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SMF Bridge for Joomla! Discontinued

Started by 青山 素子, July 24, 2007, 11:39:51 PM

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Asphyx

QuoteIf a bridge is released with a GPL license there is no violation if the bridge is installed in a GPLed software product (correct me if I'm wrong).

Ok first correction. Takes more than just slapping a license on a product to get around a license violation. The problem here is key components of the bridge are not GPL they are licensed under SMFs own license. It calls to code that is not GPL and that is where the license is being violated. What the program actually does and how it does it is almost as important as what license it uses. in a sense the GPL bridge (if you believe FSF on this issue) is in violation of it's own license because it is combined with proprietary software. The notion may seem rediculous on the surface (how can you violate your own license?) but that is the barrier to proprietary FSF has wanted to construct from the get go!

If the bridge only interacted with GPL licensed files then the SMF bridge would not be in violation. If the files the bridge called to were LGPL or GPL, then the bridge would be compliant. (I'm not suggesting SMF should do that just showing an example of what it would take.)

QuoteWhen a GPLed bridge is installed in a GPLed software product and connects to a non-GPLed software product, only then is a non-GPL compliant "combined work" created. (correct me if I'm wrong)
Well it's a minor point but if you create a GPL extention that connects to both a GPL and NON-GPL code you are actually combining two incompatible licenses even before the extention actually touches the non-GPL program. It is FSFs position that creating this ability is the violation not the actual communication that occurrs when run. SMF itself wouldn't be violating the license of Joomla the GPL Bridge would be. It's semantical but that what Law really is the art of semantics!

QuoteThis does not violate anyone's license as long as the "combined work" is not distributed. (correct me if I'm wrong)
I really don't want to rehash this all over again...FSF says it must be allowed to be combined and redistributed as GPL or it violates. I don't personally agree with this as I think it oversteps the bounds of what is legal. But the GPL does say you can not incorporate GPL into a proprietary work. By creating the bridge in essence you are combining Joomla into SMF which constitutes a violation. You are in essence using Joomla code to add display capability to SMF with a bridge.

IE: I could not write a proprietary loader, have it run Joomla and say the entire thing was proprietary. While a bridge is actually BiDirectional (which would make this a sketchy example at best. ) it does in essence add capability to both making a combined work when run. As I said this is better off left to a court...

QuoteWhile I agree, I must say that most people on both the Joomla and SMF teams are just volunteers.  This is my hobby, not my job, nor my bread-earning business.  I know that I certainly don't have any desire to go to court over my hobby, so the best/safest course of action is to pull the project.
I know and I understand 100%...
Me personally I think it might be an option to see if SMF could get GPL COMPATIBLE status for it's license. It may actually comply as you are allowing most everything GPL does with some slight exceptions. (I haven't really drilled into your license so I may be wrong here)

Basically Orstio all I'm trying to say is lets stop fixing the blame and start fixing the problem.
We shouldn't need courts and lawyers to do that and until it comes to that point nothing has really changed.
Joomla has asked developers to comply but they haven't demanded it.
Joomla has also said they don't intend to prosecute so FSF can say whatever they want it amounts to a whole lot of nothin because they can't start a suit on Joomla's behalf. The risk is from some GPL copyright holder of code that Joomla uses. If that should happen then that would be the time to pull the product. the GPL states that at most you will be forced to pull distribution, no monetary penalty will be incurred.

I think it is a much better use of our time and brain matter to find solutions than to find some corner to hide in.
We have two groups of programmers who together have tackled what is likely the two hardest programming tasks that can be undertaken and did it in a manner that rivals what many commercial programs have accomplished.

With all that intelligence to work with I find it odd that it is ready to simply give up and not find a way to make the reality that we want.
Or gets bogged down with He did it She Did it dissertaions which are unproductive and don't solve the issue.

We shouldn't let some 3rd party be allowed to influence two sets of programmers who have worked together quite well for so long to put them at odds simply because they want to push their agenda.

Joomla for legal reasons has their hands tied. To allow GPL violation for Joomla requires they violate someone else's license which I think both sides agree is not the best practice.

