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From Jens Alfke <>
Subject Continuous-mode _changes feed without chunked encoding?
Date Tue, 01 May 2012 16:42:37 GMT
Is it possible to receive a continuous-mode _changes feed from CouchDB *without* the response
using HTTP chunked encoding?

I ask because the use of chunked encoding with a never-closed connection is causing several
(1) It doesn’t work with some cell carriers’ (e.g. O2’s) wireless networks; no data
ever arrives and the request times out. Anecdotally this is because they use HTTP proxies
that don’t handle chunked mode very well.
(2) The HTTP framework in iOS and Mac OS X (NSURLConnection) has a similar problem; I’ve
filed a bug report on this, but I suspect it’s trying to obey the letter of the law[2] and
wait for the possible extra HTTP header fields in the response trailer before sending any
response to the client.

Obviously it is possible to work around this by using the long-poll mode instead. The disadvantages
* difficult to parse the changes incrementally before the entire response has arrived, because
that would require a streaming (SAX-mode) JSON parser. This is a performance problem during
* requires more HTTP connections to be made, so has greater latency.

Technically it’s not kosher to send an indefinitely-long never-closed response without chunked
mode. But it’s been done for a long time for services like MP3 streaming (ShoutCast). Generally
they just include a fictitious huge content-length like 999999999999.


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