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Vim 7 Released 665

Posted by Hemos
from the time-to-get-your-upgrade-on dept.
houseofmore writes "After many years of development, Bram Moolenaar, creator of Vim, today announced version 7 of the widely used editor. New features included spell checking in up to 50 languages, intelligent completion, tab pages, extended undo branches and much more. Downloads available here for Unix, Windows, Mac and more."
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Vim 7 Released

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  • waiting (Score:5, Funny)

    by yagu (721525) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ugayay]> on Monday May 08, 2006 @12:59PM (#15286238) Journal

    I'm waiting for the emacs emulation mode. (kidding, kidding)

    • Re:waiting (Score:5, Funny)

      by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:06PM (#15286298)
      M-x shell<enter> vim<enter>

      Creating a macro is left as an exercise to the reader.
      ^X^S
      dammit

    • Re:waiting (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm waiting for the emacs emulation mode

      Vim now runs on more than 15 [vim.org] different operating systems, so I'm sure emacs can't be far behind.

    • Re:waiting (Score:4, Interesting)

      by goombah99 (560566) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:22PM (#15286441)
      I've never understood the attraction of Vim, maybe someone could explain. It seems like a throwback to keyboard command line editors with it's modal editing.

      For my needs I either want a nice gui, in which case I will use kwrite, or bbedit, or some IDE.
      or I want something simple from the commandline, in which case pico is almost useful, though I prefer emacs for that. I am not an emacs power user. All I can do is do primive searches, cut and paste. But that's really all I need for quick command line edits.

      The other reason I like emacs and it's non-modal behaviour is that on a mac, those simple key bindings are available in every cocoa test window.

      So why is Vim so popular?
      • Re:waiting (Score:3, Insightful)

        by grazzy (56382)
        I find it easier to remember keyword shortcuts in Vim's way. Honestly, ctrl-random-char just doesnt cut it for me. Esc for command mode, and then one key. Thats all it takes. Works better with strange terminal emulations too.
      • Re:waiting (Score:4, Informative)

        by Nos. (179609) <andrew AT thekerrs DOT ca> on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:29PM (#15286527) Homepage
        Once you've learned vim, it becomes probably the fastest editor to use. Never having to use the mouse. Being able to quickly move around a document. Complex (regex) searching/replacing. It has a steep learning curve, but it a very powerful and arguably intuitive editor. I first started using it in the mid-90s when I first got onto the big unix boxes at the university I attended. Since then, I continually find myself trying to use vim syntax in different editors. Its not uncommon to see ZZ or :wq at the end of some of my emails or other documents.
        • Re:waiting (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          for editor in "$editors"; do

          echo "Once you've learned ${editor}, it becomes probably the fastest editor to use. Never having to use the mouse. Being able to quickly move around a document. Complex (regex) searching/replacing. It has a steep learning curve, but it a very powerful and arguably intuitive editor. I first started using it ${some_time_ago} when I first got onto ${some_machines} at ${some_place}. Since then, I continually find myself trying to use ${editor} syntax in different editors. Its not

      • Re:waiting (Score:5, Informative)

        by OrangeTide (124937) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:33PM (#15286574) Homepage Journal
        It's popular because it's like vi with some extensions to make it more modern.

        It's especially handy for editing source code. Where you have commands to reformat comments, move between functions, jump to definitions and things like that. I'd rather hit [[ to go to the top of the previous function than have to enter a search for it. This is especially useful when you're going through all your callback routines and adding a little bit of code to them.

        The ability to have multiple cut/paste buffers is also nice. The modal behavior makes people think Vi is a throwback, but honestly only a handful of editors are able to provide even 90% of Vi's editing features. And none (not even emacs) can do it with so few keystrokes (that does make the learning curve on Vi rather steep).

        The disadvantage to such an effecient input system is when the cat jumps on your keyboard, you can have hours of work erased in Vi.

        ps- I have vi-like bindings in my Cocoa windows. you can actually change how the input works and plug in something else. Or you can just tweak it to use Ctrl-vi key without even using a plugin by editing DefaultKeyBinding.dict. The emacs bindings that are there by default are pretty weak anyways.
        • Re:waiting (Score:3, Informative)

          by Bluesman (104513)
          >And none (not even emacs) can do it with so few keystrokes (that does make the learning curve on Vi rather steep).

          Not so! That's why there's Viper.

          I was firmly on the vi side of the argument until I realized that emacs includes everything you could possibly want to edit code, including vi.

