Advogato is going offline

Posted 6 Sep 2006 at 16:14 UTC by advogato Share This

With considerable sadness, I have decided to take Advogato offline. It has filled its purpose of demonstrating the trust metric ideas, which was the original purpose of the site.

It has also served as a congenial virtual home for free software developers. That role, I think, is being subsumed by a new generation of blogging tools and aggregators, particularly the "planets". One such aggregator of note is, aka Planet (Former) Advogato, which syndicates former Advogato diarists who have moved their blogs elsewhere.

Of course, it would be technically possible to pour lots of development into mod_virgule to add the features needed to make it a competitive blogging tool, but the question remains: is that a good use of resources? The design of mod_virgule is quirky in many ways, being programmed in C and using lots of XML in the file system as a "database". These decisions seemed reasonable in 1999 when I first wrote mod_virgule, but now are obviously out of the mainstream.

I was hoping to do this more slowly, to give people a chance to move their diaries elsewhere, but (I think) some idiot has decided to mount a DoS attack on Advogato. I don't really have the time or patience to come up with a patch, so I'm just moving up the timing instead. People may experience trouble getting to the site, depending on how aggressive the DoS is. [It's also possible that the downtime this morning had more to do with a hardware problem, the fan on the power supply had stopped turning, but there was definitely a DoS a few weeks earlier with similar symptoms.]

I'll make Advogato a read-only archive soon. Thanks to everybody over the years for making Advogato a great site!

Raph Levien

Welcome, posted 6 Sep 2006 at 16:41 UTC by nymia » (Master)


Before anything goes offline. Thanks for the space. I've never been good at blogging and this space really helped a lot.

which planet does that idiot coming from?, posted 6 Sep 2006 at 16:54 UTC by sye » (Journeyer)

i'll take him out. Thank you Raph for your kindness in hosting this far.

Cheers, posted 6 Sep 2006 at 20:05 UTC by sits » (Journeyer)

It seems a shame it will end this particular way but thanks for your great invention!

NO! raph don't forsake ME... i refuse such fate again!, posted 6 Sep 2006 at 20:07 UTC by badvogato » (Master)

Can we ask Steve Rainwater to host for us at his

let me write to him. Hold off.

i'll be back!

Grr, posted 6 Sep 2006 at 20:07 UTC by sits » (Journeyer)

It's hard to tell for sure but is this spam? Seem a shame this will beocme enshrined too if so -

Thanks so much, posted 6 Sep 2006 at 23:11 UTC by msevior » (Master)

Thanks so much for putting Advogato together. It was clearly well ahead of it's time and led the way in the whole gendre of blogging and aggregating.

Congrats an a fine invention and good luck with your future endeavours.


Merci beaucoup, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 08:56 UTC by freetype » (Master)


Your decision is completely understandable. Like others here, I'd like to thank you so much for what you did here.


- David

Thank you dude, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 12:45 UTC by fxn » (Master)

It has been a pleasure, thanks Raph.

Thanks!!, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 14:49 UTC by craig » (Apprentice)

It has been fun! thanks for starting the site!

Thanks for all your work, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 14:53 UTC by Stevey » (Master)

I'd like to offer you sincere thanks for all the time and effort you've put into the site over the years. Even with the brief lapses where things suffered this site has always been one I've enjoyed being part of.

Its very sad to see the recentlog spam over the past few months, but I have been very impressed at the way the ratings was fighting it successfully.

I hope that trust metrics will start appearing in more sites. It is almost suprising that they haven't caught on. Maybe they're just not sexy enough ..?!

Thanks!, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 15:12 UTC by wlach » (Master)

Would just like to echo the words of thanks that have been expressed so far. Advogato has been a great place to call home.

What!?, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 15:18 UTC by cdfrey » (Journeyer)

Aw crap. :-)

Let me quickly post my thanks for this service before things go readonly. I know I've been critical of the trust metric in the past for mostly non-technical reasons, but I did, and still do, think Advogato is a great invention and service, and it will be a terrible shame to see it go.

I've never considered myself a blogger, but Advogato's community style and particular focus conspired to convince me to create an account, and post some 28 diary entries over the last year or so. I'll miss it.

