On Jul 13, 2005, at 9:12 PM, Curt Sampson wrote:
> I'm not sure I'd call not being able to encode anything but a URL
> "future proof." You could have just as easily defined a format that
> tagged the data at the beginnning to indicate it was a URL and then
> reserved the other tags, allowing you to add vcard data later.
Not so. The URL specification defines a limited character set and
format for all URLs. So if I want to add extensions later (which I
won't, but...) I can simply use a non-URL character at the beginning.
For example, # is not a valid character to use in a domain name. So, if
I see a semacode containing "#" at the beginning, I know that this is
not a URL, and I can then create a whole extension/versioning system
based on semacodes with # at the start are treated specially.
>> Besides, why encode
>> the vCard directly when you can put in a URL to a vCard that's online?
> Because if you're my friend's office, you have to scan the card and
> take your phone outside to get network connectivity. Even without that,
> why take the extra time to connect and pay the packet charges?
Ahh, but it's not so simple. My personal vCard contains 501 characters.
The QR Code for that comes out, well, it's not small. In fact I think
that 501 characters exceeds the maximum allowed for mobile phone QR
Codes. (This would be a combination of optics on phones not being as
good as those in factories, and the printing quality on a normal
business card not being good enough at such a high resolution either.)
So I get : "Warning: Data exceeds maximum QR code version supported by
AU, DoCoMo and Vodafone. If you are using the phone book note or email
message fields, submit these to some brutal editing. You could also try
reducing the total number of fields or sections used." ..... from some
generator. That's not very satisfying.
On the other hand, I can put my vCard on the web and it's as long as I
want, I can even include a picture of myself encoded into the vCard or
Also, maybe this seems extreme, but maybe I have a haircut and I want
to change my picture. I can simply swap the file out on the server. I
don't need to print all new business cards. With kids these days who
knows what they're going to try to do with it.
>> Saying that QR codes can encode more kinds of information is
>> ridiculous, since a URL can address ANY kind of information.
> A URL can *address* any kind of information, but there's no standard
> for making it *contain* any kind of information.
That's exactly what I said.
> You already see the
> weakness in this with the vcard thing. Any docomo user that can read
> QR-Code can use a business card to instantly add contact information to
> his phone book. How many of your users can do that?
Any of them. The data charges are a bugbear. The data charge in
download a 1K or 10K vCard is inconsequential. Why would you be using
cool QR Code technology if you're not willing to pay for a few tiny
Also connection times are dropping, charges are dropping, and coverage
is getting better all the time so the trends are going in my direction.
I appreciate the chance to argue these points :)
Simon Woodside - Founder
Received on Thu Jul 14 09:55:45 2005