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From Robert Dionne <>
Subject Re: Transactional _bulk_docs
Date Thu, 05 Feb 2009 13:05:42 GMT
My sense is that the approach to design in CouchDB is very bottoms  
up. I applaud that and encourage it and wholeheartedly agree with  
Alan Perlis about building software top down *except* the first time.  
We all know that very little great software was ever built top down  
designed by boxologists armed with UML diagrams. I think CouchDB is  
at a key point where it needs to continue to be driven by a small  
core group of dedicated passionate programmers.

Please note that I'm in no way commenting on the make up of that group.

I'm not very familiar with the ASF "process", excuse my ignorance,  
but I find the IRC enormously useful and find mailing list threads  
can be too unwieldy.

I guess it's because I'm not a fan of top down design. I see the code  
itself as the design, and the debugging, reworking, and documenting  
of the code as the construction phase.

Best regards,


Robert Dionne
Chief Bittwiddler

On Feb 5, 2009, at 6:14 AM, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:

> [sending second time, as I see my first is stuck in moderation, and  
> I want to reply in a timely manner]
> Sure, ideally.
> But you can't have "everyone" together at the same time on IRC,  
> where at the ASF, we define "everyone" to be, well, "everyone", not  
> you and the 4 others on the PMC.
> I see 579 people on the user list.  I see 294 people on the dev  
> list.  Just focusing on the dev list, that's 290 people, or 98.6%  
> of people supposedly interested in CouchDB development, that had  
> zero opportunity to see, review and participate in the discussion.   
> Further, there's now zero chance that any future project  
> participant can look back to understand design decision and  
> philosophy.  No institutional memory.  Your goal, besides building  
> a great software project, should be to get the community to the  
> point where you can step back and do other things w/o material  
> effect on the community, and that requires information like this to  
> be somewhere accessible.
> And unlike Ted, I don't agree that a pointer to an IRC log is  
> sufficient to represent a "done decision", and he may not have  
> meant that anyway.  Sure, I can see a chat starting on IRC about a  
> topic, but I'd hope that one person would force the move from IRC  
> to the mail list - and at that point, maybe posting a pointer to  
> the *initial* discussion log would be useful.  And after that,  
> discussion is on the mail list.
> I think IRC logs are a very poor substitute to mail traffic (and  
> yes, I grok the downside of async communications).  A primary one  
> reason that they are very "in the moment" - if you are in the  
> conversation, it's easy to stay in, but after, when things cool and  
> the context of the moment isn't there, it's neigh impossible.  You  
> also can't hit reply and quote a piece for others to see and  
> discuss, further broadening the discussion.
> What got me engaged on this wasn't the decision itself (only  
> because it was a secret decision), but -like Ted - the mode of  
> operation.  It seemed that a very dedicated, engaged and interested  
> community member had to privately petition the PMC for redress on a  
> technical decision that none of us had any awareness of, nor a  
> chance to review.  And IMO, from a guy that probably should be a  
> committer and PMC member to boot!
> (By the way - from my count, not all PMC members are even on the  
> PMC's private@ list, so I have *no clue* where project private  
> discussion - like new committer candidates - are even discussed....)
> geir
> On Feb 5, 2009, at 2:11 AM, Damien Katz wrote:
>> Ideally yes, but real time communication with everyone together is  
>> damn useful.
>> -Damien
>> On Feb 5, 2009, at 2:07 AM, Ted Leung wrote:
>>> Uh, project decisions are supposed to be made in the public  
>>> mailing lists...
>>> Ted
>>> On Feb 4, 2009, at 6:51 PM, Damien Katz wrote:
>>>> This decision was discussed and made on IRC.
>>>> -Damien
>>>> On Feb 4, 2009, at 9:26 PM, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
>>>>> can you point me to a reference to where the PMC made this  
>>>>> decision?
>>>>> I'm interested in the subject for it's own sake, and I'm also  
>>>>> interested in figuring out where decisions are made in this  
>>>>> project, since I didn't see this one go by on a mail list.
>>>>> geir
>>>>> On Feb 4, 2009, at 9:13 PM, Damien Katz wrote:
>>>>>> Geir, there was a decision made by the PMCs to change the  
>>>>>> transaction model to support partitioned databases. It is a  
>>>>>> change I am currently working on.
>>>>>> -Damien
>>>>>> On Feb 4, 2009, at 8:46 PM, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
>>>>>>> and original question #2?
>>>>>>> geir
>>>>>>> On Feb 4, 2009, at 8:38 PM, Antony Blakey wrote:
>>>>>>>> On 05/02/2009, at 12:02 PM, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
>>>>>>>>> 1) where is this being forwarded from ?
>>>>>>>> I sent it to the PMC.
>>>>>>>> Antony Blakey
>>>>>>>> -------------
>>>>>>>> CTO, Linkuistics Pty Ltd
>>>>>>>> Ph: 0438 840 787
>>>>>>>> A Buddhist walks up to a hot-dog stand and says, "Make me
>>>>>>>> one with everything". He then pays the vendor and asks for
>>>>>>>> change. The vendor says, "Change comes from within".

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