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From Sylvain Lebresne <>
Subject Re: CQL decimal encoding
Date Tue, 25 Feb 2014 10:38:09 GMT
On Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 8:50 PM, Theo Hultberg <> wrote:

> I don't know if it's by design or if it's by oversight that the data types
> aren't part of the binary protocol specification.

The honest answer is, no-one took the time to write that down properly and
include it in the spec. My small excuse for initially skipping it in the
spec is that the CQL data type encodings are really not different from what
we have had in thrift since forever, so that there is already many driver
in a lot of language out there that have encoding/decoding functions for
them that can be looked at. But if someone find some time to gather all
those encoding and provides a patch for the spec with them, that would
definitively be much appreciated. Cassandra is an open-source software,
everyone can contribute, and that does not exclude documentation and

Regarding the decimal, it does uses 4 bytes for the scale and the rest for
the bytes of the unscaled value (i.e. a variable length integer) as Peter
mentioned. the actual value being the "unscaled value" * 10^-"scale"
(internally C* really just use the following BigDecimal ctor:,


> I had to reverse engineer how to encode and decode all of them for the
> Ruby driver. There were definitely a few bugs in the first few versions
> that could have been avoided if there was a specification available.
> T#
> On Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 8:43 PM, Paul "LeoNerd" Evans <
>> wrote:
>> On Mon, 24 Feb 2014 19:14:48 +0000
>> Ben Hood <> wrote:
>> > So I have a question about the encoding of 0: \x00\x00\x00\x00\x00.
>> The first four octets are the decimal shift (0), and the remaining ones
>> (one in this case) encode a varint - 0 in this case. So it's
>>   0 * 10**0
>> literally zero.
>> Technically the decimal shift matters not for zero - any four bytes
>> could be given as the shift, ending in \x00, but 0 is the simplest.
>> --
>> Paul "LeoNerd" Evans
>> ICQ# 4135350       |  Registered Linux# 179460

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