Hello, this is Jan Lehnardt and you're visiting my blog. Thanks for stopping by.
plok — It reads like a blog, but it sounds harder!
Open Source communities are a mess and with CouchDB this is no exception. Luckily, our community is rather small, but there are things happening in all sorts of places that might or might not be obvious for everybody. I try here, more or less regularly, to mention selected highlights from what I hear is going on in CouchDB-land. This Week in CouchDB is a working title and Week is a bendable term here.
With the preliminary opening of the new wiki page CouchDB in the Wild, a page that tries to collect all projects that make use of CouchDB, I saw that Friendpaste launched. Friendpaste is one of those services that let you share text snippets and whatnot with your friends. All you need to do is paste the things you want your friends to see into a text field and in return you get a URL that you can share with everybody. The idea is certainly not new, but Friendpaste is the first application that uses CouchDB and it makes use of CouchDB’s revision feature. Unlike a lot of pastie-like systems, Friendpaste lets you edit a paste and lets you review older versions. So changes can easily be tracked and different versions compared. Very nice! All they need now is a way to replicate a set of pasts to a local machine, so you can take things off-line. To top it all, the Friendpaste application is available as Open Source Software.
Christopher Lenz continued his work on the very slick and newly christened Futon CouchDB administration interface. Changes include a “save as” feature for view, the use of inline popups instead of browser popups for are-you-sure-dialogs, the move to JSON 2 and jQuery 1.2.3. The code lives in the fancypants branch in CouchDB’s SVN repository. Christopher asks everybody to try things out and report errors.
Damien is busy working on some major internal refactorings that make the code simpler, smaller and as a result more maintainable. The view- and storage engines are now completely separated to allow independent hackery. View indexes are also no longer stored inside a database file but separately. And finally, we have database compaction. That is the mechanism that periodically prunes old and no longer wanted data from CouchDB databases to free space. By the way, if you want to stay up to date with what Damien is up to, you can now follow him on Twitter.
Among Erlang folks there might be an FaQ here. Why does CouchDB not use Mnesia. Damien got asked just that on his blog and his answer was promptly added to CouchDB’s FaQ page on the wiki.
Søren Hilmer voiced interest in helping out with the Lucene integration on the mailinglist. The discussion lead us to a brainstorm how to make fulltext search configurable independently of the engine used to do the indexing. We might go with special types of design documents that a fulltext engine needs to read and adjust accordingly to. If you don’t think that this is a good idea, let us know.
We got our SVN, a new Wiki and the core developers now have all accounts necessary to move CouchDB in with the Apache Software Foundation. It took a while but our mentors were out conferencing and moving themselves and we can’t really blame them for that :) We now need to actually move things over. For starters, the new website, again done by Christopher, is already up at: http://incubator.apache.org/couchdb/.
Yours truly gave two CouchDB presentations last week. On Monday in Blacksburg, VA at Mailtrust, a Racklabs company as part of their new Tech Talks series. Around 35 people (yes, boys and a few girls) showed up for pizza, coke, beer and me, talking about CouchDB. The presentation got videotaped, but we are still waiting for our copy here at TWIC headquarters. The talk went well, I got a bunch of really intelligent questions that showed me that people were actually paying attention.
The second talk was a quickly summoned combined meeting of Charlotte, NC’s Python and Perl usergroups (where were you, PHP people?). From my point of view the presentation did not start as well as the previous but in the end, our appearance was greatly appreciated and everybody took something home. I’m just glad, the other presentation got taped :-)
This concludes our first episode. Tune in next week when we do the same we did this week and last week and so on.
If you feel I should mention something in a future edition, please drop me a line at jan at apache dot org.
Looks very interesting. Maybe eventually one of the php programmers will be found.
Thanks a lot for coming to Blacksburg, Jan. The talk was great!
Friendpaste is not the first CouchDB powered pastebin. Chris Lenz’s Scratchpad has been online for 3 or 4 months now: http://scratchpad.cmlenz.net/about/