Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?

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Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?

Bruce.Bannerman

IMO:


Sorry for the inflamatory subject heading. I'm hoping to get a few bites with my fishing...



I'm currently reviewing a high level government strategy paper (in draft) and intend submitting a formal response.

I'd like to see some discussion on the subject by my respected colleagues prior to making the submission.


The gist of the comment in the draft strategy is something like:

"Open Source approaches to software development will be most effective if some form of central authority undertakes the role of verifying contributions and providing quality control."




My initial reaction and response to this is something like:

"This is a misreading of how Open Source works.

Successful Open Source Projects typically have software of superior quality. This is usually due to there being many developers who have access to the software for QA purposes.

Any attempt to impose a central authority from outside of Open Source projects would be rebuffed vigorously and result in a probably irrepairable relationship between that party and the project(s) involved.

The most successful centralised Open Source authority is probably the Apache Foundation (http://www.apache.org/) which is behind a wide range of projects including the Apache Web Server, probably the most widely used Web Server on the Internet. The Foundation pioneered the concept of 'Meritocracy', where people earn respect and are given greater responsibility for projects based on their past contributions and 'merit'. The Foundation grew from within the Project. It was not imposed on the Project. They have developed an enviable reputation for spawning, incubating and fostering robust Open Source Projects that routinely produce high quality software.

Nearly two years ago, an organisation called the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGEO,  http://www.osgeo.org/) was formed based on the Apache ethos, to provide similar support for Open Source Spatial applications. They currently have a number of prominent spatial projects in Incubation with a number of other equally capable projects waiting for the next vacancy for incubation."


OK, over to you. I'm interested in all points of view on this issue.


Bruce Bannerman





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RE: Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?

Michael P. Gerlek
Bruce-
 
Without having seen the sentences on either side of the one you quote, I think I'd argue that the author is not wrong in his statement: is not what we here call a PSC, and indeed the OSGeo Foundation itself, an embodiment of "some form of central authority"?
 
..which is not to say your own arguments are wrong, obviously -- it just may be that you're reading something stronger into what the author actually had in mind?
 
-mpg
 


From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of [hidden email]
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 12:43 AM
To: OSGeo Discussions
Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?


IMO:


Sorry for the inflamatory subject heading. I'm hoping to get a few bites with my fishing...



I'm currently reviewing a high level government strategy paper (in draft) and intend submitting a formal response.

I'd like to see some discussion on the subject by my respected colleagues prior to making the submission.


The gist of the comment in the draft strategy is something like:

"Open Source approaches to software development will be most effective if some form of central authority undertakes the role of verifying contributions and providing quality control."




My initial reaction and response to this is something like:

"This is a misreading of how Open Source works.

Successful Open Source Projects typically have software of superior quality. This is usually due to there being many developers who have access to the software for QA purposes.

Any attempt to impose a central authority from outside of Open Source projects would be rebuffed vigorously and result in a probably irrepairable relationship between that party and the project(s) involved.

The most successful centralised Open Source authority is probably the Apache Foundation (http://www.apache.org/) which is behind a wide range of projects including the Apache Web Server, probably the most widely used Web Server on the Internet. The Foundation pioneered the concept of 'Meritocracy', where people earn respect and are given greater responsibility for projects based on their past contributions and 'merit'. The Foundation grew from within the Project. It was not imposed on the Project. They have developed an enviable reputation for spawning, incubating and fostering robust Open Source Projects that routinely produce high quality software.

Nearly two years ago, an organisation called the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGEO,  http://www.osgeo.org/) was formed based on the Apache ethos, to provide similar support for Open Source Spatial applications. They currently have a number of prominent spatial projects in Incubation with a number of other equally capable projects waiting for the next vacancy for incubation."


OK, over to you. I'm interested in all points of view on this issue.


Bruce Bannerman





Notice:
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If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by return email, delete it from your system and destroy any copies. You are not authorised to use, communicate or rely on the information contained in this email.

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

 


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Re: Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?

Wilfred L. Guerin
In reply to this post by Bruce.Bannerman
The document I prepared in response to your inquiry, outlining
intentional and explicit compromises and undermining "capabilities" of
criminal gang infiltrated system design was just destroyed, as is the
majority of the memory and data on the pda device, as it was
explicitly attacked by the threats outlined in the document. As this
point it is still inoperative. Such explicit terrorist harboring
back-doors mandated by american FCC policy must be eradicated at all
costs, as a thorough and well written document, along with all the
other content on the device, were destroyed by an alternate government
sponsored attack. (wire compromise on pda/cell device explicitly
targeting the response to you.)