Thanks again for your invention and your work in keeping the site going!

Thank you, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 16:05 UTC by eckes » (Master)

This is sad but understandable.

I think your decision is right, as you can see from the responses, that everybody agrees, nobody desperately tries to keep it alive. I am sure it will be missed.

There was great work in the trust metrics involved and I am quite sure the results live on in a lot of the Web 2.0 communities.

Gruss Bernd

Thank you too, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 16:18 UTC by sab39 » (Master)

I haven't been here in a very long time. Which in itself is support for your decision to shut it down. But I very much appreciate the existence of this site: it was my primary introduction to blogging in the first place and recentlog is the first "planet" I ever used, despite not being referred to as one.

Again, thank you.

(a suggestion to future thank-you-ers: include a link to your current blog, if any. I'll start - here's mine)

- Stuart

What they said: Thanks Raph!, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 16:31 UTC by bi » (Master)

(I don't presently have a blog outside of Advogato, so no link unfortunately...)

Thank you for Advogato, Raph, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 16:38 UTC by robilad » (Master)

It's been a good time.

Thanks!, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 16:56 UTC by pphaneuf » (Journeyer)

Plenty of it already, but one more "thank you raph".

I'll be using my LiveJournal account in the future.

The past and future..., posted 7 Sep 2006 at 17:32 UTC by StevenRainwater » (Master)

I'd like to add my thanks to Raph for his work on Advogato and mod_virgule over the years!

As to badvogato's suggestion that I take on the hosting and maintenance, I'm willing to consider it if there's a general concensus that advogato should continue. However, if everyone really thinks it's time to move on, I don't want to stand in the way progress either.

Anyone have thoughts on what the future of advogato would be in an ideal world? Shut it down, keep it alive as is, keep it alive but modernize mod_virgule?

Thanks;, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 21:49 UTC by mibus » (Journeyer)

It's been a long time since I've been back here, I moved my blog away a long time ago now.

That said, Advogato and its community gave me the first place - and the first good reason - to start blogging. Hitting the 'recent diaries' page was always great, well before the many 'Planet' sites we have now.

So, Thanks :)

Me too, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 22:35 UTC by kalle » (Journeyer)

This was my first encounter with (what later became) blogging, and it was certainly a nice one. I haven't been a regular contributor (or visitor) in years, but Advogato still holds a special place in my memory. Thank you for that!

So long, and thanks for all the... everything, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 23:18 UTC by nutella » (Master)

Much enjoyed. Much appreciated. Much learned.

Thank you so much, posted 7 Sep 2006 at 23:43 UTC by jdub » (Master)

Thanks so much Raph!

Advogato was the chief inspiration for '', which became and, and then Planet -- now used by so many FLOSS projects to bring the same collegial atmosphere and personal awareness to their projects as Advogato brought to the entire Free Software community when you launched it so many years ago.

Very sad day -- but also happy, because it recalls so many fond memories.

So long..., posted 8 Sep 2006 at 00:10 UTC by hub » (Master)

... and thank you for all the fish !

I must say it is the end on an era. Fortunately it is the beginning of another.

I started blogging on Advogato, then I installed nitlog on my own server (nitlog was a PHP hack written by a soon to be, now former co-worker in Montreal, <person>dcoombs</dcoombs>) to get more feature, then upgraded to dotclear (still on my own server), with a transition on LiveJournal on which I'm still online.

Thank you Raph, thank you so much for all these years.

Life support?, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 01:04 UTC by AlanHorkan » (Master)

I do hope Advogato can be put into cryogenic sleep or some kind of life support rather than killed off. Even if new postings stopped it would be a much appreciated luxury to be able to go back and correct all those spelling mistakes and correct the occasional broken link. Maybe even remove comments which turn out to be embarassing in hindsight, although I do usually leave them in anyway. Having said if any tools to exist to help migrate the backlog to other services such as LiveJournal I would thank you all to make mention of them here.

The trust metric in Advogato is an expression of the desire to interconnect sites in a meaningful way, long before people went nuts about the quantity of friends on their list with MySpace. There are many community websites out there using a lot of brute force who could stand to learn a lot more from the idea of the trust metric, a far more elegant solution.

