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From Sean Hess <>
Subject Re: Two Concerns
Date Thu, 31 Dec 2009 04:57:13 GMT
Ok, so let's see if I got it.

The HTTP socket overhead isn't a big deal. Replication is likewise
easy if you design your database with it in mind.

In terms of focus, couch is looking to redefine the web. It's original
design makes the embedded stuff easy, so it doesn't distract.

Current performance and scalability is appropriate for small to medium
apps, but isnt yet ready for huge scale?

Thanks again for your responses

On Dec 30, 2009, at 9:37 PM, David Van Couvering <
 > wrote:

> Hey, I'm totally gung-ho about your crazy world-changing application
> architecture vision - I had similar flights of fancy when working
> with Java
> DB as an embedded database in the browser - you guys have just taken
> it to
> the next level.  Here's what I like about it:
> * Easy to start small and grow as you go
> * Makes the server side do what it should always have done: just
> provide
> services, not serve up UI - crazy stuff
> * Allows for offline Internet applications
> * Allows for data portability
> * Allows for communities without losing privacy
> I'll keep an eye on the Cloudant stuff, that looks interesting.  I'm
> also
> tempted to help with the dearth of CouchApp docs and tutorials, but
> I've
> learned the hard way that if I'm not careful with my time, I end up
> squeezing blood out of a beet, so we'll just have to see.
> All the best,
> David
> On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 7:31 PM, Chris Anderson <>
> wrote:
>> On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 6:55 PM, David Van Couvering
>> <> wrote:
>>> Chris, is the CouchDB "vision" and focus going to be more on the
>>> localhost/CouchApp type of solution, or more on a robust, scalable
>>> distributed document database?  My sense is the former, even
>>> though I
>> think
>>> CouchDB has a lot of advantages in the latter.
>> No question about it, CouchDB has it's sights set on being able to
>> run
>> at datacenter-scale. Cloudant already has an implementation of
>> partitioning (based on Cliff Moon's Dynomite) which can handle
>> big-data / high-throughput by clustering across many machines. I
>> can't
>> speak for them, but they've expressed interest in rolling this back
>> into the Apache tree, and I imagine a lot of this work will happen in
>> the coming months.
>> Without being able to run at datacenter-scale, it won't matter much
>> if
>> we nailed the localhost stuff. P2P replication is neat and all, but
>> without being able to handle the cases where data sizes and
>> request-rates go through the roof, Couch wouldn't be useful for
>> real-world apps.
>> In fact, most of our current users are more interested in big-data,
>> and our API has been designed from the ground up to support those
>> cases (eg, no multi-doc transactions or validations, map/reduce,
>> cacheability, etc).
>> I am personally excited about the localhost stuff, because no one
>> else
>> is really thinking about it in the way that Couch is. I think when
>> we've pulled it off, we'll have fundamentally changed the web
>> architecture. But in the mean time, we also need to focus on
>> scale-out.
>>> In particular, CouchDB is easy to understand, easy to set up, easy
>>> to
>> use,
>>> is free, and has strong community support.  None of the other
>>> distributed
>>> solutions have all those advantages, be it sharded MySQL, Hadoop,
>>> Neo4j
>> or
>>> Cassandra.
>>> Is there room for CouchDB to go in both directions, or should
>>> those of us
>>> looking for a good distributed DB solution be looking elsewhere?
>> CouchDB's API is designed to handle giant data. I don't trumpet that
>> much because it's not personally that exciting to me (scale is a
>> problem you can throw resources at, building new programming
>> paradigms
>> requires the dedication to stick with it even when everyone thinks
>> you're crazy.) The Web wasn't designed to solve scaling problems, its
>> success at scaling was a side-effect of its simplicity.
>> Thanks for the thoughtful exchange.
>> Chris
>>> Thanks!
>>> David
>>> On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 5:07 PM, Chris Anderson <>
>> wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 3:51 PM, Sean Clark Hess <
>>>> >
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Thanks Tim.
>>>>> One more thing I thought of. I don't remember having this
>>>>> impression
>>>> before,
>>>>> but as I read the Oreilly Book, it seems that the idea of running
>> Couch
>>>> on
>>>>> devices and local computers is a major feature. There are many
>> features
>>>>> designed to make CouchDB able to function without middleware.
>>>>> My question is: why? That's what middleware is for...
>>>> The answer is not that Couch is trying to do everything. Really, we
>>>> have one thing we do extremely well, and that is robust JSON
>>>> storage
>>>> with p2p replication, accessed over HTTP.
>>>> Because we do that already, the ability to serve apps directly from
>>>> the Couch to the browser is low-hanging-fruit. It is also the
>>>> best way
>>>> to take advantage of replication. Other NoSQL stores may be able to
>>>> rival our capabilities as a scalable database, but no database
>>>> running
>>>> in a remote datacenter will be as fast for users as a Couch
>>>> running on
>>>> localhost.
>>>> Middleware is fine even for apps that run at the edge, but if
>>>> your app
>>>> requires middleware, that is yet another thing that will need to be
>>>> installed on the users's machine. CouchDB's eventual goal is to
>>>> part
>>>> of the standard desktop stack -- just another feature of web
>>>> browsers.
>>>> It is this vision that led to the code that supports HTML
>>>> rendering.
>>>> Ajax apps are nearly good enough for most cases, but fall down
>>>> badly
>>>> when accessibility and searchability come into play. Also,
>>>> link-following is an essential part of the REST architecture, and
>>>> it
>>>> is absent from a JSON-only interface.
>>>> There are apps which can be written against the local Couch and
>>>> browser stack, that can't be written any other way.
>>>> If you aren't trying to write one of those, the CouchApp feature
>>>> set
>>>> is still useful. See for instance the people using _list to filter
>>>> view responses according to user authentication information, or
>>>> _update to provide update-in-place like semantics.
>>>> I hope this helps to answer your question.
>>>> Chris
>>>> --
>>>> Chris Anderson
>>> --
>>> David W. Van Couvering
>> --
>> Chris Anderson
> --
> David W. Van Couvering

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