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HBase >> mail # user >> HBase Types: Explicit Null Support

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Re: HBase Types: Explicit Null Support
Silly question...
Null support. In a system where a column may or may not exist, how do you support null?


In terms of a key,  it's a primary key and can't be null.  
So what am I missing?
Sent from a remote device. Please excuse any typos...

Mike Segel

On Apr 1, 2013, at 10:26 PM, Nick Dimiduk <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Furthermore, is is more important to support null values than squeeze all
> representations into minimum size (4-bytes for int32, &c.)?
> On Apr 1, 2013 4:41 PM, "Nick Dimiduk" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> On Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 4:31 PM, James Taylor <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>wrote:
>>> From the SQL perspective, handling null is important.
>> From your perspective, it is critical to support NULLs, even at the
>> expense of fixed-width encodings at all or supporting representation of a
>> full range of values. That is, you'd rather be able to represent NULL than
>> -2^31?
>> On 04/01/2013 01:32 PM, Nick Dimiduk wrote:
>>>> Thanks for the thoughtful response (and code!).
>>>> I'm thinking I will press forward with a base implementation that does
>>>> not
>>>> support nulls. The idea is to provide an extensible set of interfaces,
>>>> so I
>>>> think this will not box us into a corner later. That is, a mirroring
>>>> package could be implemented that supports null values and accepts
>>>> the relevant trade-offs.
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Nick
>>>> On Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 12:26 PM, Matt Corgan <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> I spent some time this weekend extracting bits of our serialization
>>>>> code to
>>>>> a public github repo at http://github.com/hotpads/**data-tools<http://github.com/hotpads/data-tools>
>>>>> .
>>>>>  Contributions are welcome - i'm sure we all have this stuff laying
>>>>> around.
>>>>> You can see I've bumped into the NULL problem in a few places:
>>>>> *
>>>>> https://github.com/hotpads/**data-tools/blob/master/src/**
>>>>> main/java/com/hotpads/data/**primitive/lists/LongArrayList.**java<https://github.com/hotpads/data-tools/blob/master/src/main/java/com/hotpads/data/primitive/lists/LongArrayList.java>
>>>>> *
>>>>> https://github.com/hotpads/**data-tools/blob/master/src/**
>>>>> main/java/com/hotpads/data/**types/floats/DoubleByteTool.**java<https://github.com/hotpads/data-tools/blob/master/src/main/java/com/hotpads/data/types/floats/DoubleByteTool.java>
>>>>> Looking back, I think my latest opinion on the topic is to reject
>>>>> nullability as the rule since it can cause unexpected behavior and
>>>>> confusion.  It's cleaner to provide a wrapper class (so both
>>>>> LongArrayList
>>>>> plus NullableLongArrayList) that explicitly defines the behavior, and
>>>>> costs
>>>>> a little more in performance.  If the user can't find a pre-made wrapper
>>>>> class, it's not very difficult for each user to provide their own
>>>>> interpretation of null and check for it themselves.
>>>>> If you reject nullability, the question becomes what to do in situations
>>>>> where you're implementing existing interfaces that accept nullable
>>>>> params.
>>>>>  The LongArrayList above implements List<Long> which requires an
>>>>> add(Long)
>>>>> method.  In the above implementation I chose to swap nulls with
>>>>> Long.MIN_VALUE, however I'm now thinking it best to force the user to
>>>>> make
>>>>> that swap and then throw IllegalArgumentException if they pass null.
>>>>> On Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 11:41 AM, Doug Meil <
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> HmmmŠ good question.
>>>>>> I think that fixed width support is important for a great many rowkey
>>>>>> constructs cases, so I'd rather see something like losing MIN_VALUE and
>>>>>> keeping fixed width.
>>>>>> On 4/1/13 2:00 PM, "Nick Dimiduk" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>>>>>> Heya,
>>>>>>> Thinking about data types and serialization. I think null support is