[hidden email]




On Jan 25, 2008 3:43 AM,  <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> IMO:
>
>
> Sorry for the inflamatory subject heading. I'm hoping to get a few bites
> with my fishing...
>
>
>
> I'm currently reviewing a high level government strategy paper (in draft)
> and intend submitting a formal response.
>
> I'd like to see some discussion on the subject by my respected colleagues
> prior to making the submission.
>
>
> The gist of the comment in the draft strategy is something like:
>
> "Open Source approaches to software development will be most effective if
> some form of central authority undertakes the role of verifying
> contributions and providing quality control."
>
>
>
>
> My initial reaction and response to this is something like:
>
> "This is a misreading of how Open Source works.
>
> Successful Open Source Projects typically have software of superior quality.
> This is usually due to there being many developers who have access to the
> software for QA purposes.
>
> Any attempt to impose a central authority from outside of Open Source
> projects would be rebuffed vigorously and result in a probably irrepairable
> relationship between that party and the project(s) involved.
>
> The most successful centralised Open Source authority is probably the Apache
> Foundation (http://www.apache.org/) which is behind a wide range of projects
> including the Apache Web Server, probably the most widely used Web Server on
> the Internet. The Foundation pioneered the concept of 'Meritocracy', where
> people earn respect and are given greater responsibility for projects based
> on their past contributions and 'merit'. The Foundation grew from within the
> Project. It was not imposed on the Project. They have developed an enviable
> reputation for spawning, incubating and fostering robust Open Source
> Projects that routinely produce high quality software.
>
> Nearly two years ago, an organisation called the Open Source Geospatial
> Foundation (OSGEO,  http://www.osgeo.org/) was formed based on the Apache
> ethos, to provide similar support for Open Source Spatial applications. They
> currently have a number of prominent spatial projects in Incubation with a
> number of other equally capable projects waiting for the next vacancy for
> incubation."
>
>
> OK, over to you. I'm interested in all points of view on this issue.
>
>
> Bruce Bannerman
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Notice:
> This email and any attachments may contain information that is personal,
> confidential,
> legally privileged and/or copyright. No part of it should be reproduced,
> adapted or communicated without the prior written consent of the copyright
> owner.
>
> It is the responsibility of the recipient to check for and remove viruses.
>
> If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by return
> email, delete it from your system and destroy any copies. You are not
> authorised to use, communicate or rely on the information contained in this
> email.
>
> Please consider the environment before printing this email.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>
>
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RE: Does Open Source need a supervisory governmentbody?

Ed McNierney-4
In reply to this post by Michael P. Gerlek

In particular (to Michael’s last comment), your Subject inserts the word “government” where it does not appear in your “gist of the comment” summary, and that’s rather a significant distinction.  Which is it?

 

-          Ed

 

Ed McNierney

Chief Mapmaker

Demand Media / TopoZone.com

73 Princeton Street, Suite 305

North Chelmsford, MA  01863

Phone: 978-251-4242, Fax: 978-251-1396

[hidden email]

 

From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Michael P. Gerlek
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 5:29 AM
To: OSGeo Discussions
Subject: RE: [OSGeo-Discuss] Does Open Source need a supervisory governmentbody?

 

Bruce-

 

Without having seen the sentences on either side of the one you quote, I think I'd argue that the author is not wrong in his statement: is not what we here call a PSC, and indeed the OSGeo Foundation itself, an embodiment of "some form of central authority"?

 

..which is not to say your own arguments are wrong, obviously -- it just may be that you're reading something stronger into what the author actually had in mind?

 

-mpg

 

 


From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of [hidden email]
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 12:43 AM
To: OSGeo Discussions
Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?


IMO:


Sorry for the inflamatory subject heading. I'm hoping to get a few bites with my fishing...



I'm currently reviewing a high level government strategy paper (in draft) and intend submitting a formal response.

I'd like to see some discussion on the subject by my respected colleagues prior to making the submission.


The gist of the comment in the draft strategy is something like:

"Open Source approaches to software development will be most effective if some form of central authority undertakes the role of verifying contributions and providing quality control."




My initial reaction and response to this is something like:

"This is a misreading of how Open Source works.

Successful Open Source Projects typically have software of superior quality. This is usually due to there being many developers who have access to the software for QA purposes.

