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From Randall Leeds <>
Subject Re: Building from Source & Installing via Packages
Date Sat, 26 Jan 2013 20:18:23 GMT
Mostly +1.

I think that we should recommend installing spidermonkey from

On Sat, Jan 26, 2013 at 11:55 AM, Dave Cottlehuber <> wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> For background, we discussed this on IRC almost a fortnight ago & I
> wrote up a proposal.
> Situation:
> The user experience for installing CouchDB from packages, or building
> from source, is at best painful, due to dependency drift of our 2 core
> pre-requisites, Erlang/OTP and SpiderMonkey.
> - Installing from packages typically delivers you an out-of-date
> erlang, possibly unsuitable for production, or relying on backports.
> - Building from source leads you to a bewildering array of wiki links,
> blog posts, INSTALL.* in github/ASF git, and a variety of other
> options.
> Neither of these are good outcomes, and even as developers we (at
> least I) struggle to remember the exact incantation and sacrifices for
> an older release.
> Proposal:
> 1. Consolidate all the install documentation we have into just 2 places:
> - INSTALL.* for the steps/dependencies required to build from a source
> release. These will have been tested by devs & community during a
> release cycle so we can be sure this is appropriate.
> 2. rst / online docs:
> - a .rst doc that lists typical package dependencies and supported
> releases. As these are in a 1.2.x or similar branch, and subsequently
> generated on they can be easily amended and
> updated over time, whilst still preserving the history that we lose on
> the wiki. This would include what packages are recommended, and how to
> obtain them.
> The wiki pages would be retired, and in practice the bulk of updates
> here comes from the usual suspects anyway.
> Specifically, for spidermonkey and Erlang, I am proposing that we
> recommend using:
> - erlang releases from Erlang Solutions [esl]
> - spidermonkey from cloudant [cloudant]
> This will not prevent those who wish to, to use only bundled packages
> in their OS, but it *will* ensure that building from a recent source
> will actually work reliably, and repeatably, and can be tested as part
> of the CI work that Jan's been leading.
> Comments & criticism welcomed!
> A+
> Dave
> Background:
> The version of CouchDB available in recent & current distribution lags
> our latest release significantly. In many cases, the dependencies
> required for CouchDB are not ideal, or in some cases, even compatible,
> and neither maintainers nor ourselves are able to address this easily.
> Lucid (LTS):  ok, but doesn't support NIFs
> Oneiric: amd64 has R14B02, which is not usable at all.
> Precise & Quantal: good (yay)
> Squeeze: r14a (wat)
> Wheezy: r15b01 good - yay
> And in all cases, spidermonkey is typically a hit-and-miss fiasco.
> This again, is not due to a specific failure, just a reality that we
> rely on a library that's primary purpose  is a web browser, as opposed
> to an embeddable component like libcurl or icu.
> [ubuntu]:
> [debian]: and
> [cloudant]:
> [esl]:

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