J1.5 is a new system. I know you (Orstio) put a lot of work into bridging it and hate abandoning all of that work.
I think there are ways to bridge without using SMF code. (I have mentioned one way over at Joomla) That would solve the issue of combination since the only code that would be combined would be GPLed. I don't want to go into a great deal of detail as I'm not sure it is on topic for this thread. I'll be happy to discuss it further if anyone from SMF wants to.
This post is already longer than I would like ti to be...

QuoteI don't think that SMF &/or Joomla! would be successful though.  FSF has a very good defense of their 'fairness' - it allows for 'exceptions',  which Joomla! chooses not to include in their license... 
Joomla has no choice in this matter. they have to comply with licenses of code they have combined with just the same as SMF must comply with licenses of code they combine with. And FSF does not allow just any exceptions..they are specific such as a specific copyright in a specific country and the exception allowed is to deny distribution in that country, not ignoring those laws or permission to violate any terms of the GPL. FSF also gives you an explicit exception to use if you want to allow proprietary programs to be combined with yours.

It is called the LGPL. this brings up the Mambo issue...

Mambo's license is GPL. a bridge there is just as much a violation of their license as the Joomla bridge. Mambo just chooses not to file a suit when it happens. Joomla has essentially said the same thing. No different. Where the difference lies is that Mambo may have the right to LGPL the project because they don't have any borrowed code. I have a hard time believing that is true because if it was they would have simply LGPLed the project already so you didn't need to go to a faq to see what is allowed. It should be in the license. their Faq contradicts their license.

The problem as I see it is conflicting interests. Not between Joomla and SMF but between the FSF and Joomla/Simple Machines.

FSF wants only GPL code to be used with GPL code. If most code was GPL then that might be a reasonable goal.
Thats their agenda...It is only a problem for us if we let it be.
I think there are reasonable ways around this unrelated to the licensing.
How you bridge is the key.
and as programmer both Joomla and Simple Machines would have to be classified as EXPERTS in the HOW TO department.

Lets stop the hysteria, clear the minds and get down to it!
Lets fix the problem not the blame.











AmyStephen

Quote from: Jeff Lewis on July 27, 2007, 07:27:40 PM
I strongly encourage everyone to read my post here. There is way too much misinformation flying about right now and it's bordering on a little tit for tat argument indicating it's gotten out of control with no valid reason for that.

Both projects are trying to protect their interests and at the same time are trying to offer the best they can for their users.

As it stands now, there is movement and discussion on the issue and I urge everyone not to start flinging at each other as it does no good.

We're all in this software thing together people ;)

Folks! lol! It has been posted on both in the SMF (see the quote, above!) and Joomla! forums that the teams *are* working together, again, to resolve this issue. 

A bridge can be built in a way that is compliant with both SMF's and Joomla!'s license. It is not required that SMF be GPL-compliant; only that the bridge to be GPL-compliant.

As it luck would have it  :) the individual from the FSF who was emailing with SMF was in Oregon when Louis and Rob were there for the OSCON. Louis reported that they were able to talk to him about ideas to build compliance for bridges into non-GPL compliant environments. So, there are ideas on how to do this properly, now.

The GPL has the same terms regardless of who uses it; it's not really an "interpretation" issue. Some choose to ignore infractions to their license. Joomla! is working towards compliance with the GPL. A license does you no good if you don't enforce it.

Honestly, in the end, this will be better for SMF and any non-GPL compliant application. Developers will not need Joomla!'s "word" that they won't seek compliance of their license - there will *be* compliance.

Let's give the teams a bit of time to work, now. I am completely confident this will be resolved.

Amy :)

M3g4d37h

If it means not reading another 20 posts by you saying the same thing over and over again, I'm all for it.
Conscience is the inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking. -- Henry Louis Mencken

jomaco1

Quote from: M3g4d37h on July 29, 2007, 01:21:32 PM
If it means not reading another 20 posts by you saying the same thing over and over again, I'm all for it.

Careful...there might be a group hug involved. ;)

AmyStephen

Quote from: M3g4d37h on July 29, 2007, 01:21:32 PM
If it means not reading another 20 posts by you saying the same thing over and over again, I'm all for it.

Me, too! ;)

baijianpeng

Very bad bad bad bad news !!!!!!!!!

