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From J Chris Anderson <>
Subject Re: View output slow
Date Fri, 12 Mar 2010 16:24:16 GMT

On Mar 12, 2010, at 7:10 AM, Julian Stahnke wrote:

> Hello!
> I have a problem with a view being slow, even though it’s indexed and cached and so
on. I have database of books (–120,000 documents) and a map/reduce function that counts
how many books there are per author. I’m then calling the view with ?group=true to get the
list. I’m neither emitting nor outputting any actual documents, only the counts. This results
in an output of about 78,000 key/value pairs that look like the following: {"key":"Albert
> Now, even when the view is indexed and cached, it still takes 60 seconds to receive the
output, using PHP’s cURL functions, the browser, whatever I’ve tried. Getting the same
output served from a static file takes only a fraction of a second.
> When I set limit=100, it’s basically instantaneous. I want to sort the output by value
though, so I can’t really limit it or use ranges. Trying it with about 7,000 books, the
request takes about 5 seconds, so it seems to be linear to the number of lines being output?

For each line of output in the group reduce view, CouchDB must calculate 1 final reduction
(even when the intermediate reductions are already cached in the btree). This is because the
btree nodes might not have the exact same boundaries as your group keys.

There is a remedy. You can replace your simple summing reduce with the text "_sum" (without
quotes). This triggers the same function, but implemented in Erlang by CouchDB. Most of your
slowness is probably due to IO between CouchDB and serverside JavaScript. Using the _sum function
will help with this.

There will still be a calculation per group reduce row, but the cost is much lower.

Let us know how much faster this is!


> I’m using CouchDB 0.10.1 (the one that’s in homebrew) on a 2006 MacBook Pro.
> Am I doing anything wrong, or should this really take so long? I wasn’t able to find
any information about this—only about indexing being slow, but that doesn’t seem to be
my problem.
> Maybe I should also mention that I’m an interaction design student who used to be a
front-end dev, but not a ‘real’ programmer.
> Thanks for any help!
> Best,
> Julian
> For reference, the map function:
> function (doc)
> {
>    if ( {
> 		for (i = 0; i <; i++) {
> 			emit([i], 1);
> 		}
>    } else {
>        emit(null, 1);        
>    }
> }
> The reduce function: 
> function (keys, values, rereduce)
> {
>    return sum(values);
> }
> Some sample output:
> {"rows":[
> {"key":null,"value":1542},
> {"key":"... Hans Arp ... /Konzept: Hans Christian Tavel .../","value":1},
> ---more rows---
> {"key":"Zwi Erich Kurzweil","value":1}
> ]}

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