Github user pnowojski commented on a diff in the pull request:

    https://github.com/apache/flink/pull/5423#discussion_r169048737
  
    --- Diff: 
flink-runtime/src/main/java/org/apache/flink/runtime/io/network/partition/consumer/InputGate.java
 ---
    @@ -72,7 +73,19 @@
     
        void requestPartitions() throws IOException, InterruptedException;
     
    -   BufferOrEvent getNextBufferOrEvent() throws IOException, 
InterruptedException;
    +   /**
    +    * Blocking call waiting for next {@link BufferOrEvent}.
    +    *
    +    * @return {@code Optional.empty()} if {@link #isFinished()} returns 
true.
    +    */
    +   Optional<BufferOrEvent> getNextBufferOrEvent() throws IOException, 
InterruptedException;
    --- End diff --
    
    I would prefer to leave it as it is for now. I completely agree it's a bad 
design, however in this PR I'm only documenting this behaviour and changing the 
`null` to `Optional.empty()`, and because of the extensive scope of this change 
already as it is, I would prefer to fix this issue later on. 


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