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From Jonathan Ellis <>
Subject Re: Alternative wire protocols
Date Tue, 30 Jun 2009 20:54:25 GMT
I don't know.  I'd need to see how it didn't end up being a crazy mess
where it was very difficult to tell what kind of filter you needed to
perform, like we had before Jun split ReadCommand up into different
classes.  (

(This was an internal change, the thrift api has always been what it is.)


On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 1:55 PM, Evan Weaver<> wrote:
> Since the API is so thorny right now, it would be extremely difficult
> to automate filter calls. What if we had something like follows
> (pardon my bogus syntax):
> resultUnion_n get_one(column_family:string, key:string,
> [super_column:string], [column:string], [options:Something_t])
> list<resultUnion_n> get_all(column_family:string, key:string,
> [super_column:string], [column:string], [options:Something_t])
> where resultUnion_n is: (scalar | Column_t | SuperColumn_t)
> Ideally Column_t and SuperColumn_t could be merged, but that's not a big deal.
> The options struct/dict could have the composable filters of various kinds.
> Is this even remotely possible?
> Evan
> On Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 5:49 AM, Bill de hOra<> wrote:
>> Evan Weaver wrote:
>>> I wanted to start a small discussion to see if there is any interest
>>> in supporting alternative wire protocols or perhaps junking Thrift to
>>> some degree.
>>> Some options:
>>>  * Use JSON over HTTP
>>>  * Use BSON over...something (
>>>  * Use ASN.1 over...something
>>>  * Use Protocol Buffers over...something
>>>  * Use Thrift, but package Cassandra-specific clients for each language
>>> I have not thought too coherently about this but generic Thrift seems
>>> to be a pain point for everybody.
>> Hi Evan,
>> I've been playing around again with Cassandra recently and I agree Thrift is
>> a pain point, and that was the case when I looked at the project originally.
>> But I think it's not so much Thrift as how the data is presented to clients.
>> Much more important to me is that to use Cassandra means reading and
>> understanding the service api calls in cassandra.thrift. Personally I
>> wouldn't have designed a fine grained API over the generic data structures
>> implied by a colum store, where simple filters and selects become a litany
>> of get_by_X calls. For example, 4 methods return list<column_t>, 2 return
>> list<string>, 2 return list<superColumn_t>, there are 5 get_slice and
>> get_column variants. And typical of RPC, none of this stuff composes. In
>> something like Django there are chained filter() calls (Hibernate has
>> similar Criteria calls) which makes for a stable programming API, where what
>> you need to figure out the criteria to pass. With Cassandra you have to do
>> that and find the right method; the API surface is much bigger. Simple
>> keystores and dynamo style models get away with fine grained RPC as there's
>> nothing much to do except the key lookup and multiget usecases. They're not
>> a design sweetspot for column stores APIs imvho.
>> I think the question for Cassandra is not so much about serialization
>> techniques and speed as whether RPC is the best way to expose the data.
>> Bill
> --
> Evan Weaver

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