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From Andy Wenk <>
Subject Re: How do CouchApps fit into the CouchDB story? (Was: CouchDB Articles, Pills and Tutorials Ideas)
Date Tue, 05 May 2015 09:08:06 GMT

Jan thanks for raising this important topic!

As I had been around and participated when JChris, Jan and others started
CouchApps and Benoit took over the work, I am a bit sad, that CouchApps
started to confuse people. And yes it is true, they are limited but have
their place in the history of CouchDB. Far more, it can easily be seen as
the evolutionary basis for Hoodie and that is a good thing imho.

We should give CouchApps a place to live in the CouchDB ecosystem (not
meant technically). So my proposal is to reactivate and write
one page with info about

* what CouchApps are
* how one can create one (links to doku)
* what alternatives there are (kanso, hoodie ...)

Furthermore we should include a link on to

I think it would be wrong to leave people still in the dark even though
nowadays we think, CouchApps is not the way one should create a WebApp
based on CouchDB (and I don't think the approaches to create CouchApps was
foolish Jan ;-)). It is our responsibility to clarify what CouchApps are
and why one should move forward to sth. better. With clarification comes

All the best


On 5 May 2015 at 10:54, Jan Lehnardt <> wrote:

> It seems we have a separate discussion going on here, so I forked the
> thread.
> I’ve seen these two sides ever since we invented CouchApps:
> Pro:
>  - CouchApps are amazingly simple
>  - CouchDB as an app server is a great idea, I don’t need to run any other
> infrastructure
>  - this is the future of web development
>  - couchapp* is a great tool to manage design docs
> (*or erica… etc.)
> Con:
>  - the concept of compiling design docs is confusing
>    - even when they get it, they are confused that they need a third party
> tool called `couchapp` to do so, because the documentation talks about
> building full apps in CouchDB, they have an external app and just want to
> use CouchDB as a database, but couchapp is still the tool they need.
>  - the tooling is poor
>  - the tooling is all third-party
>  - they can only cover a very limited use-case
>  - CouchApps are the only way to use CouchDB
> I see a number of people being passionate about CouchApps and I believe
> their enthusiasm is warranted, CouchApps are a neat idea.
> But I also see a greater number of people being confused by CouchApps and
> in turn by CouchDB.
> That is not a good situation.
> Let’s think about how (and if) we can fit the CouchApp story into a
> coherent CouchDB story.
> A prerequisite for that is having a coherent CouchDB story, which we don’t
> have fully finalised yet, but we have talked about extensively, and the
> consensus is around the “Data where you need it” narrative that emphasises
> replication between CouchDB instances and other projects that speak the
> replication protocol (especially PouchDB and TouchDB).
> How do CouchApps fit into that narrative?
> * * *
> (Personal view alert: this is just to give some more background on my own
> position, this isn’t meant as a basis for discussion)
> I’m personally conflicted. When we set out to develop CouchApps, we
> thought we are inventing a new paradigm for how to build the web, and
> everybody would follow us, because that would enable a true p2p web. That
> didn’t happen and probably was a little foolish of us :D
> Technically, that would have meant CouchApps had to grow a lot more and I
> realised quickly that CouchDB is not the right place to grow such a thing.
> In addition, there are various fully fledged web frameworks already and
> CouchApps could never really compete in terms of person-power and attention.
> That all led me to re-evaluate the whole value proposition, when things
> like PouchDB came up and the browser became a decent application
> development platform. That whole thinking led to the creation of Hoodie (
>, which started out with the code name CANG (Couch Apps
> Next Generation), where we liked some of the core ideas of CouchApps, but
> wanted to address the limitations that would stifle their adoption. Hoodie
> embraces browser-to-server sync to allow fully offline apps, it allows
> all-javascript-all-json development on the front- and back-end. It uses the
> database-per-user and the _changes-feed-as-async-worker paradigms and it is
> all wrapped into a package that is *really* easy to understand and get
> started with. Hoodie, unlike CouchApps, does have a fighting chance of
> making CouchDB’s unique features (replication, _changes) available for a
> larger population and I’m infinitely excited about that.
> * * *
> All that doesn’t mean, however, that CouchApps don’t have their place, but
> again, I’m not sure where that place is and the place it currently has
> seems to negatively affect CouchDB, so I’d like for this list to think and
> talk about all that for a bit.
> How can we make it that CouchApps strengthen CouchDB and not weaken it by
> adding confusion?
> How do CouchApps fit into the CouchDB story?
> Best
> Jan
> --
> > On 05 May 2015, at 08:45, ermouth <> wrote:
> >
> >> CouchDB-killing answers
> >
> > Well... When someone says couchapps is silver bullet – I say ‘No’ and I
> can
> > prove it. Couchapps have a lot, A LOT of problems, and some of them can
> not
> > be solved inside CouchDB. For example, try to implement ACL for
> attachments
> > or try to scale couchapp. You just can‘t do it in reasonable way.
> >
> > I know several engineers who tried out couchapps – and left CouchDB
> > forever. Not because CouchDB itself, but because couchapps. O‘Reilly said
> > it‘s a silver bullet, others said – and what we have? Sloppy and
> > hard-to-debug architecture, that does not scale, has no tooling and a lot
> > of security issues.
> >
> > You gonna solve architecture problems with positive posts?
> >
> > What I want to say – there is no need to lie and say couchapps are great.
> > Because they are not.
> >
> >> would you like to write down some of your positive:-)) experiences?
> >
> > – sorry, Russian language.
> >
> > ermouth
> --
> Professional Support for Apache CouchDB:

Andy Wenk
Hamburg - Germany

GPG fingerprint: C044 8322 9E12 1483 4FEC 9452 B65D 6BE3 9ED3 9588

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