APR
20
2001

ZDNet Compares Linux Desktops: Concludes KDE Best, But Not Good Enough

ZDNet has published a review by Jason Brooks of eWeek Labs comparing the Linux desktops. He writes: "eWeek Labs found that KDE (K Desktop Environment) comes much closer to
delivering the sort of smooth interface that users have come to expect from the
Macintosh and Windows operating systems than does GNOME (GNU Network
Object Model Environment). In tests, KDE delivered snappier and more polished
performance than did GNOME on the same hardware."
However, he continues, "neither desktop interface has yet reached parity with the established
players-pervasive support for features such as cut and paste across the
interface can still be unpredictable."
Strange to have picked out cut-and-paste, as that should be much improved in Qt-3.0.

Comments

I'm talking about the definition of Object Orientation!


By AC at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

Umm, and what exactly is _the_ definition of object orientation?

"I invented the term 'object oriented', and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind." - Alan Kay

/mill


By mill at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

The only true language is assembler. Each other one is just only a hack ( compiler does it for you ). On the other side QT is horribly expensive ( if you earn 350$ ), Signals/slots neither efficient nor type safe, has no low-level graphics layer. It is rather a Windows toolkit ported to X11 ( and Gtk is X11 toolkit ported to Windows ). It is not developed by open-source community - Sun and HP will never want to become dependent on the other company - so they never put QT/KDE on ther Unices as a default desktop. If Gtk was a good OO project written in C++ everybody would use it instead of QT. But it is not - in fact it is almost the same as Motif/CDE ( C++ in C ).


By Hi at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

I wouldn't say Qt is too expensive. Most software companies can pay ~$1500 without batting an eye. It's a quality toolkit, and nothing even comes close for crossplatform Windows/X11 programming. While Gtk has a hackjob win32 port, Qt has worked under Windows for as long as I can remember, and it is stable. Qt is professional, and is the kind of toolkit that people pay for. Trolltech must be doing pretty well too. They show no sign of slowdown.

I don't see why Sun and HP would not be interested in Qt. There are many large companies using it. And it's very common for companies to be dependent on other companies.

Btw was "a Windows toolkit ported to X11" a figure of speech? I thought the original history of Qt is it started on X11.

Lastly, I must say that KDE's success is largely due to Qt. The GNOME folks may have Eazel developing applications, but the KDE folk have Trolltech making their base toolkit. This is much more beneficial, and it's this solid foundation that has made KDE development so smooth. Also, Trolltech doesn't exist for KDE. They have an agenda of their own for supporting their paying customers. And KDE reaps the benefits.

-Justin


By Justin at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

Yes, I know that we can say that all money they get they invest in the GPL community, but I would rather pay 200$, but not 2000$. What if I write simple applications for internal use in my firm - I must buy a commercial Qt license for each workplace. US/Western companies may affort to do this, but other probably not.


By Hi at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

No, you don't have to. You just have to stick GPL license to it and you are off the hook.

You might not make any money from it, but since it was an application for internal use, you probably don't mind.

However, if you did want to sell it and that 2000$ are what prevents it to be profitable (even if we forget for a moment the money you save with reducing development time), it's not worth doing it anyway.

Btw, Sun and HP have absolutely no problem paying money for GUI toolkit. They used and still use Motif and that wasn't free either. I used to work for a firm, that developed some of HP products for them and speaking from personal experience, the only reason for spending 10000$ on some crappy NT-to-Unix GUI port library instead of Qt was an idiot manager on our side. HP liked the idea of Qt more.


By Marko Samastur at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

Motif is an open standard, and Qt is owned by a single ( small ) company. What will they do if Gates with friends buy TrollTech ?


By Hi at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

Look at the page on the Trolltech site about the Free QT Foundation -
http://www.trolltech.com/company/announce/foundation.html

In particular - 'Should Trolltech ever discontinue the Qt Free Edition for any reason including, but not limited to, a buyout of Trolltech, a merger or bankruptcy, the latest version of the Qt Free Edition will be released under the BSD license.'


