FAQ

What’s the project’s status?

This project is currently in beta and is rapidly evolving. We plan to do weekly releases at this stage. You should expect the following differences:

  • some functions may be missing. Please create a GitHub issue if your favorite function is not yet supported. We also document all the functions that are not yet supported in the missing directory.

  • some behavior may be different, in particular in the treatment of nulls: Pandas uses Not a Number (NaN) special constants to indicate missing values, while Spark has a special flag on each value to indicate missing values. We would love to hear from you if you come across any discrepancies

  • because Spark is lazy in nature, some operations like creating new columns only get performed when Spark needs to print or write the dataframe.

Is it Koalas or koalas?

It’s Koalas. Unlike pandas, we use upper case here.

Should I use PySpark’s DataFrame API or Koalas?

If you are already familiar with pandas and want to leverage Spark for big data, we recommend using Koalas. If you are learning Spark from ground up, we recommend you start with PySpark’s API.

How can I request support for a method?

File a GitHub issue: https://github.com/databricks/koalas/issues

Databricks customers are also welcome to file a support ticket to request a new feature.

How is Koalas different from Dask?

Different projects have different focuses. Spark is already deployed in virtually every organization, and often is the primary interface to the massive amount of data stored in data lakes. Koalas was inspired by Dask, and aims to make the transition from pandas to Spark easy for data scientists.

How can I contribute to Koalas?

See Contributing Guide.

Why a new project (instead of putting this in Apache Spark itself)?

Two reasons:

1. We want a venue in which we can rapidly iterate and make new releases. The overhead of making a release as a separate project is minuscule (in the order of minutes). A release on Spark takes a lot longer (in the order of days)

2. Koalas takes a different approach that might contradict Spark’s API design principles, and those principles cannot be changed lightly given the large user base of Spark. A new, separate project provides an opportunity for us to experiment with new design principles.

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