        • Re:waiting (Score:3, Informative)

          by Obfuscant (592200)
          The disadvantage to such an effecient input system is when the cat jumps on your keyboard, you can have hours of work erased in Vi.

          You can have hours of work erased just by forgetting that vim has multi-level "undo", and that instead of being able to undo the undo you just accidentally undid, you'll be undoing something else, maybe even an entire paragraph somewhere else in the file.

          Plus, if you count on being able to know where you will start editing a file, vim can be a real surprise when it drops you

          • Re:waiting (Score:5, Informative)

            by say (191220) <sigve@wolf r a i d a h .no> on Monday May 08, 2006 @03:27PM (#15287586) Homepage

            I'll bite. A little enlightenment on vim can't hurt.

            instead of being able to undo the undo you just accidentally undid

            Well, almost every text editor and word processor in the world has this. The command for 'redo' (undo the undone) is :red or CTRL+R.

            vim can be a real surprise when it drops you somewhere into the middle of a file

            set viminfo='0 in .vimrc.

            And colorized editing!?!

            :syntax off (in .vimrc syntax off). Many color hints are given in :help syntax, you might wanna look. A hint could be :set background=dark.

            I'd appreciate a "strict vi mode" command

            vim -v

          • Re:waiting (Score:4, Informative)

            by pilkul (667659) on Monday May 08, 2006 @03:42PM (#15287704)
            You can have hours of work erased just by forgetting that vim has multi-level "undo", and that instead of being able to undo the undo you just accidentally undid, you'll be undoing something else, maybe even an entire paragraph somewhere else in the file.

            Ctrl-R to undo undos

            Plus, if you count on being able to know where you will start editing a file, vim can be a real surprise when it drops you somewhere into the middle of a file instead of row 1 column 1. If you've not edited that file for months, it is ridiculous for vim to assume that you want to go back to the last place you were.

            Put "autocmd BufRead normal gg" in your .vimrc

            And colorized editing!?! What a treat for text to show up as dark blue on black when you've set your xterm colors to white on black.

            :syntax off

            I'd appreciate a "strict vi mode" command to tell vim not to do all the extra stuff that gets in the way of fingers that learned vi a long time ago.

            :set compatible

            You're welcome :).

      • Re:waiting (Score:5, Informative)

        by Tack (4642) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:41PM (#15286661) Homepage
        I've never understood the attraction of Vim, maybe someone could explain. It seems like a throwback to keyboard command line editors with it's modal editing.
        A lot of it, I'll admit, is habit. My brain is tightly wired to vim's keyboard shortcuts (some of which are quite obscure) to the point where thinking about some action in vim is roughly equivalent to that action actually happening. I've also become accustomed to vim's slightly more esoteric features. Would other editors do the same job and be less obscure about it? Quite probably. But the truth is that vim works for me, I've already overcome the steep learning curve, and there's really very little incentive to use something else.

        Now, if I were to start fresh, would I still choose vim? I think the answer is a resounding "probably." Here are some reasons why:

        • vi is ubiquitous, and vim is pretty common itself. vim is usually available, and when it's not (on older unixes say) I can still apply what I know to vi to get my job done. Obviously for those who aren't sysadmin types who only use one unix, this isn't much of an argument.
        • vim is text-mode; I can shell in and use it remotely just the same as using it locally. Obviously there is a trade-off here, and any text-based editor (joe, nano, etc.) have the same advantage. But it's why I don't use gedit.
        • vim is agile and powerful. I never have to reach for a mouse (or rather, I can't reach for the mouse) so you get quite proficient at common operations. vim has features like syntax highlighting and folding that I like for coding. Any modern programmer-oriented editor does this too, but vim does it all while being fast.

        vi[m]'s ubiquity I think is its strongest argument. Other editors exist to satisfy the other requirements, and some of them might even do it in less obscure ways. But if you're the type who needs to bounce around on different systems running different unixes, vi is always just there. And once you become proficient enough, you're really not strongly inclined to use anything else.

      • Re:waiting (Score:5, Informative)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:43PM (#15286679) Homepage
        The thing that most people don't realize about VI(M), is that it works very well when using things like telnet to edit your files. There are many characters like ctrl, alt, home, and such that don't travel well over telnet. Having a program like VI(M) is great when you're accessing from a remote system, and can only use the keyboard.
      • Re:waiting (Score:4, Informative)

        by AnonymousKev (754127) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:46PM (#15286702)
        I can only speak for myself. I like vi because my hands never leave the keyboard. In just a few keystrokes, I can perform actions that take an annoyingly long time with a mouse. (This is coming from a longtime Mac user). There are some tasks that I don't mind using a mouse. But when I'm writing code, I never want to go groping about for the dang mouse. For me, using vi means working much much faster.

