Thursday, October 21, 2010

Do not hesitate to call us if there is a need to clarify anything.

Monday, April 12, 2010

CouchDB 101 - 2 : Install and Get Started

It is time to get down with the CouchDB. As I work on there tutorial there a number of assumptions I am making, the platform being used.

Platform Specifications

  • OS: Ubuntu 9.10 (Linux 2.6.31-20-generic #58-Ubuntu SMP Fri Mar 12 05:23:09 UTC 2010 i686 GNU/Linux)
  • Apache: Apache 2 (Server version: Apache/2.2.12 (Ubuntu) | Server built:   Mar  9 2010 21:20:44)
  • Shell: bash (GNU bash, version 4.0.33(1)-release (i486-pc-linux-gnu))

Installing on Ubuntu 9.10

Update source
$ sudo apt-get update
Install couchdb
$ sudo apt-get install couchdb
Install curl - curl is a command line tool for transferring data with URL syntax, supporting FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, SCP, SFTP, TFTP, TELNET, DICT, LDAP, LDAPS, FILE, IMAP, SMTP, POP3 and RTSP.
$ sudo apt-get install curl
Testing if the CouchDB is installed and running correctly. CouchDB runs on port 5984
$ curl
if all is okay and the CouchDB is running correctly, you should get something like
If you get some message like this
curl: (7) couldn't connect to host
then the CouchDB is nor running. Start it manual and test it again
$ sudo /etc/init.d/couchdb start

Getting Started

Now that we know our CouchDB is installed and running correctly, lets do some basic task. We will make use of the curl tool to make it all happen.

Creating a new database

Creating a database is as easy
$ curl -X PUT
where your-database-name is the name of your database. So for example here I will create the database with a name ostools to store open source tools I use daily.
$ curl -X PUT
on successful excutions you should get a message

To see the database created, list all the databases on your save, run
$ curl -X GET
you should get
Try to create another database.
$ curl -X PUT
and then list databases
$ curl -X GET
you should get

Creating, updating, and deleting database documents

Creating.CouchDB databases are schema-free, meaning that their structure is not strictly defined, and as a result you can change them on the fly as your needs require. If one tool has a graphical front-end, you include it in that ostools’s document. If another tool doesn’t have a graphical front-end, you simply don’t include it. If a tool has several dependencies, you can set the dependency field to be an array of dependencies objects—there is no need to define separate tables.

Lets create a document:-
curl -X PUT -d '{}'
you should get a response similar to the following:
You’ve just created a document with the document ID of fish. The CouchDB server has automatically generated a revision number and included this in its response.

Now that your document is in the database, let’s issue a command to retrieve it from CouchDB:
$ curl -X GET
You should receive a response like the following:
At this point you’re probably thinking that this tool information isn’t very useful. All it has is a unique ID and a revision number; it has no tools-related data whatsoever. So, let’s just delete this contact altogether. Deleting a document in CouchDB is quite similar to deleting a database, except you must specify the latest revision number of the document you want to delete.
curl -X DELETE
All going well, you should receive a response similar to the following:
Passing the wrong revision number will result to "Document update conflict." error.

Now you will create a new tool with some datab for the document. A document in CouchDB is simply a JSON object, and you simply include this JSON in your
curl request using the -d flag to send it along with your HTTP request.

Let create the document
curl -X PUT -d '{"name":"bash","type":"shell","license":"GPL","url":""}'
You should get
To get back this document from the database, use the following command:
curl -X GET
And guess what your document is back
Create another tool can be done using an existing tools as a template. Issue the following command:
curl -X COPY -H "Destination":"kigm"
Respond will be like
Checking on the document kigm, you will see it has the same informations as bash. So lets update that information to reflect the new information for kigm
curl -X GET
So lets update that information to reflect the new information for kigm
 "developer":"Emanuel Feruzi"
When doing an update, you must include the revision field in your JSON document, with the revision identifier that the changes are based on, this is to prevent multiple users from making changes to the same document at the same time.
curl -X PUT -d '{"_rev":"1-41406722a8966f543acbf49e06c66968","name":"kigm", "type":"webapp", "license":"GPL", "url":"", "requires":["apache","php","mysql"],"developer":"Emanuel Feruzi"}'
Let’s check it out with a GET request at any rate:
curl -X GET
{"_id":"kigm","_rev":"2-f56ac37c3805fc6058c840462ae85756","name":"kigm","type":"webapp","license":"GPL","url":"","requires":["apache","php","mysql"],"developer":"Emanuel Feruzi"}

Now you can experiment more and share your findings with us.

