> Actually, this should really be so general as to not even be  
> specific to Element(s)... just a good old general purpose method  
> will do.

While having a general purpose method would be nice, I think this is  
really something that ought to act on an element.

The original use for assignId stems from a widget definition where  
the designers might have assigned an ID for styling purposes to sub- 
nodes of the widget. So rather than write:

        if (!node.id)
                this._myId= node.id= newUniqueId();

I found the following more convenient:

        this._myId= newUniqueId();

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