By Jon at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

Jon already answered the second part. The first part...Well, Motif wasn't always an open standard. You had to pay, if you wanted to use it (that's why it never become popular in Linux). As I've said before, companies including Sun and HP never had problem with that.


By Marko Samastur at Sun, 2001/04/22 - 5:00am

Yes, I know that we can say that all money they get they invest in the GPL community, but I would rather pay 200$, but not 2000$. What if I write simple applications for internal use in my firm - I must buy a commercial Qt license for each workplace. US/Western companies may affort to do this, but other probably not.


By Hi at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

I thought the commercial license fee only applied to commercial development, not commercial run-time. Qt run-time is free everywhere isn't it?


By Macka at Sun, 2001/04/22 - 5:00am

Of course, I meant 'coder's workplace'.


By Hi at Sun, 2001/04/22 - 5:00am

As was mentioned in previous posts, if it's internal stuff that you are not reselling or anything, you can just use GPL on it! No costs at all.


By Justin at Tue, 2008/01/08 - 6:00am

Yes, unlike what most people think, GTK+ is fully object oriented, dispite that it's written in C.
GTK+ supports virtual functions, public/private members, inheritance, whatever.
GTK+ doesn't support multiple inheritances YET, but it will in the upcoming GTK+ 2.0, with interfaces like in Java.

"GTK+ is a hack"

Just what exactly is your definition of "hack"?
Does low-level code work worse than high-level code?
I don't think so: assembly works fine.

And if you guys still don't believe me, then I invite you to join the GTK+ mailing list.
Ask the other developers how GTK+ is OO.

And, I also strongly suggest you to take a look at the GTK+ or Gnome-libs source code.
It's the proof that GTK+ *is* OO.

No, don't respond yet.
Take a look at the source code or ask the mailing list first, before making any prejudgements.


By Gnome Developer at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

'nuff said


By ac at Sun, 2001/04/22 - 5:00am

as you say gtk+ is fully OO based
and if not agreed that see the souce code of lib
please tell how to get the source of gtk+ liberaries
if you tell me it will be a great help for me

thanking you
abhishrk kapoor


By abhishek kapoor at Thu, 2003/01/16 - 6:00am

Just to be fair, GNOME 1.4 is kind of a stepping stone to GNOME 2.0, the difference between the two is musch like KDE 1.x and KDE 2.x. GNOME 1.4 includes alot of 1.0 stuff that has not realy matured like Bonobo(Component Model), Natilus (MS-explorer clone), GNOME-VFS(like KIO-slaves) and more. I would recomend GNOME 1.2 or KDE to non-developers. Developers should pick GNOME 1.4 or KDE 2.x.


By AC at Thu, 2001/04/19 - 5:00am

Just to be fair, KDE 2.x is kind of a stepping stone to KDE 3.0.


By Nono No at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

What is included with KDE 2.x just to help developers write for KDE 3.x?


By AC at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

not worth reading - like most ZDNet articles.


By Evandro at Thu, 2001/04/19 - 5:00am

So very, very true. ZDNet has periodically presented misinformation. Almost every article that is OSS related by them contains numerous errors, and is responded to mostly by people saying "Linux sucks, (Mac / Windows / DOS / WebTV / Microwavable Popcorn) doesn't, so there!".


By Carbon at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

ZDNet is funded by Microsoft advertisements. They might as well be a subsidiary.


By DJ at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

I've read the article, and IMHO makes some good, if old, points. Trouble is, many of those 'drawbacks' are questions of interoperability among desktop environments --like drag'n drop and copy'n paste-- or even worse, of the very internal organization of Linux and thus, in good faith, lie outside the scope of the KDE project. However, I would like to see them solved.
btw, kudos and more kudos to the KDE people for the BEST of the BEST among ANY desktop environment I've ever seen in all aspects. KDE is stable, efficient, and beautiful.


By sombragris at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

However, it is important to note that KDE 2.1.1 has had the benefit of two bug-fixing updates since its major 2.0 update;we expect GNOME to make substantial gains between now and its own 2.0 release, slated for the end of this year.

