QR codes for BBC programmes and some other stuff

We’re on a bit of a roll at the moment with our work on /programmes, so quick on the heals of the work to integrate iPlayer and programme credits onto our episode pages I’m chuffed to announce another batch of new features: QR-Codes, schedules and um calls to inaction.

Torchwood episode page

QR-Codes, if you’ve not come across them before, are a bit like two-dimensional bar codes created by the Japanese company Denso-Wave. But unlike bar codes you can encode any string you fancy (up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters) into an image and this means you can convert a URL into a QR-Code.

You can then print QR-Codes on posters, t-shirts, scarfs, whatever. People can then decode them by taking a picture, using specific software installed on their mobile phone, to read and convert the code back to the URL – so they can easily visit the web site.

Anyway – every BBC programme now has a QR code. You can get it by adding …/qrcode to the end of the URL for any programme page. For example, this is the URL for Platoon:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007mcgw

And this is its QR-Code:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007mcgw/qrcode

QR Code

A more mainstream feature that’s also gone live today are schedule pages for some radio networks. For example:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork/programmes/schedules

And because of the way the technology works we also get a bunch of new pages for free:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork/programmes/genres/music

And finally we’re flagging when episodes are next due to be broadcast, when we don’t have any media and links to the iPlayer so you can download the video.

Credits – new feature on BBC Programmes

Maintaining my ongoing commentary on our work on BBC programmes I thought I would let you know that we’ve just launched a new feature: Credits.

BBC Programmes - credits

You’ll now find, on some of our episode pages, information about who featured in that episode. At the moment the coverage is a bit thin and only applies to TV, but we’re getting there. And of course because web design is about the resource and its URL we’ve also made this information separately addressable at:

/programmes/:pid/credits/

So for example, the above Doctor Who episode page has a credits info page here, in addition to transcluding the that data onto the episode page.

Finally, we’ve fixed a few bug including the one Tom spotted re Flash 9.