        I'll admit the initial learning curve is a pain, but once you've mastered the basic cursor movement/find/save set of commands, vi has an easy learning curve. You can use the basic command set for years and add one or two new commands as you need ("There has to be an easier way to do this..." [reaches for vi reference]).

        Efficiency is the main reason, but there are many others. Black backgrounds are easier on my eyeballs; syntax highlighting keeps me from making stupid mistakes; it's on every UNIX box by default; and I've been using it for 17 years -- muscle memory is a good thing.

      • Re:waiting (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jsveiga (465473)
        For me, it became the most used editor when I was an AIX customer support, and vi was what I could expect to find in any default installation (and most clients had only serial terminals).

        So either remotely accessing a client's system, or doing on-site support, I could always count on vi to be there. That's why when I took the holy decision between diving into vi or emacs, I picked vi.

        Now, I agree it has the most user-unfriendly interface, but once you know how to use it, it is very powerful. I still use it
      • Re:waiting (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hackstraw (262471) *
        So why is Vim so popular?

        For me, I don't want a GUI editor. I do to much (almost 100%) of my work over a terminal connection, and the GUI overhead is not worth anything to me. In fact, I have vi aliased to vim -X which turns off some X support. I don't remember what, but it gave me grief for some reason years ago enough to turn it off.

        Vim is way above vi. One thing I use all the time is "visual" mode, which is like selecting areas of text with a mouse and I can pipe that data through a filter, do a sear
      • Re:waiting (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kuzelnik (948967)
        1. Regular expressions even more powerfull than those in pearl
        2. I can configure vim to my tastes from "out of the box" state in a couple of minutes (I was tewaking my .emacs file for years and Xemacs still felt awkward)
        3. very, very powerfull and simple way to create macros and scripts
        4. Absolutely magnificent documentation
        5. fantastic mailing list where gurus and newbies are treated very, very well. I have seen Bram himself answer very simple beginers questions.
        6. great site with hundreds of scripts, tips
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:01PM (#15286251)
    I, for one, welcome our upgraded syntax highlighting overlords. I can't remember the last time I wrote syntactically incorrect code since I switched from vi. Of course, I can still write BAD code, or silly code, but vim catches my typos every time.
  • by alexhs (877055) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:04PM (#15286279) Homepage Journal
    This thread smells the troll, don't you think ? :)
  • Vim 7 (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:05PM (#15286293)
    :%s/vim 6.4/vim 7/
    :wq
  • by digitalhermit (113459) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:05PM (#15286294) Homepage
    Intelligent completion for C, HTML, Ruby, Python, PHP, etc.

    Yup, this one alone is worth it. Need to write some code? Forget your IDE and just use the C "autoprogram" feature of the new Vi. This message was composed with :set autorespond .
    • But seriously, how does this work?

      DG
  • by suso (153703) * on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:09PM (#15286326) Homepage Journal
    quit
    q
    stop
    exit
    [esc]
    quit damnit
    ahhhhh

    (just kidding, I know how to quit from vim)
  • Spell Check (Score:4, Funny)

    by Danathar (267989) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:09PM (#15286332) Journal
    Now I can die.
  • vim 8 will do email (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tack (4642) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:11PM (#15286349) Homepage
    A spellchecker? Now, to be fair, I'll probably find that useful. Still I can't help but feel vim is one step closer to proving jwz's law [wikipedia.org].
  • by ylikone (589264) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:12PM (#15286357) Homepage
    I've tried on and off since 1995 to get into using vi/vim and I just can't. I am unable to make it work as smoothly as "joe". That's right, for my choice of console-based editor, I use niether vi or emacs! "joe" has been doing everything I need a text editor to do easily since 1995. I cringe when I have to use vi/vim.

    I know I will get flamed for this. Oh well, it's the truth. I'm sure there are a few others that would agree with me.

