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From Jonathan Porta <rurd...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Any experts care to answer this SO query?
Date Sun, 19 Feb 2012 18:45:02 GMT
Roger, thanks for posting that!

Being new to this community, I have spent more time confused than any
other time I have picked up a new technology.  The confusion primary
stems from the multitude of Couchbase products that everyone talks
about, coupled with the fact that (seemingly) all of the online
content about CouchDB was written by people who now work at Couchbase.

The difference in appeal between Couchbase's website and CouchDB's
website is huge.  My initial thoughts were that CouchDB was mostly
abandoned as an Apache project, and that Couchbase was leading the
charge in further development.  This misconception lead me to wasting
a lot of time with Couchbase Server, only to find out that everything
I just learned in the two O'Reilly books I just bought was mostly
wrong, as it did not apply to CouchDB.  Basically, Couchbase Server is
Membase with a confusing name.

Recovering from that mistake, I then stumble across Damien's blog post
about "The future of CouchDB: Couchbase".  At this point, I am ready
to give up.  I have spent days trying to figure out a new technology
that sounds incredible, but, I have not had any success.

To further show how hard it was to get to where I am now, here is how
I started down this road:

I easily found this talk done by J. Chris Anderson:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9C2x54Of-M

This got me pretty excited about the mobile CouchDB offering, yet, I
couldn't find much more information until I just Googled "J. Chris
Anderson CouchDB".  This is how I discovered Couchbase, the company.
Seeing that J. Chris works there, I assumed Couchbase Server was a
distribution of CouchDB.  I was wrong.  In the past when I have had
issues like this, it is usually cleared up by reading through the
Wikipedia articles on the subject.  As of the last time I checked, the
articles on Wikipedia were not very helpful in understanding the
differences between Couchone, Couchbase, CouchDB, CouchApp, Couchbase
Single Server, Couchbase Mobile Syncpoint, etc.

Here is the internal dialog going on in my head:

I finally found what I *think* might be the coveted CouchDB Android:
http://www.couchbase.com/wiki/display/couchbase/Couchbase+Mobile+Syncpoint

Stop right there!  There are two different products on that page?
Couchbase Mobile Syncpoint and TouchDB.

TouchDB sounds like it is even further away from CouchDB, so I am not
going to look at that.  At least the Couchbase Mobile Syncpoint has
the word Couch in it, so, maybe that is what I want?  Though, I just
wasted a bunch of time with Couchbase Server, so I am a little weary
of looking at something with the Couchbase name stuck on it.  I know
it doesn't work with CouchDB, and doesn't have a REST API.  Again, I
was wrong!  I guess Couchbase Mobile Syncpoint is compatible with
CouchDB, according to the Couchbase HTTP API Documentation (Am I
missing the joke here?)

I end up on this page:
http://www.couchbase.com/wiki/display/couchbase/Android - All is going
well until I see "Couchbase HTTP API Reference" -
http://www.couchbase.com/docs/couchbase-api/index.html - Couchbase
doesn't have an HTTP API...I click that link.  The title says:
"Couchbase", yet, the rest of the document says "CouchDB"  It's like a
case of find+replace gone wrong.  So... Is this the API for Couchbase,
CouchDB, or Couchbase Mobile Syncpoint?  Where is the API for
Couchbase Mobile Syncpoint, that was, after all, the product page I
was just on.  The document never mentions Syncpoint.

The CouchDB Wiki isn't much help either.  Here is the first thing I
see on the Android page: "These instructions are outdated"  So, I
follow the link -
https://github.com/couchbase/Android-Couchbase-SourceBuild - there are
no instructions on how to use this.  No links to instructions.  At
this point, I am starting to think that maybe everyone just gave up on
the Android port.  Why can I find loads of posts, videos, etc from
2010 talking about how awesome CouchDB Mobile will be, but nothing in
recent months?  Yep, CouchDB on Android must be dead.

I keep searching and eventually find a link to this page:
http://www.couchbase.com/products-and-services/mobile-couchbase.
Unfortunately, both the links to the mobile versions are broken.  It
just takes me to the homepage.  At this point, I posted the
aforementioned SO question.

Other Issues that may or may not dissuade a newcomer:
- The Fedora package in the Repo is version 1.0.2-7
- Downloads page does not indicate what you are downloading...source
or binary? It's source, but I had to download the tar file to know for
sure.
- Binaries would be nice to offer, especially for Windows.
- The Wiki could benefit from some serious TLC.  Do we really need a
build guide for every OS?  It seems that maintaining two or three
always up-to-date build/install guides would be more beneficial than
lots of guides that may or may not be up-to-date.
- The CouchDB homepage needs an attention grabbing...something, to
showcase to potential developers why CouchDB is awesome.  Redis and
Node.js seem to do a better job at this, maybe some ideas can come
from their approach.

</rant>

It all boils down to:

1.  How can I incorporate CouchDB into my Android project, and
replicate with a CouchDB instance elsewhere?

2.  What can I do to help CouchDB make things easier for someone like
me to adopt CouchDB?  More specifically, what is there that the
project team would allow me to help with in this area?

I really really like the CouchDB project, but, I can't see how it will
continue to be a viable solution if newcomers to the technology
encounter issues similar to what I have encountered.


Jonathan Porta

PO BOX 21365
Billings, MT 59104



On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 9:58 AM,  <roger.moffatt@gmail.com> wrote:
> I think this question on stack overflow expresses a lot of the
> confusion in the marketplace about the current direction of couchdb. I
> hope you'll forgive me posting this to the dev group, but as a couch
> evangelist myself, I share Jonathan's pain.
>
> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/9343868/confused-on-how-to-use-couchdb-on-android
>
> I am feeling a bit more confident about the future of couchdb having
> seen the activity in this forum over the past week. However I feel,
> looking from the outside in, that the project does have a perception
> problem.
>
> The problem I think largely stems from the fact that there is nothing
> on this page that reflects the online discussions that arose following
> Damien's departure.
>
> http://couchdb.apache.org/
>
> So when you are searching for information on couchdb, you tend to see
> a very stale project page, and then lots of much more recent online
> posts elsewhere asking if couch is dead now that the founder has left.
>
> I know there is a lot of sensible and sane discussion on other blogs,
> but I really feel that the apache couchdb pages need to address the
> matter head on and inform the community better as to the future.
>
> As an aside, the decision to rebrand membase as couchbase has, in my
> opinion, done untold damage. This is the real issue behind the
> confusion and is something I think the couchdb project needs to work
> on.
>
> I'm happy to help where I can ... I love couch and use it as the
> backend for many of my mobile projects. Having a restful database that
> talks JSON is such a perfect fit for so many applications that really,
> couchdb should be storming ahead of other nosql options and yet I find
> myself having to work harder and harder to justify its use over (say)
> mongo. The reason I am having to work harder is purely a perception
> problem and hence I feel this is the area that needs a bit more work!
>
> All that said, I'm so glad I joined the dev group last week, it's
> given me a lot more confidence that things are moving in a positive
> direction ...
>
> Roger

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