Before going to the root cause lets see the read behavior for a file having more than 10 blocks in append case..
There is prefetch size dfs.read.prefetch.size for the DFSInputStream which has default value of 10
This prefetch size is the number of blocks that the client will fetch from the namenode for reading a file..
For example lets assume that a file X having 22 blocks is residing in HDFS
The reader first fetches first 10 blocks from the namenode and start reading
After the above step , the reader fetches the next 10 blocks from NN and continue reading
Then the reader fetches the remaining 2 blocks from NN and complete the write
Lets see the cause for this issue now...
Scenario that will fail is "Writer wrote 10+ blocks and a partial block and called sync. Reader trying to read the file will not get the last partial block" .
Client first gets the 10 block locations from the NN. Now it checks whether the file is under construction and if so it gets the size of the last partial block from datanode and reads the full file
However when the number of blocks is more than 10, the last block will not be in the first fetch. It will be in the second or other blocks(last block will be in (num of blocks / 10)th fetch)
The problem now is, in DFSClient there is no logic to get the size of the last partial block(as in case of point 1), for the rest of the fetches other than first fetch, the reader will not be able to read the complete data synced...........!!
also the InputStream.available api uses the first fetched block size to iterate. Ideally this size has to be increased