Requests for comment/URL shortener service for Wikimedia

Request for comment (RFC)
URL shortener service for Wikimedia
Component General
Creation date
Author(s) とある白い猫
Document status declined
Same as Requests for comment/URL shortener

See Phabricator.

This proposal should be consolidated with Requests for comment/URL shortener. Not done since 2013, so declining


I'd like to propose a URL Shortening Service (USS? :p) for all Mediawiki sites for improved QR code compatibility (Bugzilla:54459). My proposal has several parts.

As the table on the above link suggests, QR code complexity increases with the amount of data stored in it as one would expect.

Version 1 is the simplest QR code variant with 21x21 ROWxCOL's. With high error correction this allows a total of 25 (7% correction)/20 (15% correction) alpha-numeric characters (0 to 9, A to Z, space, $ % * + - . / :). Version 2 25x25 with 29 (25% correction)/20 (30% correction).

Wiki article titles can be light years long so a shorter redirect would be helpful. However even something as simple as has 13 characters to begin with leaving few characters. I don't know if is under WMF control (Bugzilla:42085 suggest it isn't) but hypothetically something like would be 18 characters. The remaining characters would be used for the redirect itself. Mind that Bugzilla:30861 offered even shorter possibilities such as

Each page on wikis have a page ID which is a decimal value. However these on some wikis can get fairly large. En.wp has about 40,600,000 pages for example. This can however be expressed in base 36 since QR codes will have to be alpha-numeric anyways. So instead of 8 base 10 digits same number would be expressed with 5 base 36 digits (O675S). 2,176,782,335 decimal values (10 numerals) can be expressed with 6 base 36 digits (ZZZZZZ).

Furthermore with an encoding of something like PLLCCCCCC 9 characters would be enough to determine the Project (Wikipedia, Wikinews, Wikisource, etc - 36 total projects), Language (en, fr, es, ru, etc - 36 * 36 = 1296 languages), Code-word for Article ID (36^6=2,176,782,336 possible IDs).

Sample version 1, 2, 3 QR codes to demonstrate complexity increase.

Sample mapping
decimal base36 target
1 1 enwiki
20 K meta
515 EB nlwiktionary
812 MK viwikivoyage

So... Possibly with 27 characters would fit 25% correction version 2 scheme. Something like with 23 characters would even fit version 1 with 7% error correction. Possible mapping suggestion (PPP part): Requests for comment/URL shortener/WikiMap

Once this is implemented perhaps WMUK's QRpedia may be easier to implement & integrate.

-- とある白い猫 chi? 03:56, 23 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Perhaps the next step would be integrating QR codes on every page - particularly for printed articles. -- とある白い猫 chi? 04:04, 23 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems like a similar RFC is filed at Requests for comment/URL shortener. -- とある白い猫 chi? 13:06, 23 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Can we consolidate this with the other RFC? - SHarihareswara (WMF), 10 March 2014

See also[edit]