JAX London 2014: A retrospective
CouchDB vs Couchbase

Controversial debate – CouchDB creator says future is Couchbase, away from Apache

ChrisMayer
Couchbase

Damien Katz’s decision to move towards commercially viable CouchDB causes community backlash

Apache CouchDB’s creator Damien Katz created quite the stir yesterday with his blogpost ‘The Future of CouchDB’ which revealed that he and the Couchbase team were keen to move towards Couchbase Server, and away from the Apache relationship. They also want to port large portions of code from Erlang to C++

Couchbase Server is claimed to be a similar project that melds CouchDB and Membase. Many were likely confused by the opening gambit but Katz clarified why:

It’s not that we think CouchDB isn’t awesome. It’s that we are creating the successor to it: Couchbase Server. A product and project with similar capabilities and goals, but more faster, more scalable, more customer and developer focused. And definitely not part of Apache.

He went on further to say that the Apache model creates:

a consensus based, developer community that helps govern and move the project forward. But for us, it’s no longer enough.

This hints that CouchDB is no longer maintainble under its current structure, suggesting that Couchbase Server is Katz’s way of making the NoSQL database commercially viable without the issues that Apache may bring. Some at the forefront of the open source community may think this is stabbing the backs of those who made CouchDB possible and what it is today.

In an interview with InfoQ, Katz discussed the flaws with the Apache process

We need to be responsive to our customers and users needs, and that often proved difficult and frustrating with the Apache project process. Keeping code in sync was a huge pain.

A storm was brewing on Hacker News however soon after the blogpost appeared, with many commenters irate at how Katz had chosen to leave CouchDB behind.

Other blogposts soon surfaced, reassuring those irked by this acrimonious departure that Couch DB was still thriving. Bradley Holt‘s response was fairly succinct however:

First of all, don’t panic. The Apache CouchDB project is thriving. There are plenty of core contributors who are dedicated to the project. If you’re using CouchDB, you’re fine. If you’re considering using CouchDB, you’ll be fine. CouchDB has a bright future ahead of it. Couchbase has repeatedly said that they’re not the CouchDB company, so this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

My interpretation of this announcement is that CouchDB is forking. Going forward, you’ll have two choices, either Apache CouchDB or Couchbase Server. The road map for Apache CouchDB will continue to be determined by community consensus. The road map for Couchbase Server will be determined by Couchbase, the company.

Adam Kocoloski also reassured the community and customers that the plans for the future were still very much the same aspirationals ones with Apache CouchDB

What is certain that this fork in the CouchDB road will suit both parties in the long run. In a nutshell, this tweet appears to convey community opinion

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