Take pride in having had so many of the right ideas so early on.

Download XML diaries, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 02:08 UTC by mibus » (Journeyer)

For those migrating away, you can get your diaries in XML format, eg:

Thank You, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 04:02 UTC by rmathew » (Master)

Thank you for having created Advogato.

While I no longer update my Advogato diary and have moved elsewhere, Advogato was where I started blogging regularly. It was also a convenient place for reading the diaries of other Free Software hackers.

mibus: Thanks for the very useful tip!

Shame, but..., posted 8 Sep 2006 at 04:27 UTC by salmoni » (Master)

It's a shame that Advogato is going, but it's understandable. I guess it is time to move on now, but I will miss the low-style high-content nature of the site.

It would be nice if it could continue elsewhere, but it might be a good time just to immortalise the site now.

All the best to everyone!

Cheers mate, , posted 8 Sep 2006 at 05:07 UTC by robsta » (Master)

Advogato and AbiWord have been the constants of my free software involvement from the beginning. The diversity of the crowd here has made the recentlog into something special.


Cheers, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 05:38 UTC by metaur » (Observer)

Thanks for everything!

Thanks!, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 06:34 UTC by wingo » (Master)

Thanks Raph. I've really appreciated the site, and the community that passed through the recentlog.

OMG, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 07:14 UTC by sh » (Master)


Advogato was inspirational, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 10:38 UTC by mjw » (Master)

Thanks for Advogato Ralph (and everybody who posted on it). Reading all the blogs made me appreciate the Free Software world so much. It was also the inspiration for Planet Classpath to mimic in the small for our project what Advogato was for the community at large. I do hope there is some way to keep Advogato going. It would be sad to see it go away completely.

chown abg Inspirational Post, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 12:59 UTC by abg » (Journeyer)

Goodbye Advogato. You were wonderful. I learned much more from things that began here than from anywhere else, I think.


Thanks, Raph, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 13:21 UTC by federico » (Master)

Thanks for setting up Advogato, Raph! It had very high moments; I remember the Knuth interview very fondly.

fait accomplit, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 13:47 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

i've always loved advogato - for its simplicity, for what it provides, for what it doesn't stop people from doing (shooting themselves in the foot as well as making useful contributions).

as one of the people who most often shoots themselves in the foot with advogato, it has often left me greatly concerned that my more esoteric ramblings have people running away screaming - and then we get full-on psychedelic articles from proclus and badvogato and i know that i no longer have to worry about that.

so even though i've been driving some people absolutely NUTS with my words, i'm grateful for advogato's existence, and yes, i would therefore of course like to see it continue - and help do that.

here's the thing:

1) raph, your announcement is effectively a fait-accomplit which has caused people already to start live-journals etc. perhaps they will come back, if they know that advogato would continue: perhaps they wouldn't.

2) anyone who runs the site needs to have the absolute and implicit trust of the free software community at large: that's the whole point of the site. whilst i would love to offer time/resources (i have a happy server i lease from i'm not sure i qualify for people trusting me to run the site, i've caused _that_ much chaos [deservedly, i am absolutely and unashamedly convinced].

3) there are only a few people who understand mod_virgule's 10,000 lines of code - small as it is - stephen is one, i'm one, raph is another: i don't know of anyone else!

most of that is because the concepts behind the trust metric, and the way it's used, are so radically advanced from anything else.

ironically, as Pymmetry demonstrates, that 10,000 lines could be cut down to about 3,000 in python, so perhaps a port to mod_python would be a very good start.

...i am beginning to ramble.

so, anyone: how about it?

raph - would you reconsider - would you consider transferring responsibility for the running and maintenance of advogato to someone (e.g. stephen) and keeping hold of the domain record in case (whoever it is) they decide to go off-the-rails or break people's trust in them?


federico, you brought me here!, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 14:22 UTC by badvogato » (Master)

and then to crackmonkey's badvogato. federico, federico i can't remember inkling of how i loop and hoot but viola, i remember it's you who tricked me here.

