Mobile Barcoder 0.2.0 released

Days after the release of 0.1.5 comes a major update which seeks to answer all of the common suggestions and make clone extensions obsolete

The two major features of version 0.2.0 are:

  • There is now an options dialog which will allow you to choose between QR Code & Data Matrix as well as the size of the generated code
  • Localisation is now possible, so if there are any kind users who would like to translate the text into their primary language, please leave a comment and I'll send some information.

Hopefully the addition of the option dialog means that the clones of my extension which are floating around on several random download sites are now rendered obsolete.

The extension is in the Sandbox area on the Mozilla Addons site, but eventually it should filter through to the main site.

As usual, please leave comments if there are any features missing that you think would improve the extension. The only addition I can think of is the ability to choose where the barcode appears on-screen (eg. in the centre always).

Comments

Hi Duncan!
As I wrote on addons.mozilla.org your "Mobile Barcode" is really nice! The new thick white border makes it fast and robust. And I like the new simple icon.

Another idea for improvement: when transfering text selections then non-ascii characters get broken. I tried pages in UTF8 or in 8859-1 and I tried UpCode, KAYWA Reader and BeeTagg CH - non-ascii chars are never correct. Perhaps it can be fixed in your Add-on.

Thank you for your hint: Upcode is nice! KAYWA and BeeTagg both can read bigger QR-Codes but KAYWA re-routes every Link through kaywa.com and BeeTagg cannot handle generic texts.

greetings from switzerland,
+++ Oliver
Monday 24 November 2008 08:53 | user icon Oliver
Oliver, could you possibly test this using the mobilecodes.nokia.com generator? Mobile Barcoder uses that to generate the images so if it works on there then there must be something I can do in my addon's code.
Monday 1 December 2008 06:12 | user icon Duncan Sample
A great Add-on, which I very often use!
Current, I test and I use the Firefox 3,1. beta 2. When will it give an update for Firefox 3.1x?

Regards
Saturday 10 January 2009 09:12 | user icon Heiko
Thanks for a good feature. I have one enhancement request which I find very important. I'd like to make phone calls using the bar code.

Please visit http://mskynet.com/static/QRGenAPI and check the bar code on the top of the page. When I read that bar code to my cell phone, I can make a call with just one click.

I'd like to select a phone number on a web site and use the right mouse button to "Make phone call" with the selection as the phone number. A lot of web applications and web sites have phone numbers and with this feature I could call them without typing the phone numbers myself.

Please consider this improvement. BTW, same could be applied to "Send SMS" and "Send Email" too. There is even something for GPS. I'm using Nokia E51.

Thanks!
Tuesday 13 January 2009 15:09 | user icon Niko
couple of suggestions:
1. Make the barcode picture savable - this is something I would really appreciate;
2. Make the button in the status bar open either save dialog or the option dialog, preferably left click save, right click options;
3. make the border size optional like the size itself

these 3 additions will make it the ultimate addon :) atleast for me
Saturday 24 January 2009 21:28 | user icon stoinov
There is no unicode support.
You can add it simply removing URLEncode() magic with the call to encodeURIComponent(plaintext).
This works perfectly for me.
Monday 26 January 2009 15:07 | user icon Toster
very nice add-on!

I would really recommend to improve usability by adding options to _Save_ and _Copy to clipboard_ when showing a generated QR code.

I have some technical questions:
1. Do you generate our QR code inside the extension, or do you use any remote server/application/provider?
2. Do you know if it is possible to generate QR code which has defined/fixed pixels, an empty white area in the middle, for instance?

great job, keep going!!

Attila
Tuesday 27 January 2009 14:08 | user icon bujatt
Thanks! Very useful, I tested it with many links and all (on my iPhone, with 'Barcodes' from the ZXing project), worked out very well!

Now as mentioned earlier, you definetly need to add a Save feature (and why not clipboard too?) .. (or just clipboard if that's easier).

I'm available for porting the project to French. Just send me the thing to be translated at megahawtspambox on gmail, and I'll do it happily!