Next: CouchDB 101 - 3 Creating Views

Friday, April 9, 2010

CouchDB 101 - 1: What is CouchDB?

CouchDB Discovery

It is my tradional to visit daily to get updated as to what is happening. So as I was scrolling, NoSQL poped up and I was interested as to what that is. As There was another aricle that really cought my attention, CouchDB basics for PHP developers. So the journey began.

What is CouchDB?

Apache CouchDB is a document-oriented database that can be queried and indexed in a MapReduce fashion using JavaScript. CouchDB also offers incremental replication with bi-directional conflict detection and resolution.

CouchDB provides a RESTful JSON API than can be accessed from any environment that allows HTTP requests. There are myriad third-party client libraries that make this even easier from your programming language of choice. CouchDB’s built in Web administration console speaks directly to the database using HTTP requests issued from your browser.

Key Characteristics


A CouchDB document is an object that consists of named fields. Field values may be strings, numbers, dates, or even ordered lists and associative maps. A CouchDB database is a flat collection of these documents. Each document is identified by a unique ID.

  "firstName": "Emanuel",
  "lastName": "Feruzi",
  "email": [
   "web": ""

In the example above, the firstName, lastName and web are string values, where as email contains a list of emails addresses.


Unlike SQL databases which are designed to store and report on highly structured, interrelated data, CouchDB is designed to store and report on large amounts of semi-structured, document oriented data. CouchDB greatly simplifies the development of document oriented applications, which make up the bulk of collaborative web applications.

In an SQL database, as needs evolve the schema and storage of the existing data must be updated. This often causes problems as new needs arise that simply weren’t anticipated in the initial database designs, and makes distributed “upgrades” a problem for every host that needs to go through a schema update.

With CouchDB, no schema is enforced, so new document types with new meaning can be safely added alongside the old. The view engine, using Javascript, is designed to easily handle new document types and disparate but similar documents.


To address this problem of adding structure back to semi-structured data, CouchDB integrates a view model using Javascript for description. Views are the method of aggregating and reporting on the documents in a database, and are built on-demand to aggregate, join and report on database documents. Views are built dynamically and don’t affect the underlying document, you can have as many different view representations of the same data as you like.


CouchDB is a peer based distributed database system. Any number of CouchDB hosts (servers and offline-clients) can have independent “replica copies” of the same database, where applications have full database interactivity (query, add, edit, delete). When back online or on a schedule, database changes are replicated bi-directionally.
CouchDB has built-in conflict detection and management and the replication process is incremental and fast, copying only documents and individual fields changed since the previous replication. Most applications require no special planning to take advantage of distributed updates and replication.
Unlike cumbersome attempts to bolt distributed features on top of the same legacy models and databases, it is the result of careful ground-up design, engineering and integration. The document, view, security and replication models, the special purpose query language, the efficient and robust disk layout are all carefully integrated for a reliable and efficient system.

Next: CouchDB 101 - 2: The First Encounter - Install and Get Started

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sasatel USB Modems : Now with Linux Support

If you use Linux as your default working platform, you have gotten used to be out of the loop when it comes to hardware support. For me it has been on the whole USB Modem issues.

I had tried USB Modems from Zain, Zantel and Vodacom, with little success only on Vodacom. But due to the price I was forced to continue using my phone as a modem, on Tigo. But GPRS was not fast enough. During X-Mas, I visited a friend of mine who was using a Sasatel USB Modem. The speed was 'tempting' fast, and the price better as compare to the other telcoms. So I drove to Sasatel headquarters to get myself connected. But I was a bit disappointed to be told that the modems only works on MS Windows. So I had to get a Wifi Router, luck them. But I was given hope that new modems with Linux support were coming soon. 
I have sent lots of email to the address on the Contacts page, Sasatel is a few of the companies have actually responded. I commend them for that.
Yesterday, I checked with them and guess what, they are here. Sasatel USB Modems [EVDO CDMA] now supports the following Linux flavours: Redhat Enterprise Linux 3+, Fedora Core 5+(execpt 11 version), SUSE Desktop Linux 9+, Debian Linux 5+ and Ubuntu Linux 5+. Because it support Debian and Ubuntu, its safe to assume that it will work with all derivatives of Ubuntu such as Linux Mint

Muffadal  Essaji, Data Product Officer - Sasatel, was kind enough to send me the user manual and it share it with you. 

