Why not just use a GUID or UUID type for the ID type (IE:
3F2504E0-4F89-11D3-9A0C-0305E82C3301)?  This way you're not restricted
by using a numeric data type that each language could potentially
define differently.

For languages that don't directly have a GUID or UUID type, they can
treat that ID as a string, and the higher level languages can use the
GUID data type directly.

On Oct 18, 7:19 pm, Matt Harris <thematthar...@twitter.com> wrote:
> Last week you may remember Twitter planned to enable the new Status ID
> generator - 'Snowflake' but didn't. The purpose of this email is to explain
> the reason why this didn't happen, what we are doing about it, and what the
> new release plan is.
>
> So what is Snowflake?
> ------------------------------
> Snowflake is a service we will be using to generate unique Tweet IDs. These
> Tweet IDs are unique 64bit unsigned integers, which, instead of being
> sequential like the current IDs, are based on time. The full ID is composed
> of a timestamp, a worker number, and a sequence number.
>
> The problem
> -----------------
> Before launch it came to our attention that some programming languages such
> as Javascript cannot support numbers with >53bits. This can be easily
> examined by running a command similar to: (90071992547409921).toString() in
> your browsers console or by running the following JSON snippet through your
> JSON parser.
>
>     {"id": 10765432100123456789, "id_str": "10765432100123456789"}
>
> In affected JSON parsers the ID will not be converted successfully and will
> lose accuracy. In some parsers there may even be an exception.
>
> The solution
> ----------------
> To allow javascript and JSON parsers to read the IDs we need to include a
> string version of any ID when responding in the JSON format. What this means
> is Status, User, Direct Message and Saved Search IDs in the Twitter API will
> now be returned as an integer and a string in JSON responses. This will
> apply to the main Twitter API, the Streaming API and the Search API.
>
> For example, a status object will now contain an id and an id_str. The
> following JSON representation of a status object shows the two versions of
> the ID fields for each data point.
>
> [
>   {
>     "coordinates": null,
>     "truncated": false,
>     "created_at": "Thu Oct 14 22:20:15 +0000 2010",
>     "favorited": false,
>     "entities": {
>       "urls": [
>       ],
>       "hashtags": [
>       ],
>       "user_mentions": [
>         {
>           "name": "Matt Harris",
>           "id": 777925,
>           "id_str": "777925",
>           "indices": [
>             0,
>             14
>           ],
>           "screen_name": "themattharris"
>         }
>       ]
>     },
>     "text": "@themattharris hey how are things?",
>     "annotations": null,
>     "contributors": [
>       {
>         "id": 819797,
>         "id_str": "819797",
>         "screen_name": "episod"
>       }
>     ],
>     "id": 12738165059,
>     "id_str": "12738165059",
>     "retweet_count": 0,
>     "geo": null,
>     "retweeted": false,
>     "in_reply_to_user_id": 777925,
>     "in_reply_to_user_id_str": "777925",
>     "in_reply_to_screen_name": "themattharris",
>     "user": {
>       "id": 6253282
>       "id_str": "6253282"
>     },
>     "source": "web",
>     "place": null,
>     "in_reply_to_status_id": 12738040524
>     "in_reply_to_status_id_str": "12738040524"
>   }
> ]
>
> What should you do - RIGHT NOW
> ----------------------------------------------
> The first thing you should do is attempt to decode the JSON snippet above
> using your production code parser. Observe the output to confirm the ID has
> not lost accuracy.
>
> What you do next depends on what happens:
>
> * If your code converts the ID successfully without losing accuracy you are
> OK but should consider converting to the _str versions of IDs as soon as
> possible.
> * If your code has lost accuracy, convert your code to using the _str
> version immediately. If you do not do this your code will be unable to
> interact with the Twitter API reliably.
> * In some language parsers, the JSON may throw an exception when reading the
> ID value. If this happens in your parser you will need to ‘pre-parse’ the
> data, removing or replacing ID parameters with their _str versions.
>
> Summary
> -------------
> 1) If you develop in Javascript, know that you will have to update your code
> to read the string version instead of the integer version.
>
> 2) If you use a JSON decoder, validate that the example JSON, above, decodes
> without throwing exceptions. If exceptions are thrown, you will need to
> pre-parse the data. Please let us know the name, version, and language of
> the parser which throws the exception so we can investigate.
>
> Timeline
> -----------
> by 22nd October 2010 (Friday): String versions of ID numbers will start
> appearing in the API responses
> 4th November 2010 (Thursday) : Snowflake will be turned on but at ~41bit
> length
> 26th November 2010 (Friday) : Status IDs will break 53bits in length and
> cease being usable as Integers in Javascript based languages
>
> We understand this isn’t as seamless a transition as we had planned and
> appreciate for some of you this change requires an update to your code.
> We’ve tried to give as much time as possible for you to make the migration
> and update your code to use the new string representations.
>
> Our own products and tools are affected by the change and we will be making
> available any pre-parsing snippets we have created to ensure code continues
> to work with the new IDs.
>
> Thanks for your support and understanding.
>
> ---
> @themattharris
> Developer Advocate, Twitterhttp://twitter.com/themattharris

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