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From "Chris Anderson" <>
Subject remove negative counts
Date Thu, 25 Sep 2008 18:48:45 GMT
Couch devs,

I've just committed a patch to Futon that removes the use of count=n
where n is less than 0. This is meant as a proof-of-concept that one
can do all necessary pagination without relying on negative counts.
The commit:

Negative counts have two problems:

A) They don't stream to the client - essentially a negative count
request is just like a positive count request with descending=true,
only it is buffered in the server, and reversed before being sent over
HTTP. This means that negative count requests (for large n) require
much more memory than positive count requests.

B) They require an alternate code path, which means more to keep track
of both in terms of code that needs to be written to integrate new
features, as well as test that need to be written (because testing
features with positive count doesn't guarantee that the feature will
work with negative count.)

Maybe there are other reasons to keep negative counts around, but I
can't think of any. I'd like to hear your thoughts before I start work
to remove the negative count stuff from CouchDB's Erlang as well.


Chris Anderson

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