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From Chris Anderson <>
Subject Re: CommonJS in map and reduce
Date Sat, 25 Sep 2010 21:20:03 GMT
On Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 8:53 AM, Mikeal Rogers <> wrote:
> Great writeup.
> The only thing I think it's lacking is how the require namespaces will
> differ.
> So, refresher, require('foo') means import a module that is a top level
> attribute in the design doc named "foo". Basically the commonjs module
> namespace is scoped to the ddoc root. This will stay the same for require
> outside of map/reduce.

So the way I've implemented it so far is that to require code that it
stored in, you'd write:

var barModule = require("views/lib/foo/bar');

This is less surprising, I think, than having the call look like:

var barModule = require("foo/bar');

Even though the second one is shorter, I think it is cleaner to have
it be consistent what require() means regardless of if you are in a
view or a show/list function.

One other issue: currently I haven't yet implemented commonjs for
reduce functions. The reason I have not is that reduce functions are
not batched, so library code would have to be sent and eval'd every
single time the reduce function is run. On top of this, 99% of the
time the reduce function won't make use of the library code, so it
will just be dead weight. (I have a hard time thinking of when a
reduce function will need to require library code).

So until someone rewrites the reduce runner to use batching, I will
don't think it is a good idea to support commonjs in reduce functions.

The code is on this branch. I will merge it to trunk in a couple of
days once people have had a chance to look at it.


> In map/reduce all we'll do is re-scope the root namespace for require to the
> ddoc "views" attribute.
> All the "relative" imports, like require('./module'), will work the same but
> we'll probably have some safe guard from doing '../../../' to get out of the
> views sandbox.
> -Mikeal
> On Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 4:55 PM, Chris Anderson <> wrote:
>> Devs,
>> Mikeal and I were talking and we came up with a sane way to do
>> CommonJS in map and reduce.
>> Refresher: we don't have CommonJS require there now because the
>> current CommonJS implementation is scoped to the whole design doc, and
>> giving views access to load code from anywhere in the design doc would
>> mean we'd have to blow away your view index anytime you changed
>> anything. Having to rebuild views from scratch just because you
>> changed some CSS or a show function isn't fun,so we avoided the issue
>> by keeping CommonJS require out of map and reduce altogether.
>> The solution we came up with is to allow CommonJS inside map and
>> reduce funs, but only of libraries that are stored inside the views
>> part of the design doc.
>> So you could continue to access CommonJS code in, from
>> your list functions etc, but we'd add the ability to require CommonJS
>> modules within map and reduce, but only from design_doc.views.lib
>> There's no worry here about namespace collisions, as Couch just plucks
>> views.*.map and views.*.reduce out of the design doc. So you could
>> have a view called "lib" if you wanted, and still have CommonJS stored
>> in views.lib.sha1 and views.lib.stemmer if you wanted.
>> We could allow CommonJS modules to be stored anywhere in ddoc.views,
>> but I think it will simplify the implementation to enforce that they
>> be stored in views.lib -- if people think that is too restrictive,
>> please speak up now, otherwise I'll start to implement this.
>> Chris
>> --
>> Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson

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