Caution

You are not reading the most current version of the documentation. If you want up-to-date information, please have a look at 4.4 .

Reverse reads

A read is called reverse when it reads with reverse clustering order (compared to that of the schema). Example:

CREATE TABLE mytable (
    pk int,
    ck int,
    s int STATIC,
    v int,
    PRIMARY KEY (pk, ck)
) WITH
    CLUSTERING ORDER BY (ck ASC);

# Forward read (using table's native order)
SELECT * FROM mytable WHERE pk = 1;
# Explicit forward order
SELECT * FROM mytable WHERE pk = 1 ORDER BY ck ASC;

# Reverse read
SELECT * FROM mytable WHERE pk = 1 ORDER BY ck DESC;

If the table’s native clustering order is DESC, then a read with ASC order is considered reverse.

Legacy format

The legacy format is how scylla handled reverse queries internally. We are in the process of migrating to the native reverse format, but for now coordinator-side code still uses the legacy format.

Request

The query::partition_slice::options::reversed flag is set. Clustering ranges in both query::partition_slice::_row_ranges and query::specific_ranges::_ranges (query::partition_slice::_specific_ranges) are half-reversed: they are ordered in reverse, but when they are compared to other mutation-fragments, their end bound is used as position, instead of the start bound as usual. When compared to other clustering ranges the end bound is used as the start bound and vice-versa. Example:

For the clustering keys (ASC order): ck1, ck2, ck3, ck4, ck5, ck6. A _row_ranges field of a slice might contain this:

[ck1, ck2], [ck4, ck5]

The legacy reversed version would look like this:

[ck4, ck5], [ck1, ck2]

Note how the ranges themselves are the same (bounds not reversed), it is just the range vector itself that is reversed.

Result

Results are ordered with the reversed clustering order with the caveat that range-tombstones are ordered by their end bound, using the native schema’s comparators. For example given the following partition:

ps{pk1}, sr{}, cr{ck1}, rt{[ck2, ck4)}, cr{ck2}, cr{ck3}, cr{ck4}, ck{ck5}, pe{}

The legacy reverse format equivalent of this looks like the following:

ps{pk1}, sr{}, cr{ck5}, rt{[ck2, ck4)}, cr{ck4}, cr{ck3}, cr{ck2}, ck{ck1}, pe{}

Note:

  • Only clustering elements change;

  • Range tombstone’s bounds are not reversed;

  • Range tombstones can be ordered off-by-one due to native schema comparators used: rt{[ck2, ck4)} should be ordered after cr{ck4}.

Legend:

  • ps = partitions-tart

  • sr = static-row

  • cr = clustering-row

  • rt = range-tombstone

  • pe = partition-end

Native format

The native format uses ordering equivalent to that of a table with reverse clustering format. Using mytable as an example, the native reverse format would be an identical table my_reverse_table, which uses CLUSTERING ORDER BY (ck DESC);. This allows middle layers in a read pipeline to just use a schema with reversed clustering order and process the reverse stream as normal.

Request

The query::partition_slice::options::reversed flag is set as in the legacy format. Clustering ranges in both query::partition_slice::_row_ranges and query::specific_ranges::_ranges (query::partition_slice::_specific_ranges) are fully-reversed: they are ordered in reverse, their bound being swapped as well. Example:

For the clustering keys (ASC order): ck1, ck2, ck3, ck4, ck5, ck6. A _row_ranges field of a slice might contain this:

[ck1, ck2], [ck4, ck5]

The native reversed version would look like this:

[ck5, ck4], [ck2, ck1]

In addition to this, the schema is reversed on the replica, at the start of the read, so all the reverse-capable and intermediate readers in the stack get a reversed schema to work with.

Result

Results are ordered with the reversed clustering order with the bounds of range-tombstones swapped. For example, given the same partition that was used in the legacy format example, the native reverse version would look like this:

ps{pk1}, sr{}, cr{ck5}, cr{ck4}, rt{(ck4, ck2]}, cr{ck3}, cr{ck2}, ck{ck1}, pe{}