Ubuntu native repository Erlang has a virtual package erlang-abi-17.0 provided by one of two real packages, erlang-base and erlang-base-hipe. Some other Ubuntu packages, for example couchdb-bin depend on this virtual package.
In case of esl-erlang or split Erlang provided from E-S repository, this virtual package is not provided. Having installed E-S version of Erlang makes it impossible to install couchdb (and probably some other Erlang-based software)
This first version of Ubuntu with such dependence is 12.04.