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From Bob Dionne <>
Subject Re: 1.2.0 status update
Date Thu, 15 Mar 2012 17:28:16 GMT

Sorry, but I disagree. I don't think your experiment worked well at all and I think the approach
you are taking is going to alienate people.

Best regards,


On Mar 15, 2012, at 11:52 AM, Noah Slater wrote:

> Paul,
> How long before we can land COUCHDB-1426?
> On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 8:48 AM, Paul Davis <>wrote:
>> Nope. Though that was a bit silly of us.
> Why?
> It was something of an experiment. And one that turned out quite well, I
> think. I figured that if one person was enabled to drive each issue, and
> had the say in what was done, etc, then we might see quicker progress on
> them. There is a certain amount of pride that comes with having your name
> attached to something, and being deputised to make something happen.
> Out of four issues, we saw three of them get fixed very quickly. One of
> them had looked almost insurmountable before this organisations. I
> think Bob, Bob, and Jan, and everyone who helped then, did a fantastic job,
> and I was proud to see the community come together in the way that it did.
> We dropped the ball on COUCHDB-1426, but it's not a big deal. All I am
> trying to do is be an annoying gadfly who won't shut up about it. And I
> will continue to annoy and pester people until we can ship. Lighting fires
> under people's arses. If that costs me some browny points in the process,
> then so be it. We need to ship. We HAVE to ship.
> Why?
> Because we haven't made a major version release for almost a year. As a
> project, we have slowed down a lot in recent years. Some of this is
> completely fine. We're a database, after-all, and one that has a fetish for
> correctness. But on the other hand, there have been a number of times where
> tickets are debated back and forth in JIRA, loose steam, and then languish.
> There is a fine line between being cautious, and allowing permission
> culture to let tickets atrophy.
> I think we all know the misfortunes that have befallen the project
> recently. We've had Ubuntu dropping CouchDB, we've had Damien dropping
> CouchDB, we've had Couchbase confusing our users, we've had Mikeal publicly
> deriding us, and more recently we've had NPM's security boo boo cast a
> spotlight on us. Most of these things are not our fault. (The only one I
> think that says anything about the project is Mikeal's posts, which I have
> taken to heart a little bit.) But regardless, from the outside perspective,
> people have been looking in and asking themselves, is it all over for
> CouchDB? This is, perhaps, the most important moment in CouchDB's history.
> It's do or die, and getting 1.2.0 out is the first step on a long, and
> hopefully enjoyable, path towards a better, stronger, project.
> How long before we can land COUCHDB-1426? :)
> I do understand your passion and I'm glad to have you as part of the
>> community. My peevishness here is that we're being more reactive
>> rather than proactive in our approach to addressing the issues at
>> hand. For instance, what takes us so long to release? Mostly the fact
>> that master/trunk/maintenance-branches are never in a consistent state
>> ready for release.
> Well, in this instance, I have been trying to release for two weeks, and
> what is slowing me down is slow progress on release blockers. This is This
> has nothing to do with branch maintenance. COUCHDB-1426 is slowing us down.
> How long before we can land COUCHDB-1426? :P
> But maybe you meant in general. As an ongoing thing. I do not agree that
> our problems are entirely technical in nature. I like that you're
> approaching it from a technical angle, and I actually agree with everything
> you say from hereon in. But I am approaching from another angle myself.
> Which is good, really. Because there are many things we could be doing to
> fix the project.
> So, after this release, there are three major community things that I want
> to try out. I have been collecting my ideas on them, and the occasional bit
> of private feedback for the best part of a month.
> The first the concept of teams. A team is like a bigger, more formal
> version of what we did for the 1.2.0 blockers. The teams I have thought of
> so far are Community, JIRA, Wiki, Documentation, QA, Packaging, Core,
> Mobile, Platform, and Release. The idea being that you don't have to be a
> committer to be on a team. Anyone could be on the JIRA
> Team, triaging tickets. You, Paul, would almost certainly be on the QA,
> Packaging, Release, and Development teams. Each team would have a lead, and
> the lead would be responsible for driving and communicating progress.
> The second is the concept of a heartbeat. This would be a weekly and
> monthly checklist of items, and activities, much like the release procedure
> or the test procedure. Think of it like a set of cron jobs for the project.
> The PMC would be responsible for carrying out these tasks. The main purpose
> of the heartbeat will be to keep momentum, sort out any issues before they
> stagnate, provide steerage, and collect feedback from all of the team
> leads, and to communicate progress to the community and the board.
> The third is a more well defined roadmap process. Now, more than ever,
> CouchDB needs some product management. Which in my view, is about enabling
> and documenting a unified vision of the product, being a user advocate, as
> well as working with the release team to enable faster,
> more iterative releases. Like a meta-release procedure. What do we want in
> our next major revision? What should we leave out? When should we aim for?
> What should we do about our maintenance versions. That sort of stuff.
> These are the main ideas I have at the moment. I welcome the community's
> feedback on them, though this thread, or this moment, is not the best time
> for it. I only mention them now to illustrate that while you, Paul, might
> be thinking about the engineering challenges in front of you, I am thinking
> about the community challenges in front of us. And I think that's just
> smashing.
>> If you really want to get super serious in showing
>> the world the awesomeness then come join me in a stand for being a
>> better software project (engineering wise. I personally think our
>> community is best by lots).
> I won't comment on all of your points, because I agree with them. I have
> actually made a note to myself to revisit your email after the release, so
> that we can start to talk about where these items fit in on the roadmap.
> (See my above note about wanting an actual roadmap process.) Unfortunately,
> a lot of the stuff I want to do only makes sense after the 1.2.0 release. I
> want to focus all my energy on getting this shipped, and I want everyone
> else to do the same. Once this is out of the door, I think there are a lot
> of conversations that need to happen, and a lot of things that need to
> change. But let's get this shipped. This is yet another reason why I feel a
> fire under my arse, and why I am trying to light fires under other people's
> arses. We have SO much to do, but we need to ship this puppy first.
> How long before we can land COUCHDB-1426? :D
>> 7. Fix our fucking website to not suck balls (yes, already in motion
>> if we accept that a body in motion remains in motion until acted upon
>> by an outside round house kick to the face).
> I have something up my sleeve here, but I'm not prepared to act on it until
> we ship 1.2.0. My intention is to roll out the new version of the site
> along with the 1.2.0 release announcement. Yet another reason why I have
> such a sense of urgency. You have no idea how freaking awesome our new site
> looks. But I am waiting on 1.2.0 before I'm prepared to land it. (I am
> purposefully not sharing it, because that will kill it, like it has killed
> every other re-design attempt. I am being bold, and I will ask for
> forgiveness if I've made a mistake. But trust me it is awesome, and if you
> completely hate it, you can veto and roll it back afterwards.)
> How long before we can land COUCHDB-1426? ^__^
> But above all else, lets be true to us. This project has prided itself
>> on correctness above all else since I've been involved.
> Agreed. But let's light some fires up some people's arses. I want us all to
> have the same sense of urgency.
>> I can't resist the Zen of CouchDB:
>> 1. Relax
>> 2. Everyone is welcome
>> 3. Your data is safe with us
>> 4. Its simpler than you think
>> 5. Fast is good
>> 6. But safe and correct are best
>> 7. Advanced uses should be supported
>> 8. But not at the expense of core simplicity
>> 9. Always respect existing standards
>> 10. Unless those standards are absurd
> I like this. I may put it on the wiki later.
>> So in closing, I know your fever, but chill, Winston. They know its us.
> I'll chill when 1.2.0 is shipped.
> How long before we can land COUCHDB-1426? ;)

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