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From "Owen O'Malley (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] Commented: (HADOOP-54) SequenceFile should compress blocks, not individual entries
Date Wed, 19 Jul 2006 00:09:15 GMT
    [ http://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/HADOOP-54?page=comments#action_12422002 ] 
Owen O'Malley commented on HADOOP-54:

Ok, I talked with Eric about this.

The thought about BytesWritable was just about trying to get rid of the redundant lengths
in the SequenceFile format. (Both the Writable object and the SequenceFile encode the object's
length.) This redundancy is caused because Writable.readFields is not given the length and
yet the SequenceFile wants to be able to know the length so that it can copy/skip keys and
values during copy and sorting. Unfortunately, to remove the redundancy would require extending
the Writable interface, which would break a lot of application code. (We could make an optional
extension that provides a mechanism for getting the length out of the serialized form or copying
the raw bytes of the proper length and allow Writable types to implement the sub-interface
if they want to have smaller files.)

For now, I'd suggest mixing in the length in a zero compressed format. 

So inside the compressed key block would look like:

And the inside of the compressed value block would look like:

The blocks would look like:

With the blocks padding upto io.sequencefile.pad.percent to align to the DFS block boundary.

Does that sound reasonable?

> SequenceFile should compress blocks, not individual entries
> -----------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: HADOOP-54
>                 URL: http://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/HADOOP-54
>             Project: Hadoop
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>          Components: io
>    Affects Versions: 0.2.0
>            Reporter: Doug Cutting
>         Assigned To: Michel Tourn
>             Fix For: 0.5.0
> SequenceFile will optionally compress individual values.  But both compression and performance
would be much better if sequences of keys and values are compressed together.  Sync marks
should only be placed between blocks.  This will require some changes to MapFile too, so that
all file positions stored there are the positions of blocks, not entries within blocks.  Probably
this can be accomplished by adding a getBlockStartPosition() method to SequenceFile.Writer.

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