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From Noah Slater <>
Subject Re: 1.2.0 status update
Date Thu, 15 Mar 2012 18:28:23 GMT

Can you explain your remarks?


On 15 Mar 2012, at 17:28, Bob Dionne <> wrote:

> Noah,
> 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,
> Bob
> 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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