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From Jeff Hodges <>
Subject Re: Standardizing Timestamps Across Clients
Date Thu, 18 Mar 2010 20:37:17 GMT
As one of the committers to cassandra.gem, microseconds is the way to
go. Specificity is nice to have when you haven't been thinking about
timestamps and suddenly have a deep, abiding need to care about them.

I cannot understate that. It is much easier to remove the specificity
than it is to put it in after the fact.

On Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 12:36 AM, Jonathan Hseu <> wrote:
> Jonathan Ellis suggested that I bring this issue to the dev mailing list:
> Cassandra should recommended a default timestamp across all clients
> libraries.
> Many users on IRC are having difficulty when using different clients because
> different clients are using different timestamps.  If you insert with one
> client, you may not be able to modify the key later with another.  The
> Cassandra website doesn't seem to mention timestamps much, so users get
> confused when operations fail on certain clients.
> Here's what different clients are using:
> 1. Cassandra CLI: Milliseconds since UTC epoch.
> 2. lazyboy: Seconds since UTC epoch.  It used to be seconds since local time
> epoch.  Now it's changing again to microseconds since UTC epoch.
> 3. driftx's client: Milliseconds since UTC epoch.
> 4. The example app, Twissandra: Microseconds since UTC epoch.
> 5. pycassa: Microseconds since UTC epoch.  It used to be seconds since local
> time epoch.
> 6. The most popular Cassandra Ruby client: Microseconds since UTC epoch.
> Here's why the default recommended timestamp should be microseconds since
> UTC epoch:
> 1. It allows backwards-compatibility.  Some people are already using
> microseconds, so if it suddenly switched to milliseconds, all the timestamps
> would be smaller, and they'd be unable to insert or remove existing columns.
>  Microsecond timestamps would always be greater than millisecond timestamps,
> so new operations would work.
> 2. There exist reasons people would want to use microseconds over
> milliseconds (finer granularity), but I don't think there are any reasons
> one would prefer milliseconds over microseconds.
> 3 (just for me). I just changed pycassa to microseconds, and I'd hate to
> change it again :(
> Jonathan Hseu

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