[Bitcoin-development] URI Handling in Bitcoin-Qt

Alan Reiner etotheipi at gmail.com
Thu May 3 04:28:13 UTC 2012

I want to follow up on BIP 21 (URI scheme), which I have recently 
implemented in Armory and I have become a huge fan of it.  But I've got 
a couple gripes:

*(1) *What is the status & plans for supporting "bitcoin:" URIs in the 
Satoshi client?  My understanding is that it currently creates URIs, but 
does *not* register itself with the OS to handle such links.  Is this 
accurate?  This seems like a very high-value feature, and I'd recommend 
that we consider it a priority -- I can't think of any other upgrade 
that can improve usability so dramatically on the desktop.

After implementing it all in Armory, I wrote up a walk-thru 
recounting how I did the OS-registration in Windows and gnome-based *nix 
systems.  Perhaps it can give the Bitcoin-Qt devs a jumpstart on getting 
it implemented.  (and then I can get feedback about doing for generic 
Linux and Mac/OSX)

*(2) *I need to understand better what the intentions were behind 
"label=" and "message=".  The way I understand it is that Bitcoin-Qt 
uses and stores only address-labels, and no other transactional info is 
stored in the wallet.  As such, the "message=" field would be displayed 
to the user when a "bitcoin:" link is clicked, but that message wouldn't 
be saved anywhere.

However, I think, especially if a new wallet format is in the works, 
that both should be supported:  "Address Labels" *and *"Transaction 
Labels".  The real difference is that merchants can include things 
Order#, purchase information, etc, in the "message" field, and then put 
only their business name in the "label" field.  This means that when the 
user is looking at their address book, they see just the owners of the 
addresses.  When they look at the transaction ledger/history, they see a 
full list of everything they purchased, prices, contact info, etc.   The 
distinction is much more important for persistent addresses, but still 

This is exactly how I did it in Armory, but if Bitcoin-Qt won't do it 
that way, I should be promoting all important information be jammed into 
the "label" field.

*(3) *How are the other clients implementing this?  Do you make any 
distinction between "label" and "message"?

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