Vineet Garg commented on HIVE-18852:

You are right about the offending line. But I don't think changing {{dbname}} 
to {{newDbName}} would be correct thing to do since this error is under {{catch 
(NoSuchObjectException e)}} and could result due to non-existence of any other 
object. We should probably change the error message to {{Unable to change 
partition or table. Object does not exist: + e.getMessage()}}

> Misleading error message in alter table validation
> --------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: HIVE-18852
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/HIVE-18852
>             Project: Hive
>          Issue Type: Bug
>          Components: Metastore
>    Affects Versions: 2.4.0
>            Reporter: Dan Burkert
>            Priority: Major
> The metastore's validation error message when attempting to rename a table to 
> a non-existent database is wrong.  For instance, attempting to alter table 
> 'db.table' to 'non_existent_database.table' results in the Thrift error:
> {{TException - service has thrown: InvalidOperationException(message=Unable 
> to change partition or table. Database db does not exist Check metastore logs 
> for detailed stack.non_existent_database)}}
> I believe the offending line of code is 
> [here|https://github.com/apache/hive/blob/branch-2/metastore/src/java/org/apache/hadoop/hive/metastore/HiveAlterHandler.java?utf8=%E2%9C%93#L331-L333],
>  notice that {{dbname}} is used in the message, not {{newDbName}}.  I don't 
> know if switching that would cause the case of a non-existing {{dbname}} case 
> to regress, though.

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