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From Adam Kocoloski <>
Subject Re: associating UUIDs to DBs
Date Thu, 04 Feb 2010 16:17:04 GMT
On Feb 4, 2010, at 10:44 AM, Paul Davis wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 10:19 AM, Adam Kocoloski <> wrote:
>> On Feb 3, 2010, at 4:53 AM, Brian Candler wrote:
>>> On Tue, Feb 02, 2010 at 09:41:28PM +0000, Robert Newson wrote:
>>>> If couchdb tracked replication by a Merkle tree, it would obsolete the
>>>> update_seq mechanism?
>>> Only if you weren't doing filtered/selective replication. And probably only
>>> if there was nothing else different between the two databases (e.g. _local
>>> docs, _design docs, reader acls etc)
>> Correct, Merkle trees are only useful if you expect the two databases to be completely
identical.  But Bob's right, I'm essentially proposing that our by_seq btree is extended into
a full Merkle tree for this particular use-case.
>> Adam
> Most intriguing. Could you expand on that a bit?
> Paul

Hi Paul,

The more I think about it using by_seq may not be the optimal choice here.  Consider the case
where I snapshot my .couch file over to a new server, and in the meantime I update the document
that was occupying update_seq 1 on the original.  The analysis I proposed above would conclude
that the replication needs to start from the beginning, which is true, but overlooks the fact
that only one document has changed.

An alternative would be to do the Merkle stuff in the by_id tree, and instead of identifying
the last update_seq where two DBs are identical, identify the set of documents that differ
between the two DBs.  Replicate just those documents using Filipe's new patch, then record
a checkpoint at the source's latest update_seq.  You're now fully caught up in case you're
planning any future _changes-based incremental replications.

If we went ahead and implemented this I think the UUID becomes superfluous from the replicator's
perspective.  You wouldn't want to restrict this Merkle tree check to UUID-matched DBs, as
it would be useful for reducing entropy in a sharded database cluster that stores multiple
copies of each document in different database shards.  In fact, IIRC that was a Dynamo feature
in the original Amazon paper.


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