Re: fait accompli, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 17:27 UTC by StevenRainwater » (Master)

I heard from Raph and he seems to be okay with the idea of me taking over hosting and maintenance of Advogato. So, the real question is whether or not to do it. There have been a few posts from folks who'd like Advogato to continue but many others seem ready for it to go.

I'd like to see more people in agreement about keeping it going before putting a lot of effort into it. Also, Advogato eats a pretty good chunk of bandwidth (even without DoS attacks and the occasional Slashdotting) so I wouldn't want to take on that expense unless we really think it's going to benefit the free software community.

Lkcl, I'm sure I don't have the "absolute and implicit trust of the free software community" either. Based on Advogato's own trust metric, I'm less trusted than you or badvogato! :-) So I'm fine with your idea of Raph retaining control of the domain name.

advogato eats bandwidth, posted 8 Sep 2006 at 19:00 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

hmmm... then that should give a pretty good indication that it might actually be a valuable resource!

i'm taking a complete guess here - consider this to be a hypothesis - an empirical observation. i bet you that the people who 'want to see advogato go' are those who would like to have seen advogato 'evolve', and who have been disappointed by it not moving forward from its initial beginnings, as other sites have, just like raph said.

i mean, heck - it's only 10,000 lines of c-code and it's _stayed_ at 10,000 lines of c code.

the number of significant changes that have been made (e.g. the CSS update) can be counted on the remaining fingers of a one-handed yakuza boss.

(btw where _is_ the latest cvs repository for mod_virgule, anyway? :)

so anyway, stephen, here's the thing: i believe that if you were to host and maintain advogato that your willingness to evolve it and adapt it would keep people a bit more ... happy? / eager? / active?

no disrespect to you, raph: the site's been ticking along for nearly six years now, thanks to your efforts and willingness to host it.

also, as one of the major contributors to advogato article content, and as i speak freely and honestly and without reservation, there are going to be people whom i drive absolutely nuts and these people try to dismiss what i say by telling themselves that i am a complete blithering idiot.

i make a _lot_ of people nervous, because i ask the questions that they daren't ask, and i put issues in front of them that they'd rather not consider.

so perhaps the better - and more honest - question to ask of the people who 'want to see advogato go' should be 'do you want advogato to go, or do you actually just want to take away a high-profile forum where lkcl, the major contributor, could possibly criticise you and possibly embarrass you (if he thinks you deserve it)?'

and yes - to make sure, i just wrote a small python program to count the articles, and it's 53 by me, with advogato coming at 47, atai with 30 and schlomif 19. source code _will_ be posted in just a mo - try not to run it _too_ many times, people...

p.s. perhaps i am flattering myself by believing that what i say is worth listening to. perhaps i am not that easily overawed by 'limelight' - and not as egotistic as some people believe i am.

article counter...., posted 8 Sep 2006 at 19:00 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

#!/usr/bin/env python

from urllib import urlopen import sys

def href_find(line):

href = l.find('href=') if href < 0: return None endquote = l.find('"', href+6)

by = l.find('>', endquote) byend = l.find('<', by)

return l[href+6:endquote], l[by+1:byend]

articles = {}

for n in range(10,898,20):

url = "" % n

txt = urlopen(url).read()

who_by = None

for l in txt.split('\n'):

hr = href_find(l) if hr: url, link = hr

if link == 'Read more...' and who_by: article_num = int(url[9:-5]) print who_by, article_num who_done = articles.get(who_by, []) who_done.append(article_num) articles[who_by] = who_done sys.stdout.flush()

idx = l.find('Posted') if idx < 0: continue

if hr: chuck, who_by = hr

print print

def list_cmp(x, y):

