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From Zachary Zolton <>
Subject Re: Replacing the _external API
Date Fri, 24 Sep 2010 18:48:27 GMT

Have you given any thought to having external processes being able to
write to the CouchDB log, or show up in the _active_tasks?

For example, it would be neat if I could watch the progress of Lucene
indexing along side of building view indexes.

That kind of integration makes it more compelling than just using
other process management and proxy software.



On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 1:36 PM, Paul Davis <> wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 2:28 PM, Stephen Prater <> wrote:
>> As one of the people who wanted the external process management, that's a +1
>> from me (if my vote counts.)
> Every vote counts, its how we measure community consensus.
>> But I like the sound of the reverse proxy protocol for externals too.
>> stephen
>> On Sep 24, 2010, at 1:19 PM, Robert Newson wrote:
>>> Assuming it's straightforward to extend OTP-style process monitoring
>>> to external processes (and I'm assuming that the couchjs processes are
>>> so monitored today) then I like the proposal to add both of these
>>> things.
>>> My obvious motivation is couchdb-lucene so, with that hat on, would
>>> this mechanism obviate the need for start couchdb-lucene externally
>>> and make the Python hook script obsolete? I think it does. Finally,
>>> there are cases where c-l users might wish to locate their c-l server
>>> on a different box, so we should allow the proxying independently of
>>> the launch-on-demand-and-keep-me-running bit.
>>> B.
>>> On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 7:10 PM, Paul Davis <>
>>> wrote:
>>>> At CouchCamp there was a bit of discussion on replacing the _external
>>>> API with something a bit more modern to give _external processes more
>>>> control over their environment.
>>>> The idea was born out of a discussion with Robert Newson who mentioned
>>>> that couchdb-lucene really only needs a reverse proxy to put itself in
>>>> the same URL namespace. It occurred to us that having a reverse proxy
>>>> instead of the current _external stdio protocol would allow lots of
>>>> other interesting features like node.js integration, as well as allow
>>>> implementors to handle requests in parallel and so on and such forth.
>>>> The major drawback that was identified was that if we switched to just
>>>> a reverse proxy, people would then be responsible for handling the
>>>> process management of their _external handlers. Ie, they'd have to
>>>> configure daemon monitoring to make sure the processes stayed up and
>>>> what not. The solution we came up with was to include another feature
>>>> that did process management. Ie, something that would bring up an OS
>>>> process when the server booted, and respawn it if it crashed. There'd
>>>> be no connection to the _externals. Other than the basic "just keep a
>>>> process up" sort of behaviour, the only other thing I could see adding
>>>> is a simple stdio protocol to get configuration values from CouchDB.
>>>> Other people have expressed interest in just the process management
>>>> functionality as well which makes me think that having the two new
>>>> features to replace the _external API would be both easier on
>>>> developers as well as providing more functionality.
>>>> So now I'm looking for feedback on what other people might think of
>>>> this. I'll start working on this fairly soon if I don't hear any major
>>>> objections.
>>>> HTH,
>>>> Paul Davis

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