-Best practices for java enums...?
Felix GV 2013-05-09, 23:39
I'm currently writing an avro schema which includes an enum field that I
already have as a java enum in my application.
At first, I named the avro field with the same fully qualified name
(package name dot enum name) as my existing java enum. I then ran the avro
compiler and found that it overwrote my existing java enum with an
I find this slightly annoying because my java enum had comments documenting
the purpose of each enum value, and the avro-generated enum doesn't have
I see two or three potential solutions:
1. Accepting to replace my current enum with the avro-generated one in
my code base, which I feel I cannot document properly (since I have access
to just one doc attribute for the whole enum, instead of per symbol). On a
side note, I haven't found any way to have a multi-line doc attribute in an
avro schema, so that makes things slightly more annoying still. I wouldn't
mind settling on using the avro-generated enums without documentation per
symbol if at least I could have one big doc/comment that documents all
symbols at once, but since it seems the doc attribute must be a one-liner,
this is starting to be a little too messy for my taste...
2. Maintaining two separate enums: my manually written (and documented)
enum as well as the avro-generated enum. For now, I think this is what I'm
going to do, because those enums have little chances of changing anyway,
but from a maintenance standpoint, it seems pretty horrendous...
3. I guess there's a third way, which would involve creating a script
that backs up my enums, compiles all my schemas, and then restores my
backed up enums, but this also seems ultra messy :( ... I haven't tested if
it'd work (since the manually written enum is missing the $SCHEMA field),
but I guess it would...
Am I being OCD about this? or is this a concern that others have bumped
into? How do you guys deal with this? Did I miss anything in the way avro
P.S.: I've seen that reflect mappings may be able to work with arbitrary
java enums, but since they seemed discouraged for performance reasons, I
haven't digged much in this direction. I'd like to keep using .avsc files
if possible, but if there's a better way, I can certainly try it.
P.P.S.: We're currently using avro 1.6.1, but if the latest version
provides a nice way of handling my use case, then I guess I could get us to
Thanks a lot :) !