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From Felix GV <fe...@mate1inc.com>
Subject Best practices for java enums...?
Date Thu, 09 May 2013 23:39:33 GMT

I'm currently writing an avro schema which includes an enum field that I
already have as a java enum in my application.

At first, I named the avro field with the same fully qualified name
(package name dot enum name) as my existing java enum. I then ran the avro
compiler and found that it overwrote my existing java enum with an
avro-generated enum.

I find this slightly annoying because my java enum had comments documenting
the purpose of each enum value, and the avro-generated enum doesn't have

I see two or three potential solutions:

   1. Accepting to replace my current enum with the avro-generated one in
   my code base, which I feel I cannot document properly (since I have access
   to just one doc attribute for the whole enum, instead of per symbol). On a
   side note, I haven't found any way to have a multi-line doc attribute in an
   avro schema, so that makes things slightly more annoying still. I wouldn't
   mind settling on using the avro-generated enums without documentation per
   symbol if at least I could have one big doc/comment that documents all
   symbols at once, but since it seems the doc attribute must be a one-liner,
   this is starting to be a little too messy for my taste...
   2. Maintaining two separate enums: my manually written (and documented)
   enum as well as the avro-generated enum. For now, I think this is what I'm
   going to do, because those enums have little chances of changing anyway,
   but from a maintenance standpoint, it seems pretty horrendous...
   3. I guess there's a third way, which would involve creating a script
   that backs up my enums, compiles all my schemas, and then restores my
   backed up enums, but this also seems ultra messy :( ... I haven't tested if
   it'd work (since the manually written enum is missing the $SCHEMA field),
   but I guess it would...

Am I being OCD about this? or is this a concern that others have bumped
into? How do you guys deal with this? Did I miss anything in the way avro

P.S.: I've seen that reflect mappings may be able to work with arbitrary
java enums, but since they seemed discouraged for performance reasons, I
haven't digged much in this direction. I'd like to keep using .avsc files
if possible, but if there's a better way, I can certainly try it.

P.P.S.: We're currently using avro 1.6.1, but if the latest version
provides a nice way of handling my use case, then I guess I could get us to

Thanks a lot :) !


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