Yiping Han commented on PIG-734:

I don't get the serializing part. I would expect the type-checking just happen 
once, would that be a performance problem.

Actually we are thinking if we sould switch to integer key for saving space.

I wouldn't post strong against to this rollback, but I don't see a significant 
reason for dong that.

> Non-string keys in maps
> -----------------------
>                 Key: PIG-734
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/PIG-734
>             Project: Pig
>          Issue Type: Bug
>    Affects Versions: 0.2.0
>            Reporter: Alan Gates
>            Assignee: Alan Gates
>            Priority: Minor
>             Fix For: 0.3.0
> With the addition of types to pig, maps were changed to allow any atomic type 
> to be a key.  However, in practice we do not see people using keys other than 
> strings.  And allowing multiple types is causing us issues in serializing 
> data (we have to check what every key type is) and in the design for non-java 
> UDFs (since many scripting languages include associative arrays such as 
> Perl's hash).
> So I propose we scope back maps to only have string keys.  This would be a 
> non-compatible change.  But I am not aware of anyone using non-string keys, 
> so hopefully it would have little or no impact.

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