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UUID Generator

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It doesn't work?

If you're clicking on the generate button and nothing happens it's most likely that you're not connecting to this site using SSL. Take a look a the URL and make sure it starts with https:// instead of http://.

The other possibility is that you're using an older browser that doesn't support the crypto.randomUUID() method. If that's the case, you'll need to update your browser.

What is a UUID?

A UUID, which stands for Universally Unique Identifier, is a type of identifier used in computing. Essentially, it's a string of characters that serves as a unique identifier for something. Think of it like a fingerprint for digital data.

Here's how it works: in many computer systems, there's a need to uniquely identify things. For example, let's say you're creating a new user account on a website. Each user needs a unique identifier so that the system can keep track of them separately. Instead of using something like a username, which might not be truly unique, a UUID can be generated.

What makes UUIDs special is that they're designed to be unique across both space and time. This means that even if two systems are creating UUIDs at the same time, the chance of them generating the same UUID is extremely low. UUIDs are generated using algorithms that take into account things like the current time, the machine's unique identifier, and some random data to ensure uniqueness.

UUIDs are used in a variety of places in computing. They might be used as identifiers for database records, for files on a filesystem, for communication between different systems, or for many other purposes where uniqueness is important.

One of the main benefits of UUIDs is that they can be generated without needing to check with a central authority to ensure uniqueness. This makes them very convenient for distributed systems where different parts of the system might be generating identifiers independently.

How unique is a UUID?

The tl;dr version is that they're unique enough that you probably don't need to worry about it.

The longer version is that a UUID is a 128-bit number, which means that there are 2^128 (or about 3.4 x 10^38) possible UUIDs. This is an absolutely enormous number, and it's so large that the chances of generating the same UUID twice are vanishingly small. In fact, the odds are so low that you're more likely to be struck by lightning multiple times in your life than to generate the same UUID twice.

How to generate a UUID using JavaScript

Thanks to the Crypto library available in pretty much every modern web browser, it's trivial to generate a UUID using JavaScript. The only real catch is that it only works when you're using SSL. This is because the crypto.randomUUID() method is only available in secure contexts. Most websites are secure by default, but it's something that you may come up against during development or working on a local machine.

let uuid = self.crypto.randomUUID();

// Do something more interesting with it
console.info(uuid); 
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