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ihcn
Posted - 2010.08.24 08:38:00 - [91]
 

We need more dev blogs like this, that was interesting as hell

Caius Sivaris
Dark Nexxus
S I L E N T.
Posted - 2010.08.24 08:42:00 - [92]
 

Hum, so this blog is basically admission that you started working on a bug that has been crippling and well known for years last June...

Quality first **** yeah.

Camios
Minmatar
Sebiestor Tribe
Posted - 2010.08.24 08:52:00 - [93]
 

Originally by: ihcn
We need more dev blogs like this, that was interesting as hell


This Dev blog is the best one because it's about specific problems we see in fleet fights, and it explains a lot of concerns of the playerbase.

I hope you are right when you say that there is much optimization to be done, but does that mean that it was coded badly?

Cheap Dude
Posted - 2010.08.24 09:59:00 - [94]
 

Best blog yet! It's a good read because it's about 1 certain problem and the way to victory (the fix)

CCP Oveur

Posted - 2010.08.24 10:07:00 - [95]
 

Edited by: CCP Oveur on 24/08/2010 10:07:51
Originally by: Caius Sivaris
Hum, so this blog is basically admission that you started working on a bug that has been crippling and well known for years last June...

Quality first **** yeah.


No. What you might have missed in previous blogs and might not be as clear here is, that as big as this sounds, we have months of investigation, implementing fixes and testing left in the war against lag. This was a big low hanging fruit we saw. Like a pineapple. The size of the moon.

The next 100 fixes and improvements won't be that big, in fact they will most likely be the opposite where the gravity of the sun, the moon affect the dolphins capability to navigate but in a subtle way so that they miss the pineapple.

I hope that made sense.

Hirana Yoshida
Behavioral Affront
Posted - 2010.08.24 10:12:00 - [96]
 

Were you really that surprised at "rare" in Eve meaning "OMG its everywhere!"?

Super-/capitals, pirate ships, bugs .. you name it.

Whenever something is referred to as rare it is in fact omni-present Very Happy

Good blog though, good to see that the powers that be realise that sacrificing a little time to create tools pays off down the road.

RiotRick
Kamehameha I's Revenge
BricK sQuAD.
Posted - 2010.08.24 10:46:00 - [97]
 

Edited by: RiotRick on 24/08/2010 10:46:18
Originally by: CCP Oveur
This was a big low hanging fruit we saw. Like a pineapple. The size of the moon.

The next 100 fixes and improvements won't be that big, in fact they will most likely be the opposite where the gravity of the sun, the moon affect the dolphins capability to navigate but in a subtle way so that they miss the pineapple.

I hope that made sense.


Shocked

You've had to much coffee Laughing

Hawk TT
Caldari
Bulgarian Experienced Crackers
Posted - 2010.08.24 11:19:00 - [98]
 

Originally by: Whatever Dood[quote=Jinli mei
Is CCP doing anything fancy and magical like replacing the GIL for Python with something less suck?


I'd guess they plan on doing something like running a separate instance of the Python interpreter on each thread, each with completely separate GIL's, and then manage their thread interactions themselves. Edit: or rework the Python interpreter internals and remove it entirely.

I swear my IQ dropped 20 points watching that presentation. I have never seen anything so totally ******ed in my life. "This is a problem that's been solved in operating systems" - yeah, like two-three DECADES ago. "Don't use this talk to justify not using threads" - maybe to justify not using Python?

I had to watch the presentation here, original link doesn't play all the way through for me:

http://www.mefeedia.com/watch/28851035



One might wonder, why CCP took the decision to use Stackless Python in the first place?
I think this is the place to justify that - back in 2001-2003 Intel used to promise 10+ GHz CPUs in 5 years. There were no dual/quad/multi-core CPUs in the workings. Apart from that, StacklessPython gives the Devs unique possibilities - running thousands of very light-weight tasklets (micro-threads), something unthinkable on the OS level, becasue of the very "expensive" OS threads (in terms of memory etc.).
By the time EVE was ready for release, Intel and the others have shifted their strategies from "GHz is the King" to "Multi-core is the King", AMD came up with x64 instruction set (backward compatible with x86 32-bit code), the 64-bit evolution took off (meaining no 3/4GB memory limit in the OS).