Any attempt to impose a central authority from outside of Open Source projects would be rebuffed vigorously and result in a probably irrepairable relationship between that party and the project(s) involved.

The most successful centralised Open Source authority is probably the Apache Foundation (http://www.apache.org/) which is behind a wide range of projects including the Apache Web Server, probably the most widely used Web Server on the Internet. The Foundation pioneered the concept of 'Meritocracy', where people earn respect and are given greater responsibility for projects based on their past contributions and 'merit'. The Foundation grew from within the Project. It was not imposed on the Project. They have developed an enviable reputation for spawning, incubating and fostering robust Open Source Projects that routinely produce high quality software.

Nearly two years ago, an organisation called the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGEO,  http://www.osgeo.org/) was formed based on the Apache ethos, to provide similar support for Open Source Spatial applications. They currently have a number of prominent spatial projects in Incubation with a number of other equally capable projects waiting for the next vacancy for incubation."


OK, over to you. I'm interested in all points of view on this issue.


Bruce Bannerman




Notice:
This email and any attachments may contain information that is personal, confidential,
legally privileged and/or copyright.
No part of it should be reproduced, adapted or communicated without the prior written consent of the copyright owner.

It is the responsibility of the recipient to check for and remove viruses.

If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by return email, delete it from your system and destroy any copies. You are not authorised to use, communicate or rely on the information contained in this email.

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

 


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Re: Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?

Paulo Marcondes
In reply to this post by Wilfred L. Guerin
2008/1/25, Wilfred L. Guerin <[hidden email]>:
> The document I prepared in response to your inquiry, outlining

WTH?

--
Paulo Marcondes = PU1/PU2PIX
-22.915 -42.224 = GG86jc
http://www.kombato.org - Ciência da Proteção

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Re: Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?

Ivan Lucena
In reply to this post by Bruce.Bannerman
Bruce,

That sounds like removing the "F" from FOSS or should I say, that is a
bazaar inside a cathedral. :)

Seriously now, IMHO, as an FOSS contributor and a commercial software
developer that uses FOSS, I believe that there is a complicated process
of getting to the point to embrace a FOSS initiative and that statement
does not help it at all. Where are the decisions made, in public
e-mail-lists or in a cabinet? What about election and cabinet change?

I am not saying that a government agency can't be the incubator of a
*F*OSS, there are numerous successful example out there, but the
governance of the project matter a lot. "If you love your OSS project
set it free".

Best regards,

Ivan


[hidden email] wrote:

>
> IMO:
>
>
> Sorry for the inflamatory subject heading. I'm hoping to get a few bites
> with my fishing...
>
>
>
> I'm currently reviewing a high level government strategy paper (in
> draft) and intend submitting a formal response.
>
> I'd like to see some discussion on the subject by my respected
> colleagues prior to making the submission.
>
>
> The gist of the comment in the draft strategy is something like:
>
> "Open Source approaches to software development will be most effective
> if some form of central authority undertakes the role of verifying
> contributions and providing quality control."
>
>
>
>
> My initial reaction and response to this is something like:
>
> "This is a misreading of how Open Source works.
>
> Successful Open Source Projects typically have software of superior
> quality. This is usually due to there being many developers who have
> access to the software for QA purposes.
>
> Any attempt to impose a central authority from outside of Open Source
> projects would be rebuffed vigorously and result in a probably
> irrepairable relationship between that party and the project(s) involved.
>
> The most successful centralised Open Source authority is probably the
> Apache Foundation (http://www.apache.org/) which is behind a wide range
> of projects including the Apache Web Server, probably the most widely
> used Web Server on the Internet. The Foundation pioneered the concept of
> 'Meritocracy', where people earn respect and are given greater
> responsibility for projects based on their past contributions and
> 'merit'. The Foundation grew from within the Project. It was not imposed
> on the Project. They have developed an enviable reputation for spawning,
> incubating and fostering robust Open Source Projects that routinely
> produce high quality software.
>
> Nearly two years ago, an organisation called the Open Source Geospatial
> Foundation (OSGEO,  http://www.osgeo.org/) was formed based on the
> Apache ethos, to provide similar support for Open Source Spatial
> applications. They currently have a number of prominent spatial projects
> in Incubation with a number of other equally capable projects waiting
> for the next vacancy for incubation."
>
>
> OK, over to you. I'm interested in all points of view on this issue.
>
>
> Bruce Bannerman
>
>
>
>
>
> Notice:
> This email and any attachments may contain information that is personal,
> confidential,
> legally privileged and/or copyright. No part of it should be reproduced,
> adapted or communicated without the prior written consent of the
> copyright owner.
>
> It is the responsibility of the recipient to check for and remove viruses.
>
> If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by
> return email, delete it from your system and destroy any copies. You are
> not authorised to use, communicate or rely on the information contained
> in this email.
>
> Please consider the environment before printing this email.
>
>  
>
>  
>
>  
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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RE: Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?

