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From Robert Samuel Newson <>
Subject Re: Is the revision field deterministic?
Date Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:45:03 GMT

I’ll answer anyway.

Yes, it’s deterministic. The same document with the same history will have the same _rev
value. This is an optimization over the previous algorithm where _rev was a random UUID. This
changed years ago.

The advantage is that two servers receiving the same update can more optimally replicate.
They still have to check that the target has all _id/_rev pairs but will usually be able to
skip actually transmitting document and attachment content.


On 8 Apr 2014, at 12:44, Daniel Gonzalez <> wrote:

> Hi,
> I have found the cause of the difference in the content: my libraries are
> correcting some documents when reading from couchdb (to account for missing
> properties in wrongly-structured documents). Some of those corrections are
> using random-generated values, and that is why I am seeing a difference
> when reading from one or another server.
> The revision in couchdb is the same, and the content in couchdb is the
> same, as expected.
> Sorry for spamming the list.
> BR,
> Daniel
> On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM, Daniel Gonzalez <>wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I have just seen a very intersting issue which I do not fullly understand.
>> I have serverA and serverB, with the same replicated database db1.
>> Sometimes replication is just turned off. Currently it is off.
>> I have taken a look at a bunch of documents.and I have found a couple of
>> them where the revision field is exactly the same, but the documents
>> content is different. Since the content is different, that means those
>> documents have not been replicated, but editted indepently in serverA and
>> serverB.
>> How could happen then that the revision field is the same? The only
>> explanation that I can find is that the rev is derived from the document
>> id, deterministically (together with the serial counter indicating the
>> number of revision). But why would the revision be generated like that? I
>> was under the impression that the revision was a random number (or "random
>> enough"), so that cases like this (independent edition of a document) could
>> be easily detected.
>> So my question is: how is the revision field generated and, more
>> importantly, makes my description of what is happening sense, or is there
>> another explanation of why the rev field is the same? (I hope I am wrong!)
>> Thanks and regards,
>> Daniel Gonzalez

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