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From Robert Newson <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] new underscore namespacing
Date Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:16:21 GMT
I like the idea, though I remember a suggestion to lift all of these
things out of the bodies entirely (I'm thinking mostly of _id and
_rev) and into request/response headers. This has other advantages (we
wouldn't need to convert doc bodies to a mutable intermediate state to
inject id and rev, we could send it more directly).

As for "I realize these are extreme API shifts, and would need to wait
for CouchDB 2.0.", this has it precisely backwards. There's no waiting
for 2.0. If we change the API in incompatible ways, we bump the major
version. To say it another way, making this change *creates* couchdb

As for migration, I think it would only be necessary for 2.0 to
understand the old format. E.g, the replicator would look for
doc._.replication_state first and fallback to doc._replication_state
if it's missing. We could go further and add forward looking code in a
minor release that does the reverse of that.

Of course now I'm visually how the chttpd/couch_httpd url mapping code
will look for the /_/ idea... :D


On 3 December 2013 14:01, Benjamin Young <> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Recently the "doc._*" reservation has been causing me trouble when pulling
> in "arbitrary" JSON from various sources that also use the underscore
> prefixed names for things (HAL [1], vnd.error [2], other APIs). I've also
> hit the wall several times when trying to import filesystem contents
> (Sphinx, ghpages, and the like) that use _* prefixing for their "special
> folders."
> As such, I'd like to propose the following:
> 1. Begin storing new reserved terms in doc._.* (rather than doc._*).
>  - this gives developers one object to look into for the meta-data about a
> doc
>  - you can see the scope creep of our current doc._* best in the replicator
> status messages.
>     - doc._ replication_* would become doc._.replication.*
> 2. Move "magic" API endpoints under "/_/" term as well (for the sake of
> attachments.
>  - _design/doc would stay the same
>  - but the child endpoints would live under "_design/doc/_/*"
>     - _design/doc/_/view/by_date
>     - _design/doc/_/list/by_date/ul
>     - _design/doc/_/rewrite
> I realize these are extreme API shifts, and would need to wait for CouchDB
> 2.0.
> The first steps this direction would be to put new reserved word keys into a
> "doc._.*" namespace going forward. Closer to the "cut over" for 2.0
> duplicates of the existing keys (doc._id, doc._rev, especially) could also
> live at their new underscore prefixed names (, doc._.rev) which
> would give devs a chance to migrate code and content.
> Doing this would:
> 1. Give us "limitless" space to add content.
> 2. Encourage a namespacing pattern for things like doc._.replication.* or
> other logically grouped content.
> 3. Free up CouchDB to accept a far broader range of content and remove the
> "hey, you can't put that there! I was here first!" errors. :)
> Thanks for considering this,
> Benjamin
> [1]
> [2]

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