To be safe or to be fast?
By Sveta Smirnova on Nov 27, 2013
When I designed first version of JSON UDFs which was reviewed only internally, I let all functions to validate input and output JSON. But my colleagues told me to remove this functionality, because it makes such functions, as json_search, json_replace or json_contains_key deadly slow if they find the occurrence in the beginning of the long document. And first published version of JSON UDFs: 0.2.0 has not this functionality. What we expected is that users would call json_valid if they want to be 100% sure the document is valid.
But I was not surprised that some users expect JSON functions to work as it was in the first version: validate first, then process. For example, Ammon Sutherland writes: "json_set - according to the documentation a sort of 'INSERT... ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE' function which checks and parses the JSON (but not the whole document in this version for some reason)." Ulf Wendel also writes: "Taken from the README. For most functions manipulating or generating JSON documents is true: Warning! This version does not check whole document for validity. Hey, it is a labs.mysql.com pre-production release."
So this is certain what at least some of users want to have the behavior which was rejected. But since I believe others still can want better speed, I decided to put in my plans implementation of second set of the functions: safe JSON functions.
First, and more logical, candidate for this implementation is json_safe_merge, because currently json_merge is mostly not usable: if you checked already that documents are valid, you can easily split them. Therefore I created a separate feature request about this function: http://bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=70575
But I am not sure regarding other functions. This is why I created one more public feature request: "Implement SAFE versions for all JSON functions". Will I implement this or not would depend from your opinions. Therefore, if you want me to do so, please vote in the bug report by clicking "Affects Me!" button and comment if you want this feature will be implemented only for a few functions (or sooner for a particular function).