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From Damien Katz <>
Subject Re: REST, Hypermedia, and CouchApps
Date Thu, 05 Mar 2009 22:43:51 GMT

On Mar 5, 2009, at 5:34 PM, Jan Lehnardt wrote:

> On 5 Mar 2009, at 21:38, Christopher Lenz wrote:
>> I think that, at least for the time being, it's best if CouchApp  
>> remained a separate project, in the sense that nothing in CouchDB  
>> should know about the CouchApp side. I certainly agree that  
>> CouchApp-style applications are pretty exciting (albeit in a very  
>> alpha-geekish way), but I also think there will continue to be a  
>> large percentage of CouchDB users (myself included) who use CouchDB  
>> in a more traditional way, as a storage backend sitting behind a  
>> regular web-based application, with a web server sitting between  
>> the user and the database. In my opinion we should go out of our  
>> way to avoid the impression that CouchApps are the preferred/ 
>> endorsed way to use CouchDB.
> +1
>> In that vein, I'm not in favor of the CouchApp links on the Futon  
>> start page. I've generally tried to keep Futon extremely neutral to  
>> the specific ways people may use CouchDB, and the CouchApp links  
>> smell too much like an official endorsement of one particular  
>> method to me. Plus, the "Applications" column must be rather  
>> confusing for any CouchDB users who haven't played with the  
>> CouchApp concept yet ("Hum, how do I get my PHP scripts in  
>> there?" [not that anyone should be writing PHP scripts in the first  
>> place]).
> Hey, no fair! :)
>> Ideally, we'd have some way in Futon for extensions to register  
>> their own pages that show up in the sidebar navigation (that might  
>> be as simple as a config section, if we didn't have that pesky  
>> admin auth prompt for reading config values ;) ). If we had that, I  
>> think there should be a CouchApp plugin that registered an  
>> "Applications" page that could do some discovery on demand.
> That's in line with what I've had in mind with the "Futon Future"  
> thread.
>> Actually, I'd go even further, and suggest that the "show" and  
>> "list" features should be part of that CouchApp plugin, and not  
>> actually included with CouchDB itself. You really only need those  
>> features when you're developing CouchApp-style applications. Moving  
>> them into a corresponding plugin would help keep CouchDB itself  
>> lean and clean.
> show and list are useful in the non-couchapp case. a list gives you  
> RSS/Atom feeds on views (say blog posts or events) for free. a show  
> would help you to mangle your data for other systems that e.g. like  
> to consume XML. I like that this can be done without a middleware  
> layer.

Not only that, it's pretty much mandatory if we want to be completely  
RESTful, that is too allow apps to be spiderable and docs to be  
bookmarkable and viewable to non-js browsers.

> I'm +1 on modularizing additional features on the Erlang level, but  
> show & list I'd consider core CouchDB and -1 on making them optional.
>> Moving those into a plugin should be almost trivial on the Erlang  
>> level AFAICT. The problem is the Javascript "query server", which  
>> by now is full of stuff I personally don't useā€¦ some of them just  
>> for tests, some for "external", some for "show"/"list". I think  
>> we'll need to figure out a good way to split up good ole main.js  
>> (and maybe even couchjs) so that CouchDB only includes the commonly  
>> used parts, but extensions can add whatever they may need. The  
>> current approach of one "query_server" (which has long been  
>> misnomer) per language implementing all the hooks is going to break  
>> down pretty fast. Maybe, we should have [view_servers],  
>> [validation_servers], [render_servers], and so on, instead. Only  
>> with proper names.
>> And for the record, I still think "show" and "list" are not good  
>> names for what they do :) But then again, if they'd get moved out  
>> into an external CouchApp plugin, I wouldn't have to care (as long  
>> as I don't become a CouchApp aficionado, that is).
> +1 on making main.js less cluttered. The ripping apart of  
> couch_tests.js was well and needed and I feel the same for main.js
> Cheers
> Jan
> --

Ditto Jan. I also agree with Christopher on everything except the show  
and list stuff.


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