Sam Ritchie archive about projects race results

26 Sept 2011 - San Francisco

Cascalog 1.8.1 Released

Nathan Marz and I are releasing Cascalog 1.8.1 today! We've added a few interesting features, and I thought I'd provide a bit more detail here for anyone interested.

Cross Join

cascalog.api now includes support for cross-joins; just add (cross-join) to your query as its own predicate.

Think of a cross-join as a "tuple comprehension", or cartesian product, with similar results to clojure.core/for; it's not very efficient, as it forces all tuples through a single reducer (and causes a massive blowup in the number of tuples!). Here's an example:

(let [a-src [[1] [2]]
      b-src [[3] [4]]]
  (?<- (stdout)
       [?a ?b]
       (a-src ?a)
       (b-src ?b)

This results in the following on stdout:

1       3
1       4
2       3
2       4

If you're interested, here's the implementation:

(def cross-join
  (<- [:>] (identity 1 :> _)))

This is the only predicate macro I know of that can get away with no input OR output vars.


When running a cascalog query on a cluster, usual practice is to include (:gen-class) in the namespace form, and write a -main method that gets AOT-compiled and called by Hadoop. This can be a little annoying, if you have a bunch of small queries you want to run.

defmain lets you skip the :gen-class form and write something like:

;; inside  
(defmain FirstQuery [in-path out-path]
  (?- (hfs-textline out-path)
      (some-query in-path)))

(defmain SecondQuery [out-path]
  (?<- (hfs-textline out-path)
       [?a ?b] ...))

Each defmain will compile to a class with the supplied name, prefixed by the namespace. ( and, in this example.)

(As always, make sure to add the :aot [], kv-pair to project.clj, including each namespace containing a defmain or (:gen-class) in the vector. If you want to call some defmain function directly, (defmain Query ...) can be called from the REPL with (Query-main ...).) I recommend keeping your defmain functions skinny, and testing the components it calls.


Damn you, serializations. This one JobConf entry, "io.serializations", has caused me much pain. We've added with-serializations, which makes the supplied Hadoop serializations available to all queries enclosed within the form. These forms nest, and play well with the existing with-job-conf. For example:

;; You can specify serializations in string form...
(with-serializations [""]
  (<- [?a] ...))

;; ... or directly, with the class.
(import '

(with-serializations [JavaSerialization]
  (<- [?a] ...))

;; Serializations nest and unique against each other!
(with-job-conf {"io.serializations" "my.ns.SomeSerialization"}
  (with-serializations [JavaSerialization OtherSerialization]
    (with-serializations ["my.ns.SomeSerialization" ThirdSerialization]
      (<- [?a] ...))))


first-n can now handle straight-up vectors, lists, and cascading taps, in addition to queries.

Say we've previously run a wordcount job that output [?word ?count] 2-tuples to a sequencefile, and we want to pull the top 100 words by count. Here's how we do that with first-n:

(use 'cascalog.api)
(require '[cascalog.ops :as c])

(defn wordcount-tap [path]
  (-> (hfs-seqfile path)
      (name-vars ["?word" "?count"])))

(defn top-100 [file-path]
  (c/first-n (wordcount-tap path)
             :sort ["?count"]
             :reverse true))

(defmain Top100 [tuple-path results-path]
  (?- (hfs-textline results-path)
      (top-100 tuple-path)))

first-n with vectors and lists is mostly interesting for testing purposes.

Other Bugfixes

Just a few bugfixes to note:

  • Fixed a bug preventing cascalog-taps in (:trap (some-tap ...)) option predicates.
  • Fixed bug preventing keywords as static arguments (as demonstrated here).
  • Failed cascading flows now always throw errors. (This is a workaround to a Cascading bug that allows some flows to fail silently.)
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