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CouchDB's Side of the Ubuntu One Story

12.01.2011
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Jan Lehnardt, the chairman of the Apache CouchDB PMC, stepped in to defend the NoSQL store against any misconceptions about removal announcement by Canonical.  It's not unlike what 10gen's CTO Eliot Horowitz did for MongoDB to defend the database's honor against harsh reviews.

Lehnardt assures the public that CouchDB is alive and well and that Couchbase is not "the company behind CouchDB" but merely one of the involved commercial enterprises that happens to have some CouchDB committers on staff. 


In 2009 Canonical decided to base the data sync feature of their Ubuntu
One project on Apache CouchDB. Its goal was to allow seamless synchro-
nisation of personal data between different computers and devices and their 
cloud hosting service. A use-case that seemed perfect for
CouchDB at the time, and we consider that still to be the case.

Individuals from the CouchDB team have worked closely with the dev-elopers at 
Canonical to help making Ubuntu One a success. At some
point in the past, these individuals developed patches to adapt CouchDB
to certain Ubuntu One use cases. These patches diverged from the main
CouchDB code base.

Over time, it became harder and harder to reconcile these changes with
the main CouchDB code base, so fixing bugs and rolling out new features
from more recent CouchDB release took a lot more time and energy.

At some point in the near past, we presume, Canonical decided to not
pursue this any further. And we respect that decision and we wish them
best with their development of their new U1DB, which is a database-
agnostic API that takes after CouchDB's API, but is tied closer
to their particular feature set.

We'd like to thank Canonical for officially endorsing this part of the
message.
--Jan Lehnardt

Personally, it seems like Ubuntu One just had a very unique use case that needs its own custom solution.  And there certainly wasn't nearly the level of mud-slinging we saw with the "Don't Use Mongo DB" saga.

As long as there are people who think certain NoSQL stores can be successful in any use case, we'll continue to see these attack-defend posts.