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From Alan Gates <ga...@yahoo-inc.com>
Subject Re: Revisit Pig Philosophy?
Date Mon, 21 Sep 2009 19:36:17 GMT
I agree with Milind that we should move to saying that Pig Latin is a  
data flow language independent of any particular platform, while the  
current implementation of Pig is tied to Hadoop.  I'm not sure how  
thin that implementation will be, but I'm in favor of making it thin  
where possible (such as the recent proposal to shift LoadFunc to  
directly use InputFormat).

I also strongly agree that we need to be more precise in our  
terminology between Pig (the platform) and Pig Latin (the language),  
especially as we're working on making Pig bilingual (with the addition  
of SQL).

I am fine with saying that Pig SQL adheres as much as possible (given  
the underlying systems, etc.) to ANSI SQL semantics.  And where there  
is shared functionality such as UDFs we again adhere to SQL semantics  
when it does not conflict with other Pig goals.  So COUNT, and SUM  
should handle nulls the way SQL does, for example.  But we need to  
craft the statement carefully.  To see why, consider Pig's data  
model.  We would like our types to map nicely into SQL types, so that  
if Pig SQL users declare a column to be of type VARCHAR(32) or  
FLOAT(10) we can map those onto some Pig type.  But we don't want to  
use SQL types directly inside Pig, as they aren't a good match for  
much of Pig processing.  So any statement of using SQL semantics needs  

I would also vote for modifying our Pigs Live Anywhere dictum to be:

Pig Latin is intended to be a language for parallel data processing.  
It is not
tied to one particular parallel framework. The initial implementation  
of Pig  is on Hadoop and seeks to leverage the power of Hadoop  
wherever possible.  However, nothing Hadoop specific should be exposed  
in Pig Latin.

We may also want to add a vocabulary section to the philosophy  
statement to clarify between Pig and Pig Latin.


On Sep 18, 2009, at 8:01 PM, Milind A Bhandarkar wrote:

> It's Friday evening, so I have some time to discuss philosophy ;-)
> Before we discuss any question about revisiting pig philosophy, the
> first question that needs to be answered is "what is pig" ? (this
> corresponds to the Hindu philosophy's basic argument, that any deep
> personal philosophical investigations need to start with a question
> "koham?" (in Sanskrit, it means 'who am I?'))
> So, coming back to approx 4000 years after the origin of that
> philosophy, we need to ask "what is pig?" (incidentally, pig, or
> varaaha in Sanskrit, was the second incarnation of lord Vishnu in
> hindu scriptures, but that's not relevant here.)
> What we need to decide is, is pig is a dataflow language ? I think
> not. "Pig Latin" is the language. Pig is referred to in countless
> slide decks ( aka pig scriptures, btw I own 50% of these scriptures)
> as a runtime system that interprets pig Latin, kind of like java and
> jvm. (Duality of nature, called "dwaita" philosophy in sanskrit is
> applicable here. But I won't go deeper than that.)
> So, pig-Latin-the-language's stance  could still be that it could be
> implemented on any runtime. But pig the runtime's philosophy could be
> that it is a thin layer on top of hadoop. And all the world could
> breathe a sigh of relief. (mostly, by not having to answer these
> philosophical questions.)
> So, 'koham' is the 4000 year old question this project needs to
> answer. That's all.
> AUM...... (it's Friday.)
> - (swami) Milind ;-)
> On Sep 18, 2009, at 19:05, "Jeff Hammerbacher" <hammer@cloudera.com>
> wrote:
>> Hey,
>>> 2. Local mode and other parallel frameworks
>>> <snip>
>>> Pigs Live Anywhere
>>> Pig is intended to be a language for parallel data processing. It
>>> is not
>>> tied to one particular parallel framework. It has been implemented
>>> first
>>> on hadoop, but we do not intend that to be only on hadoop.
>>> </snip>
>>> Are we still holding onto this? What about local mode? Local mode
>>> is not
>>> being treated on equal footing with that of Hadoop for practical
>>> reasons. However, users expect things that work on local mode to  
>>> work
>>> without any hitches on Hadoop.
>>> Are we still designing the system assuming that Pig will be stacked
>>> on
>>> top of other parallel frameworks?
>> FWIW, I appreciate this philosophical stance from Pig. Allowing
>> locally
>> tested scripts to be migrated to the cluster without breakage is a
>> noble
>> goal, and keeping the option of (one day) developing an alternative
>> execution environment for Pig that runs over HDFS but uses a richer
>> physical
>> set of operators than MapReduce would be great.
>> Of course, those of you who are running Pig in production will have
>> a much
>> better sense of the feasibility, rather than desirability, of this
>> philosophical stance.
>> Later,
>> Jeff

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