I can not wait to get an reason to purchase one of those and try on the Linux flavors we make available for you.

I hope other telcoms will also look into making sure that Linux users are not left out.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 1: Shell Scripting From Scratch

A friend of mine at UDSM is doing a course that requires shell scripting so I agree to take time out an cover the basic of shell scripting, and you are welcome to join us. It really for beginners in shell.

Day 1: Laying the Foundation

What Is a Shell?

A shell is a program that takes commands you typed and tell the operating system to run them. The shell interprets your commands. For example, you may use the shell to enter a command to list the files in a directory, such as ls, or a command to copy a file, such as cp.

Example: ls is a command to list the content of the current folder.

$ ls
bin/    dev/         initrd.img.old@  media/  root/     sys/  vmlinuz@
boot/   etc/         lib/             mnt/    sbin/     tmp/  vmlinuz.old@
build/  home/        lib64/           opt/    selinux/  usr/
cdrom@  initrd.img@  lost+found/      proc/   srv/      var/
The $ is the shell prompt, which tells you the shell awaits your commands. ls listed all the content of the current directory, worry not we will get to these in a moment.

How does it work?

The shell looks for a program — that is, a file with execute permissions — with the name ls. The shell looks at all the directories in your command path. The shell runs the first program found that matches the name, checks if you have permission to excutes it and if you have its excutes it and then displays the results of the program to your screen, as in the second and third lines in the code example.

The command path is stored in the environment variable named PATH

$ $ echo $PATH

A shell acts as a form of wrapper around the OS, hence the term shell.

Why Use Shells?

Unix was the first popular operating system to break free of the single-shell monopoly, which can still be seen in MS-DOS shell on Windows. In Day 2: we will cover how to break free of the single-shell monopoly on Windows.

The Unix philosophy is that one command should do one thing and do it well. So the complex commands are combination of small commands. In this context, a shell is simply another command — a command that facilitates combining other commands. The ability to combine commands allows you to create new commands, thereby adding value to your operating system.

In addition, most shells allow you to group a number of commands in a file, called a shell script. When you run the shell script file, the shell executes the commands in the script file in order.

What Kind of Shells Are There?

Since there is no monopoly on shells, you are free to run any shell you desire. That’s all well and good,but choosing a shell without knowing the alternatives isn’t very helpful. So lets look at a few main shell out there.

  • The Bourne Shell - original Unix shell is known as sh, short for shell, created by Steven Bourne, and has been considered a standard part of Unix for decades.
  • The C Shell - was so named because much of its syntax parallels that of the C programming language, and added some neat features to the Bourne shell, especially the ability to recall previous commands (and parts of previous commands) to help create future commands.
  • The Korn Shell - like the C shell but also backward compatible with the older Bourne shell syntax.
  • Bash, the Bourne Again Shell - it is said "bash shell answered a clear need, a need shown by the initial success of the Korn shell". So bash offers command-line editing like the Korn shell, file-name completion like the C shell, and a host of
    other advanced features.
  • Other Shells - Over the years, a number of other shells have appeared, each with a small but devoted following. These shells include ash, zsh, and rc. Ash is the default shell and appears as sh on the Cygwin environment for Windows.

Choosing a Shell

For example, when administrators assume everyone runs the Korn shell, they may set up parts of the environment that break in strange ways for users of other shells, particularly users of the C shells. So before choosing to another shell make sure it will work given the assumptions made before. Most modern shell are all pretty good anyway.

Changing Your Default Shell

The chsh command, short for change shell, allows you to change your default, or login, shell.


chsh username new_default_shell
Example:change user jkpaul to use csh, run the chsh command as follows
$ chsh jkpaul /bin/bash
Note that you need to enter the full path to the shell. You may required to type you password for security reasons.The new login shell will be available for use the next time you log in.

That is it for day one, so now we are ready to get into using shell.

NEXT: Day 2: Running Shell and Commands