Does this make sense to anyone else? Gnome has had several bug-fix updates since its last major release - if anything, it's had three or four times as long to settle down since the x.0 release. And given that even GTK 2.0 isn't finished, or even firmed up (correct me if I'm wrong), Gnome 2.0 is well on the horizon.

Anyway, who cares? It seems to me the only relevant (or at least answerable) question is how they compare today.


By Otter at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

You are right. By the time Gnome 2.0 comes out there will be KDE 2.3.1 (or something like that). They always forget that in the reviews and make it sound like KDE will undergo no development till then.


By jj at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

When reading a review like this you have to realize that little of what they say is going to be solely factual and reasoned. The intention behind the statement isn't bad; so it's not really worth mentioning. They just want to state that GNOME has potential. It would be mean to discredit GNOME completely.


By Ghassan Misherghi at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

I'd like to say kudos to the people at Microsoft for once again having the better technolodgy. You have worked very hard on your desktop and I'm enjoying it very much, I'm using IE on windows right now, and having no problems with cut-and-paste or weird inconsistices.

Note to the writers: You had barely any cover of windows, all you said was that it was better, the whole article itself was kind of fluffy and seemed kind of UNIX centric.


By nobody at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

I totally agree. After all, what chance have they against user-friendly features like helpful MS Office registration screens (complete with a service to send the user helpful information from our associates), and context based talking paperclips.

BTW, if you cannot tell, both this article and the article I am replying to are very much done tongue-in-cheek.


By Carbon at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

I agree that at this moment Microsoft has a better desktop environment. But I think that Alernative OSes are fast catching up. OS X, is on its heels, KDE 2.1.1 is not too far behind. GNOME is a wonderful environment but it seems to be somewhat slightly less professional to KDE at the moment. I am looking forward to GNOME 2.0

If Windows is your kettle of fish. Fine. Others rather work with alternatives. It is never proper for one company to have a virtual monopoly in any area. Competition is DAMN GOOD.

GO KDE TEAM!!

All u rough.

Keep up the good work.


By puelly at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

In case you didn't notice, the whole article was about Unix desktops. By the way, seen any blue screens lately?


By nimrod877 at Mon, 2001/04/23 - 5:00am

Hello

I use the latest kde desktop (211) and i think it is the best, but wouldn't say it is not good enough. I would say it is not good at all. The not-speed of kde is driving me nuts, and then all applications, as it is usual in linux, crash most of the time. I say I am a linux fan and I hate windows, but nobody should really say linux is better than windows. Linux gets more and more like windows. The new kernel is unstable, the kde 2.0 (so called release version) was more then unstable. And nearly every softwareproduct for linux (expect tex and emacs) that is called release is in my opinion early beta.

cu Robert


By Robert Ulmer at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

This is really strange. I'm using a 2.4 Kernel, XFree 4.01 and a KDE 2.2 Alpha (!) that I downloaded from CVS 2 days ago. Noting crashes. But I've compiled my whole system from ground, maybe that's the reason it works so nicely. A few days ago I tried to install SuSE 7.1 -- a nightmare.
That might the real problem of Linux: We're struggling with different file systems, sometimes completety incompatible libraries (RedHat), buggy distros (didn't Mandrake ship a Beta-Version of KDE in the US last chistmas?) and mega distros that have thousands of programs that nobody ever uses -- quantity instead of quality. You should have a look at the basic distros: Linuxfromscratch, Slackware, Debian. They have the quality you're looking for.


By Johann Lermer at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

you should get your facts right.

gcc-2.96-RH generates 100% compatible code for C programs. you can compile a C program with it and use in any system compatible with glibc-2.2.

to use c++ code all you need to do is install libstdc++-2.96-81.i386.rpm from redhat. the c++ libraries are needed, since there's no compatibility between egcs 1.1.2, gcc 2.95, gcc-2.96-RH and gcc-3.0 (cvs branch).

about the nightmare you had a few days ago, you seem to be alone. i've never heard of problems with suse 7.1 until now (you). since you're so clear about it and gave descriptions to all the problems you encounterd, it's safe to believe in you.

and mandrake did not ship with a KDE beta. their 7.2 release comes with 2.0-final, but they did make a few boxes with kde 2.0-rc (not beta, release candidate) for wall-mart. and they provided update cds for all the costumers who bought that version (and the box clearly said: KDE 2.0-RELEASE_CANDIDATE).


