Generate QR Codes for MeCard Data in F#


Today I learned about MeCard file formats for representing contact information while reading the post Sharing contacts using QR Code without requiring a network connection by Andre Garzia.

Currently I host my vCard on my site in a very similar way Andre describes in his post. I've also encoded it in QR Code format to make it easy to import and share.

When I saw the MeCard format, I immediately liked how simple it was so I decided to see how difficult it'd be to write some code to generate a QR code for my own contact data.

What is MeCard?

According to Wikipedia, MeCard is "...a data file similar to vCard...It is largely compatible with most QR-readers for smartphones. It is an easy way to share a contact with the most used fields. Usually, devices can recognize it and treat it like a contact ready to import."

An example might look like: MECARD:N:Doe,John;TEL:13035551212;;;

Encoding text as a QR code using F#

I'd written a snippet a few years ago to help me generate the QR Codes for all accounts in my contact page.

The snippet is a F# Interactive script which uses Net.Codecrete.QrCodeGenerator NuGet package to encode text as a QR code and saves it to an SVG file.

The core logic consists of the following code:

let createQrCode (savePath:string) (target:string) = 
    let qr = QrCode.EncodeText(target,QrCode.Ecc.High)
    let svgString = qr.ToSvgString(4)
    File.WriteAllText(savePath,svgString, Encoding.UTF8)

In this case target is the text I want to encode and savePath is the path of the SVG file I'm saving the generated QR code in.

Given MeCard with the following content:


The QR Code generated might look as follows:


Scanning the QR Code with a smartphone would then immediately recognize it as a contact and prompt you to save the contact information to your device.


Since I already had the code snippet to do this available, creating a MeCard was straightforward. I've since added my MeCard alongside by vCard. You can check out the corresponding QR code in my contact page.

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