tree: 02256c874e306bfca29f0f5cf7e183f67e596c11 [path history] [tgz]
  1. index.js
  3. package.json


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Yeast is a unique id generator. It has been primarily designed to generate a unique id which can be used for cache busting. A common practice for this is to use a timestamp, but there are couple of downsides when using timestamps.

  1. The timestamp is already 13 chars long. This might not matter for 1 request but if you make hundreds of them this quickly adds up in bandwidth and processing time.
  2. It's not unique enough. If you generate two stamps right after each other, they would be identical because the timing accuracy is limited to milliseconds.

Yeast solves both of these issues by:

  1. Compressing the generated timestamp using a custom encode() function that returns a string representation of the number.
  2. Seeding the id in case of collision (when the id is identical to the previous one).

To keep the strings unique it will use the . char to separate the generated stamp from the seed.


The module is intended to be used in browsers as well as in Node.js and is therefore released in the npm registry and can be installed using:

npm install --save yeast


All the examples assume that this library is initialized as follow:

'use strict';

var yeast = require('yeast');

To generate an id just call the yeast function.

console.log(yeast(), yeast(), yeast()); // outputs: KyxidwN KyxidwN.0 KyxidwN.1

setTimeout(function () {
  console.log(yeast()); // outputs: KyxidwO


An helper function that returns a string representing the specified number. The returned string contains only URL safe characters.

yeast.encode(+new Date()); // outputs: Kyxjuo1


An helper function that returns the integer value specified by the given string. This function can be used to retrieve the timestamp from a yeast id.

var id = yeast(); // holds the value: Kyxl1OU

yeast.decode(id); // outputs: 1439816226334

That's all folks. If you have ideas on how we can further compress the ids please open an issue!