Bruce.Bannerman
In reply to this post by Michael P. Gerlek

IMO:

Thanks for the comments Michael,

As I said in my post, I was being deliberately provocative with choice of subject heading.


Yes it is certainly possible that I've missed the intent of the author's comments. It is only a small portion of an excellent document.



However, I also have a very good feel for how 'the gist' of the comments may be interpreted by some readers. My intent is to avoid a situation where well intention people may damage relationships between Government and FOSS.


Bruce

>  
> Without having seen the sentences on either side of the one you
> quote, I think I'd argue that the author is not wrong in his
> statement: is not what we here call a PSC, and indeed the OSGeo
> Foundation itself, an embodiment of "some form of central authority"?

>  
> ..which is not to say your own arguments are wrong, obviously -- it
> just may be that you're reading something stronger into what the
> author actually had in mind?

>  
> -mpg
>  





Notice:
This email and any attachments may contain information that is personal, confidential,
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No part of it should be reproduced, adapted or communicated without the prior written consent of the copyright owner.

It is the responsibility of the recipient to check for and remove viruses.

If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by return email, delete it from your system and destroy any copies. You are not authorised to use, communicate or rely on the information contained in this email.

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Re: Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?

Bruce.Bannerman
In reply to this post by Ivan Lucena

IMO:

Thanks Ivan,

Agreed.

While government can certainly incubate, sponsor and contribute to projects. My personal opinion is that they are better run by 'the community'.

If the project is good enough, it should get sufficient supporters and hopefully be picked up by a 'central authority' like OSGeo.


Bruce


>
> That sounds like removing the "F" from FOSS or should I say, that is a
> bazaar inside a cathedral. :)
>
> Seriously now, IMHO, as an FOSS contributor and a commercial software
> developer that uses FOSS, I believe that there is a complicated process
> of getting to the point to embrace a FOSS initiative and that statement
> does not help it at all. Where are the decisions made, in public
> e-mail-lists or in a cabinet? What about election and cabinet change?
>
> I am not saying that a government agency can't be the incubator of a
> *F*OSS, there are numerous successful example out there, but the
> governance of the project matter a lot. "If you love your OSS project
> set it free".
>

Notice:
This email and any attachments may contain information that is personal, confidential,
legally privileged and/or copyright.
No part of it should be reproduced, adapted or communicated without the prior written consent of the copyright owner.

It is the responsibility of the recipient to check for and remove viruses.

If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by return email, delete it from your system and destroy any copies. You are not authorised to use, communicate or rely on the information contained in this email.

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

 


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Re: Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?

Cameron Shorter
Software quality is a difficult concept to measure so that it can be
factored into purchasing decisions and budgets. How do you compare the
quality of two different projects?

I assume the authors of the paper you are reviewing are drawing upon
Quality processes like ISO 9001, or Quality Control and Quality
Assurance processes defined in CMMI, or in Mil Std 498, or ISO 12207 or
DO-178B.  (Mmm, I must get a life. Working for defense companies ensures
you get to read very some boring documents).

Government purchaser's not only need quality software, but they need to
to measure the quality of the software and determine whether it is fit
for purpose.
What is the probability the software won't work, or won't work to spec?
What is the impact if the software crashes? Will someone be killed, or
will a lot of money be lost?

The way large software vendors prove their software quality is they
define software development processes (which includes testing), then
follow the defined processes, then audit the company to ensure the
processes are followed.
This is an effective, well tested way to verify quality - and you will
find most established Open Source projects will follow do the same, to a
greater or lesser degree.

So my recommendation for a government evaluating software is:

1. Specify the need for the software.
2. Specify the criticality of the software.
3. Based on the criticality, determine the level of quality required.
4. Based on quality requirement, determine the level of processes and
testing required.
5. Verify the project in question has the required software development
processes.
6. Potentially offer resources to improve project processes.

I could bore you with hours more on this subject, but better stop here.

PS. Bruce, are you allowed to tell us Australians what report you are
responding to, and can I see a copy of it?

