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I'm not familiar with Realm, but after a brief glance at their site:

Yes, mobile in this context is very different. Or rather, local is very different. Building a database that resides on a local device and is primarily accessed by a single user is an entirely different class of problem than one that is on a server. Usually most of the hard problems in building a database system involves dealing with multiple people accessing or modifying data at the same time. When you have a single user, that problem either disappears or is massively reduced.

As you said, Realm does appear to have a server offering now, but from the sounds of it, it hasn't really been proven yet, so I don't think it's as easy as saying they've succeeded where Rethink failed.

Absolutely, in no way am I saying their cloud offering is successful. What I am saying is they have shown you can be successful with the very same ideals and goals that the RethinkDB team had, with a very similar developer-minded audience. The biggest factor here is obviously the platforms their database runs on - Mobile (or local as you put it nicely) vs cloud.

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