    • For years I tried to indoctrinate myself with vi, too.
      Then i found SubEthaEdit [codingmonkeys.de] for mac os x.
      I've really found no need for anything else since. I highly recommend anybody on an apple try it out. I feel like it follows the philosophy of vi (lightweight, responsive, simple, functional), but integrates well with the rest of the OS (uses apple's spell check, plays well with os x services and keyboard shortcuts). and, though i know this isn't for everyone, it follows apple's emacs-style ctrl-f, ctrl-b, etc navi
    • by everphilski (877346) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:21PM (#15286435) Journal
      The paradigm is different that most other editors. Most other editors use control keys (of some sort) for functions. Vi you enter into edit mode and type away, then leave edit mode and operate on your work. It is a different concept but it has its advantages. (For one: Except for capital letters I've never had to press two buttons at once, ever ... you escape to exit your edit mode and then it is all single key sequences to do what you want. Simple things but, for example, hitting the control button requires shifting your hand in an akward position wheras :w you don't have to move whatsoever ... )
      • Except for capital letters I've never had to press two buttons at once, ever...

        Which is why I switched from emacs. Ever tried coding in emacs with a broken wrist? It's hard enough with two functional hands.

      • by ylikone (589264)
        I find continually having to use the ESC key to be highly annoying. And really, to save a file, I don't really see CTRL-S being harder or slower to type than ESC :w
        • by cortana (588495)
          I realise that this isn't going to make you jump ship, but if you find yourself on a machine with only vim, try :behave mswin. It enables windows-like shortcuts such as C-z for undo, C-s for save, C-x for cut, C-c for copy and C-v for paste. Probably more but those are the only ones I use often enough to remember.
      • Except for capital letters I've never had to press two buttons at once, ever

        ^X^F in insert mode to complete files. Gotta have it. Better than trusting my fingers, and takes less typing.

    • Everyone has their editor of choice, but really vi is not that difficult. These days, you can even use the arrow keys to navigate to make it even easier (although I still prefer the letters). If you can't learn how to use vi well enough to perform basic text editing functions within about 20 minutes, maybe system administration is not for you.

      Vi is simple, elegant, and light-weight. It takes only a few minutes to learn, but years to truly master. Vim is a misguided attempt to add the bloat of emacs to v
    • I do some development from Windows and Linux.

      You just can't do stuff like:

      Delete ^M DOS returns - :%s/\r//g
      Turn ^M into "real" returns - :%s/\r/\r/g

      with Joe.

      More VIM tricks [rayninfo.co.uk].

      Then there's block editing (quickly comment out sections of code), recording, complete access to all commands (including navigation) from the homerow of the keyboard, etc.
  • My history with VIM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ThePopeLayton (868042) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:13PM (#15286371)
    I was a TA for a basic CS class for over a year. Upon first exposure the VIM (the editor that our system admins installed) many students got really frustrated. Most of them didn't understand how as they scrolled up on down with the mouse that random pieces of text got inserted all over their programs causing a tons of errors.

    I too was pretty annoyed with VIM at first as that it is set up in such a way that it expects you to be a power user. I haven't downloaded the latest version but will do so shortly. But I would like to see a version of VIM that the everyday joe shmoe could use. Less clunky font, easier to set preferencess, and a way to turn of all those linux short cuts that we non-linux people are plagued with. I think there is a definate need for a more userfriendly version of VIM
    • Your post looks like flamebait, but still - Vim is popular exactly because it works that way. Customizable (most power users have their own hand-crafted configs), light, console-based (great in shells and when your system is screwed up) and does a lot of stuff really fast if you know how to use it. I usually use vim for editing configs or when I'm too lazy to run Kate or Gedit. For editing text files, source code etc. I usually use Kate. If you don't like Vim because of its interface, use another editor, pe
    • Not really. If you want something beginner-friendly, try one of the hundreds of other editors, 90% of which are easier to learn to use than Vim. Vim has its target userbase and they're happy with it.
    • by AnonymousKev (754127) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:28PM (#15286515)
      I was forcefully introduced to vi in 1989. It was in a two-week "Introduction to C" class from Cray. The instructor (I am not making this up: his name was Kermit) had made sure that vi was the only editor on the class computer. I'll never forget his words:
      vi is the most efficient editor ever written. You will hate it intensely for the first two weeks, after that you will discover you can't live without it.
      He was absolutely right.
    • it is what it is (Score:3, Informative)

      by toby (759) *
      There's always pico [washington.edu], nano [nano-editor.org], Diakonos [purepistos.net], gedit [gnome.org], ... But frankly I love using vi[m] :)
  • :wq (Score:2, Interesting)

    by joeldg (518249)

    yay.. spiffy new vim, vrs spiffy old vim..
    though, the new features do look nice.

    I actually know a guy with a ":wq" tattoo (on the back of his neck)

  • Intelligent completion for C, HTML, Ruby, Python, PHP, etc.

    I don't know why, but I've gotten used to Ctrl+[pn] and prefer that over popups that other IDEs seem to throw up.