Quite of a twist, as you might see...

Fast forward to 2010 - CCP has millions of lines of StacklessPython code, Multi-core really became the King, but the GIL stays...Rewriting EVE is different from refactoring, so this is not a viable option...

It would be really interesting if the CPP Devs share some thoughts about the possible directions they consider in order to overcome / remove the GIL obstacle - no commitments, no dates, just ideas Embarassed

Tiger's Spirit
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.24 11:26:00 - [99]
 

I read devblog 1-2-3, but i didn't find from CCP "we found a solution" just "we found problems" technoblabla.

HeliosGal
Caldari
Posted - 2010.08.24 12:04:00 - [100]
 

we seem to be getting a lot of gates locking up on jumping is this a side effect ?

CCP Explorer

Posted - 2010.08.24 12:07:00 - [101]
 

Originally by: Vuk Lau
Originally by: Darth Vapour
June 25th, 2010:
Quote:
EVE is now, from a technical standpoint, in a better state than it has ever been.
And now this:
Quote:
The "rare" error happened 1.5 million times in the month of June, 2010 on TQ.
Does this mean the error occurred even more before the server came to be in the best state it ever was or is the statement in the minutes the nonsense everyone thinks it is?
I will have liberty to say that I almost pooped all over Socratesz when I heard the famous "EVE is now, from a technical standpoint, in a better state than it has ever been." so my bet is that was pure example of nonsense
My dear Vuk Lau, you were present at both those CSM meetings, with CCP Oveur and then with CCP Atlas, and you have the full context of this remark and the full details. This disappoints me. Sad

For everyone else: At the meeting with CCP Oveur then a claim was made that EVE was in its worst state ever. I rejected that such a general statement could be made and in the second meeting presented to the CSM the overall, general health of EVE. We emphasized at the second meeting that although overall general health was in good shape then we acknowledged that there were problems in 0.0 fleet fights. We had already been working on those issues at the time of the CSM meeting and have continued that work with reinforced vigour since then.

CCP Oveur

Posted - 2010.08.24 12:30:00 - [102]
 

Edited by: CCP Oveur on 24/08/2010 12:31:16
Originally by: Tiger's Spirit
I read devblog 1-2-3, but i didn't find from CCP "we found a solution" just "we found problems" technoblabla.

It's maybe hard to spot in the blog but this revelation has lead to changes which are getting deployed to Tranquility and will be tweaked there.

It's an example where we found a problem, have a potential solution, that needs to be deployed to Tranquility and worked with there, data reviewed and gathering the experience.

It might work, it might have to be retracted, changed, approached differently (like in this case where a fix to something caused another problem) and ... well, yes, this is just the beginning of the lifecycle of identifying a problem. And yet this is just one solution to a specific problem of a hundred possible solutions to other problems that'll be tried in the coming months.

And I say a hundred because this is a long continuous fight. That means a lot of trial and error, many of which won't even go as far as ending up on Tranquility but die a horrible death on Singularity.

Bartholomeus Crane
Gallente
The Crane Family
Posted - 2010.08.24 12:34:00 - [103]
 

Oveur, leaving all the dolphins and unicorns aside. It is clear that you now have a couple of techies working for you who know what they are talking about and know how to use and develop proper tools and fix things (eventually). Also, what this blog shows is that the EVE code (at the least), still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to excellence (or even stability). Call it technical debt if you want (I opt for technical depth, but OK). I think you've seen how not addressing these issues (publically at least) rankles with the players. Can you give the players any assurance that these guys (and gals) will get all the resources and support they need to, progressively, fix the quite substantial backlog of technical issues with EVE?

I think we can all agree that this won't happen over night. An aspect relatively neglected for so very long simply can't be fixed just like that (and some trade-offs will always have to be made). But, seriously, what guarantees do we as players currently have that management's attention won't focus away from this issue when some other shiny new development (or feature) props up on the horizon? Will Veritas, or Masterplan, or someone else, then be assigned away, in the scrum way, to, lets say, Incarna, or some other development idea?

