When I was about nine years old, I had an Acorn Electron, a home computer developed
by Acorn Machines and one of the major precursors to modern home computing. It
was tiny by today’s standards, having just 32K of RAM, a 2MHz CPU, and with the
staggering ability to store a massive 360 Kb on the 3 inch Amstrad disks I was using at
the time. It wasn’t my first machine; I cut my teeth on the Sinclair ZX81 and later the
ZX Spectrum. Despite all these limitations, I built numerous different pieces of software
for myself, including my very first database for my second greatest passion, books.
Through the yeras, I’ve worked on many different database systems, including
dB III+, Microsoft Access, Oracle, BRS, Filemaker, Omni 4D, and what I’m probably
best known for, MySQL. The fundamentals of wanting to store information and retrieve
it very quickly are all possible using these tools and just as I did in 1983, I’ve built some
fun and serious applications in all of them. For the most part, though, the database
became a tool—just another utility that became part of the toolkit for building the
Then I was introduced to Apache CouchDB, and I rediscovered the passion I had when
developing applications on the Electron. Building databases was fun. They could be
built quickly, without having to worry about drivers, languages, or indeed many of the
complexities of querying and retrieving information. Most importantly, for any database
application, I didn’t have to worry about structures or how to get the information
in a structured format.
When you read this book, that’s the passion I hope you get—the realization that storing
and retrieving information can be fun again with the help of CouchDB.