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From Jérémie Pinard Saint-Pierre <>
Subject Getting an Int64 from HBase using the Thrift npm
Date Mon, 17 Mar 2014 21:24:06 GMT

I am having some issues reading int64 values from an HBase table using thrift from the nodejs
thrift npm.

In HBase, a TCell is defined as containing two fields: an int64 timestamp and a byte array
called value.

However, when a TCell is read by the thrift npm in the thrift/lib/thrift/transport.js file,
it is interpreted as a utf8 string and not a byte array and some values seem to get lost in
the process:

readString: function(len) {
  var str = this.inBuf.toString('utf8', this.readCursor, this.readCursor + len);
  this.readCursor += len;
  return str;

For example, when I look at my row in the HBase shell, I see


When I fetch it from nodejs, I get 00 00 00 00 00 01 ef bf bd ef bf bd

Basically, anytime a 2-byte hexadecimal value is higher than \x7F, the value I get in javascript
is 'ef bf bd'

Also, in the code snippet from transport.js, if I interpret the data stream as binary instead
of utf8, then the value is passed correctly to my code
var str = this.inBuf.toString('binary', this.readCursor, this.readCursor + len);

I guess that making this change, however, would imply that the clients of the npm module would
need to cast their own strings on a per-column basis.

So I guess that my question is the following:

Even though the name of the function in transport.js is readString, it seems to be used to
read byte arrays in some cases( at least in the context of reading a TCell from HBase ), am
I right, or did I miss something?

Also, is there any other way with which I could read an Int64 from HBase using the thrift

Thanks a lot
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