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From Mikeal Rogers <>
Subject Re: The Future
Date Fri, 06 Jan 2012 20:08:44 GMT
The title of this reply is "Tough Love".

On Jan 6, 2012, at January 6, 20129:08 AM, Noah Slater wrote:

> Dear Community,
> As some of you may have already read, Damien Katz, Apache CouchDB’s
> original developer, has publicly announced that he intends to focus his
> time exclusively on developing other products for his company. Damien has
> had very little involvement in the CouchDB project for a year or more now,
> so, for many people, this is confirmation of what they already knew. We’re
> sorry to see him go, and wish him all the best in his new direction. We all
> owe him a huge debt of thanks for all the hard work he has put in over the
> years, and for his original vision of the project.

Yes, Damien has been pretty inactive for over a year, and has that gone unnoticed? How many
releases in that time? How much new adoption?

For the last year CouchDB has suffered a vacuum of leadership. This is a thriving community,
it can survive a loss like this, but only if people(s) step up and take responsibility. Having
a lot of discussions and process around decisions leaves the flavor of meritocracy in everyones
mouth but the viewable result of this has been a gigantic loss in momentum as the projects
publicly viewable changes and advances have been close to zero.

> Our biggest strength has always been the breadth and depth of our community
> of developers and users. In the very near future, we’ll be voting in a new
> committer, appointing a new PMC member, sprucing up the website,

Sprucing up the website. *sigh* This is a great example, I've been hearing this for over a
year with no noticeable change.

There have been countless false starts and arguments about direction ending in a stalemate.
Maybe we all think this kind of discussion is just a healthy bi-product of a consensus based
process but to the public it looks like it's output: nothing. Nothing piled upon nothing,
and we've gotten comfortable with that.

> and making
> a major new release. We’re happy to confirm that Cloudant has also publicly
> made a commitment to help contribute BigCouch to the CouchDB project.
> BigCouch, for those of you who have not had the pleasure of using it
> already, is a fault-tolerant, horizontally scalable clustering framework
> purpose-built for CouchDB.

I challenge the idea that this is a positive development. Not because BigCouch isn't awesome,
it definitely is, but the Couch community is much larger and more diverse than Apache CouchDB
and many of the fringe projects have thrived without the Apache process to hold them back
while CouchDB struggles to move forward in spite of it.

> Here’s to our future!

I'm sure I'll get lots of upset emails and some of those people are still clinging to the
idea that this process is more important that being productive while at the same time in their
other projects see frequent releases and contributions because they take responsibility for

I rely on Apache CouchDB tremendously and the reason I picked it a long time ago over alternatives
was because the community was so great. Other projects, and even some of my own, have thrived
after the loss of their creator because people were clamoring to step up and take responsibility.
But what's happened here is that the leader has become fed up with the process, publicly pronounced
it and moved on, and not only is everyone sticking with business as usual and not challenging
the process, nobody is wiling to take responsibility for the projects future either.

> Relax,

I'm trying, I really am.

> Noah Slater

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