By Evandro at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

don't even talk about how gcc-2.96-RH generates 100% compatible code. the point is that the version that ships with RH7 is buggy. you can't even compile your own kernel with it. if it works, great. if it's buggy, forget about it. it doesn't matter how standards-compliant it is if it doesn't work right. as far as SuSE 7.1 goes, i recently installed it. when i tried to install it with the development package, the "all of kde" package, and the "kde 2" package, my graphics card crashed (i think) at the end of the install. during the install i could only configure x to run in 640x480 mode. nothing else would work. later i tried fixing this with sax2. nope. blank screen. and i couldn't get out of it with ctrl+alt+backspace so i had to reset my comp and run e2fsck. when my system recovered from that, i ran sax1 and it autodetected my graphics card (s3 virge/DX. only runs with generic SVGA server). i found my monitor in the monitor database, so that was easy. what i wanna know is why are there so many problems if it detected my card and had the monitor in the database? why didn't sax2 work when the graphical install did? why can't you select your monitor during the install to abvoid all these post-install configuration problems? why did my computer crash at the end of an attempted install? SuSE is a good distro, but they should take some pointers from corel without sacrificing any flexibility.


By Rick Kreikebaum at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

Gcc 2.96rh is less buggy than 2.95, try something like comparison of arithmathic of floating point literals and variables, gcc itself is buggy, but 2.96rh is nothing but some bug fixes, the linux kernel has some bad stuff like forgeting to cast to const and stuff that gcc 2.5 lets you get away with, theres a kernel patch to make it compile with gcc 2.96.


By ac at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

don't even talk about how gcc-2.96-RH generates 100% compatible code. the point is that the version that ships with RH7 is buggy. you can't even compile your own kernel with it. if it works, great. if it's buggy, forget about it. it doesn't matter how standards-compliant it is if it doesn't work right. as far as SuSE 7.1 goes, i recently installed it. when i tried to install it with the development package, the "all of kde" package, and the "kde 2" package, my graphics card crashed (i think) at the end of the install. during the install i could only configure x to run in 640x480 mode. nothing else would work. later i tried fixing this with sax2. nope. blank screen. and i couldn't get out of it with ctrl+alt+backspace so i had to reset my comp and run e2fsck. when my system recovered from that, i ran sax1 and it autodetected my graphics card (s3 virge/DX. only runs with generic SVGA server). i found my monitor in the monitor database, so that was easy. what i wanna know is why are there so many problems if it detected my card and had the monitor in the database? why didn't sax2 work when the graphical install did? why can't you select your monitor during the install to abvoid all these post-install configuration problems? why did my computer crash at the end of an attempted install? SuSE is a good distro, but they should take some pointers from corel without sacrificing any flexibility.


By Rick Kreikebaum at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

don't even talk about how gcc-2.96-RH generates 100% compatible code. the point is that the version that ships with RH7 is buggy. you can't even compile your own kernel with it. if it works, great. if it's buggy, forget about it. it doesn't matter how standards-compliant it is if it doesn't work right. as far as SuSE 7.1 goes, i recently installed it. when i tried to install it with the development package, the "all of kde" package, and the "kde 2" package, my graphics card crashed (i think) at the end of the install. during the install i could only configure x to run in 640x480 mode. nothing else would work. later i tried fixing this with sax2. nope. blank screen. and i couldn't get out of it with ctrl+alt+backspace so i had to reset my comp and run e2fsck. when my system recovered from that, i ran sax1 and it autodetected my graphics card (s3 virge/DX. only runs with generic SVGA server). i found my monitor in the monitor database, so that was easy. what i wanna know is why are there so many problems if it detected my card and had the monitor in the database? why didn't sax2 work when the graphical install did? why can't you select your monitor during the install to abvoid all these post-install configuration problems? why did my computer crash at the end of an attempted install? SuSE is a good distro, but they should take some pointers from corel without sacrificing any flexibility.


