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QR Codes for Threads?

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#1
Recently I stumbled over Google's QR Code API (Quick Response Code, these twodimensional bar codes one can see in every nth ad these days), and it'd make a nice addition for those who'd like to copy/paste a link to their smart phone.

The thing is pretty straight forward: Add a link to
and you're done. Click on the link and you'll see a barcode, catch it with your mobile and bookmark it (or share it with your friends, whatever).

Example: Link to this thread.

 
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tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#3
Nah, not necessarily. But as tablets and smart phones become more popular (and typing is somewhat tedious there), it's something I'm toying with.

Hey, it's an on-demand thing, like in my own pages where you can click on a "QR Code" link - if you think you need it. It's unobtrusive enough and won't generate any traffic unless clicked. :)

(Go eg. there and click the "Page QR Code" link on the bottom right.)
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#4
Hmmm. Interesting.

My boss showed me this trick last week. Because we have Crackberries, you do need scanning software (we have Curves). Might be built-in in other phones. Oh. We do have 3G data, as well. Probably doesn't make a difference ....

The question I had for my boss was, "How is this better than just including a link?" He told me something about, "Stop being a smart guy."

I have no problem with the tags. How should they be implemented? Can the image be reduced more?
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#5
Like it or not...

...we are rapidly moving away from an "access the internets through your computer" world into a "use your smart phone for everything digital" world. "The kids" have no trouble dealing with the small screens and the thumb-typing, even if we ancient pistols still prefer the "traditional" desktops and laptops.

Hell, I still refuse to deal with the abominations that are Twitter and Facebook. I was just getting used to My Space when it all shifted again, and it's just not worth the trouble...
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#6
The question I had for my boss was, "How is this better than just including a link?" He told me something about, "Stop being a smart guy."
Thing is that when you surf the 'net with your desktop (as opposed to tablet or smartphone) computer and you stumble over something interesting that you want to show your friends or somehow bookmark for later use, you can of course bookmark the link and be done. But if you'd like to have that bookmark on your smart phone, you either have to mail it to yourself, or send it via bluetooth or USB or share it in some other way unless you want to type in the address again.
Creating and capturing a QR code is faster than most other methods.

Re implementation - I'd make it "on demand", ie a clickable icon or link. No use wasting a lot of bandwidth and screen area for something only the unlacquered freaks use. :cool:
You already have a "Bookmarks" pane with Digg and others beneath the messages - that's where I'd put the link.

PS: My phone usually hangs on a WLAN unless on the road. My data plan is frugal 100MB per month, and I'm using maybe half of it.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#7
I'll look into it. I'm fairly sure there's a hack or mod for it.
 
#8
I heard QR codes are already becoming obsolete? Terrifying - may as well not invest in any new technology knowing that everything I buy will be outdated within 6 months to a year. I take a look back thirty years ago when the idea of a cell phone doing what they do today was a picture from some overly-radical, shiny, dome-shaped-structure infested future world where laboratories looked like atomic kitchens with weird purple glows everywhere anyways. :)
:
There you have my shiny two pennies.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#9
Hmmm.

I did some checking on the vBulletin forums and on Google. It looks like the best I can do would make a 3-step process:

1. Go to http://qrcode.kaywa.com and generate the code for whatever
2. Copy the code's permalink
3. In your post, type [new_BB_Code]permalink[/new_bb_code]

Submit the post and all will be right with the world. Linky. (You probably won't be able to see it, though.)

There are a couple for vBulletin 4, like this one, that is a one-step process, but we don't use vBulletin 4. Yet.

I'll try setting up the three-step process in a moment.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#10
Hmm. Checked the code a bit more. There's an easier way:

1. Go to http://qrcode.kaywa.com and type in the URL you want to link to and hit "generate"
2. Copy the permalink link from above (i.e. "right click on 'permalink' and choose 'Copy Link' or whatever looks simular in your browser)
3. In your post, type
(where "permalink" is the thing you got from the kaywa website)

No coding needed. You're just adding an image, after all.

