Annex B. UUID purposes

UUID purposes

Annex B. UUID purposes (informative)

UUIDs are randomly generated numbers which are, practically speaking, unique and unable to conflict. The way UUIDs are designed is what allows them to uniquely identify an object with certainty. They are so unique that if you generate one today, you can be reasonably certain that this UUID has never been generated before and will never be generated by someone else in the future. This means that UUIDs in MVR will not conflict even across many files. Because it is easier to disregard data than try to derive it, MVR requires UUIDs for many things. This design and its incorporation into MVR is advantageous for many reasons, a few of which we will discuss below.

One of the most important aspects of UUIDs in MVR is that they are persistent. A UUID should identify an item throughout its entire life cycle. This means that if a document is exported, then objects should have the same UUID every time an export is performed.

One use case for UUIDs is importing or merging MVRs into an existing document. This is one reason that persistent UUIDs are valuable. If you export an MVR from one program, open it in another, and make modifications, then you may want to incorporate those changes into the original document. By cross referencing UUIDs, you can avoid creating duplicate objects and instead update existing ones.

UUIDs are also used inside of the MVR file format as a form of reference. For example, a symbol instance shall refer to a symbol definition. Because the symbol definition is given a UUID, the symbol instance can reference its symbol through the use of this UUID.