As process has clearly been shown not to be CCP's strongpoint, what will you actually do, as the responsible producer, to prevent another diversion of attention away from these issues? 20% is all fine and dandy for those developers (in the strict sense) no directly assigned to the core development group, but, given how many bugs and fixes are still required to fix lag, and EVE in general; build up over years and years; what will you do to give these guys (and gals) all that they need and require? And what will you do to bring more knowledgeable developers into the team to speed things up (18 months and all that)?

Because, as it is, this is clearly a medium to long term process, and a technical one at that (not your strongpoint), but without some firm statements and quantifiable commitments to the future, this smells a bit too much like short-term placating of an irate customerbase. Now I have experience with Icelandic evasion of commitments (notwithstanding your dedication to spandex leisurewear) but there are no two ways about this: You've thrown your considerable weight behind this direction, quite visibly and vocally; you are, as the responsible producer, ultimately responsible for its success or failure; what will you do to maintain and expand it to a successful end? Specifically? Actually? With numbers?

EVE used to have a clear vision of where it was going (including, but not exclusive to, world domination). This was backed up by strongly held and expressed company core values for CCP. The aspect of CCP eventually getting things right and fixing things (and there was much wrong and broken, some of it is still around today) never needed explicit mention in that vision as it was covered by trust and belief (if you will). But with the diversions of Dust, WoD, and partially Incarna for CCP, the vision for EVE has become somewhat blurred for the outside world, and trust and belief in CCP eventually fixing the wrongs in EVE has sapped away. You've (be)lately re-found some of CCP's core values (from an outsides point of view) like transparency, and fearlessness. Beyond mere expressions of intent, isn't it about time to reconfirm (if that's the case) the vision CCP has for EVE (and in general), transparently, fearlessly; and confirm commitment to that vision concretely where trust and belief have lapsed over the years?

I understand that this might be a bit much to ask for a forum post, but a blog or something like that will do nicely as well. Such a commitment would go a long way to setting minds at ease, and I'm sure you'll agree it's the right thing to do right now ...

Freyya
Advanced Planetary Exports
Intergalactic Exports Group
Posted - 2010.08.24 13:18:00 - [104]
 

Very naice Devblog! Continue onwards like this in the years to come like you have in the years well past us. Ohh the fond memories of devs trolling on forums YARRRR!!

Anyways, the way i read it, with a very limited understanding of programming whatever, is that evecode is suffering from osteoporosis. Especially the "rare" exception thrown shows this in detail. It's bones are starting to become too rigid and weak with the subscriber base and action piling up on it. The way i see it is that there's just too many services (be it location, character or effects node/whateveryacallit) piled up on a single thread and with each increasing action sent or requested to/from the node/thread/cpu/figure-it-out-whatever (from here on in called femur)it starts to crack untill it snaps.

What i've gathered is that you're already working your way to dynamic load balancing of nodes when fleetfights occur but is this also true for all the services you're running for each client?
Would it not be benificial to replace the femur with a titanium specimen instead of injecting some cartilage around the cracks and hope it holds?

This ofcourse means rewriting entire sections of the evecode , which in turn will prove to be impossible because there are too few devvers and there are too many projects going on which rely on the current codebase already.

Would it however be workable to run each process that a client needs for updates as to speed, location, assets, damage, drones etc. etc. etc. etc. on a dedicated cpu/cluster/node/blade? Or is that actually the same effort it would take to rewrite the entire basecode....

Also; fix the forums so my typing window doesn't shoot back to top as soon as i start to get the scrollbar Crying or Very sad it's annoying as hell.

Axemaster
Posted - 2010.08.24 13:25:00 - [105]
 

Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
EVE used to have a clear vision of where it was going (including, but not exclusive to, world domination). This was backed up by strongly held and expressed company core values for CCP. The aspect of CCP eventually getting things right and fixing things (and there was much wrong and broken, some of it is still around today) never needed explicit mention in that vision as it was covered by trust and belief (if you will). But with the diversions of Dust, WoD, and partially Incarna for CCP, the vision for EVE has become somewhat blurred for the outside world, and trust and belief in CCP eventually fixing the wrongs in EVE has sapped away. You've (be)lately re-found some of CCP's core values (from an outsides point of view) like transparency, and fearlessness. Beyond mere expressions of intent, isn't it about time to reconfirm (if that's the case) the vision CCP has for EVE (and in general), transparently, fearlessly; and confirm commitment to that vision concretely where trust and belief have lapsed over the years?