Example:



One comment is that I don't know how big one of these should be. I'd prefer if we can use dinky size:



I'll do some experimenting. I might be able to add a button to do this.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#11
on a different subject ... maybe we can use QR links for all postings .. ie, any posting gets converted to a QR link which we then have to scan to know what someone posted and vice versa. Think of how much screen space can be saved and condensed to smart phone layout
 
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tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#12
Google does it on the fly. The code is only generated when you actually click the link.

So instead of having a eg the Google link on your bookmark pane that looks like this
http://www.google.com/bookmarks/mar...thread.php?t=3950&title=QR+Codes+for+Threads?
you'd have something like
https://chart.googleapis.com/chart?chs=240x240&cht=qr&chl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.woodwindforum.com%2Fforums%2Fshowthread.php%3Ft%3D3950
The only current downside is that it will open in a new window instead of a nice popup or somethinglike that.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#13
on a different subject ... maybe we can use QR links for all postings .. ie, any posting gets converted to a QR link which we then have to scan to know what someone posted and vice versa. Think of how much screen space can be saved and condensed to smart phone layout
I think what both you and TicTacTux want is there to be a little button that automagically gives you a QR code for a thread/post/something.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#14
OK. Got the posts straightened out.

Continuing, what we'd have to do is pass the link to an external program to generate the QR. You could then pass the resulting QR image back here. Both of those are problems:

* How can I get the URL (say) to a "QR generator," like Google's or http://qrcode.kaywa.com automagically?
* How can I get the QR from the "QR generator" back here, automagically?

I browsed around a bit and found http://code.google.com/p/qrbookmarklet. I tested it and I think it works, but it's still manual: while you get a nice QR, it doesn't add it to the post.

Research will continue. I think what I should do is see if I can create an extra button that runs the Javascript from the above website.
 
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pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#15
Mmmm. Try this:

* Go to the Quick Style Chooser in the lower left corner
* Choose the QR_Testy style
* Reload the page or create a new thread

I'm still researching on the button thing, because that's cleaner. You'd think that would be easy to get documentation on creating a button in vBulletin. It's not.
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#16
Mmmm. Try this:

* Go to the Quick Style Chooser in the lower left corner
* Choose the QR_Testy style
* Reload the page or create a new thread
Wowzer! Quite eye-catching. :)

I'm still researching on the button thing, because that's cleaner. You'd think that would be easy to get documentation on creating a button in vBulletin. It's not.
Can't you just hack the "delicio.us" link? I mean, who on earth would use that one? ;-)
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#17
I'm working on it. The problem is that I have to try to find an element that's in ALL of the styles we use and is available to all levels of user. It's a bit difficult to find that!

Anyhow, try the Mean Green theme. I have a link in the menu bar called "Under Development" (at the moment, at least). It's next to "FAQ." Automagic QR Code.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#18
Fully integrated across all styles.

Commentary:

The idea you had about the "social media toolbar," TTT, was a good one. Unfortunately, it's just a bunch of PHP code and I can't insert anything into it (or modify it) without breaking it completely. Further, I attempted to insert a code "button" above the social media toolbar and ... nothing happened: there's a whole lotta PHP script before and after the toolbar and a bunch of if ... then statements. The button I created wasn't showing up probably because of those if ... then statements.

(I don't code PHP and I really don't code Javascript. However, I am persistent.)

ANYHOW, you've got a QR generator. The only thing it doesn't do is insert it into your post. I think the method with the tags is probably the best method.

Oh. Almost forgot. I did notice that the cursor doesn't turn into the "pointy finger" icon when you hover over the "Create QR Code for this Page" link. It does underline and you can click it. Possibly the code I used. Dunno. It's:

[code]<td class="vbmenu_control"><a class="style1" onclick="javascript:(function(){if(document.getElementById){var x=document.body;var o=document.createElement('script');if(typeof(o)!='object') o=document.standardCreateElement('script');o.setAttribute('src','http://qrbookmarklet.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/qr.js');o.setAttribute('type','text/javascript');x.appendChild(o);}})();">Create QR Code for this Page</a></td>[/code]
Yup. Just one line. But it's a [i]long[/i] line :D.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#20
Ho! Ho! Ho! *Cough* *Ack*
 
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