How big could a bar code be if a bar code could be big?

From: Karl Auerbach <karl_at_cavebear_dot_com>
Date: Fri Apr 30 2004 - 14:13:45 CDT

Yup, I'm back to the bar code again.

As I mentioned last night, I think that the ballot bar code needs to
contain something that defines (by reference) the content and format of
the remainder of the bar code.

Such an identifier, even if not a 128 bit GUID, will probably need to be
on the order of 16 bits (for example, how many different ballot styles
does Los Angeles County have during a spring primary?)

In any case, I am looking at the bar code handling code in
utils/convert.py

I can't say that I find the "obscure" and "revert" functions to be
particularly obvious.

Nor have I been able to reproduce the proper unpacking of the bar code
from a ballot - I keep coming up with 4 extra bits.

Much more clarity/comments is needed in this code.

In addition, however, my bigger question is this: how big can a bar code
be? In other words, how many bits of stuff can we stuff into a maximally
sized bar code?

And is there a potential of mis-reads with such codes?

                --karl--

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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:27 2004

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