A couple months back – on the mailing list – I mentioned a couple offset management issues I'd been having. (I'm happy to elaborate on this, but in short: I associate some extra state / ordering information with the input offsets, and there's a nontrivial performance cost keeping Samza's checkpoints and my task's state in sync.)
It occurs to me now that there's a simple workaround for this: disable Samza's checkpointing entirely, and let `StreamTask.init` choose the starting offsets. The task can just keep its checkpoints in an ordinary StorageEngine – and by managing all the state from a single place, it's easy to keep everything in sync.
The basic implementation actually seems fairly straightforward – the consumers are not started until after the tasks are initialized, so all we'd need to do is allow the `init` method to override the starting offsets. I've attached a small patch that exposes this through the TaskContext interface, just to illustrate the idea – if this seems like an interesting feature for Samza, I'm happy to add more tests / documentation / etc.