["Cl-CouchDb"] is a Common Lisp library for interacting with CouchDB databases.

It defines three systems:


There are no official releases of ["Cl-CouchDB"] yet.

Check out the latest version from the [http://darcs.net/ darcs] repo:

darcs get http://www.common-lisp.net/project/submarine/darcs/cl-couchdb

or [http://common-lisp.net/cgi-bin/darcsweb/darcsweb.cgi?r=submarine-cl-couchdb;a=tree browse] the source code online.


Cl-CouchDB-client allows the user to make requests to the running CouchDB server from lisp. It's main entry point is the macro R.


R takes specifiers for a request to a CouchDB database and returns a Lisp object. HTTP PUT requests with R take Lisp objects as well, thus enabling the programmer to black-box the JSON layer completely.


Using R to make a GET request to http://localhost:5984/blog/150fedd5d14f0771eb5e44d071a1df5d:

COUCHDB-CLIENT> (r :get (blog "150fedd5d14f0771eb5e44d071a1df5d"))
((:_ID . "150fedd5d14f0771eb5e44d071a1df5d") (:_REV . "253381451")
 (:AUTHOR . "foo") (:BODY . "Zażółć") (:POST . "third") (:TYPE . "comment")
 (:N . 66))

Using R to make a GET request to http://localhost:5984/blog/_all_docs?count=2:

COUCHDB-CLIENT> (r :get (blog _all_docs :count 2))
((:TOTAL-ROWS . 48) (:OFFSET . 0)
  ((:ID . "06672346ffc093ce68a07692a5f12db5")
   (:KEY . "06672346ffc093ce68a07692a5f12db5") (:VALUE (:REV . "3441371051")))
  ((:ID . "14328cab564dfec5eac0ff0a44d2083d")
   (:KEY . "14328cab564dfec5eac0ff0a44d2083d") (:VALUE (:REV . "1258191009")))))


R* is the functional equivalent to the macro R.


@ is a utility function that enables you to access Lisp data in the JavaScript dot style. For example, (@ doc :friend :id) is equivalent to js doc.friend.id.

When looking into lists, @ does an alist lookup by default. Since it's a generic function, however, it's behavior can be extended for any type of object (eg, those created from CouchDB documents by cl-CouchDB-object-layer).


Cl-CouchDB-View-Server enables you to write views with Common Lisp instead of having to use JavaScript. It supports mapreduce and should also be able to deal with a rereduce.

Writing views with Common Lisp has several advantages:

Starting the Lisp View Server

From the CouchDB side

A Lisp image that with a running view server will be listening to port 5477. So, you need to add something like

common-lisp=/usr/bin/socat -TCP4:localhost:5477

to the [Couch Query Servers] section of your couch.ini (you can substitute socat for any program that will allow a socket open on port 5477 look like a program with standard input and standard output).

From the Lisp Side

The Lisp image just needs to open a client server (we need to be able to speak with couchdb through HTTP) and a view server and it's ready for action.

COUCHDB-SERVER> (open-server)

COUCHDB-SERVER> (start-view-server)
#<view-server :host "" :port 5477>

Creating Design Documents

The DEFDESIGN macro creates a design document and saves it to the database.

This example creates a design document "test" with one view (by-author-type) and saves it to the database "blog":

COUCHDB-SERVER> (defdesign test
                    ((by-author-type :map (doc)
                                     (emit (list (@ doc :author) (@ doc :type)) doc)))
                  (:documentation "A test view.")
                  (:sync blog))
#<design-document :name TEST :revision NIL :views (#<view BY-AUTHOR-TYPE :map "#'CL-COUCHDB-VIEW-SERVER::BY-AUTHOR-TYPE-MAP" :reduce NIL>)>

Querying the View Server

You can query views with the functionquery-view:

COUCHDB-SERVER> (query-view 'by-author-type :startkey '("foobar") :endkey '("foobar" #()))
(((:ID . "first") (:KEY "foobar" "blogPost")
  (:VALUE (:_ID . "first") (:_REV . "2718626630") (:AUTHOR . "foobar")
   (:BODY . "Zażółć gęślą jaźń") (:TYPE . "blogPost") (:N . 5)))
 ((:ID . "fourth") (:KEY "foobar" "blogPost")
  (:VALUE (:_ID . "fourth") (:_REV . "2695588251") (:AUTHOR . "foobar")
   (:BODY . "Zażółć gęślą jaźń") (:TYPE . "blogPost") (:N . 8)))
 ((:ID . "second") (:KEY "foobar" "blogPost")
  (:VALUE (:_ID . "second") (:_REV . "230136489") (:AUTHOR . "foobar")
   (:BODY . "Zażółć gęślą jaźń") (:TYPE . "blogPost") (:N . 6)))
 ((:ID . "third") (:KEY "foobar" "blogPost")
  (:VALUE (:_ID . "third") (:_REV . "2453743212") (:AUTHOR . "foobar")
   (:BODY . "Zażółć gęślą jaźń") (:TYPE . "blogPost") (:N . 7))))

You can query ad-hoc views with the function query:

COUCHDB-SERVER> (query 'blog '(lambda (doc) (emit (@ doc :author) (@ doc :body))) :count 2)
(((:ID . "06672346ffc093ce68a07692a5f12db5") (:KEY . "foo")
  (:VALUE . "Zażółć"))
 ((:ID . "146238e235f0cc36661ce82c909044be") (:KEY . "foo")
  (:VALUE . "Zażółć")))


The objects (which are called docs) are in fact a thin layer over alists. Specifically, you can call @ on docs to get the value of an attribute, exactly as you would do with an alist. CouchDB doesn't check in any way how the documents we put in it look like, so it seems a good idea to have some way of checking a document is valid before sending it to the database. This is why I introduced the concept of validators.

To define a doc class, use defdoc (which is similar to defclass). For example:

COUCHDB-OBJECTS> (defdoc blog-post 
                     ((:author :validator #'stringp)
                      (:title :validator #'stringp)
                      (:_id :initform (lambda (doc) (url-encode (@ doc :title))))
                      (:body :validator #'stringp))
                   (:default-db 'blog))

The validators are one argument functions taking the value of an attribute (something like a slot, but identified by a keyword) and returns true if it is valid. The initform may be either a normal lisp value or a one argument function, which is called on the object itself after setting other attributes.

COUCHDB-OBJECTS> (make 'blog-post :author "Kuba" :title "O czym dziś napisać" :body "Foo")
#<doc(NIL) :_ID "o_czym_dzis_napisac" :BODY "Foo" :TITLE "O czym dziś napisać" :AUTHOR "Kuba" :TYPE "BLOG-POST">

COUCHDB-OBJECTS> (let ((doc (make 'blog-post :author "Kuba" :title "O czym dziś napisać" :body "Foo")))
                   (@ doc :title))
"O czym dziś napisać"

We can call make-and-save to create a document and save it in the database:

COUCHDB-OBJECTS> (make-and-save 'blog-post :author "Kuba" :title "Zażółć gęślą jaźń" :body "foobar") ;we'll get the rev in return

Notice that if the object is invalid, it won't be saved:

COUCHDB-OBJECTS> (make-and-save 'blog-post :author "Kuba" :title "Zażółć gęślą jaźń")
The document #<doc(NIL) :_ID "zazolc_gesla_jazn" :TITLE "Zażółć gęślą jaźń" :AUTHOR "Kuba" :TYPE "BLOG-POST"> is invalid. Reason: attribute
                      :BODY with value NIL didn't validate using #<FUNCTION STRINGP>
   [Condition of type VALIDATOR-FAILED]


BSD sans advertising clause.


Ryszard Szopa <ryszard.szopa@gmail.com>, with one component (logv) being authored by Nick Allen <nallen05@gmail.com>.