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From "Brian Femiano (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (GIRAPH-277) Text Vertex Input/Output Format base classes overhaul
Date Fri, 03 Aug 2012 00:56:02 GMT


Brian Femiano commented on GIRAPH-277:

I'm in favor of anything that makes subclassing I/O formats easier on the users. I've implemented
my own Giraph jobs about 10-12 times already and have only been able to recycle I/O formats
once or twice. The combination of id/value/message and the variation I require across jobs
usually forces a new format from scratch. This is just my own observation based on my data.
The work going on to separate messages from vertices will help quite a bit with regard to

In the spirit of this thread, I could definitely refactor HBaseVertexInputFormat to be more
friendly towards subclassing like this patch shows. I particularly like the generic propogation
down to the nested record reader. Having to retype all the generic parameters gets old. I
should also make some subclasses for HBaseVertexInputFormat that let people define column-families
for vertex values and other handy behavior. It might help with adoption and code reuse.  
> Text Vertex Input/Output Format base classes overhaul
> -----------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: GIRAPH-277
>                 URL:
>             Project: Giraph
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>          Components: examples, lib
>            Reporter: Jaeho Shin
>         Attachments: GIRAPH-277.patch
> The current way of implementing {{VertexInputFormat}} and {{VertexReader}} had bad smell.
 It required users to understand how these two classes are glued together, and forced similar
codes to be duplicated in every new input format.  (Similarly for the VertexOutputFormat and
VertexWriter.)  Anyone who wants to create a new format should create an underlying record
reader or writer at the right moment and delegate some calls to it, which seemed unnecessary
detail being exposed.  Besides, type parameters had to appear all over every new format code,
which was extremely annoying for both reading existing code and writing a new one.  I was
very frustrated writing my first format code especially when I compared it to writing a new
vertex code.  I thought writing a new input/output format should be as simple as vertex.
> So, I have refactored {{TextVertexInputFormat}} and {{OutputFormat}} into new forms that
have no difference in their interfaces, but remove a lot of burden for subclassing.  Instead
of providing static VertexReader base classes, I made it a non-static inner-class of its format
class, which helps eliminate the repeated code for gluing these two, already tightly coupled
classes.  This has additional advantage of eliminating all the Generics type variables on
the VertexReader side, which makes overall code much more concise.  I added several useful
TextVertexReader base classes that can save efforts for implementing line-oriented formats.
> Please comment if you see my proposed change have any impact on other aspects.  I'm unsure
of how these additional layers of abstraction could affect performance.

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