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05 January 2012, 10:59

CouchDB creator distances self from Apache project

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Couchbase logo Damian Katz, creator of CouchDB, has announced that he is moving on from Apache CouchDB development to focus his efforts on Couchbase. In a blog posting he calls the merger of the CouchDB and Membase technologies in Couchbase Server "a product and project with similar capabilities and goals, but more faster, more scalable, more customer and developer focused" adding "And definitely not part of Apache".

Katz explained that he believes Apache's consensus-based approach has "limited the competitiveness of the project" and with the Couchbase Server project he has "a chance to do it all again without the pain of starting again". One major change Katz is making is to migrate large parts of the core database of Couchbase away from Erlang and over to C/C++, citing a need for "top performance and low level control".

Katz's announcement comes as Couchbase, the company, announced it was discontinuing its packaged CouchDB product, Couchbase Single Server. This move does mean though that, going forward, there is no source for packaged binary versions of CouchDB. The company said it had unintentionally confused the market with its various products, and was now focusing on Couchbase Server which "shouldn't be viewed as a 'version of CouchDB'".

The Apache CouchDB project "is in fine shape" notes Katz, and some Couchbase employees will be contributing to it, but his focus will now be on Couchbase Server where he will be an "engineer and coder ... building something you can put your mission critical, customer facing business data on, and not feel like you're running a dirty hack". What impact Katz and Couchbase's new direction will have on the Apache CouchDB project is unclear. In response to suggestions that he was encouraging that people to drop CouchDB, Katz later commented that "If CouchDB works for you today, there is no reason to drop it", though he is trying to make sure that "Couchbase works even better for you".

Couchbase Server is open source, with a community site, under a 3-clause BSD-like licence. The components that make it up can be downloaded and built using "repo" from github; instructions are included on the page.


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