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From Chintan Mishra <>
Subject Re: CouchDB and future
Date Mon, 08 Jul 2019 09:16:25 GMT

On 08/07/19 1:32 PM, Robert Samuel Newson wrote:
> Hi,
> I understand what marketing is, but I also understand how this project 
> is organised. The dev@ mailing list is where project direction and 
> development is discussed, and where all decisions must be made, which 
> is why I asked that the conversation moved here. Not many are signed 
> up to the marketing mailing list.
> I hear and share your concerns about “IBM employees” (and I am one, 
> but was not one for the majority of my involvement with CouchDB, like 
> all the others that are now IBM employees). We have bylaws and a code 
> of conduct and a PMC with many non-IBM employees. It should go without 
> saying that those committers and PMC members who are also IBM 
> employees are mature adults capable of working in open source with 
> integrity. Were that ever to stop being the case, there would be 
> consequences.
> The conversations about future direction (foundationdb et al) happened 
> here on this mailing list and everyone was welcome to raise the 
> concerns you did. Those conversations, and RFC’s, will continue to 
> happen here. Ultimately, the project moves forward in the direction 
> that active contributions take it under the watchful eye of the PMC.
> Chitan’s thoughts on IoT are very welcome, which is why I wanted the 
> conversation here, where project ideas can be discussed with everyone 
> interested in them. I also hope my reply that pointed out why CouchDB 
> is not yet ideal for IoT was constructive. It is not just a question 
> of marketing CouchDB as it is today, it should inform CouchDB project 
> direction.
> B.
> either

Johs raised some genuine concerns.We all are raising our voice/concern 
because we believe in CouchDB. I have failed to see the masses love it 
as I do. I have been using CouchDB for around 1.5 years, probably lot 
lesser than most other subscribers here. In this time, I quickly 
realized that CouchDB is sitting on an underutilized goldmine. I share 
the concerns raised by Johs regarding unclear market, lack of unique 
competitive advantage, and unclear future direction while keeping 
existing user base. These are all the things that confused me in 2016 
while deciding a suitable NoSQL Document DB for my use case. After 
trying 3 NoSQL Document DB, I was lucky to finally choose CouchDB.

Robert, I understand bylaws and other rules in place are for us to keep 
this civil, maintainable, and organized.

We are living in an era where products are consumer centric and some 
discussions will not have a clear boundary. The discussions will revolve 
around tech and market. Most of the time we will end up discussing both. 
We will talk about arising the customer/developer/industry needs and how 
we can build CouchDB which helps them excel. I see why IoT stuff cannot 
be done right now. And I wouldn't recommend as it is today.

CouchDB led the way by realizing that future infrastructure will hugely 
rely on HTTP and built the first DB with a HTTP API for accessing and 
manipulating data. Newer advancements in technologies will always demand 
us to rethink our market position. We need to discuss that few years 
from now when IoTs, spatial/location-based services(drones, self-driving 
vehicles), analytic, etc. are the new normal then who will still use 
CouchDB despite other products in the market. Once we have figured who 
we want to build for, we all can start focusing on building it.

PS: If you have 180 seconds to kill:

>> On 8 Jul 2019, at 07:08, Johs Ensby <> wrote:
>> I find Chitan's reflections very interesting,
>> even if the current direction for CouchDB points in a different 
>> direction.
>> The problem is that CouchDBs future is difficult to understand, as 
>> marketing discussions are discouraged.
>> This is a very good example of how it is done:
>>> Briefly, this mailing list is for marketing only. If you wish to 
>>> discuss project direction, post to the dev mailing list instead.
>> This reveils a total lack of basic understanding of what marketing is.
>> Just as a hint: Marketing is not the same as promotion. Marketing is 
>> a concept and a dicipline that arose in the 1960's as two previous 
>> concepts failed to capture the challenge of bringing products to the 
>> market.
>> The "producion concept" worked as long as the market was underserved 
>> and you could focus on production, the market would swallow all 
>> available products (early days of mass production and hitech dev)
>> The "sales concept" was characterized by strategies for pushing the 
>> products to market.
>> The "marketing concept" turned the whole thing around and focused on 
>> identifying needs and wants in the market to which products could be 
>> developed in order to create value for the user/customer.
>> A definition of marketing used by my professor at Harvard Business 
>> School was: Marketing is to create value and retain a fair share of 
>> that value.
>> The notion that writing blog posts is marketing, unfortunately brings 
>> us to the pre-1960's thinking of how to bring a product to market.
>> I am increasingly worried about the CouchDB project being dominated 
>> by IBM employees, and that new versions will require major workovers 
>> of CouchDB without concern as to:
>> - what market is targeted
>> - what competitive position in this market is being targeted
>> - how to build on the existing user base for future success
>> The latter point is crucial in order to make any technology adoption 
>> work, this is based on another theory that has been known since the 
>> 60's ("The diffusion of innovation" by Everett Rogers), popularised 
>> and brought to hitech in the early 90's by Jeff More's "Crossing the 
>> chasm".
>> Chitans reflections on how to serve markets in need of new solutions 
>> is the kind of marketing discussion that CouchDB would benefit 
>> greatly from inviting.
>> johs
>>> On 7 Jul 2019, at 19:55, Robert Samuel Newson <> 
>>> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> The main (current) difficulties in running CouchDB on embedded 
>>> devices is running erlang there coupled with our clustering stack. 
>>> To scale everything down to fit within the typical constraints of an 
>>> embedded device requires effort, I don’t think couch “just works” there.
>>> The future release that replaces the clustering technology with 
>>> FoundationDB is what I refer to by “getting harder in the future”. 
>>> While fdb does scale down well, it might still need porting to 
>>> platforms it’s not currently supported on.
>>> As for suitability for IoT, couch is certainly used in that field, 
>>> but care must be taken, especially around the core notion that couch 
>>> retains information about a deleted document forever. This small 
>>> amount of data can build up, and you need to plan for it.
>>> B.
>>>> On 7 Jul 2019, at 08:02, Chintan Mishra <> wrote:
>>>> Dear team,
>>>> Quoting myself from <>
>>>> ----
>>>>> 3. A *way forward for CouchDB is focusing on what it is best*at viz.,
>>>>> being a database for _*C*__luster __*O*__f __*U*__nreliable
>>>>> __*C*__ommodity __*H*__ardware_. Being deploy-able at edge devices.
>>>>> Focusing on this will invite people building for IoTs towards
>>>>> CouchDB. And this will drive a whole new set of users/customers
>>>>> towards CouchDB and IBM's Cloudant project. We already use
>>>>> Cloudant's sync-android and CDTDatastore in our startup's(Rebhu
>>>>> Computing) product.
>>>> ----
>>>> I would like to draw attention to this point. I firmly believe that
>>>> CouchDB can benefit by targeting IoT device developers. IoT
>>>> developers don't want to worry about sending data from edge devices
>>>> to server for processing. CouchDB already has battle-tested
>>>> replication strategy. Extending this for IoT devs will drive the
>>>> next age developers. CouchDB is already made for unreliable systems
>>>> and what is more unreliable than an IoT lying in the sea connected
>>>> with worldwide GSM/CDMA (2G) network.
>>>> Quoting Robert Newson's <> response
>>>> It’s a good point but not for the marketing list unless you are 
>>>> talking just about producing blog posts or other materials to 
>>>> promote couchdb for that market?
>>>> I think to make couchdb more useful for iot would require some 
>>>> development work. Running couchdb on embedded devices is already a 
>>>> challenge and it’s only going to get harder in future. As a server 
>>>> side hub, the retention of a small amount of data after document 
>>>> deletion presents further problems.
>>>> Briefly, this mailing list is for marketing only. If you wish to 
>>>> discuss project direction, post to the dev mailing list instead.
>>>> Thanks.
>>>> @Robert_Newson can you shed some light on the issues that arise 
>>>> while deploying CouchDB on embedded devices? Also, what is going to 
>>>> get harder in the future?
>>>> --
>>>> Chintan Mishra
>>>> Founder and CEO
>>>> Rebhu Computing

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