I think this hits the point exactly. The thing I always found disturbing in all this controversy was the fact that CCP seemed... murky? Not sure that's the right word, but I think that a lot of people were having a hard time understanding what was going on, what was actually going on, with the developers. The fact that there was no clear message for such a long period of time, made many people feel that they were being ignored.

We want to have confidence in you. The best thing you can do, now and in the future, is to respect us, and give us honesty and transparency. The worst thing you can do, is to allow the PR people to take control of the dialogue.

As long as you behave openly, you ultimately will have nothing to fear. Let us know what's really going on, tell us when new things come up, good or bad. The playerbase will be glad to have you, and your occasional mistakes will be forgiven because of that goodwill.

Mara Rinn
Posted - 2010.08.24 13:36:00 - [106]
 

Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
Also, what this blog shows is that the EVE code (at the least), still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to excellence (or even stability). Call it technical debt if you want (I opt for technical depth, but OK).


Technical Debt is a technical term which is vastly different in meaning to technical depth.

Technical Debt is best explained as code that was built in a hurry to meet a deadline, that someone thought they'd get back to later, but seven years down the track it's still that hurriedly built mess of spaghetti that is now the focus of a major bug report.

There are two ways of addressing technical debt - one is to only add one or two new features every six months while half the team works on fixing bugs. The other is to halt development for twelve months while everyone works on fixing bugs.

When you have an MMO which sees massive increases in new subscribers every time you release new features, which way would you go?

Bartholomeus Crane
Gallente
The Crane Family
Posted - 2010.08.24 13:43:00 - [107]
 

Originally by: Mara Rinn
Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
Also, what this blog shows is that the EVE code (at the least), still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to excellence (or even stability). Call it technical debt if you want (I opt for technical depth, but OK).


Technical Debt is a technical term which is vastly different in meaning to technical depth.

Technical Debt is best explained as code that was built in a hurry to meet a deadline, that someone thought they'd get back to later, but seven years down the track it's still that hurriedly built mess of spaghetti that is now the focus of a major bug report.

There are two ways of addressing technical debt - one is to only add one or two new features every six months while half the team works on fixing bugs. The other is to halt development for twelve months while everyone works on fixing bugs.

When you have an MMO which sees massive increases in new subscribers every time you release new features, which way would you go?



Yes, thank you, but I'm quite aware what the difference between the two terms is. Which is why I used them in the way I did. And no, those are not the only two ways of addressing technical dept, but thanks for trying ...

Ban Doga
Posted - 2010.08.24 14:01:00 - [108]
 

Edited by: Ban Doga on 24/08/2010 14:03:00
Originally by: Mara Rinn
Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
Also, what this blog shows is that the EVE code (at the least), still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to excellence (or even stability). Call it technical debt if you want (I opt for technical depth, but OK).


Technical Debt is a technical term which is vastly different in meaning to technical depth.

Technical Debt is best explained as code that was built in a hurry to meet a deadline, that someone thought they'd get back to later, but seven years down the track it's still that hurriedly built mess of spaghetti that is now the focus of a major bug report.

There are two ways of addressing technical debt - one is to only add one or two new features every six months while half the team works on fixing bugs. The other is to halt development for twelve months while everyone works on fixing bugs.

When you have an MMO which sees massive increases in new subscribers every time you release new features, which way would you go?



Technical debt comes from "financial debt" and should be treated like that:
Incurring debt can allow you to achieve/do things which would be impossible without doing so but excessive debt can slow you down, in the most extreme cases to the point where it crushes you completely.

Technical debt is not the same a bug (a technical debt can cause a bug, but strictly speaking one is the cause and the other is the effect; a complete bug-free system can be loaded with technical debt) like financial debt is not the same as a miscalculation in your budget or a deviation from the planned expenses.

As with financial debt a strict "zero debt policy" will only slow you down and make your life much harder than is has to be, but accumulating execessive amounts of debt will ruin you.
The only long-term way is to keep aware and in control of debt and use it where it helps you and prevent and fight it where it hurts you.

