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From Jason Smith <>
Subject Re: Futon Test Suite
Date Thu, 11 Aug 2011 10:57:24 GMT
On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:29 PM, Paul Davis <> wrote:
> All very good except this one paragraph. The CouchDB definitely should
> not be expected to run with an intermediary server. If an intermediary
> is broken, its quite all right that we engineer paths around
> brokenness, but that's secondary by many orders of magnitude to
> asserting the behavior of CouchDB's API.

I buy that.

What about if and when the test suite splits into "confirm the
install" vs. a comprehensive unit tester? I suppose the comprehensive
test can demand a direct (or even null?) connection. But can "confirm
the install" be so bossy?

I guess the answer is also "yes." You are confirming end-to-end
(browser-to-server) functionality. If the proxy is breaking
expectations, then indeed you *want* to see a big red warning.

The only problem is this:

CouchDB developers are sitting pretty in the United States, maybe
Western Europe: basically the center of the universe. Everything is
fast, packets never drop, latency is an afterthought. Meanwhile,
across Latin America, Russia, China, and South and Southeast Asia
(that I know of, from support tickets), EDGE networking is everywhere.
Packets always drop. Non-standard transparent proxies are everywhere.
They are built in to ISPs. You cannot avoid them. Unlike the West,
HTTPS is not magic. There is huge latency, the handshakes take many
seconds to complete.

On stardate 47805.1, Commander Benjamin Sisko famously said:
> On Earth, there is no poverty, no crime, no war. You look out the
> window of Starfleet Headquarters and you see paradise. Well, it's
> easy to be a saint in paradise, but the Maquis do not live in paradise.
> Out there in the Demilitarized Zone, all the problems haven't been
> solved yet. Out there, there are no saints — just people. Angry, scared,
> determined people who are going to do whatever it takes to survive,
> whether it meets with Federation approval or not!

It is easy to be a saint in paradise. This applies to CouchDB and
Couch apps. On many ISPs, the non-standard, "transparent" proxies are
inescapable. But yet, web applications always work. The LA Times
works, works, random wordpress blogs work, everything I've
ever clicked from Hacker News works. But yet Couch apps are joke. It
seems nothing is ever cached when it should be, and everything is
always cached when it shouldn't be. Authentication, in particular,
fails because caching proxies don't care about DELETE /_session.

I have no immediately actionable advice here, but my goal is just to
point out that, at some point, demanding standards-compliance becomes
bigotry, and if we are too ideologically pure, we risk alienating a
larger development community. And read those list of countries again.
These communities stand to gain the most from CouchDB and the p2p web.

Iris Couch

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