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From Jan Lehnardt <>
Subject Re: (lack of) couchdb windows binaries
Date Wed, 31 Mar 2010 12:03:10 GMT

I think we have three separate issues that are all entangled in a little mess:

1) Supporting Windows.
2) Making all tests pass on Windows.
3) Making an official CouchDB binary release for Windows.
    3.1) Legal issues with said binary release.

1) The 0.11.x tree and the 0.11.0 treat Windows as a first-class target for CouchDB.
We have active users on that platform and I don't think it is any question whether
we want to keep doing that. Mark has done significant work to resolve any technical
issues as well as making the installation a snap (yay Mark!)

2) Although we support Windows as a target, the current state of both CouchDB
and Erlang make it impossible for certain operations to succeed. Most notably
compaction (a feature that can be faked with local replication) and the quick
succession of deleting and creating databases (which the test suite does, but
is a rare production use). Because the two main issues are easy to work
around, Windows users are happy to use CouchDB in their environment.

So far, Mark provided an "unofficial" installer for CouchDB. Unofficial meaning
that there was no vote on dev@ and the installer does not constitute an
official Apache release.

For the source release, we treat the test-suite as a contract between developers
and the release master (and by proxy our users) to ensure all code is fine. In
case of Windows *at this point*, that is technically not feasible without patching 
both CouchDB and Erlang. Patches for both systems exist and the combination 
is subject to be tested this week.

3) Making an official release for the Windows installer calls for a dev@ vote.
Nothing stops us from doing that.

3.1) resolved, see previous emails.


Action plan. Here's what I say we should do:

  - Vote on Mark's installer for 0.11.0; on success, release it.
    - Add big fat warning about the limitations to the downloads page.
  - Commit COUCHDB-86 to trunk and 0.11.x (after review).
  - Later, when 0.11.1 is released, we can remove the big fat warning.

Alternative action plan:

  - Review COUCHDB-86 & commit it to trunk and 0.11.x.
  - Bundle 0.11.1 as both a source and Windows binary release and vote on it.
  - Releaseparty.

The first plan gives us an official Windows installer earlier. The second plan would 
mean we wouldn't get a binary Windows release for 0.11.0 and only 0.11.1.

I'm supporting the first.


On 31 Mar 2010, at 03:03, Mark Hammond wrote:

> On 30/03/2010 5:00 PM, Noah Slater wrote:
>> On 30 Mar 2010, at 01:58, Mark Hammond wrote:
>>> I understand that - however, the Windows issues are well known,
>>> have existed forever and has never before been raised as a blocker
>>> for a windows binary.  If I knew it would be considered as such I
>>> would not have invested any further efforts in Windows binaries
>>> until the windows issues were resolved.
>> If you're happy preparing the binary, I am happy to call a vote on
>> it.
> Great - it can be found at
> ...
>>> As above, I have no interest in, or knowledge of the issues here,
>>> so I will leave the honours to someone who does (or at least
>>> someone who has enough grasp of this to consider it a problem.)
>> Actually, I think you're the only person with enough knowledge to
>> handle this. You're not expected to know anything about the law. The
>> purpose of the list is for people with the technical knowledge to ask
>> the people with the legal knowledge what the best way forward is. If
>> you start a thread on legal telling them how the Windows binary is
>> constructed, and asking them if that is okay, that should be all that
>> you have to do.
> Sorry, but this needs to be undertaken by someone who actually believes there is an issue
and can articulate it.  This person also needs to understand the couchdb dependencies on any
platform (Windows is no different in this regard) and understands the concept of a "binary
release".  While I meet the last 2 criteria, I don't meet the first.
> So please let me be completely clear and explicitly decline for the 3rd time :)
> Cheers,
> Mark

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