Katarin Savage
Gallente
azinko
Posted - 2010.08.24 14:05:00 - [109]
 

excellent sleuthing there CCP and I worship at the feet of CCP:-

-0- _v_ -0- _v_

for magically investigate this infamous ally of the lag monster!!!ugh

Apart from pledging my undyling love for CCP, I cant offer anything constructive but at least I can shout out:-

CCP are gods for being so diligent and awesome in finding, fixing and reporting their combat with the lag monster and its' friends == our enemies!!!

However, perhaps you could document this work (as CCP Veritas has done with his most excellent awesomeness) and send it over to Microsoft so they can apply similar duly diligent awesomeness in fixing the many bugs in windows7 and all its allies?? However, I am more confident thatn CCP will do a better job than Microsoft...Cool x oo (x infinity)

Axemaster
Posted - 2010.08.24 14:22:00 - [110]
 

Edited by: Axemaster on 24/08/2010 14:25:35
Originally by: Mara Rinn
Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
Also, what this blog shows is that the EVE code (at the least), still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to excellence (or even stability). Call it technical debt if you want (I opt for technical depth, but OK).


Technical Debt is a technical term which is vastly different in meaning to technical depth.

Technical Debt is best explained as code that was built in a hurry to meet a deadline, that someone thought they'd get back to later, but seven years down the track it's still that hurriedly built mess of spaghetti that is now the focus of a major bug report.

There are two ways of addressing technical debt - one is to only add one or two new features every six months while half the team works on fixing bugs. The other is to halt development for twelve months while everyone works on fixing bugs.

When you have an MMO which sees massive increases in new subscribers every time you release new features, which way would you go?



But you're forgetting the fact that the players themselves are the best advertisers. And the fact that adding more features only makes an already complicated game even harder for noobs to get their mind around.

Consider both of those, and you realize it's really more in CCP's best interest to spend more time on polishing existing content, as opposed to making even more unpolished stuff.

Edit: Btw, I don't know if the devs are still reading this thread, but I was still hoping for an answer to my question back at post 38.

Zendoren
Aktaeon Industries
The Black Armada
Posted - 2010.08.24 14:28:00 - [111]
 

Originally by: Hawk TT

....

Fast forward to 2010 - CCP has millions of lines of StacklessPython code, Multi-core really became the King, but the GIL stays...Rewriting EVE is different from refactoring, so this is not a viable option...

....



I mentioned refactoring because if they do decide to switch to I different language, all that hard work with optimizing the code for stackless python will be for not.

Sorry if the smileys at the end confused you!

CCP Veritas

Posted - 2010.08.24 14:53:00 - [112]
 

Originally by: Axemaster
Btw, I don't know if the devs are still reading this thread, but I was still hoping for an answer to my question back at post 38.


Yup, we are. I thought I handled post 38 in post 48. Did I miss something?

CCP Veritas

Posted - 2010.08.24 14:58:00 - [113]
 

Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
Big callout of Oveur


Oveur's busy dreaming of dolphins and unicorns at the moment (or whatever it is Producers do Smile), but I can say from my side of things that I have no complains so far about support for the work I want to be doing here. We've got a good team formed with a clear mandate, some good tools and more on the way, and the hardware we need to run with it.

Louis deGuerre
Gallente
Malevolence.
Posted - 2010.08.24 15:09:00 - [114]
 

My respect for your excellent explanation. I think even non-technies might be able to understand.
I realize a bug like this must have been a pain to trace (which does make me think, no logging wtf ?).
So \o/ for you guys.

I still think you should allocate a lot more resources to EVE, the game proper. You're saying yourself how much work there is left to do to dig out the bugs.

Axemaster
Posted - 2010.08.24 15:17:00 - [115]
 

Originally by: CCP Veritas
Originally by: Axemaster
Btw, I don't know if the devs are still reading this thread, but I was still hoping for an answer to my question back at post 38.


Yup, we are. I thought I handled post 38 in post 48. Did I miss something?