(who1, how_many1) = x (who2, how_many2) = y

return cmp(how_many1, how_many2)

count_of = map(lambda (who, what): (who, len(what)), articles.items()) count_of.sort(list_cmp) count_of.reverse()

for (who, how_many) in count_of:

print 'number of articles written by %s: %d' % (who, how_many) print articles[who] print

articles counted..., posted 8 Sep 2006 at 19:03 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

aaaand what that came up with:

number of articles written by lkcl: 53
[69, 81, 179, 176, 247, 263, 288, 302, 298, 292, 333, 356, 354, 404, 399, 463, 480, 600, 596, 595, 594, 593, 616, 631, 670, 663, 680, 728, 725, 744, 742, 738, 734, 763, 782, 781, 776, 800, 792, 827, 818, 817, 814, 848, 842, 866, 864, 856, 890, 888, 882, 879, 877]

number of articles written by advogato: 47 [10, 7, 5, 28, 26, 24, 23, 22, 20, 18, 16, 15, 12, 11, 49, 46, 44, 43, 34, 33, 65, 58, 56, 52, 87, 82, 71, 104, 127, 126, 122, 120, 148, 139, 162, 161, 180, 280, 301, 293, 322, 357, 378, 400, 753, 777, 774]

number of articles written by atai: 30 [101, 187, 241, 282, 308, 300, 299, 393, 424, 423, 432, 467, 453, 473, 525, 538, 566, 571, 598, 645, 665, 659, 656, 710, 721, 735, 799, 822, 869, 885]

number of articles written by shlomif: 19 [361, 360, 395, 458, 457, 456, 499, 529, 527, 515, 546, 649, 713, 736, 789, 786, 793, 841, 835]

number of articles written by Bram: 16 [225, 215, 269, 261, 258, 316, 437, 431, 587, 628, 625, 614, 723, 746, 731, 825]

number of articles written by garym: 15 [482, 478, 474, 541, 532, 561, 560, 554, 583, 576, 623, 654, 651, 711, 828]

number of articles written by badvogato: 15 [461, 475, 551, 712, 749, 740, 733, 762, 806, 801, 798, 824, 813, 857, 876]

number of articles written by raph: 15 [8, 2, 1, 0, 25, 17, 38, 37, 32, 31, 70, 89, 110, 105, 92]

number of articles written by proclus: 14 [612, 648, 640, 720, 764, 757, 790, 829, 839, 859, 889, 878, 875, 873]

number of articles written by ncm: 13 [117, 169, 489, 514, 555, 606, 604, 726, 732, 759, 756, 752, 804]

number of articles written by yeupou: 12 [590, 615, 676, 751, 805, 803, 819, 850, 840, 834, 868, 854]

number of articles written by Malx: 10 [249, 264, 254, 346, 342, 377, 420, 505, 639, 791]

number of articles written by nymia: 9 [197, 226, 385, 410, 409, 408, 411, 501, 743]

number of articles written by sye: 8 [265, 386, 421, 465, 526, 667, 652, 784]

number of articles written by exa: 8 [427, 426, 537, 588, 624, 687, 716, 846]

number of articles written by Alleluia: 8 [442, 488, 523, 548, 539, 533, 531, 553]

number of articles written by jono: 7 [246, 310, 306, 330, 325, 315, 447]

number of articles written by sej: 7 [211, 284, 389, 413, 445, 460, 484]

number of articles written by Radagast: 7 [21, 19, 41, 130, 233, 231, 454]

number of articles written by schoen: 7 [113, 251, 355, 391, 459, 717, 714]

number of articles written by jbucata: 6 [586, 572, 609, 621, 641, 633]

number of articles written by itamar: 6 [212, 558, 575, 673, 672, 707]

number of articles written by gilbou: 6 [650, 636, 666, 724, 755, 867]

number of articles written by csm: 6 [267, 276, 273, 323, 349, 335]

number of articles written by MisterBad: 6 [270, 309, 317, 313, 312, 722]

number of articles written by johnnyb: 5 [494, 522, 592, 632, 779]

number of articles written by DeepNorth: 5 [684, 679, 699, 715, 830]

number of articles written by Raphael: 5 [27, 75, 114, 183, 287]

number of articles written by mentifex: 5 [769, 809, 832, 865, 884]

number of articles written by lilo: 5 [76, 198, 252, 443, 487]

number of articles written by alan: 5 [151, 190, 370, 476, 585]

number of articles written by goingware: 5 [224, 216, 402, 510, 495]

number of articles written by matt: 5 [147, 136, 199, 388, 392]

number of articles written by dan: 5 [39, 256, 471, 618, 677]

number of articles written by casantos: 5 [307, 381, 477, 570, 689]

