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From Eric Casteleijn <>
Subject Re: Ars Technica finds DesktopCouch too laggy
Date Fri, 14 May 2010 14:00:52 GMT
On 05/14/2010 08:43 AM, Wout Mertens wrote:
> Hi group,
> I noticed with sadness the rather disappointing review of the DesktopCouch feature of
Ubuntu at Ars Technica:
> "The take-away point is that the amount of latency and CPU overhead that DesktopCouch
introduces is just not conducive to building responsive desktop applications that run on a
wide range of ordinary consumer hardware. In cases where the number of records is in the tens
of thousands, it's more sensible to use SQLite and use DesktopCouch only for the parts that
need to be synchronized."
> I wonder where the lag is introduced. DesktopCouch is, as I understand it, a Python API
for storing and synchronizing user data like settings and chat logs, using CouchDB as the

That is correct: it's built on top of python-couchdb and is meant as a 
library that allows users to synchronize structured data between their 
machines and with a cloud, as well as allowing different applications to 
use the same backend for the same kind of data. (So for instance storing 
contacts from evolution in couch, and then having them accessible from 
any other application that is interested in contacts.)

> Is CouchDB too slow to use on a desktop system as a desktop database?

By no means: I don't think any of the issues the gwibber developers have 
run into are necessarily CouchDB problems.

I think it's a mixture of a relatively young and fluid API 
(desktopcouch), and some places where Gwibber could have optimized their 
usage of desktopcouch/couchdb: right now it adds every incoming 
twitter/ message to the db one by one as it arrives, 
and immediately requeries the view. If you follow a lot of people, or 
worse, have a search stream open, this means the views are continually 
being rebuilt, and you never get the speed benefit of a prebuilt view.

It would help if incoming messages were added in bulk every x seconds, 
and the views only queried once per minute or so. Personally, I've not 
had issues with gwibber in quite a while. I think a lot of the issues in 
desktopcouch (and some in Gwibber itself) have been found and ironed out.

eric casteleijn
Canonical Ltd.

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