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From Jan Lehnardt <>
Subject Re: Futon Future
Date Tue, 17 Feb 2009 13:32:14 GMT
Hi Andrea,

thanks for your feedback!

On 17 Feb 2009, at 13:28, Andrea Schiavini wrote:

> This sounds good, but what if I want just to check my databases  
> status? The
> main use of Futon - as a developer - is to see docs, see why  
> something has
> gone wrong, and so on. The "cool home page" can be good and useful for
> first-time users, but boring for the developer: he has to click on a  
> link to
> get to the databases. So, IMHO, there should be an option to  
> "disable" the
> new home page.

Yes, I don't want to penalize the primary use-case. This is why the  
page should be carefully designed. See below for another option.

>> 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.
> Are you sure it should go into Futon? Or better: what should Futon  
> be, in
> your opinion? I'd rather prefer it to remain a sort of "control  
> panel" for
> my databases. I prefer to fire up a newsreader or gmail to see
> announcements.

Not saying this should be a feed reader :) And it would be only for a  
limited number of announcements. New versions and security stuff and
other things that most users better see sooner than later. The idea is  
you don't have to even know that there's such a feed to add to your feed
reader, removing steps and all. If you don't want that, just turn it  
off and
read this list, where all the announcements will show up as well. Maybe
it'd just be a single item in the sidebar "Important Security  
Update" (in bold
red letters") or just "New Version Available for Download" (in regular  
nothing fancy.

>> 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.
> Yes, this is good. I'd make this sort of a "tab" though: welcome page,
> databases, installed apps. With an option on the welcome page like  
> "Default
> page:" and a dropdown with welcome page, installed apps, databases.  
> Maybe
> also news, if you really want to.

The tabbed interface is a nice idea: A cookie or config option could  
the last or preferred tab to load when you access Futon. This would  
the first problem above.

>> 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.
> Mmm I think this would mess up the slick interface of Futon too  
> much. I dont
> want it to be a sort of Facebook, it's Futon, I use it to manage my
> databases and it does its work well.

Back to the tabbed interface, you could install new plugins that show  
up as
additional tabs. I don't think that messes up the default case. If you  
like Futon
as-is, don't install a plugin :)

>> 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.
> Agreed! Another tab maybe.

Right, but what about other people who don't need the cluster-tab? I  
this is an ideal candidate for an opt-in plugin.

> Good post Jan. I like some of your ideas; however, I'd prefer Futon to
> remain a control panel instead of becoming something like  
> "MyCouchDB" or
> "iCouch"...

Again, default Futon would not be a lot different than it is now. But  
users would
be able to add more plugins they find useful.

Would you be interested in helping out with this endeavour? :)


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