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From Damien Katz <>
Subject Re: Futon Future
Date Tue, 17 Feb 2009 17:18:24 GMT

comments below

On Feb 17, 2009, at 6:53 AM, Jan Lehnardt wrote:
> --
> index.html: A portal page. At the moment, the first thing you see in  
> Futon is
> the list of databases. I'd like to see (as an replacement or an  
> addition needs
> to be discussed), a "welcome" page, a portal if you will, that will  
> show the
> first time user a little more information about where he is and what  
> he can do.
> Something like?
> 1.) Validate Your Installation [link to the test suite]
>      (if it fails, look at [link to troubleshooting wiki page]).

I like this idea.

> 2.) Learn CouchDB [link to the docs].
> 3.) Use CouchDB [link to list of DBs].
> Just as a general idea, details can vary. The idea is to show the  
> first most
> likely actions a user wants to take and permanent links to the  
> documentation,
> user mailing list, issue tracker (with BOLD LETTERS that for general  
> questions,
> user@ should be used).
> Thinking of it, the 'validate your installation' step should not  
> show up after
> it has been run E.g. runtime config could set a new flag:
>  [futon]
>  tests_passed = true

Nah, no need to do that. Validating the install is something people  
will want do at other times, as a sanity check.

> You see, a lot of the details need refinement, I hope to kick this  
> off here.

> --
> News Feed. The Futon home page should display an RSS/Atom feed  
> containing
> latest news items for CouchDB, like announcements of new versions,  
> or security
> issues and the like. Whether this should be an opt-in or opt-out  
> thing, needs to be
> decided, I can see reasons for both, but I think users should be  
> able to disable
> it, again runtime config to the rescue.

I don't like this idea, other software products do this and I've never  
found it useful. I think I learn to block it out and never actually  
notice things I might be interested in. Maybe it's just me.

> --
> List of installed apps. With CouchApps shaping up, Futon could show  
> a list of
> installed applications alongside created databases. The way to  
> detect CouchApps
> is not yet defined, though there are sensible proposals.

I don't dislike this idea, but this seems more like an end user  
feature? Like a start menu for CouchApps? I think most end users (as  
opposed to devs and admins) should never need to use Futon.

> --
> More pluggable architecture. Hey, it might even be easy to add new  
> pages to
> Futon already, but I'm sure we can im prove that. The idea is that  
> users can
> write add-ons to Futon that are not of interest for all users but  
> only those who
> use CouchDB for a specific purpose (see next item). Futon then  
> wouldn't have to
> include all features for everybody but we'd have a repository of  
> Futon plugins
> that people can install. The repository of plugins should be a  
> CouchDB database
> that users can just replicate the plugins they like from.

I like this idea.

> --
> Cluster management plugin. CouchDB will be deployed in clusters of  
> CouchDB
> nodes. It'd be really cool if we had a Futon plugin that allows you  
> to do all
> sorts of neat things with that cluster. Like monitoring how it is  
> behaving or
> restructuring the cluster at runtime.


> --
> Insert your plugin idea here.
> --
> Again, I don't see how feasible all this is, but I've been carrying  
> these ideas
> in my head for about a year now and I really like to see something  
> to get done
> about it, even if it just getting shot down for being silly :)

In my opinion, Futon should remain an admin and utility client for  
admin and developers. End users really shouldn't be using Futon,  
applications should provide all the UI necessary for users. Not just  
to make it easier for users but so they don't go fiddling with the  
wrong things.

Also, I worry a little that it will expand into some sort of big IDE  
like environment, like a web-based Eclipse. Not that I think that's a  
bad idea, I think it's a really interesting idea. But I think it  
shouldn't be Futon, but rather a separate sub project. The Futon core  
should remain small and focus on making common admin tasks simple.  
Being able to use it from a wide range of browsers (like from a phone)  
is a big benefit to admins.

My 2 cents.


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