[hidden email] wrote:

>
> IMO:
>
> Thanks Ivan,
>
> Agreed.
>
> While government can certainly incubate, sponsor and contribute to
> projects. My personal opinion is that they are better run by 'the
> community'.
>
> If the project is good enough, it should get sufficient supporters and
> hopefully be picked up by a 'central authority' like OSGeo.
>
>
> Bruce
>
>
> >
> > That sounds like removing the "F" from FOSS or should I say, that is a
> > bazaar inside a cathedral. :)
> >
> > Seriously now, IMHO, as an FOSS contributor and a commercial software
> > developer that uses FOSS, I believe that there is a complicated process
> > of getting to the point to embrace a FOSS initiative and that statement
> > does not help it at all. Where are the decisions made, in public
> > e-mail-lists or in a cabinet? What about election and cabinet change?
> >
> > I am not saying that a government agency can't be the incubator of a
> > *F*OSS, there are numerous successful example out there, but the
> > governance of the project matter a lot. "If you love your OSS project
> > set it free".
> >
>
> Notice:
> This email and any attachments may contain information that is
> personal, confidential,
> legally privileged and/or copyright. No part of it should be
> reproduced, adapted or communicated without the prior written consent
> of the copyright owner.
>
> It is the responsibility of the recipient to check for and remove viruses.
>
> If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by
> return email, delete it from your system and destroy any copies. You
> are not authorised to use, communicate or rely on the information
> contained in this email.
>
> Please consider the environment before printing this email.
>
>  
>
>  
>
>  
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>  


--
Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Systems Architect
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Commercial Support for Geospatial Open Source Solutions
http://www.lisasoft.com/LISAsoft/SupportedProducts.html

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Re: Does Open Source need a supervisory government body?

Puneet Kishor
In reply to this post by Bruce.Bannerman
On 1/25/08, [hidden email]
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> IMO:
>
>
> Sorry for the inflamatory subject heading. I'm hoping to get a few bites
> with my fishing...
>
>
>
> I'm currently reviewing a high level government strategy paper (in draft)
> and intend submitting a formal response.
>
> I'd like to see some discussion on the subject by my respected colleagues
> prior to making the submission.
>
>
> The gist of the comment in the draft strategy is something like:
>
> "Open Source approaches to software development will be most effective if
> some form of central authority undertakes the role of verifying
> contributions and providing quality control."
>
>

would SE Linux be an example of where a govt. authority
verified/quality controls a particular quality of an open source
project?

http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/



>
>
> My initial reaction and response to this is something like:
>
> "This is a misreading of how Open Source works.
>
> Successful Open Source Projects typically have software of superior quality.
> This is usually due to there being many developers who have access to the
> software for QA purposes.
>
> Any attempt to impose a central authority from outside of Open Source
> projects would be rebuffed vigorously and result in a probably irrepairable
> relationship between that party and the project(s) involved.
>
> The most successful centralised Open Source authority is probably the Apache
> Foundation (http://www.apache.org/) which is behind a wide range of projects
> including the Apache Web Server, probably the most widely used Web Server on
> the Internet. The Foundation pioneered the concept of 'Meritocracy', where
> people earn respect and are given greater responsibility for projects based
> on their past contributions and 'merit'. The Foundation grew from within the
> Project. It was not imposed on the Project. They have developed an enviable
> reputation for spawning, incubating and fostering robust Open Source
> Projects that routinely produce high quality software.
>
> Nearly two years ago, an organisation called the Open Source Geospatial
> Foundation (OSGEO,  http://www.osgeo.org/) was formed based on the Apache
> ethos, to provide similar support for Open Source Spatial applications. They
> currently have a number of prominent spatial projects in Incubation with a
> number of other equally capable projects waiting for the next vacancy for
> incubation."
>
>
> OK, over to you. I'm interested in all points of view on this issue.
>
>
> Bruce Bannerman
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Notice:
> This email and any attachments may contain information that is personal,
> confidential,
> legally privileged and/or copyright. No part of it should be reproduced,
> adapted or communicated without the prior written consent of the copyright
> owner.
>
> It is the responsibility of the recipient to check for and remove viruses.
>
> If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by return
> email, delete it from your system and destroy any copies. You are not
> authorised to use, communicate or rely on the information contained in this
> email.
>
> Please consider the environment before printing this email.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>
>


--
Puneet Kishor http://punkish.eidesis.org/
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies http://www.nelson.wisc.edu/
Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) http://www.osgeo.org/
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