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From Noah Slater <>
Subject Re: Couch Vision (was: Couchbase trademark issues)
Date Sun, 04 Mar 2012 21:31:42 GMT

Thank you for taking the time to write. Apologies for the delayed response.

On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM, Miles Fidelman <
> wrote:

> It seems pretty clear that the original vision and drive for CouchDB came
> from Damien, and it's now less clear who's providing vision and drive for
> the project -- a review of the roadmap suggests that the focus right now is
> bug fixes and incremental feature addition.  Not necessarily a bad thing,
> but suggestive of a maintenance effort.  But then again, there are efforts
> that have found their way under the Apache umbrella and not really thrived.

Damien was the progenitor of CouchDB, and he contributed a huge chunk of
the original vision. But ever since there has been more than just Damien,
the project's vision and drive has been shared. Jan was the first to join
Damien, and I was the second, over five years ago. We now have 14
committers in total. And the CouchDB Project Management Committee provides
additional governance and steerage.

It is unfortunate that Damien decided to leave the project, but the ASF is
set up, specifically, so that projects do not stagnate away when one person
leaves. Damien was "just another comitter" in the eyes of the Apache way,
in any case, he had not even been active in the year prior to his
departure. We're very fortunate actually. CouchDB has a thriving community.
So I know we'll be fine.

We do not have a roadmap at the moment. Which is a bad thing. We should
have a roadmap. But you suggest that it doesn't look like we're planning to
do anything besides bug fixes and incremental feature addition. Isn't that
how most products evolve? What sort of thing were you hoping for? One very
big change on the (in my head) roadmap is the merging of BigCouch in to

1. Who is really driving CouchDB right now?  Is there an individual or core
> group who are really providing vision and momentum (some folks are obvious,
> but where are priorities)?  How do the players overlap with the various
> other efforts going on.  In other words: what's the ecosystem for Couch and
> Couch-related software, projects, ....?  (Can't tell the players without a
> scorecard.)

With the departure of Damien, I have been talking a lot to Jan about things
we can do to help kick things up the arse a little bit. We both feel like
we've been neglectful, and want to use this as an opportunity to double
down our efforts, and inject this community and this project with a bit of
love again.

I have a few things up my sleave, but they can wait until after 1.2.0 is

We're not the only ones prompted in to action by the recent events.
Cloudant used Damien's departure as a prompt to announce that they were
donating BigCouch to the project. I know that other individuals too, from
the PMC, the committers, and the wider community, have been rallying

2.  It would be particularly helpful to those of us new to the project to
> see a NEW summary of what it is that defines CouchDB, particularly as
> distinct from the various efforts that have spun out of Couch, and what's
> the current vision/priority for the future.  What are the core capabilities
> provided, core mechanisms, .... ?

That's a great suggestion, and we definitely need something like that.

Watch this space.

> Sort of strikes me a bit like what happened when Ubuntu showed up.  It's
> still not clear how it relates to Debian.

As an ex-Debian developer, that's a bit of a sore point. ;)

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