Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How to prevent a desktopcouch DB from syncing to UbuntuOne

I just had a Skype call with Stuart Langridge where he kindly answered a bunch of questions I had about desktopcouch and UbuntuOne.

I learned two important things:

  1. If you're paired with UbuntuOne, all desktopcouch databases will by default be bi-directionally synced with UbuntuOne
  2. There's a way to prevent specific databases from syncing
I've been working on dmedia lately and frequently delete its CouchDB database and re-run an import of all my media files.  I noticed that strangle old documents present in a previously deleted database would show up again, which made me suspect that they were getting synced back from UbuntuOne (which Stuart confirmed). And he shared a currently undocumented way of preventing specific databases from being synced.  Here's how:

First, open a terminal and point Firefox at Futon:

firefox .local/share/desktop-couch/couchdb.html

Then click on the management database. If you're paired with UbuntuOne, you'll have a document with a "service_name" of "ubuntuone", and a "record_type" of "". All you need to do is add an "excluded_names" attribute with a list of database names, like this:

"excluded_names": ["dmedia", "dmedia_test"]

Thanks, Stuart!


  1. What's the status of dmedia? I wouldn't mind hearing (or seeing) some updates. Being in school, I'm a little too busy to read through changelogs ATM.

  2. Bret,

    I've been making good progress on dmedia. The past few days I just started working on the WebKit-based user interface for the media browser. I'm building it to be easily embedded in other applications (for example, inside Nautilus or perhaps PiTiVi, Shotwell).

    I've spent a lot of time getting the meta-data extraction for Canon HDSLR cameras working the way I want, which is now quite reliable and basically complete. This will allow you easily to see the ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, Camera, Lens, and Focal Length you used for a video (or at least the initial settings). This will work on your new T2i, by the way.

    Tomorrow we all leave for the Ubuntu Developer Summit for a week. While there I'll have the chance to talk with Stuart Langridge and other CouchDB experts, work out some of the remaining dmedia design issues. And hopefully have a few coding sessions.

    Once the UI is usable enough (probably in a few weeks), I'll make the first stable dmedia release and post an update (with screenshots). I also plan to put up a hosted dmedia instance that people can easily play with from any modern web browser.