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From J Chris Anderson <>
Subject Re: purely curious - couch/spidermonkey vs node/v8
Date Thu, 02 Sep 2010 17:35:54 GMT

On Sep 1, 2010, at 11:17 PM, Paul Davis wrote:

> On Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 1:47 AM, andy e <> wrote:
>> I've got no real issue or concern, was just purely curious and was
>> thinking about couch's use of SpiderMonkey as the JS engine tonight.
>> Is there a reason why couchdb uses spidermonkey, vs v8 (as node.js is
>> using)? Is it license related? Too much work for too little gain? Was
>> V8 not around when choosing an engine (likely, given the timelines...I
>> think)?
>> Anyway, just curious.
>> thanks,
>> andy
> Mostly it's history related. CouchDB used Spidermonkey before V8 even
> existed. Reasons for sticking with Spidermonkey involve packaging and
> multi-threading. V8 being newer doesn't have packages available on
> semi recent distributions. I don't have my netbook awake so I can't
> check that it even has one for Ubuntu 10.04. I know that node.js
> packages an entire V8 source checkout as part of the distribution
> which package managers are not fond of. Also AFAIK, its not yet got
> multi-threading support. The current CouchDB use doesn't require this,
> but there are a couple different experiments running that do. There's
> also (again, IIRC) no support for E4X which has been
> semi-officially-kinda-sorta-expected in the CouchDB interpreter for
> things like generating RSS feeds.

I'll add that Spidermonkey is probably  faster than v8 for map reduce, as it has the tracing
jit. V8 is designed to be fast for web pages, not long running processes.

That said, it should be "trivial" to make a node.js query server, just as it is to make a
python or ruby query server.

Here is the test suite:

> But bottom line, it was deemed the best engine when it was chosen and
> a couple things have evolved such that it'll be hard to move away
> until one of the other engines catches up in multiple categories.
> HTH,
> Paul Davis

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