From: Jan Karrman <jan_at_it_dot_uu_dot_se>
Date: Tue Apr 25 2006 - 15:27:32 CDT

We had a discussion earlier about using some other barcode on
the ballot, such as PDF417, a 2d barcode. Now I have made a font
for printing PDF417, and have updated the demo source code at
SourceForge to support this. By default it behaves as before,
but if you set the environment variable BARCODE to PDF417 before
starting the graphical or reading impaired interface, you will
get the new barcode on the generated ballot. I have also updated
the BVA to play back write-in names (it uses the same audio files
that Cory made for the RII - it spells out the names "A as in
Alpha" etc).

Advantages with PDF417 are the high capacity, and ability to do
error corrections. I have made a sample ballot where I entered
write-in names in every possible contest, and selected an error
correction two levels higher than recommended for barcodes of
this size:


As you can see, the barcode is about the same size as the old one.
I was able to scan it after having placed a pen across the barcode
 - so it should survive minor scratches, chocolate smudges etc.

The disadvantage is that PDF417 capable barcode scanners are more
expensive (sorry Alan, the Cue Cat can't cope with this one ;-),
but as Ed Cherlin pointed out earlier, it can be done in software:


There are probably other free tools for PDF417 that can be used,
but since I like to do things like this...

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Received on Tue May 2 21:06:53 2006

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