Joey Hess – couchdb

November 19, 2009

Seen on Planet Debian: Joey Hess, author of ikiwiki, takes a look at couchdb. As ikiwiki is the inspiration for one of my side projects, it’s important to me what he has to say on the subject of backends.

Couchdb is very unlike a distributed VCS, and yet it’s moved from traditional database country much closer to VCS land. It’s document oriented, not normalized; the data stored in it has significant structure, but is also in a sense freeform. It doesn’t necessarily preserve all history, but it does support multiple branches, merging, and conflict resolution.

I’m still not sure that Couchdb is good for the sort of things I want a backend for — history-aware computing still seems to me to need complete history, and for that you need a VCS (or build your own). Still, interesting times..

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