By Rick Kreikebaum at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

don't even talk about how gcc-2.96-RH generates 100% compatible code. the point is that the version that ships with RH7 is buggy. you can't even compile your own kernel with it. if it works, great. if it's buggy, forget about it. it doesn't matter how standards-compliant it is if it doesn't work right. as far as SuSE 7.1 goes, i recently installed it. when i tried to install it with the development package, the "all of kde" package, and the "kde 2" package, my graphics card crashed (i think) at the end of the install. during the install i could only configure x to run in 640x480 mode. nothing else would work. later i tried fixing this with sax2. nope. blank screen. and i couldn't get out of it with ctrl+alt+backspace so i had to reset my comp and run e2fsck. when my system recovered from that, i ran sax1 and it autodetected my graphics card (s3 virge/DX. only runs with generic SVGA server). i found my monitor in the monitor database, so that was easy. what i wanna know is why are there so many problems if it detected my card and had the monitor in the database? why didn't sax2 work when the graphical install did? why can't you select your monitor during the install to abvoid all these post-install configuration problems? why did my computer crash at the end of an attempted install? SuSE is a good distro, but they should take some pointers from corel without sacrificing any flexibility.


By Rick Kreikebaum at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

don't even talk about how gcc-2.96-RH generates 100% compatible code. the point is that the version that ships with RH7 is buggy. you can't even compile your own kernel with it. if it works, great. if it's buggy, forget about it. it doesn't matter how standards-compliant it is if it doesn't work right. as far as SuSE 7.1 goes, i recently installed it. when i tried to install it with the development package, the "all of kde" package, and the "kde 2" package, my graphics card crashed (i think) at the end of the install. during the install i could only configure x to run in 640x480 mode. nothing else would work. later i tried fixing this with sax2. nope. blank screen. and i couldn't get out of it with ctrl+alt+backspace so i had to reset my comp and run e2fsck. when my system recovered from that, i ran sax1 and it autodetected my graphics card (s3 virge/DX. only runs with generic SVGA server). i found my monitor in the monitor database, so that was easy. what i wanna know is why are there so many problems if it detected my card and had the monitor in the database? why didn't sax2 work when the graphical install did? why can't you select your monitor during the install to abvoid all these post-install configuration problems? why did my computer crash at the end of an attempted install? SuSE is a good distro, but they should take some pointers from corel without sacrificing any flexibility.


By Rick Kreikebaum at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

don't even talk about how gcc-2.96-RH generates 100% compatible code. the point is that the version that ships with RH7 is buggy. you can't even compile your own kernel with it. if it works, great. if it's buggy, forget about it. it doesn't matter how standards-compliant it is if it doesn't work right. as far as SuSE 7.1 goes, i recently installed it. when i tried to install it with the development package, the "all of kde" package, and the "kde 2" package, my graphics card crashed (i think) at the end of the install. during the install i could only configure x to run in 640x480 mode. nothing else would work. later i tried fixing this with sax2. nope. blank screen. and i couldn't get out of it with ctrl+alt+backspace so i had to reset my comp and run e2fsck. when my system recovered from that, i ran sax1 and it autodetected my graphics card (s3 virge/DX. only runs with generic SVGA server). i found my monitor in the monitor database, so that was easy. what i wanna know is why are there so many problems if it detected my card and had the monitor in the database? why didn't sax2 work when the graphical install did? why can't you select your monitor during the install to abvoid all these post-install configuration problems? why did my computer crash at the end of an attempted install? SuSE is a good distro, but they should take some pointers from corel without sacrificing any flexibility.


By Rick Kreikebaum at Sat, 2001/04/21 - 5:00am

oops. that's the last time i try to post a reply more than once. i didn't think it was working. none of the dot.kde.org pages were loading.