I was looking forward to welcome the bridge between Joomla! and SMF 2.0. Now it seems I will not see such a result.

Why ?

Joomla! and SMF 2.0 are both great web applications. why they can't integrated together?

Is this because some personal feelings considerations?

Why can't you all think about the request from thousands of users of Joomla! and SMF ?
JoomlaGate: The way to the World of Joomla!

http://www.joomlagate.com

青山 素子

Quote from: baijianpeng on July 29, 2007, 10:59:24 PM
Very bad bad bad bad news !!!!!!!!!

I was looking forward to welcome the bridge between Joomla! and SMF 2.0. Now it seems I will not see such a result.

Why ?

Please read the first post in this topic.

Quote from: baijianpeng on July 29, 2007, 10:59:24 PM
Joomla! and SMF 2.0 are both great web applications. why they can't integrated together?

Is this because some personal feelings considerations?

Why can't you all think about the request from thousands of users of Joomla! and SMF ?

There are no personal issues involved in the decision.

We can't continue at this point because the way the bridge works violates Joomla!'s software license and could get us sued.

We are talking with the Joomla! people right now and they think they might have some solutions to the problem. We don't know how complicated this will be, or if it is even possible. Should something change in the situation, we will make a new post.

For now, read the first post on the topic to understand the details.
Motoko-chan
Director, Simple Machines

Note: Unless otherwise stated, my posts are not representative of any official position or opinion of Simple Machines.


AmyStephen

Motoko -

Quote from: Motoko-chan on July 29, 2007, 11:39:53 PM
We can't continue at this point because the way the bridge works violates Joomla!'s software license and could get us sued.

I want to *try* to ease concerns about being "sued."

Eben Moglen has been general counsel for the Free Software Foundation for many years. I encourage you to read his article entitled Enforcing the GNU GPL if you have time or interest. This is a piece from that article:
QuoteIn approximately a decade of enforcing the GPL, I have never insisted on payment of damages to the Foundation for violation of the license, and I have rarely required public admission of wrongdoing. Our position has always been that compliance with the license, and security for future good behavior, are the most important goals. We have done everything to make it easy for violators to comply, and we have offered oblivion with respect to past faults.

It is going to take time to get compliance with the GPL for Joomla!. These words are not rhetoric, it's an approach that has worked well for the enforcing the GPL for years. There is no intent to sue, the desire is to bring compliance with the license. And, that is not going to happen over night.

Given your comment about possibly getting sued, it dawned on me you might not understand this and for me, the possibility of getting sued would bring sleepless nights. So, I just wanted to share this article.

Amy :)

MikeC801

Quote from: Asphyx on July 29, 2007, 10:42:59 AM
It calls to code that is not GPL and that is where the license is being violated.

So then, any GPL software that runs on Windows and makes system calls is violating the GPL? Would it be illegal then to install Joomla! on a Windows server with MSSQL? (Certainly not the best server environment in my opinion, but I think some people use it.)

Kindred

Quote from: AmyStephen on July 30, 2007, 12:14:38 PM
It is going to take time to get compliance with the GPL for Joomla!. These words are not rhetoric, it's an approach that has worked well for the enforcing the GPL for years. There is no intent to sue, the desire is to bring compliance with the license. And, that is not going to happen over night.

Amy...

We *ARE* now in compliance with the GPL. *THAT* is the reason that the bridge has been removed.

And, I think Motoko-chan may have mis-spoken. We are not so afraid of getting sued as being in compliance. Especially since we insist that users maintain compliance with OUR license.

Once again... The reason that the bridge was removed was to make us in compliance with Joomla's interpretation of the GPL. We ar enow in compliance, and despite the fact that we are in discussions with the joomla team on ways to release a compliant bridge, nothing will be released or distributed until we find a way to do so IN compliance.
Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.<br /><br />"Loki is not evil, although he is certainly not a force for good. Loki is... complicated."

AmyStephen

Quote from: Kindred on July 30, 2007, 12:19:38 PM
And, I think Motoko-chan may have mis-spoken. We are not so afraid of getting sued as being in compliance.

Kindred -

No problem. I just wanted to make certain no one was worrying about being sued. I am relieved to hear you are not concerned about that since I do not see it as a concern to begin with.

