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From Jurg van Vliet <>
Subject Howto drop rows with reduce?
Date Wed, 29 Apr 2009 05:27:03 GMT
hi people,

(this is my first 'sound' on this list, so hi again. i am enjoying  
couchdb, especially when seeing how many people are having fun doing  
'something different'. so, thank you for showing me what you are doing.)

for our project we am using couchdb as the general datastore. we store  
everything in a document in couchdb, and we distiguish type explicitly  
(with a field in the document.) suppose we have articles and files and  

both articles and files have (nested) comments. a comment stores its  
path, and this way models its ancestry. there is no reference from  
either article or file to comments, as this is not necessary.

(getting this to work with couchdb already forced us to learn (and  
accept) couchdb for what it is :) difficult, but fun!)

now, suppose we want to list articles ordered by the number of  
comments. at first glance this is easy, and the solution is similar to  
the tag solutions you find by googling. but we want a view that gives  
us only the articles, we don't want the files. (we want separate views  
for files, and other types of documents containing comments.)

the solution we thought of was 'a bit of a hack', but it should work.  
the map code for the document type article looks like this

function(doc) {
	if( doc.type == 'Article') {
		emit( doc._id, 0);
	} else if( doc.type == 'Comment') {
		emit( doc.path[0], 1);
	} else {
		emit( doc._id, "a");

here you see that we emit everything, but we emit a non-number value  
when the type is not what we want. a simple reduce would drop the rows  
that have values that are not-a-number leaving us with exactly what we  
want. the reduce could look like this:

function( keys,values,rereduce) {
	var total = sum( values);

	if( !isNaN( total)) {
		return total;

but this gives an error about a 'bad_cause', at least in futon. adding  
something like 'return null' doesn't help very much, because it  
doesn't exclude what we don't want to see.

my questions are
1. how can we exclude things from the result of the view with reduce,  
in other words 'how to drop rows with reduce'?
2. how else can you attack this problem?


a little of bit of context: we are creating a rails application  
following basic_model and couchrest. everyone is still struggling with  
understanding couchdb, including us. so we decided to stick with this  
for a while, and patch little things for what we need in our  
application. we choose to design the documents as close as possible to  
the rails models. as a result we implemented views on the level of a  
model, because that is the way we look at our problem. we have certain  
views for articles, for files, for users, etc. perhaps this direction  
of implementation doesn't get us to where we want to go. so (almost)  
any suggestion is welcome:) we still want to have multiple types of  
information in one couchdb database, though.

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