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From Christopher Lenz <>
Subject Re: couch 0.8.0 release
Date Tue, 15 Apr 2008 20:04:57 GMT
On 15.04.2008, at 17:05, Damien Katz wrote:
> Storage compaction and mochiweb are now checked in. We need to think  
> about getting the next release done.
> What should the criteria be for the next release? Here are some of  
> my thoughts:
> If we plan any significant interface changes in HTTP, javascript,  
> etc, they should be done by 0.8.0. The longer we wait to make  
> interface changes, the more apps and libraries we break and the less  
> likely it will ever get done.

In the backwards-incompatible changes department, here's what I think  
would be nice to get into 0.8:

* RESTful attachments API: Use DELETE/PUT for attachment manipulation;  
maybe provide a multipart interface for uploads, and for retrieving  
the JSON doc with all attachments (in addition too--or even instead  
of--the current inlining into the JSON)

* Decide on the JSON API to use and stick with it; switching libs will  
break DB files. It'd probably be best to use mochijson.erl or  
mochison2.erl, as those come with MochiWeb and are included in our  
codebase anyway, and we'd get rid of the patched up cjson.erl, making  
updating from upstream easier.

* Not sure, but implementing reduce/combine functionality will  
probably cause a change to the database form, right? If we agree to  
"wait" about a month for the release, is reduce realistically  
implementable for 0.8? ;)

> We need to have an upgrade utility and instructions for going from  
> 0.7 to 0.8

Right, very important.

I've added rudimentary dump/load scripts to my couchdb-python library,  
available here:


* takes a database URL and writes all the documents it  
contains to stdout using a MIME multipart format.
* takes the URL of an empty target database, and reads  
documents from stdin, using the same multipart format.

Those don't support attachments yet, and the process should probably  
use the same HTTP API used by replication (think "offline  
replication"). In any case, the multipart format works pretty well,  
and I suggest we adopt it when we add a built-in dump/load interface.  
You can nest multipart envelopes (for attachments), and there's no  
need to load the complete file into memory and parse it into a JSON  
object tree (and vice versa).

> Bugs and client compatibility problems with mochiweb are okay for  
> 0.8.0 As problems crop up, we'll fix them and release patches.

I think we should get the test suite to reliably succeed under Safari,  
which is the only current problem I'm aware of. If the suite fails  
(intermittently even) on a fresh official release, that's not such a  
good first impression.

> The database internals should not have known bugs, but this is still  
> alpha software. I think we need to make it clearer on the site,  
> download pages, readme, etc that CouchDB isn't reliable yet. For  
> example, CouchDB isn't an acid database on OSX (maybe all BSDs), but  
> is on Linux, because of platform specific flags etc. These are  
> problems that will be fixed before shipping, but for now might cause  
> a lot of pain.

Yeah, the alpha status needs to be made more obvious. On a somewhat  
related note, some of the docs also need to be reviewed and changed so  
that it's clearer which features work right now, and which features  
are incomplete or only planned for the future (search, reduce/combine,  
authn/authz/validation, etc).

As Jan mentioned (and I said on IRC), I'll be on vacation and mostly  
offline for the next 3 weeks. I've been lucky to get a lot of code  
into CouchDB in the last couple of weeks (SpiderMonkey, MochiWeb, many  
Futon enhancements), so I'd also really like to be involved when we  
package things up and subsequently need to support the release by  
answering questions, helping to troubleshoot problems, and fixing bugs  
(and throwing the virtual release party ;) ). And of course there's  
still a number of formal things that need to be sorted out before we  
can make our first release out of the Incubator. So I'd be in favor of  
targetting a 0.8 release in mid May.

Christopher Lenz
   cmlenz at

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