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Avro, mail # user - How best to represent this in a union.

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How best to represent this in a union.
William McKenzie 2013-05-14, 21:27
Just trying to validate this is a good approach.We currently have a union
schema that we use to define a simple data item of type "any" (like the old
COM Variant):

{"name": "item", "type": [ "double",  "float",  "int",  "long",  "string",
 "DateTime",  "null"] }

I'd like to add another union member that works like "null", in that no
data ever gets written except the union discriminator itself. We are
streaming time-series data, and this value would have a special meaning of
"value is unchanged". I could make it an enum with just one value, but then
you would write at least two bytes. So I'm thinking I can make a record:

"type": "record",
"name": "Unchanged",
{ "name": "item", "type": "null" }

and then my union becomes

 "name": "item", "type": [ "double",  "float",  "int",  "long",  "string",
 "DateTime",  "null", Unchanged]

Seem reasonable?