Last January I reported that Cloudant is shifting its priorities from developing BigCouch, its fork of Apache CouchDB, towards contributing to the main CouchDB project. At the time, Cloudant CTO Adam Kocoloski said that the CouchDB team was keen on integrating Cloudant’s contributions. At the CouchDBSummit last month, CouchDB contributors and other stakeholders gathered to discuss CouchDB’s future, including the merger between BigCouch and CouchDB.
“We felt very strongly that it would be beneficial to the CouchDB team to get all the committers and community members in the room together so they could focus on determining both he short term and long term plans for CouchDB,” Cloudant Senior Developer & Architect Sam Bisbee, one of the main organizers of CouchDBSummit, told me in an interview today.
Bisbee says lots of topics were covered, from retooling the release calendar to writing new documentation to how to interact with developers more.
As for the merger between BigCouch and CouchDB, he says that we can expect to see features from BigCouch show up in CouchDB piece by piece over the next 10-12 months. BigCouch, which improves the scalability of CouchDB by adding additional features for creating distributed databases, is still being wound down. “We’re not planning to add new features to BigCouch,” Bisbee explains. “But we’ll continue to support BigCouch and release bug fixes.” All new features created by Cloudant will go directly into CouchDB. BigCouch is currently at its .4 release, and Bisbee says he doesn’t foresee a .5 release.
The CouchDB also discussed plans to merge Refuge, a CouchDB fork that makes it easier to add new features to CouchDB, for example alternate indexing.
Cloudant’s decision to merge its BigCouch code into the main project followed Couchbase’s announcement, first reported here, that it would no longer support CouchDB, only its own Couchbase database, which adds functionality from CouchDB to Membase. In a subsequent blog post CouchDB creator Damien Kat wrote: “What’s the future of CouchDB? It’s Couchbase.”
None the less, the Apache project carries on (CouchDB release manager Noah Slater tweeted: “https://twitter.com/#!/nslater/status/154938284647260160″ in response to Katz). Cloudant has taken on the role the primary provider of enterprise hosting and support of CouchDB.