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From Julian Hyde <>
Subject Re: type coercion
Date Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:49:42 GMT
For most SQL types you can cast either way, so you won’t get a definitive answer to “which
is less restrictive, double or varchar?” if you use whether you can cast as your criterion.

Hive’s semantics are different than Optiq’s but still reasonable. There isn’t a method
that gives your required semantics but you are welcome to add one.


On Sep 16, 2014, at 3:36 PM, Ashutosh Chauhan <> wrote:

> In Hive, for a union query which includes double from one subq and varchar
> from other subq, we are trying to find common-type by doing :
> typeFactory.leastRestrictive(types); If coercion was allowed in this method
> chain we would have gotten a common type. But, in current implementation it
> returns null.
> Should we be using some other method instead of leastRestrictive() ?
> On Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 3:29 PM, Julian Hyde <> wrote:
>> The method name "leastRestrictiveByCast" does make it look that way. I do
>> not recall why the method has that name. However, "leastRestrictive" is
>> used in places where casts are not involved, and coercion should not occur.
>> For instance, if I change those two 'false' values to 'true', Optiq's
>> validator allows
>>  values (1), ('a')
>> and
>>  select * from emp where deptno in (1, 'a')
>> as valid whereas it should give an error.
>> Can you give a use case where the current behavior is wrong?
>> Julian
>> On Sep 16, 2014, at 3:14 PM, Ashutosh Chauhan <>
>> wrote:
>>> SqlTypeFactoryImpl::leastRestrictive() calls leastRestrictiveByCast()
>> which
>>> calls sqlTypeUtil.canCastFrom(type, resultType, false). Last boolean
>>> argument is about type coercion. Since, its called from
>> SqlTypeFactoryImpl,
>>> I expected coercion should have been allowed here and canCastFrom()
>> should
>>> have been called with true, atleast thats what comment of canCastFrom()
>>> method seems to suggest. Is this a bug or am I missing something here?
>>> Thanks,
>>> Ashutosh

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