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From Paul Davis <>
Subject Replacing the _external API
Date Fri, 24 Sep 2010 18:10:09 GMT
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

Paul Davis

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