Thanks for the thing!
Wednesday 25 February 2009 02:44 | user icon Alex
I love using Mobile Barcode in Firefox, but I would like to also use it from Thunderbird (i.e. Icedove on Debian). Some add-ons advertise in their install.rdf file that they are compatible with both applications. Do you think your add-on could do that, too?
Sunday 1 March 2009 19:08 | user icon Markus
I'm not sure why but it doesn't work under firefox 3.1+ (or isn't working on my box)

HOWEVER that's not why I'm commenting, Google released a chart API that allows you to display a QR barcode!
using this url:
http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=350x350&chl=

more info about the API is here:
http://code.google.com/apis/chart/types.html#qrcodes

Don't know if you're interested, I like the idea (if I could figure out why it's not working...)
Saturday 2 May 2009 03:47 | user icon Nathaniel
Duncan,

Thank you for a wonderful add-on.

I've encountered a difficulty using the "barcode from link" feature while using a dark system theme (in which all the window decorations and toolbars and dropdowns are dark). The code (either QR code or Data Matrix) is not recognized without a white border. I know you tried to remedy a similar issue like this by making a clear (transparent) space around the code, but an opaque white border would correct this issue for everyone, including those using dark system themes.

I tested Mobile Barcoder 0.2.0 on both Firefox versions 2.0.0.22pre and 3.0.10. It worked in both cases when a light system theme was used. Barcode-from-link and barcode-from-selection failed in both FF2 and FF3 when a dark system theme was used. The page-to-barcode generator (at the bottom of the window frame) worked in both Firefox versions with either dark or light system themes.

It is so fabulously useful just the way it is, that I almost hate to even mention this issue. But as the incidence of dark themes is less common than light ones, and because I really want this tool to work in every possible situation, then I felt I should mention it.
Sunday 3 May 2009 04:02 | user icon Joe
Hi Duncan,
After quite a while its me again. Sorry I missed your answer! Now I understood the issue with non-ASCII-chars thanks to the comment of Nathaniel above. Google Codes can encode them as UTF-8 *or* ISO-8859-1. Nokias mobilecodes.nokia.com and your add-on always do UTF-8. And mobile readers are not very flexible yet:

UpCode Reader 4.05.1 always treats non-ASCII as ISO-8859-1
BeeTagg CH 2.2.2.2-1 always treats non-ASCII as ISO-8859-1
Kaywa Reader 1.3 1 always treats non-ASCII as UTF-8

I have all three readers on my phone. But it would be great if the text encoding could be chosen in your already so nice add-on.

To test it use:
http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=350x350&choe=ISO-8859-1&chl=Zürich

thanx for this nice piece of software!
Thursday 14 May 2009 19:51 | user icon Oliver
I think this is a great Firefox add-on for "transferring" content between a computer and a mobile device. Being able to choose between QR codes & datamatrix would make it even better... However it would be great to have a similar feature for blog posts in Wordpress. So here is my humble request: Dear developers can you please port this into a Wordpress plugin?
Tuesday 7 July 2009 12:07 | user icon Ola Rompe
The following extension

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/12364

http://tandot.co.uk/content/06-2009/scandot/

enables the insertion of a QR Code of the full page URL into the corner of printed pages. This allows recovery of the full URL where it might be truncated when printed in the page header or footer. It also allows recovery without having to type in the URL.

However, looking at that extension's source code, it appears to generate QR Codes, in /scandot/content/qrgen.js , by calling out to Google Charts.

I wonder whether you might be interested in adding similar functionality to your extension, but generating the bar codes with your own functionality that presumably does not need to make an external call (requiring both a live connection and the opportunity for Google to log the requests).

Unfortunately, I'm not currently versed enough to create a hybrid of the two extensions on my own.
Wednesday 16 September 2009 07:01 | user icon Pas B
Looking at your extension, I see that you call out to http://mobilecodes.nokia.com/... to generate the bar codes that you display. (It doesn't use a local library provided by that domain, as I at first thought the earlier comment, above, referencing that domain might have meant.) So, with regard to my earlier comment, it appears my request would not solve the "calling out" problem I ascribed to the other extension.

