during the whole McTools day, no problemo, just pop in whenever you can.

The preliminary program of the next McTools day on Wednesday augustus 20 is:

12:00 - 14:00 Presentations and demonstrations of latest developments as a long luch lecture.

GENERAL (short, for newcomers)

  • what is McTools
  • how to work with McTools as user.
  • how to work with McTools as developer.
  • coding guidelines, solid comments, efficient argument handling.
  • file organizing guidelines: GUI based programs <= structure specific applications <= general engines
  • adding data and model schematizations


  • SuperTrans (Maarten van Ormondt)
  • Automatic code testing  (Kees den Heijer)
  • Help block editor (Lou Verhage)+ delft3d- tide interface (Robein Morelissen)+ ldb tool 2.0 (Arjan Mol)
  • File io engines: flow, waq, part, swan,, knmi winds (Gerben de Boer).
  • ...
  • ...

14:00 Discussion and decision regarding the planned opening of McTools to the outside world as open source project (please send me your opinion if you can't join this discussion).

15:00 Hands-on coding and discussion on topical issues, e.g.:

  • 3D baroclinic Delft3D-FLOW postprocessing
  • unification tidal analysis tools
  • online morfological predictions+ adding models to Model Applicaton Database
  • ...
  • ...

5 laptops are available, please bring your own if you have one.

17:30 Drinks in Cafe de V, dinner afterwards

Of course other topics can be added to the agenda. Please let me know Laat if you want to use this occasion to discuss a specific topic with a group of experts.

If you know someone alse who might be interested, please forward this invitation, and also inform me, so I can add him to the mailing list. (It is my plan to use the Deltares matlab mailinglist in the future for McTools communications.) I hope to see you wednesday Aug. 20. Please reply to this email if you like to participate.

A more detailed programme and exact location will follow later, but please put Aug. 20 already in your agenda.

Gerben de Boer

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