EOL for couchdb and desktopcouch

John Rowland Lenton john.lenton at canonical.com
Mon Nov 21 11:48:05 UTC 2011

From the first days of Ubuntu One, before we were even in Ubuntu, we've
had a structured data storage sync service based around CouchDB.

For the last three years we have worked with the company behind CouchDB
to make it scale in the particular ways we need it to scale in our
server environment. Our situation is rather unique, and we were unable
to resolve some of the issues we came across. We were thus unable to
make CouchDB scale up to the millions of users and databases we have in
our datacentres, and furthermore we were unable to make it scale down to
be a reasonable load on small client machines.

Because of this, we are turning off most of our CouchDB-related
efforts. The contacts, notes and playlists databases will continue to
exist on our servers to support the related services, but direct
external access to the underlying databases will be shut off. Any other
databases will be deleted from our servers entirely.

For these same three years we have created and maintained desktopcouch,
which is a desktop service (and related library) to access CouchDB more
conveniently. Because we are no longer going to pursue CouchDB, we will
no longer be developing desktopcouch; in fact, if anybody wants to take
over, we'll be happy to work with you to make that official. For the
upcoming 12.04 the Ubuntu One packages will not depend on desktopcouch
nor couchdb in any way, and we'd recommend the distribution seriously
consider whether they want to continue having the package in main,
especially if no maintainer shows up.

Because we still believe there is a lot of value to our users in the
service we wanted to offer based on CouchDB, we're building something
new, based on what we've learned. It's very small, merely a layer of
abstraction and the definition of an API that will allow us and others
to build what is needed ontop of existing tools. We're calling it U1DB
for now, until it comes of age. If you're interested and techincally
inclined you can follow our progress on lp:u1db; unfortunately our
timing and resources are such that we can only promise the reference
python implementation will be ready in time for 12.04, and thus 12.04
will ship without Ubuntu One having a solid story around synchronizing
arbitrary structured data.

Thank you for reading.
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