I don't mean that as criticism; rather, just that my earlier request makes less sense in light of this.

Regards
Wednesday 16 September 2009 07:20 | user icon Pas B
Looks like the service at http://mobilecodes.nokia.com/ doesn't respond anymore. There is the google chart generator, but there is another plugin at http://software.kozoh.net/#qrcode-fx that claims to generate the barcodes in javascript (which I think is the way to go).

Do you have the source code released anywhere? Open to code contributions, should I find the time to play with it?
Tuesday 27 October 2009 20:34 | user icon Jay K
I've forked your github project and changed it to use Google Charts (xpi at http://github.com/jk3us/mobilebarcoder/downloads)... If you are planning on maintaining the project, feel free to pull my changes. If not, I'll start a new project on addons.m.o.
Thursday 29 October 2009 15:37 | user icon Jay K
Hi,
thnx for the Qr code generator. I'd like to be able to save the generated Qr codes. Is it me that I did not find this option or is it not possible (yet). How can I incorporate the code in my application?
Sunday 15 November 2009 19:43 | user icon Jeroen
I don't see a new update for this since 2008. Looks like a great tool. Please keep it up.
Wednesday 13 January 2010 19:56 | user icon Skip Huffman
By the way, the "create barcode from text" appears to be rather limited in the amount of text it will work with. And it doesn't give any sort of message when it fails.
Wednesday 13 January 2010 20:03 | user icon Skip Huffman
Fantastic work! I've wanted something like this since like FOREVER!
Friday 22 January 2010 00:44 | user icon Matt
Please update this for 3.6!! I miss it already!
Saturday 23 January 2010 03:12 | user icon Protonus
i suggest it doesnot work onlinux with latest firefox. however git fork works well
Saturday 30 January 2010 07:54 | user icon enigma
Duncan - great addon. I've done a quick write-up and retro comparison at http://blog.jayeyesea.com/2010/02/07/mobile-barcoder-firefox-addon-hilo-tech-coupler-for-your-laptop-and-mobile/ Thanks, Ian.
Sunday 7 February 2010 18:28 | user icon Ian Leader
Hi Duncan.
I use and love your add-on since 2008. Today I noticed that it stopped working! I checked it after upgrading Firefox to 3.5.9. But I did not use Mobile Barcoder for weeks. So I am not sure since when it is broken. It only shows small empty squares. On mozilla.org I saw that I am not the only one affected.

I am a developer and could help chasing this bug. Perhaps you could tell me how to produce helpful output from your add-on?

+++ Oliver
Saturday 10 April 2010 03:04 | user icon Oliver
The little box shows up when I hover, but no barcode is produced. Just an empty box pops up (with Windows XP and firefox 3.6.3).
Friday 7 May 2010 22:35 | user icon Michel
Duncan,

Great add-on. Will contribute. One suggestion is the ability to make a selection *in* a text box and right-click and "Create barcode from selection". Sometimes websites generate text in a textbox that I would like to put in barcode or sometimes I would just like to type something real quick and put it in a barcode.

Thanks again!
Monday 26 July 2010 06:16 | user icon Tim
I don't know how to contact you other way, so posting this here:

Mobile Barcoder 2.1 doesn't work in Firefox 3.6.7 under Linux. Displays just empty boxes in popups. Downgrading to 2.0 solves the problem.
Wednesday 18 August 2010 21:11 | user icon qrees
It does not work with Linux :-(
Thursday 9 September 2010 16:14 | user icon Rodolphe
I had a desire to start my own firm, nevertheless I did not have got enough amount of cash to do that. Thank God my colleague proposed to take the mortgage loans. Hence I received the student loan and made real my dream.
Tuesday 12 October 2010 22:19 | user icon mortgage loans
Cyrillic (win-1251) is not supported ... characters get broken (empty).
Friday 22 October 2010 13:52 | user icon Veetal
This is a great addon! One thing that I find somewhat annoying is that it places an icon in the status bar which seems to be without any function. On small screens (think netbooks, embedded devices) this consumes valuable screen real estate.

