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Thread: Inconsistency in the "Select / Rename values" step

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    1,013

    Default Inconsistency in the "Select / Rename values" step

    In the "Select / Rename values" step, you are allowed to rename the field in both the "Select & Alter" tab, and in the "Meta-data" tab.

    The catch is that if you rename it in the first one, and then you want to make metadata changes to that field you have to reference it by the new name you gave to it in the first tab. However, the drop down in the "Meta-data" will offer the original name, and that will result in an error.

    Is there a reason for being able to change the same field properties in both tabs? It seems like if you could only change it in one of the two this problem (and maybe others) would be solved (plus, of course, having the corresponding drop down menu display the new name, if it exists).

    I'm hoping to read a couple of opinions on this and maybe come up with a concrete idea for reporting an issue.

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    9,729

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    The 3 tabs offer radically different functionality, hence there are 3 tabs.
    Your mis-use comes from a lack of understanding as you point out. I'm more than happy to consider options to improve things. (as long as the improvements stay backward compatible)

    Matt

  3. #3
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    Default

    I see. And they say ignorance is bliss...

    Do you mean that both tabs are mutually exclusive, from a logical point of view?

  4. #4
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    Nov 1999
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    They used to be, yes. People sometimes can't delete fields they just removed from the selection or rename fields they just renamed, but on the whole the system seems to work for most use-cases just fine.

    Select : select a set of values in a row to accommodate a Table Output step for example (create a mapping basically)
    Delete : drop a few (temp) fields from a row
    Meta : change names, data types, ... : modify the row metadata.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Ah, I see.

    Well, it's clear then. Thanks for your time, Matt!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    101

    Default

    Matt,
    Based on tdidomenico's original question and your explanation, I am still missing something. What functionality or use case would be lost if rename to was removed from the select tab (or for that matter length and precision). I also ran into the same scenario. albeit, I could fix it myself, but was just a nuisance.
    Thanks,
    Peter

  7. #7
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    Nov 1999
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    What functionality or use case would be lost if rename to was removed from the select tab (or for that matter length and precision)
    Absolutely nothing, not even at a performance cost. However, I mentioned earlier that we need to remain backward compatible.
    Mmm, perhaps we could figure out a way to read in the metadata in such a way that the old information gets transfered to the Metadata tab.

    Matt

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default

    Peter's suggestion makes sense, but I would suggest that it remains as is. My reasoning for this is to accommodate possible future changes that would directly effect the metadata layer, in this case, if you choose not to use the metadata later, you would lose the functionality these fields offer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    101

    Default

    I went ahead and had a JIRA opened up regarding this.
    http://jira.pentaho.com/browse/PDI-1429

    While not the highest priority, I think it would help simplify things and make it easier from an end user perspective.

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    -- Peter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    332

    Default Backwards compatibility

    Rather than change the current Select values step, could we create new steps that implement the changes we want? We would get the simplified usage for each of the three tabs without any backwards compatibility complexity.

    A very subjective recommendation on what the new steps could be:

    Select Fields - Show all input fields with a check box to remove them from the output. Retain the Rename to, Lenth and Precision columns but only have them available to fields that are not marked for removal.

    Alter Fields - All the functionality from the Meta-data tab with anything else that we need to add to it.

    Comments?

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