All the best!
Amy :)

TrueSatan

@ AmyStephen

I feel I must take issue with a point you keep repeating...


If I write code X and license it under the GPL it remains my code...I can then license it under the BSD license too...it's my code...I can license it under the SMF license more than likely...it's my code. I can license it under as many different licenses as I like, simultaneously, and grant whatever exceptions to those licenses as I like...it's my code.

If some person or organisation came to me to ask for permission to use my code then though that permission might be against the terms of any of the licensing I had used I could grant them an exception and allow them to use it...it's my code.

Joomla do not own quantities of the code they use and thus cannot grant exceptions to the GPL licensing under which they use that code...it's not their code.

Mambo can grant such exceptions...it's their code.

You have repeatedly said that the case of the Joomla bridge is the same as that of the Mambo bridge...as the above clearly shows the two cases are not the same at all. CMS, or other products, that own their code can license it and grant exceptions to said licensing and thus many, probably most, are in an entirely different position to that of Joomla.

As other bridge products appear to have been granted exceptions to licensing by the code owners they are entirely moral and legal...your repeated claim that they are in the same position as the Joomla bridge simply is not the case.

metallica48423

July 30, 2007, 03:33:16 PM #132 Last Edit: July 30, 2007, 04:08:50 PM by metallica48423
[ignore my incoherent ramblings]
Justin O'Leary
Ex-Project Manager
Ex-Lead Support Specialist

QuoteMicrosoft wants us to "Imagine life without walls"...
I say, "If there are no walls, who needs Windows?"


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elfishtroll

July 30, 2007, 03:38:51 PM #133 Last Edit: July 30, 2007, 05:38:35 PM by Thantos
Quote from: Motoko-chan on July 28, 2007, 07:59:38 PM
Quote from: anna.young on July 28, 2007, 06:48:28 PM
If I understand it correctly, SMF is in no position to argue anything in Courts because this has nothing to do with THEIR license... SMF has no obligation to comply with FSF 'interpretations' or their rules.  I believe they are complying out of courtesy and respect for other groups and their projects...  The same way I as Canadian do not need to comply with USA laws or their interpretations and vice versa...  FSF has no jurisdiction over SMF...

If I understand it correctly, there are very few occasions when you can bring something to a court to decide when the other party hasn't made any actions. As far as I know, the only way the license would be settled would be if one of the Joomla! copyright holders or their agent was to sue over that license. Until something like that happens, we won't likely get a clear verdict on what the license terms are held to mean.

Also, I will point out that, in general, copyright and IP law is very very vague in some areas. Things like derivative works and similar are not very well-defined.

Actually there are many, it's called declarative judgement see link here http://www.openp2p.com/pub/a/p2p/2001/05/21/lawyers.html


Similarly, Orstio did the same thing by pulling the license, putting the ball in Joomla's court (no pun intended) to make a *definitive* statement regarding the SMF interface to Joomla (Bridge).
Joomla/FSF seem, I think, to have painted themselves into a corner with their highly ambitious and overreaching extrapolation and interpretation of the GPL to claim that even interfacing disparate software (even at 'arm's length') is a violation via derivative works- but  Templates, whose PHP codes intertwine and intermingle within the Joomla codespace like fornicating sea-anemone are not? :P

Few among us, reading of Joomla's desire to reassert, reaffirm and to restate their "affiliation and committment" to 'Opensource' would have predicted or guessed that even building a bridge (on the River Kwai, no less) would be the talk of a VIOLATION !!!!! (no emphasis added):D

For those who consider 'panic' Orstios pulling of the bridge, that the claims, as wild eyed as they are, are without merit, I only suggest you look at the case of the Korean Dry Cleaners, brought to the brink of bankruptcy over a missing pair of $30 pants <insert wry smile here> http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3119381&page=1

- Wild legal claims notwithstanding, SMF needs to be seen to be scrupulously observing ,or at least attempting to observe, the license claims of others wherever possible, if only to expect reciprocity in turn! (example: We the USA wont torture people/prisoners and expect the same for our troops :P)


Make no mistake, this storm if it can be called such, is solely of Joomla's making. Is it their desire? That is a different question entirely!