By Rick Kreikebaum at Sun, 2001/04/22 - 5:00am

I'm a sysadmin for a large ISP and I use Linux alone in my notebook. There's not a single task that I need to get done for which I can't find a good and stable Linux app to do the job. I use Mandrake 7.2, kernel 2.2.19, and KDE 2.1.1 and I don't even remember when my system last crashed, it simply doesn't happen even though I use it quite heavily with several apps running all the time. If your Linux/KDE is crashing so often, there's certainly something wrong with your installation.


By Pedro Ziviani at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

What do you mean by saying that kernel is unstable??
I have been using Linux with 2.2.x kernel for four years and never experienced a kernel crash! I mean, even X server crashed few times, but Linux kernel was still running. I don't know how is the situation with 2.4.x kernels, but I suspect it can't be worse than 2.2.x. Some unfinished KDE applications (like the KOffice ones) have been crashing, but nobody said that they were release versions, they are still developed. I do agree with you though, that KDE 2.0 was a bit too buggy for a release version, but hey, that's why they supplied KDE 2.0.1 so soon as a bugfix. Although I appreciate the work of people who work on KDE very much, I would suggest that when KDE x.0 is released, it can be even few months late (like it was a case with 2.4 kernel). It is nothing worse in software development than trying to release versions of software exactly on time, because it may hide much more hidden bugs because of all the hurry to release on time. In any way, KDE is really great desktop and everybody who is saying that KDE people did not do a wonderful job, should use Windoze for the rest of his(her) life.


By Bojan at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

I completely agree with you. Specially with your last sentence.


By uwe at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

KDE programs crash sometimes, that is true. But its completely ok, you can restart them and continue. Of course, as soon as KOffice starts doing that, I'd be more pissed, so they better make it stable (and/or) do this auto-saving stuff ms has tried to use for covering up their sloppy programming.

But the 2.4 kernel is indeed a little unstable, even Linus & Alan confirmed that. (I dunno the link, have a look at the kernel-ml's).


By me at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

yeah, the 2.4.0 kernel crashed on me once.


By Rick Kreikebaum at Sun, 2001/04/22 - 5:00am

simply not true !
i'm using kernel-2.4 since 2.3.35 (or so)
and the only problem i had the last 1 or 2 years
is that my new cd-burner does not run and block
my linux.
I'm also using kde-2.1.1 since 2.0 beta1 and
it got very stable to version 2.1.1
Also the java and plugin support in konqueror
got very fine, and the only wish i have is better
msoffice support in koffice but this is comin in
the next koffice release.
But I'm compiling my apps by myself, my slackware
is stable but some apps are slower than selfcompiled (for example kde).

happy day !


By Armin Krieg at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

Hey! My linux kernel also gets stopped when my CD reades has problems with some CD's.
I just hangs the sistem (not actually hanged but stops for some seconds and then works ... stops...)
When this situation arrives I can't umount /dec/cdrom.

This is REALLY a big problem and havn't found how to solve this. I have to say that M$ faces better with this situation with the same CD reader and the same CD's


By Landabaso at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

Try FreeBSD.


By ac at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

Hi, what planet are you from? Well, my friend, I am from planet Earth, where there are certain rules to be followed in OSS discussion groups:

*Complaining about anything and everything is a troll. If you don't like it, but don't have anything helpful to say, then go join a windows discussion group.
*Hmm, KDE crashes. OSS Rule #1534: If it seems like everything is crashing, then something is misconfigured.
*KDE is currently at 2.1.1 release, not 2.0. Complaing about 2.0 is not only pointless, it's laughable.
*New kernel unstable? OSS Rule #366: If you find a bug, report it, with a specific example. DON'T make vague comments about "crashing".
*"Nearly every softwareproduct for linux that is called release is in my opinion early beta". Wow, that's quite a sweeping comment there. Now not only is KDE and Linux at fault, but now it's almost every OSS product (except tex and emacs) that is at fault?


By Carbon at Fri, 2001/04/20 - 5:00am

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