flimzy commented on a change in pull request #252: Suggested edit to make clear 
what a quorum actually represents.

 File path: src/cluster/theory.rst
 @@ -34,10 +34,17 @@ thereby override the defaults in ``default.ini``.
 The number of copies of a document with the same revision that have to be read
 before CouchDB returns with a ``200`` is equal to a half of total copies of
-the document plus one. It is the same for the number of nodes that need to
-save a document before a write is returned with ``201``. If there are less
-nodes than that number, then ``202`` is returned. Both read and write numbers
-can be specified with a request as ``r`` and ``w`` parameters accordingly.
+the document plus one *in the current partition*. That is, if there is a 
 Review comment:
   Ah, now I see what you're getting at.  That is an important point. And the 
paragraph was already a bit confusing before your addition. Perhaps a rewrite 
of the entire section is in order.
   > In clustered operation, a quorum must be reached before CouchDB returns a 
``200`` for a fetch, or ``201`` for a write operation. A quorum is defined one 
plus half the number of copies.
   > For read operations, the maximum number of copies is the number of 
currently-accessible nodes, meaning that in the case of a failure or network 
partition, the effective number of copies may be lower.  The number of read 
copies can be set with the ``r``parameter.
   > For write operations, the number of copies can be set using the ``w`` 
parameter. If fewer than this number of nodes is available, a ``202`` will be 

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