5 Identifiers and Identification

There is an old and perceptive saying—“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” and this cannot be more true than in the case of identifiers.

Everywhere in broadcasting, words like “ISAN,” “UMID,” “AUID,” “MAC address,” “UUID,” and “Instance Number” are bandied around. They are knowledgeable-sounding acronyms beloved by some who have no understanding of what they identify, what their intended use is, or even what the letters stand for. This can be dangerously misleading, and the consequences will not begin to show up until a system is commissioned and put to work (or more likely, until it fails to work).

When considering identifiers, it is important to be clear at every stage exactly what is being identified—for ...

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