CouchDB: The Definitive Guide
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CouchDB: The Definitive Guide

This is the source code repository for a free book about Apache CouchDB.


The book is called CouchDB: The Definitive Guide and is published by O’Reilly Media under a free license.

We believe that community software needs community documentation. You can inspect the source code for CouchDB and make improvements to it, and similarly you can inspect the source code for this book and make improvements to it. If you want to contribute, please do so! Fork it, hack on it, and send back your changes! If you want to support the project, you can do so by buying a copy of the book in digital or printed form.


We edit the book in HTML and accept contributions in HTML.

HTML allows us a lot of freedom as authors, and makes editing much easier. Before going to print we hand the HTML to O’Reilly Media, and they convert this into DocBook. DocBook allows a lot of control over the typesetting and publishing of the book. Once that process is complete, O’Reilly Media hand us back the final DocBook, which now includes any modifications from our editors. We then transform this into HTML, and tidy it up.

You must install the DocBook XSL stylesheets to generate the HTML:

sudo port install docbook-xsl

You must install Tidy to clean the HTML:

sudo port install tidy

You can now generate HTML from the DocBook source.


The DocBook source for the book is under:


So, the first edition of the book can be found at:


And the images used for the first edition of the book can be found at:


The tools we use to convert this into HTML can be found at:


You can transform the DocBook to HTML by running:

bin/ src/EDITION/book.xml

You can tidy the HTML files by running:

bin/ ch01.html

The HTML we generate with this process is held in the gh-pages branch.

Building an epub

Build an epub with off-the-shelf docbook-xsl dbtoepub src/01/book.xml. (The script lives in the DOCBOOK_XSL_ROOT/epub/dbtoepub at least as of docbook-xsl version 1.75.2.)