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URIs in QR (was: URI length statistics "in the wild"?)

From: Erik Wilde <dret@berkeley.edu>
Date: Thu, 08 Apr 2010 09:11:56 -0700
Message-ID: <4BBE004C.9050404@berkeley.edu>
To: uri@w3.org
CC: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, Bob Aman <bobaman@google.com>
hello all.

> Yes, well if not using tinyurl.com or bit.ly.com, I think quite likely
> that people encoding URIs in QR Codes will have a strong incentive to
> keep them short. Most likely uses are for homepages, blogs, of people
> and businesses, or lookups into databases (books, inventory etc).

interestingly, goo.gl (google's URI shortener) not only provides short 
URIs, you can also get the QR for any short URI by just appending .qr to 
it (which simply redirects to the google chart API using QR mode):

http://twitter.com/dret/status/11797022951

i have recently become very interested in QR, and from what i've found 
out so far, while QR encoding/decoding (text2QR) is well-defined, the 
landscape of what to expect and how to process it is very messy. many QR 
programs fail to recognize anr/or properly decode URIs, using ad-hoc 
methods and/or not recognizing URIs that are not http: URIs.

since i am very interested in the mobile landscape and particularly in 
the mobile web, i would like to ask if anybody is interested in starting 
some activity (maybe a W3C incubator group) that would survey the 
landscape of existing "standards" and tools, and maybe even come up with 
some best practices for how to use QR codes in a web-friendly way.

for example, just for fun i came up with this new office door sign:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dret/4498124087/

it is supposed to be interpreted like an email, which means it's plain 
text that contains a URI (in this case a mailto: URI), and a 
user-friendly agent should make that URI actionable. but is that a 
reasonable assumption to make? not in the QR reader apps i am testing on 
iPhone and Android, but it might help the mobile web quite a bit if 
there were some best practices around how to use QR codes in a 
web-friendly way. while embedding vcards in QR business cards and 
similar self-contained data also would be important, the most crucial 
thing to get right would be to have well-defined rules for how to deal 
with URIs, both from the encoding point of view (can i use plain text 
with URIs in it?) and the user agent point of view (QR scanners should 
have configurable ways of how to dispatch URIs to applications).

kind regards,

erik wilde   tel:+1-510-6432253 - fax:+1-510-6425814
        dret@berkeley.edu  -  http://dret.net/netdret
        UC Berkeley - School of Information (ISchool)
Received on Thursday, 8 April 2010 16:12:40 UTC

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