It would be great if the option dialog provided the possibility for hiding this icon.
Thursday 3 February 2011 01:18 | user icon Arik
Awesome firefox plugin! Thank you A LOT!
I have a suggestion for next development:

The plugin should be able to generate URL barcode without using the small icon on the firefox plugin bar. For example, a button on a regular toolbar (along with back,forward, stop, reload buttons). Me and probably more people don't like to keep plugin bar open in firefox because it consumes screenspace, and without it we can not generate barcode for the site URL.

Thank you again!!!
Monday 18 April 2011 18:26 | user icon Roman
I just made a quick update to Mobile Barcoder so that the user can move the icon wherever they want. Basically just replace the statusbar stuff in mobilebarcoder.xul with this:

(popupset)
(tooltip id="mobilebarcode-tooltip"
onpopupshowing="mobilebarcode.getBarcode()"
noautohide="true")
(vbox)
(image id="mobilebarcode-status-image" src="" /)
(/vbox)
(/tooltip)
(/popupset)

(toolbarpalette id="BrowserToolbarPalette")
(toolbarbutton id="mobilebarcode-status-panel"
image="chrome://mobilebarcode/skin/icon-link.png"
label="&mobilebarcode.barcode;"
tooltip="mobilebarcode-tooltip"
class="toolbarbutton-1 chromeclass-toolbar-additional" /)
(/toolbarpalette)

obviously replace the ()'s with XML brackets. Feel free to incorporate this into the official version if you like.
Tuesday 7 June 2011 05:16 | user icon Tyler Breisacher
An observation I had is that when I am using the "Mobile Barcoder" add-on for Mozilla the Quickmark or the I-Nigma scanner for my phone ( Samsung Galaxy S2)fails to recognise the "£" symbol and replaces it with "」" instead. Out of curiosity I tried a few others: "€ , ¢ , ¥" turn up similar mistakes. At least it recognises the $ sign. As I said though this problem only appears with the Mobile Barcode add-on for Mozilla. Other barcode generators available on the net do not seem to have this problem.
Thursday 14 July 2011 20:28 | user icon Ivo
I was presenting at a small eLearning Conference at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC USA and had a version of FireFox Portable on a USB stick. I had added Mobile Barcoder as a plugin. When I showed the participants how easy it was to generate a QR code, for any links on the page, or even a small amount of selected text, several eyes "lit up." These are faculty & instructors that will go back and put this to use in the classroom.

*I am currently testing how effective it is to project the QR image onto a projection screen so that students can scan it from their seats. Lighting and other obstacles, such as QR image size, even at 2XXL can be problematic.

Thanks for the app.
Tuesday 19 July 2011 22:00 | user icon Bill Gibson, II
This app no longer works for me on either of my computers (PC-Vista or Laptop-XP) both running Firefox 5.0.1.
Whenever I hover my mouse over the icon in order to generate a QR code, I receive a popup that says:
"Secure Connection Failed" in the taskbar, and then "chart.apis.google.com:443 uses an invalid security certificate" followed by a long list of the google sites that the certificate is valid for, for example google.co.uk, google.ca, google.com.au, etc. My only two options are to view the certificate or cancel, neither of which allow me to create the QR code.
So is this an error or something on my behalf? I appreciate any help!
Wednesday 3 August 2011 20:19 | user icon David Sara
The context menu item for this addon no longer works. I right-click a link and hover my mouse over the "Create barcode from link" item, but it only shows a small blank square.
Tuesday 18 August 2015 23:59 | user icon C. Robinson

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About the author

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On weekdays I'm a Technical Lead at Comparethemarket.com, having previously been a Solution Architect at Nokia & Nokia Siemens Networks, creating creative software solutions for mobile operators around the world.

In my spare time I'm an avid new technology fan, and constantly strive to find innovative uses for the new gadgets I manage to get my hands on. Most recently I've been investigating Mobile Codes, RFID and Home automation (mainly Z-Wave). With a keen eye for usability I'm attempting to create some cost-effective, DIY technology solutions which would rival even high-end retail products. The software I develop is usually released as Open Source.

I have a Finnish geek partner, so have begun the difficult task of learning Finnish.


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