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From "Thiruvalluvan M. G. (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] Created: (AVRO-388) Using ResolvingDecoder in GenericDatumWriter
Date Sat, 30 Jan 2010 09:38:34 GMT
Using ResolvingDecoder in GenericDatumWriter

                 Key: AVRO-388
                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/AVRO-388
             Project: Avro
          Issue Type: Improvement
          Components: java
            Reporter: Thiruvalluvan M. G.

This patch removes GenericDatumWriter's own logic for schema resolution by relying on ResolvingDecoder.
The code has become somewhat compact. The duplication logic we were concerned about in AVRO-383
is gone. In terms of performance:

   * When there is no resolution required, that is reader's and writer's schemas are identical,
there is no change in performance. In fact, ResolvingEncoder is not used in this case. Use
Perf -G to measuer.
   * If the resolution involves only promotions (from int to long)  the new code is about
5% faster. User Perf -Gp
   * If the resolution involves supplying default values from the reader's schema because
writer's schema does have a field, the node is faster about 15%. This improvement is probably
due to AVRO-383. User Perf -Gd to measure this.
   * If the resolution involves field reordering (reader's and writer's schema have the same
fields, but in different order) the new code is _slower_ by about 20%. This is because, ResolvingDecoder
provides information on field reordering through a vector of Schema.Field objects. The Field
class has the field position but not the field name. But GenericDatumWriter's setField() function
needs the field name. getFieldName() function introduced in this patch does a linear search
to find the name from the reader's schema. This is inefficient. We can handle this problem
in any of the following ways:
      1. Do nothing claiming that field reordering is rare and we can live with this inefficiency.
I tried this and saw that the new code performs about 5-10% faster than the old.
      2. Change the signature of the setField() so that it does not require the field name.
This is an incomaptible change to the GenericDatumReader's public interface. None of the code
in the current Avro will need field name. But if somebody has extended GenericDatumReader,
they will be affected.
      3. Have a new class FieldInfo which has the name and position of the field and make
ResolvingDecoder return an array of FieldInfo instead of Field. It's not obvious, which package/class
this new class would go to. If one wants a clean dependencies, probably it belongs to io package.
I'm not confortable adding another class into the io package at the present. Keeping it as
an inner class of ResolvingDecoder will create circular dependencies between the io.parsing
package and ResolvingDecoder class.
     4. Instead of a new class FieldInfo above use Map.Entry<String, Field>.
     5. Add a new field name to Schema.Field. It will be somewhat redundant because the key
of the fields map of RecordSchema is the field name. With this the field name will be available
both as the key and as a part of value of the map.

My personal preference is 5 followed by 4.

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