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From Jan Lehnardt <>
Subject Futon Future
Date Tue, 17 Feb 2009 11:53:41 GMT

I have been accumulating a set of things I'd like to see in Futon and  
I realized,
it's never gonna happen if I do it myself or start telling you about  
it :)

Futon is awesome. It is often the first thing our users see of CouchDB  
and the
feedback is unanimously positive. Futon is slick, it is simple, it is  
to the
point and it does all (well most) you need. I can't thank Christopher  
and all
the contributers enough for giving CouchDB a public face that  
everybody loves.

I'd like to make Futon even better. I know that my ideas are not all  
that's why I'm opening them for discussion. But secretly, I hope to find
contributers who help turning the ideas into code when we all agreed  
on the

Two reasons for that: At the moment, Christopher is doing the bulk of  
the work
on Futon and if we get more people to work on it, all the better. As a  
we remove the dependency on Christopher (much as we are working on  
dependency on Damien for the core code). And more people working on  
means better results sooner. Yay.

If you are interested in helping out with CouchDB but your Erlang-Fu  
is weak,
but you know your way around jQuery, this is your chance for  

Enough with the preambling.


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]).

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  
user mailing list, issue tracker (with BOLD LETTERS that for general  
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:

   tests_passed = true

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


News Feed. The Futon home page should display an RSS/Atom feed  
latest news items for CouchDB, like announcements of new versions, or  
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.


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


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  
that people can install. The repository of plugins should be a CouchDB  
that users can just replicate the plugins they like from.


Cluster management plugin. CouchDB will be deployed in clusters of  
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 :)


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