Before we lay blame, recognize that Joomla is not one person, but a coalition of the willing (Willing to raise Hell over the GPL :P), a  much more homogeneously structured organization now than a few months ago, ( several key people Schmuck et al, resigning in protest),  the remaining 'core' (of the Joomla apple, if you will) is still comprised of people who have different motivations and driving factors and these affect the decisions made.
Quote
You have your Opensource zealots, Talibanesque beards sodden with spittle as they swear at the "Commercial Encroachers!"

You have your Core Members whom are 3PD and hope/hoped  to make some money on the side leveraging their 'insider' knowledge with Joomla to make Applications (extensions) that they sell a few dollars many times


You have your Core Members who are more 'consultants' and make their money selling "Joomla Services" like training etc.
QuoteWe can provide you with the training you need to utilize Joomla! to its fullest capacity. As specialists with the Joomla! 1.5 Framework there is no better source for information on how to get the most for the least. We also proudly participate in the Joomla! University training seminars to be announced soon... Stay tuned for more!


Of course, the difference between this group and the former, is that when you do a training for $200 an hour + expenses, the client isnt going to take your training course and slap their logo on it and sell it! :P

The Joomla "Rebirth" conveniently shifts the scale to those who 'service' vs those who 'sell'. If you are already conveniently positioned then you are sweet!

The Men in the Middle:

They either sell commercial templates or WEB HOSTING, the former again conveniently, excepted from this GPL trainwreck.

Therefore, the balance is:

Zealot (1)
Developer_who_stands_to_benefit (1)
Core_Member_who_is_Really_Unaffected(1)
Core_Member_without_a_stake_But_Is_PRO_JOOMLA_regardless (1)
Core_Member_without_a_stake_But_Think_Phil_Taylor/Ostio are bloody primadonnas(1)

VS

Developer_who_stands_to_LOSE(1)
Person_Against(1)

With those odds, you dont need a crooked referee to see how this ball game is gonna turn out! :P


Disclosure: I have been a Mambo FAN and Joomla afficionado for ....3 years or so, switched to Joomla during the "Great Rift and Separation from the Evil Foundation" chose SMF 'cause I saw Joomla using it ( I had already bought VB and dumped it, all $160 worth!) use Rockettheme 'cause Joomla did, and that was good enough for me!

Been around the block enough to recognize that if you take a Fat Twin out to the prom, she still has a sister! :D


Did NO ONE know that the change in Password authentication would INVALIDATE ALMOST EVERY BRIDGE?

Could No one make this an 'OPTIONAL FEATURE that is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED?'

(Note: Despite the horrors and the many exploits of REGISTER GLOBALS, that setting emulating it is still  ON by default?????? )

Has anyone considered that the DATABASE (the schema, not the contents) may be covered by the GPL and extensions thereto may be derivative works? As a developer myself, the most IMPORTANT part of my application is the database schema which drives the ENTIRE APPLICATION.. will we we see a declarative statement from FSF about that?

.......or will the issue remain hidden to lurk like Cleopatra's ASP to strike when ready? :P

( Amy, I have taken the liberty to reply on your behalf by emailing myself some syrupy plattitudes, exclamation points and smiley faces, thanks! :D )




TrueSatan

@ metallica48423

With respect I think you're missing my point...a code owner can license their code however they like and there can only be a violation it the entire licensing is violated...in this case if the only licensing is the GPL, with no exceptions being granted, then there is a violation...if there is an exception that has been given then the licensing is the GPL plus that exception so there is no violation.

Think of it in terms of house insurance...you can get a better deal if you grant the insurer an exception (for instance no claim less than $3,000 any loss less than that to be uninsured) the insurance then becomes the contract including the exception.

By granting an exception you modify the license and the modified license is not violated if the exception is the basis of a claim of violation.

Asphyx

Mike - if you own 100% of the code that will be used with Windows then you can do whatever you like...
If you used GPL Routines you don't own and try to use them in Windows you can of course be sued by the person who you borrowed code from...You would need their express permission (which is tantamount to relisencing) and you would have to LGPL the project.


If you really want to interface with proprietary works then you should be using the LGPL for your license and you should not be borrowing GPL code from other sources.

Who installs it doesn't matter!

