Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ubuntu One dropping CouchDB sync

Today it was announced that Ubuntu One will be dropping support for CouchDB sync.

John Rowland Lenton in mailing list said

"From the first days of Ubuntu One, before we were even in Ubuntu, we'vehad 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."

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