I would like to collect here the arguments for and against re-enabling the TINYINT datatype. Once this discussion calms down, we can schedule a vote on the issue.
Background: Cloudscape used to support the TINYINT datatype, which was an 8 bit int. This datatype was hidden from customers as part of an effort to remove all datatypes not supported by DB2. Re-enabling the datatype would not require a lot of effort. Some arguments for and against re-enabling this datatype can be found on the November 2005 email thread titled "New features for next release .... (Was: Grant and Revoke ...
Here are the arguments in favor so far:
+ This datatype is defined by one of our key standards, JDBC. It is in JDBC 2, 3, and 4, all of the JDBC revs supported by Derby 10.2.
+ This datatype is supported by some important databases, including MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and Sybase.
Here are the arguments against so far:
- This datatype is not defined by our other key standard, ANSI SQL. Here our two main standards diverge.
- This datatype is not supported by some important databases, including Oracle, DB2, and (some) Informix databases.
Against this proposal, it was also argued that there was some sort of friction with ODBC. I do not understand this argument: SQL_TINYINT is an ODBC datatype. See http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/odbc/htm/odbcsql_data_types.asp.
A friction with .NET was also suggested but I don't understand this either. "byte" and "Sbyte" are the .NET 8-bit integer types. See http://www.codersource.net/csharp_tutorial_data_types.html.
A friction with Perl was also suggested but I don't understand this either.