If I write Lord of the rings IV which encompases all of the Lord of the Rings trilogy plus some story I added to it.
The person who gets that work and reads it out loud can't be sued...
The guy who wote the thing can.

you can NOT GPL code that uses proprietary code.
It hurts the integrity of the GPL.
There has to be complete assurance that there is no violation of the use of proprietary code!
Merely slapping a GPL Sticker on it is not enough!
You would in fact be violating the proprietary nature of the license. Only those who purchased the proprietary product can actually use those codes.

By slapping a GPL sticker on it you are saying in essence anyone can use them. That is not only a violation of the GPL you slapped on it but a violation of the proprietaryt licensed code you used.

to allow that would mean anyone could use all the proprietary code they wanted and GPL it by merely slapping that GPL sticker on it...They have a right (your are claiming by GPLing) to use your routines, Which means you just gave them rights to use that code as well. That code would in essence no longer be proprietary. Maybe you have the right to use them but you can't legally transfer that right therefore you can't legally GPL it!

SMF has a right to GPL whatever parts of their code they want. If they wish to do that then I'm sure the Bridge could be made compliant!
But those parts would be GPL inside SMF as well!

thats the rub!
No matter how you slice it, there is some degradation to the proprietary nature of the work.
Either by duplicating key proprietary functions in a totally GPL bridge so you don't use the prorietary code OR GPLing parts of the proprietary code distribution so they can be used in a call from the GPL Bridge.

here is the issue...
I have GPL Program (GPLPA)
I have Proprietary program B (PPB)
In GPLPA I have a function that says include file from PPB.
It's GPL anyone can now use that function code to include file from PPB
Doesn't matter if they have rights to use PPB from the owner or not I GAVE them that right because I GPLed a program I had no right to GPL. 3rd party license violation...
I have money in the bank, I say you can take the money in my bank. Just because I have permission to take money from my bank doesn't mean I can give anyone I meet the right to take money out of it!
I can give them a check (aka License) But still my license is only good for the money I own. I can't have $75 and say you can take $100.

Maybe that will explain what the actual problem is and why GPL doesn't allow proprietary to meet directly. Why it requires all code to be GPL so there is no question that it can be used by anyone.



metallica48423

Truesatan, after re-reading certain parts of the GPL,

You're correct, theres no violation because of the allowance for exceptions.

I stand corrected.
Justin O'Leary
Ex-Project Manager
Ex-Lead Support Specialist

QuoteMicrosoft wants us to "Imagine life without walls"...
I say, "If there are no walls, who needs Windows?"


Useful Links:
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Asphyx

QuoteBy granting an exception you modify the license and the modified license is not violated if the exception is the basis of a claim of violation.
Unfortunatly you are only able to grant an exception on code you write...
If you used someone else's GPL routines they have to sign off on any exceptions as well...

If you asked Joomla for exceptions on specific functions and code they might be very happy to grant exceptions.
But they can't give you an exception for a code they do not own. And THAT is why they can't give you an exemption for JOOMLA (Whole Encompassing Distribution) since the license applies to the entire distribution and so would any exemption they can't legally give an exemption on 100% until they own 100%

MikeC801

Quote from: Asphyx on July 30, 2007, 04:01:54 PM
In GPLPA I have a function that says include file from PPB.
It's GPL anyone can now use that function code to include file from PPB

But the user wouldn't have PPB (i.e. SMF) unless they were licensed to use the PPB code anyway. The distributor hasn't given away, or modified any code from PPB... just function calls to code within PPB. Just like if I write a program that makes a call to some windows system function, I haven't given the user any windows code, or the right to use the windows code... I've just given them something that would work for them IF they already had a licensed copy of windows. Do you understand my confusion?

TrueSatan

@ metallica48423

Thanks...it's an important point to make IMHO as AmyStephen's repeated postings were saying that we were in breach of licensing based upon incorrect assumptions. We aren't in breach, at least not in the way she has claimed.

We ought not to let a claim of a breach of licensing by SMF go by unchallenged (espescially if it's an incorrect claim.)

@ Asphyx

Yes...only the owner (or the owners fully accredited agent) of a code can grant exceptions to licensing relating to that code...Joomla isn't in a position to grant exceptions as you rightly say.

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