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From Alon Keren <>
Subject Re: noobie questions
Date Mon, 24 Oct 2011 08:02:51 GMT

On 24 October 2011 08:28, Karl Seguin <> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm just starting to learn CouchDB and I've accumulated four questions.
> First, I only found some vague references, but are views only updated on
> read request? (assuming there's something to update). There's no built-in
> mechanism to have views updated in the background say for every X
> changed/new documents or X seconds?

Views by default are updated when queried, just before the read is
performed. You can alter how a specific query affects the view, using the
'stale' parameter (see
To update a view every N changes, perhaps you could use the 'stale=ok' for
all queries but the N-th.
To update a view every N seconds, you could use 'stale=ok' for all queries,
while having some task running in the background that queries the view
without 'stale' every N seconds.

> Secondly, it seems like if you want to update a document, you need to send
> the complete document over. I understand that, given CouchDB's versioning,
> this makes sense. In theory, would it be possible for CouchDB to expose an
> API to allow updates to specific fields, then on the backend, it would
> clone
> the document and overwrite the field.  Again, I know that isn't possible
> with the current API, I'm just wondering if there's anything that would
> stop
> that from working. You'd essentially send over the doc_id, rev, the field
> name and the new value.

Check out Update Handlers:

> Third, any bulk update or delete needs to be done in code by loop through
> the result of a view? Say, I want to delete all the posts older than 1
> year.
> I create  view keyed by the post date, I query the view with my specific
> filter, and then I loop through it deleting each document? It's pretty much
> the same story for updates, but I can use the bulk update api. There's no
> direct analog to delete from posts where date < ?, it's more of a select id
> from posts where date < ? then delete those ids. Right?

No there isn't.
You can also delete documents in bulk. See:

> Forth, and I'm sorry for asking this, I realize it's asked a lot, but I
> couldnt' figure it out despite that...I'm trying to retrieve all of the
> posts with a specific tag, sorted by date. My view looks like:
> function(doc) {
>  if (doc.doc_type != 'post') { return; }
>  for(var tag in doc.tags) {
>    emit([doc.dated, doc.tags[tag]], null);
>  }
> }
> I was hoping that a query like this might work:
> for row in db.view('application/post_by_tags', key='[{}, "blah"]'):
>  print row
> But it doesn't.
You're not looking for a single emitted row, so using the 'key' paramter is
wrong here.
Instead, you need to supply a range of keys - using the 'startkey' and
'endkey' parameters.
You want all keys for a specific tag to be in the same key-range. So, first,
you'd want all keys of emitted rows to be prefixed by the tag-name.
Next, you want the emitted rows for each tag to have an internal order. That
means that the second parameter should be the date:

function(doc) {
 if (doc.doc_type != 'post') { return; }
 for(var tag in doc.tags) {
   emit([doc.tags[tag], doc.dated], doc);

query it with "/?startkey=["blah"]&endkey=["blah", {}]

> Thanks for the help,
> Karl

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