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From "Sean Busbey (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (AVRO-1811) SpecificData.deepCopy() cannot be used if schema compiler generated Java objects with Strings instead of UTF8
Date Tue, 05 Jul 2016 12:55:11 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/AVRO-1811?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=15362449#comment-15362449

Sean Busbey commented on AVRO-1811:

Ryan Blue, this problem reminds me of the Logical Types. A logical type field can have 2 representations:
one uses raw type and the other uses upper level java types. For instance, for "decimal" type,
we can use both ByteBuffer and BigDecimal. Do we need support copying between them?

That's a very good question. What's the current behavior if we try to turn a SpecificRecord
that contains either representation into a GenericRecord?

Above change is ugly. It only fixes the record copy problem. We may still face the same problem
in other scenarios. Maybe we should change the specific compiler instead to make the setField
method be able to accept different types of values (for example, can accept both String and
Utf8 for a string field)?

That's interesting. It would make sense that the internal representation of the data shouldn't
constrain how we get bytes into it. Also, we're in a good position to make sure that the String
<-> Utf8 conversion is done correctly. Presuming this fixes the immediate problem, I'd
like this approach. I think it's fine for the get methods to be asymmetric with the set methods,
which is the only drawback I can think of.

> SpecificData.deepCopy() cannot be used if schema compiler generated Java objects with
Strings instead of UTF8
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: AVRO-1811
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/AVRO-1811
>             Project: Avro
>          Issue Type: Bug
>          Components: java
>    Affects Versions: 1.8.0, 1.8.1
>            Reporter: Ryon Day
>            Assignee: Yibing Shi
>            Priority: Critical
>         Attachments: AVRO-1811.1.patch
> {panel:title=Description|titleBGColor=#3FA|bgColor=#DDD}
> When the Avro compiler creates Java objects, you have the option to have them generate
fields of type {{string}} with the Java standard {{String}} type, for wide interoperability
with existing Java applications and APIs.
> By default, however, the compiler outputs these fields in the Avro-specific {{Utf8}}
type, requiring frequent usage of the {{toString()}} method in order for default domain objects
to be used with the majority of Java libraries.
> There are two ways to get around this. The first is to annotate every {{string}} field
in a schema like so:
> {code}
>     {
>       "name": "some_string",
>       "doc": "a field that is guaranteed to compile to java.lang.String",
>       "type": [
>         "null",
>         {
>           "type": "string",
>           "avro.java.string": "String"
>         }
>       ]
>     },
> {code}
> Unfortunately, long schemas containing many string fields can be dominated by this annotation
by volume; for teams using heterogenous clients, they may to want to avoid  Java-specific
annotation in their schema files, or may not think to use it unless there exist Java exploiters
of the schema at the time the schema is proposed and written.
> The other solution to the problem is to compile the schema into Java objects  using the
{{SpecificCompiler}}'s string type selection. This option actually alters the schema carried
by the object's {{SCHEMA$}} field to have the above annotation in it, ensuring that when used
by the Java API, the String type will be used. 
> Unfortunately, this method is not interoperable with GenericRecords created by libraries
that use the _original_ schema.
> {panel}
> {panel:title=Steps To Reproduce|titleBGColor=#8DB|bgColor=#DDD}
> # Create a schema with several {{string}} fields.
> # Parse the schema using the standard Avro schema parser
> # Create Java domain objects for that schema ensuring usage of the {{java.lang.String}}
string type.
> # Create a message of some sort that ends up as a {{GenericRecord}} of the original schema
> # Attempt to use {{SpecificData.deepCopy()}} to make a {{SpecificRecord}} out of the
> There is a unit test that demonstrate this [here|https://github.com/ryonday/avroDecodingHelp/blob/master/1.8.0/src/test/java/com/ryonday/avro/test/v180/AvroDeepCopyTest.java]
> {panel}
> {panel:title=Expected Results|titleBGColor=#AD3|bgColor=#DDD}
> As the schemas are literally identical aside from string type, the conversion should
work (and does work for schema that are exactly identical).
> {panel}
> {panel:title=Actual Results|titleBGColor=#D55|bgColor=#DDD}
> {{ClassCastException}} with the message {{org.apache.avro.util.Utf8 cannot be cast to
> {panel}

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