My bad, I meant post 56. Embarassed

Tres Farmer
Gallente Federation Intelligence Service
Posted - 2010.08.24 15:22:00 - [116]
 

Originally by: CCP Veritas
Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
Big callout of Oveur


Oveur's busy dreaming of dolphins and unicorns at the moment (or whatever it is Producers do Smile), but I can say from my side of things that I have no complains so far about support for the work I want to be doing here. We've got a good team formed with a clear mandate, some good tools and more on the way, and the hardware we need to run with it.

Any chance for a list of services/processes running on the location node for us to see? please Rolling Eyes

SARPIDON
Malum.
Posted - 2010.08.24 15:39:00 - [117]
 

Edited by: SARPIDON on 24/08/2010 15:39:32
Edited by: SARPIDON on 24/08/2010 15:39:17
Originally by: CCP Veritas
Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
Big callout of Oveur


Oveur's busy dreaming of dolphins and unicorns at the moment (or whatever it is Producers do Smile), but I can say from my side of things that I have no complains so far about support for the work I want to be doing here. We've got a good team formed with a clear mandate, some good tools and more on the way, and the hardware we need to run with it.


Big call out indeed, as has been noted in other EvE related forums. Looking forward to the reply.

Thanks for the blog. It managed to convey the issues you've have faced and still yet to face really well. For a total non techy like me, that's no small feat.

CCP Oveur

Posted - 2010.08.24 15:49:00 - [118]
 

Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
Oveur, leaving all the dolphins and unicorns aside.

Never. I'm also not that fat.
Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
It is clear that you now have a couple of techies working for you who know what they are talking about and know how to use and develop proper tools and fix things (eventually)

Let's be fair and not confuse the competence of my team with my incompetence in getting communicated what they are doing and why.
Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
Serious business.

I did an earlier reply on the 18 months and what changed in recent times and later on commitment to EVE, both of which should be turned into a blog as they are excellent examples of where my statements on strategy and commitment should be put forth in a more visible manner.

The short answer till then is the boys and gals in the team working on lag specifically have a clear mandate and resources available to them till they are done. This is in addition to the "20% allocation" of the other teams both fixing lag, fixing bugs and refactoring.

Short answer for long term vision of EVE shorter than "world domination" is that EVE will continue to have one of the largest development teams in the industry on it till it dies. It has to date and it will continue to have that.

In numbers? CCP is reaching 600 people because we hired new teams for our new games instead of moving them away from EVE which is the common thing to do in our industry.

I'm sure you'll probably ask why they aren't all working on EVE. We have tried and the diminishing returns are staggering and we believe in Dunbar's number. This is the reason why we have compartmentalized core technology and game teams into scrum teams, to counter that.

That's it for now, I need to continue my eternal struggle of death by meetings. Blog will come but you will have read most of it's content right now, par perhaps more details on the game vision.

CCP Veritas

Posted - 2010.08.24 16:09:00 - [119]
 

Originally by: Axemaster
My bad, I meant post 56. Embarassed


Right-o. I let that one go 'cause I honestly don't know much of the inner workings of the physics simulation. It's also fairly low load on the profiles I've seen, and so long as it stays that way I'll remain ignorant of it.

I'm a big fan of spending time looking at the biggest problems, not the most interesting ones. I certainly didn't set out at this aiming to get to know the inner workings of Dogma, but it's proven itself to be the biggest problem, so that's exactly what I'm doing.

Blazde
4S Corporation
Morsus Mihi
Posted - 2010.08.24 16:31:00 - [120]
 

Edited by: Blazde on 24/08/2010 16:31:36
Originally by: Axemaster
How are position/velocity/acceleration vectors handled and updated by the location server? Are they simply updated 100 times per second? Or does the server use some sort of predictive calculus to calculate where the ship should be when something queries it (i.e. it doesn't have a position until it's asked, like in quantum mechanics)?

They're all updated only once per second (using 'predictive calculus' if you must Razz). It's coded in C++ and is a very efficient way of doing it. The server basically carries out the exact same simulation each and every client does as a tiny fraction of it's processing time (most client side CPU time is spent in graphics and especially UI). The only difference is the server has to manage multiple grids (and possibly multiple systems), while the client deals with one - (sort of... it's a bit more complicated than just the grid you see because it splits it into multiple bubbles and how well that works affects algorithmic performance). It's still a source of desync so it's important in that respect but it's not a performance bottleneck.


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