number of articles written by mdupont: 5 [701, 698, 696, 694, 760]

number of articles written by dmarti: 5 [86, 80, 121, 154, 186]

number of articles written by apm: 5 [189, 209, 202, 250, 362]

number of articles written by BrucePerens: 5 [73, 279, 348, 352, 351]

number of articles written by adulau: 4 [283, 314, 449, 578]

number of articles written by mbp: 4 [66, 138, 549, 610]

number of articles written by Lehrig: 4 [626, 643, 634, 719]

number of articles written by scrottie: 4 [579, 765, 761, 787]

number of articles written by cmacd: 4 [181, 397, 690, 674]

number of articles written by mglazer: 4 [504, 498, 497, 547]

number of articles written by ishmukler: 4 [503, 563, 552, 599]

number of articles written by gregorrothfuss: 4 [544, 581, 657, 778]

number of articles written by tnt: 4 [574, 853, 852, 883]

so - take a look...., posted 8 Sep 2006 at 19:10 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

... and decide for yourself: are these (oops - i put the list, with no line breaks, in a < pre > oops!)

do bear in mind that 'quantity' is not necessarily any better an indication than 'quality'

the question that you should be asking yourself is, "is the quality of what is read on advogato - is it any _good_?"

bearing in mind that there is both articles and diaries.

if the answer is a resounding 'no', then heck - yep: kill it.

if the answer is anything vaguely approaching 'mmmmmm.... not sure' then it would be a disservice to people to stop., posted 8 Sep 2006 at 19:14 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

hmmm... a possible solution to the diary attacks at the moment...

So long Advogato, posted 9 Sep 2006 at 08:30 UTC by Fyodor » (Master)

I created my Advogato account oh so many years ago and have only lurked since then. But I have enjoyed countless hours reading the stories, comments, and diaries on this quirky site. I'll miss it, and am using my first and last comment post to thank you for keeping it up so long! Advogato was way ahead of its time and could have been much more, but I'm just thankful for what we had.


Thank you, posted 9 Sep 2006 at 18:04 UTC by slamb » (Journeyer)

I started using advogato after its prime, but even so, I've enjoyed reading and (occasionally) writing here. It's the only place I know of with such a broad mix of open-source developers. Project-focused sites like Planet GNOME and Planet KDE aren't quite the same. I'm not a member of this limited communities, so they didn't give me an opportunity to participate, and I never even found them as interesting to read.

I'll have to try setting up some sort of blog and linking it into the new Planet Advogato. I guess this is how I get dragged kicking and screaming into the blogosphere...

On a totally different note, now that Advogato has successfully demonstrated trust metrics in action, what other people are using them?

Thanks, Raph, posted 11 Sep 2006 at 00:17 UTC by simonstl » (Master)

Whatever happens to the site, you provided a wonderful place to write and share.

Just in case it does, posted 11 Sep 2006 at 21:26 UTC by Chicago » (Journeyer)

much sadness at it leaving. Many an hour have I spent reading and learning from ... gah, it hurts to say, betters. I must admit, I would have prefered some more work done on the recent posts, such as showing them all in date order - but this is purley because i read those more then I read the advogato articles.

I support the site continuing to run. It would be nice.

Thanks, posted 11 Sep 2006 at 22:25 UTC by jpick » (Master)

Just add me to the long list of people thanking you for running Advogato all these years! This site has a place in the history of the Internet and the free software movement. It was a social network and a blogging platform before those existed. And most of all, you never "sold-out" the community - that counts for everything. :-)

Thanks, raph, posted 13 Sep 2006 at 07:46 UTC by Telsa » (Master)

Remember the waves of new arrivals as advogato spread from developer group to developer group? That was fun :)

If it's had its day now, then fair enough, but it was a great idea, Raph, and thanks for keeping it going for so long. I suspect it has outlasted several of the projects listed on it.


Thanks raph, posted 13 Sep 2006 at 14:08 UTC by esteve » (Journeyer)

It has been a great time here. A pleasure to be part of this community.

Thanks!, posted 17 Sep 2006 at 22:30 UTC by Malx » (Journeyer)

It was my first blog site and it was fun to be here :)

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