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From "Paul Joseph Davis (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (COUCHDB-834) startkey_docid/endkey_docid don't work without an exact startkey/endkey match
Date Fri, 26 Aug 2011 20:29:29 GMT


Paul Joseph Davis commented on COUCHDB-834:


No its not a bug. You can basically think of this if you switched all of your emit calls from
emit(key, val) to emit([key, doc._id], val) and then just change all of your startkey values
to [startkey, docid].

The important part to remember here is that this is extremely simple. Consider a large sorted
array. All that the various key related options are doing is defining a slice of this array
to return. At it's most basic this is how all indexing works. You just need to find the part
in a sorted list that is relevant to your query.

In this particular case, its just important that sorting only looks at as much of a key as
is necessary to make a decision. Given something like these two keys:

    [1, 2, 3, 100]
    [1, 2, 4, 0]

We have to look at the first three positions to determine the sorting. The first position
is equal, so we check the second which is also equal, then the third position finally tells
us that 3 < 4 and we can stop looking. The values 100 and 0 will never be considered in
defining the sort order between *these two* keys. If a third key came in that was [1, 2, 3,
99] then we would have to compare 99 < 100 to figure out that it goes first in the list.

The startkey_docid parameter is slightly special here. Internally all index keys are stored
as a 2-tuple of {Key, DocId} for bookkeeping so that we can do incremental map/reduce. This
also allows HTTP requests to differentiate between identical keys coming from multiple documents.
But as in the example above, the DocId will never be consulted unless the Keys were identical.


I think you said that backwards. The only issue that's similar is that startkey_docid has
no effect if startkey isn't specified. That could be a 400, but whenever I try and make the
HTTP query parsing strict people tell me to Relax and I die a little inside.

> startkey_docid/endkey_docid don't work without an exact startkey/endkey match
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: COUCHDB-834
>                 URL:
>             Project: CouchDB
>          Issue Type: Bug
>          Components: JavaScript View Server
>    Affects Versions: 1.0
>            Reporter: Mathias Meyer
> This issue popped up when I wanted to paginate through a list of documents using a combined
array key, using a startkey and endkey that's based solely on the first part of said key.
First part is a reference to a different document, second part is a timestamp to keep the
list sorted by creation time. The list of documents can be fetched using startkey=["key"]
and endkey=["key", {}]
> Now, I wanted to add pagination to this list, only fetching so many documents starting
at startkey_docid, which failed using this setup. It seems (and Jan validated that assumption
by analyzing the source) that both startkey needs to be an exact match for startkey_docid
to have any effect. If there's no exact match, CouchDB will silently ignore the startkey_docid,
a behaviour that's undocumented and to be quite frank, unintuitive.
> Consider the following two documents, both pointing to the same other_id:
> {"_id": "one", "other_id": "other", "second_key": "one"}
> {"_id": "two", "other_id": "other", "second_key": "two"}
> And a simple map/reduce function that just emits the combined key:
> {
>    "other_documents": {
>        "reduce": "_sum",
>        "map": "          function(doc) { \n emit([doc.other_id, doc.second_key], 1);\n
>    }
> }
> Querying the view like this gives the expected results:
> curl 'http://localhost:5984/startkey_bug/_design/other_documents/_view/other_documents?reduce=false&startkey=\["other"\]&endkey=\["other",\{\}\]'
> {"total_rows":2,"offset":0,"rows":[
> {"id":"one","key":["other","one"],"value":1},
> {"id":"two","key":["other","two"],"value":1}
> ]}
> If I add in a startkey_docid of two, I'd expect CouchDB to skip to the second result
in the list, skipping the first, but it doesn't:
> curl 'http://localhost:5984/startkey_bug/_design/other_documents/_view/other_documents?reduce=false&startkey=\["other"\]&endkey=\["other",\{\}\]&startkey_docid=two'
> {"total_rows":2,"offset":0,"rows":[
> {"id":"one","key":["other","one"],"value":1},
> {"id":"two","key":["other","two"],"value":1}
> ]}
> However, it does what I'd expect when I specify an exact startkey (the endkey is still
the same):
> curl 'http://localhost:5984/startkey_bug/_design/other_documents/_view/other_documents?reduce=false&startkey=\["other","one"\]&endkey=\["other",\{\}\]&startkey_docid=two'
> {"total_rows":2,"offset":1,"rows":[
> {"id":"two","key":["other","two"],"value":1}
> ]}
> If you add in an exact endkey, the situation doesn't change, and the result is as expected.
> Having an exact startkey is an acceptable workaround, but I'd still say this behaviour
is not intuitive, and either should be fixed to work the same in all of the above situations.
If not, at least the documentation should properly reflect these situation, explaining the
proper workarounds.
> Update: I just checked how this works out when using descending=true, the same is true
for the swapped endkey and startkey parameters. Specifying and endkey_docid requires to specify
an exact endkey match.

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