January 6, 2012

Reinforcing Couchbase’s Commitment to Open Source and CouchDB

There has been a lot of reaction to Damien Katz’s “The Future of CouchDB” blog post including some questions raised about Couchbase’s direction. I will leave it to Damien to address the questions about his personal views and motivations but I want to address some of the questions directed at Couchbase.

Some of Damien’s comments caused some to question whether Couchbase is still committed to open source. This is a very easy one to address. No one should have any doubt about our commitment to open source. Membase and CouchOne, the companies that merged to form Couchbase, were each founded as an open source company, Couchbase has always been one, and there is no intention of being anything but one in the future. We’re 100% committed to open source and all of our code is available under the Apache 2.0 license.

Damien’s comments also generated some questions about Couchbase’s support for and relationship to Apache CouchDB. We are unwavering in our support for Apache CouchDB as we are in our support for memcached. Together these projects form the foundation of Couchbase and we are dependent on their continued success. Just as memcached continues as a thriving open source project, Apache CouchDB will too. We have enjoyed a very positive and successful relationship with the memcached community for a number of years and we want to continue to maintain a very positive relationship with the CouchDB community as well. Some users will see advantages in using Couchbase for their work. Others will prefer to focus their efforts on CouchDB and memcached, and that is fine too.

Finally, Damien made clear his views regarding the pros and cons of hosting an open source project at Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Personally, I don’t have direct experience with ASF so others are better qualified to comment on this than I. I respect the great contribution to the open source world that ASF has provided as well as the many great open source projects that are hosted there, including CouchDB. That’s, in part, why we agreed to discontinue Couchbase Single Server and contribute all our packaging and documentation work to ASF last month – to eliminate confusion and ensure we weren’t dividing the attention of contributors.

Damien’s comments are his own. And that is part of the beauty of open source. Individuals get to say what they want. Communities openly discuss what is right for the project. But the best thing about a successful open source project is that no one person, or company, can dictate its direction or viability. If for no other reason than that, Apache CouchDB will continue to be a vibrant, exciting, healthy open source project – one that we are supportive of (and dependent on).

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