Talk:Globally unique identifier

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This is a terrible idea..[edit]

let me get this straight. Assuming a dupe GUIDs causes a fatal error, and assuming the average computer generates and stores some 1000 GUIDs in the course of its lifetime... one in 530 nonillion computers will just randomly crash? No matter how astronomically improbable, this is clearly not the Right Way. --frotht 15:16, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Then what do you propose? In some circumstances it is necessary to be able to generate reasonably unique identifiers without the use of some kind of central authority. Or it may happen that the drawbacks of using such a central authority outweigh the chance of a GUID clash. GUID's solve this problem. If you have a problem that cannot be solved using GUID's, then don't use them. Talking about the Right Way like you do is meaningless - what is the right way depends on the problem you want to solve, and GUID's are pretty adequate at solving the problem they were designed to solve. In that sense, GUID's are the right way, but note that I refuse to use capitals here, since, as I said, the right way depends on the problem that needs to be solved. Shinobu 21:17, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, but regardless of anyone's opinion of GUIDs, the fact is that they exist and are a crucial part of much software development and usage. Thus, I don't see what this discussion serves the article, unless you have referencable sources that criticise GUIDs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ouizardus (talkcontribs) 18:10, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
Other plausible methods such as giving every device a unique prefix to tag onto its own sequence of numbers are also open to risk, for example security, the method makes your machine potentially identifiable based on GUIDs emanating from it. Organization - it's likely that some manufacturer, somewhere, would get this wrong, possibly due to counterfeiting, and the whole system of GUIDs would become infested with duplicates.
A computer device is not 100% dependable. Information can be corrupted at any time due to radiation, your devices actually use the laws of probability to 'nearly always' fix this for you - but there is a finite chance of undetected corruption. Gomez2002 (talk) 11:01, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Merge into Universally unique identifier[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was merge. Even if GUID isn't perfectly synonymous with UUID, the significant overlap is better covered in a single unified article. – voidxor 21:35, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

GUID is a subset or synonym of UUID and there's redundant information across the two articles. Ant (talk) 15:18, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Merge: You are right, it should be merged. Sae1962 (talk) 12:55, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Merge: Figuring out erratum 1352 of RFC 4122 took me ages, and that version 5 (SHA-1 truncated to 128 bits) should be better than version 3 (MD5 with 128 bits) borders on patent nonsense. One XUID article should be enough, unless folks really insist on listing well-known CLSIDs as found in their windows registry in Wikipedia. – (talk) 09:42, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Do not merge: GUID is more like a subset than synonym and IMHO should be kept separated (as Mircosoft likes to separate its products from worldwide standards), which does not blocks from linking each other ofcs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:38, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Merge: draft-leach-uuids-guids-00.txt (by two of the RFC 4122 authors) suggests they were synonyms as early as 1997, and Googling for "GUID" generally turns up uses which aren't Microsoft's CLSIDs. The MySQL function is called UUID(), but Google suggests "mysql uuid" is only 1% more popular than "mysql guid" (1.79M vs 1.77M, which seems statistically insignificant especially when Google only gives the counts to 3 s.f.). **EDIT:** The second sentence also appears to suggest that the article is not about UUIDs, but then goes on to talk about UUIDs! ⇌Elektron 02:38, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Merge, per the extremely informative [1]. In particular, its link to [2] seems to discredit what the above unsigned "do not merge" claims — i.e., Microsoft actually states that GUID is a synonym for UUID. —Deathanatos (talk) 23:34, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
    Congratulations, two false claims in one comment. What the MS piece actually says is that "The term universally unique identifier (UUID) is sometimes used in Windows protocol specifications as a synonym for GUID". That's the inverse of what you claimed it said. The Stackoverflow piece says as its conclusion: "there is no difference between GUID and IETF's UUIDs, but yes difference between GUID and conforming ITU-T/ISO/IEC's UUIDs!". And since there is a material difference, a different article covering the GUID space can be useful, just as articles covering types of other classes of thing can be useful. Jamesday (talk) 09:40, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
    An update on this, the current version of the referenced page now says: "In Windows programming and in Windows operating systems, a globally unique identifier (GUID), as specified in [RFC4122], is a 128-bit value that is a binary unique identifier (ID) for a specific entity. The term universally unique identifier (UUID) is sometimes used in Windows protocol specifications as a synonym for GUID." Note particularly the specific mention of RFC4122 vs the version I quoted back in July 2015. I don't know what effect this has on past MS implementations, though, it might only be a requirement or expectation for their current/new ones. Jamesday (talk) 00:28, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Do not merge, as explained in the piece linked to by Deathanatos a GUID is not necessarily a conforming UUID. Jamesday (talk) 09:40, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Merge: On the IETF side, RFC 4122 specifically says "... UUIDs (Universally Unique IDentifier), also known as GUIDs (Globally Unique IDentifier).". On the Microsoft side, "GUID and UUID" links to a definition that says "globally unique identifier (GUID): A term used interchangeably with universally unique identifier (UUID) in Microsoft protocol technical documents". "Globally Unique Identifiers (GUIDs)" says they are synonyms. I agree with Jamesday that in principle it can be useful to have articles covering many specific types ("conforming ITU-T UUID" vs "GUID") of some more general class of things ("IETF UUID"). However, in this case we don't have any sources that say GUIDs have any big difference from UUIDs, and the differences (if any) are so subtle that they can be explained in a paragraph or two of a single merged article. --DavidCary (talk) 16:11, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
    DavidCary, one possible approach might be to try adding the content from here to there and see if it survives say one year. My guess: most of the content will be removed as MS or otherwise implementation-specific, proving the value of having two articles. But no harm in trying it if you want to and nothing beats a practical experiment to prove or disprove the viability. In the meantime best to leave GUID as it is until we can see what happens... If it turns out that the content survives then there is definitely the potential to do a merge and a good chance that I'd flip my own opnion. Jamesday (talk) 00:28, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Don't care: Of course this should be merged. It's just free Microsoft marketing. The encyclopedia concept is UUID, the MS implementation is GUID. Of course, the sad part is that Wikipedia does this for a lot of things. (talk) 16:10, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Merge: There is clearly a lot of duplication between the two and they both reference each other without giving any clear disambiguation between the two. If there is enough [MS-specific] content that does belong on the UUID page, then perhaps a [Microsoft] GUID page should continue to exist but without all the content that can already be found on the UUID page (talk) 03:39, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

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ranging from guaranteed uniqueness to likely duplicates[edit]

I think this should be changed from 'ranging from guaranteed uniqueness to likely duplicates' to 'ranging from likely uniqueness to likely duplicates'. A GUID cannot be guaranteed uniqueness no matter how small the chance is. If you put limits within the domain that a GUID is used, then of course you can, but if a GUID is to be truely globally unique, no matter the generator or domain, there will always be a possibility of a duplicate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


This article should be merged with UUID. That was discussed above a few years ago, and it seemed to the consensus view (though not unanimous). But it didn't happen. (talk) 02:07, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Sometimes these discussions stall until somebody shows some initiative. I'll do it. Thanks for pointing it out. – voidxor 21:35, 16 January 2017 (UTC)