Chia-Ping Tsai created HBASE-18572:

             Summary: Delete#addColumn can't remove the cell which has no 
visibility label
                 Key: HBASE-18572
             Project: HBase
          Issue Type: Bug
            Reporter: Chia-Ping Tsai
            Assignee: Chia-Ping Tsai

  public boolean matchVisibility(List<Tag> putVisTags, Byte putTagsFormat, 
List<Tag> deleteVisTags,
      Byte deleteTagsFormat) throws IOException {
    if ((deleteTagsFormat != null && deleteTagsFormat == 
        && (putTagsFormat == null || putTagsFormat == 
      if (putVisTags.isEmpty()) {
        // Early out if there are no tags in the cell
        return false;
      if (putTagsFormat == null) {
        return matchUnSortedVisibilityTags(putVisTags, deleteVisTags);
      } else {
        return matchOrdinalSortedVisibilityTags(putVisTags, deleteVisTags);
    throw new IOException("Unexpected tag format passed for comparison, 
deleteTagsFormat : "
        + deleteTagsFormat + ", putTagsFormat : " + putTagsFormat);
If the putVisTags is empty, it will return the false directly. Hence, the 
Delete#addColumn can't "see" the cell as well as deleting it. The 
Delete#addColumns, by contrast, doesn't invoke the 
cp#prePrepareTimeStampForDeleteVersion so it can remove the cell.

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