a glob of nerdishness

September 18, 2010

Ode to CouchDB

written by natevw @ 10:11 am

I mentioned that I’m using CouchDB for ShutterStem. What’s all this, then?

CouchDB has been on my radar for a long time but I only got serious about it in late 2009. Enough worrisome missing features were getting knocked out in each point release, as expertly-designed solutions, that I finally took the bait.

What impresses me most about CouchDB is its community’s willingness to give up the old comforts (temporarily or permanently) to help the Web become decentralized again. What impresses me second most about CouchDB is how it takes everything that the Web had been trying to get right (namely, REST and JSON) and simply implements them.

I’ve been using Django at work, and it’s a fantastic web framework…for building big old centralized HTML apps. “CouchDB makes Django look old-school in the same way that Django makes ASP look outdated.”

(That second sentence is in quotes because it’s by one of Django’s original core authors. I’m not sure he picked the right analogy, but you get the idea.)

I won’t give a technical overview here, because there are plenty already (and I’d like to get back to work on ShutterStem). Suffice it to say that I’m convinced CouchDB is indeed the filesystem for the web, and am delighted that projects like CouchApp are encouraging web developers to share this filesystem access with others. I hope that in good time, ShutterStem can become one shining example of why CouchDB is important.

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