Github user cloud-fan commented on a diff in the pull request:
    --- Diff: 
sql/hive/src/main/scala/org/apache/spark/sql/hive/HiveExternalCatalog.scala ---
    @@ -410,15 +417,22 @@ private[spark] class HiveExternalCatalog(conf: 
SparkConf, hadoopConf: Configurat
         if (DDLUtils.isDatasourceTable(withStatsProps)) {
           val oldDef = client.getTable(db, withStatsProps.identifier.table)
    -      // Sets the `schema`, `partitionColumnNames` and `bucketSpec` from 
the old table definition,
    -      // to retain the spark specific format if it is. Also add old data 
source properties to table
    -      // properties, to retain the data source table format.
    -      val oldDataSourceProps =
    +      // get the data source properties from old table definition, and add 
the new location entry.
    +      val dataSourceProps = ++
    + { location =>
    +          DATASOURCE_LOCATION -> location
    +        }
           val newDef = withStatsProps.copy(
    +        // TODO: we may break the hive-compatibility format for location 
URI here, we should follow
    +        // `createTable` and try to alter the table with `locationUri` 
set, if it's failed, then set
    --- End diff --
    if this is true, we may have a bug when create table with hive compatible 
format, i.e. we may create a managed table with a file path location, and 
successfully save it in hive metastore. Then we could get an exception when 
reading/writing this table.
    cc @yhuai do we really wanna support file path location for data source 

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