  • vim plugins (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kwench (539630) <kwench79@yahoo.de> on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:19PM (#15286420) Homepage
    Now I'm waiting for a vim-plugin for Firefox and Opera, just like the Konqueror guys did it. So I can finally spellcheck and syntaxcheck my slashdot comments... ;-)
  • Cut and Paste? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hey (83763) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:20PM (#15286426) Journal
    I wonder if it has a nicer way to cut and paste.
    I have always been unhappy with yank-number of lines
    or marking, etc.
  • by bennomatic (691188) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:24PM (#15286469) Homepage
    When all the other websites were putting badges on saying, "made with dreamweaver", or "made with go-live", or whatever, I made the following for my site:
    made with vi [dimspace.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward
    http://www.vim.org/htmldoc/uganda.html [vim.org] ... while RMS could finish Hurd from his emacs fundraising
  • by Nightreaver (695006) <lau.l@NosPam.uritzen.dk> on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:38PM (#15286619) Homepage
    Someone had to remind slashdotters of the superior editor... Ed, man! [gnu.org]
    • The best part:

      And ed doesn't waste space on my Timex Sinclair. Just look:

      -rwxr-xr-x 1 root 24 Oct 29 1929 /bin/ed
      -rwxr-xr-t 4 root 1310720 Jan 1 1970 /usr/ucb/vi
      -rwxr-xr-x 1 root 5.89824e37 Oct 22 1990 /usr/bin/emacs
  • by rasper99 (247555) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:49PM (#15286734)
    The best reason to know vi is that it is unsually installed on every UNIX box. It is a hoot to see someone who doesn't know vi working on a system that doesn't have emacs do cat >file
    • IIRC, the presence of vi and ex are part of required compliance for POSIX and the Single UNIX Specification. So, it is not just there by convention or convenience, but is a requirement for guaranteed inter-operaability, along with ed, sed, and awk. Or does POSIX simply define the behavior of those tools and not require their presence?
  • by just_another_sean (919159) on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:50PM (#15286740) Homepage Journal
    I guess I can look forward to getting a package sometime in 2007 :-)
  • Version 7? (Score:5, Funny)

    by yet another coward (510) <yacoward.yahoo@com> on Monday May 08, 2006 @01:55PM (#15286781)
    GNU Emacs is at version 21.4 [gnu.org]. Can we really trust such an immature editor?
  • I 3 VIM (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gunark (227527) on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:11PM (#15286922)
    I'm a long-time-VIM-hater-turned-lover. I've been working with Linux systems for years, but always refused to learn my way around VIM, choosing to stick with nano instead. Why for the love of god not at least make Ctrl-C or Ctrl-Q or 'quit' or SOMETHING work???

    After sitting through a presentation of a heuristic analysis of VIM in one of my HCI classes, where VIM was ridiculed for being the most un-intuitive, un-user friendly pieces of software since MS-DOS, I never thought I'd find myself using this tool... and actually LOVING it.

    Well... fast forward a few months... I got fed up with nano's lack of a search-and-replace feature, and didn't feel like learning awk or sed. I finally decided to give vim a serious try. The key was finding this [eriogerg.free.fr] cheat sheet.

    Now I love it... I'm cw'ing, y'anking, dd'ing away. Mind you I still prefer Eclipse for full-fledged development, but there's nothign like super quick and efficient scripting with vim.

    Learn it. It's worth it.
  • by mogrify (828588) on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:46PM (#15287253) Homepage
    I tried to figure out exactly how steep vi's learning curve is, and I got a DivideByZeroException... :(
  • First vi encounter (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Arandir (19206) on Monday May 08, 2006 @03:17PM (#15287502) Homepage Journal
    My first vi encounter was back in the days of the dinosaur. It was the later cretaceous, to be exact. At the time people used a wide variety of terminals to connect to the computer. The terminals themselves tended to be system specific, so that some had function keys, other didn't; some had arrow keys, others didn't; and some had meta keys, while others didn't. Using such a variety of terminals for Unix was a major problem, ranking up there with the problem of using a huge variety of printers. But then came vi and it didn't need function keys, arrow keys or meta keys. I could finally have a full screen text editor on ANY terminal I chose. With a tiny handful of commands I could be productive. In comparison to the other editors, it was easy to use. At the time vi was a huge step forward.

    Modern interfaces with mice and menus and toolbars may have made vi somewhat obsolete, but I would still rather write software using vi than with <hack> MSWord...

    p.s. The problem with emacs was that it requried two meta keys, which weren't always available, and even if they were, may be in different keyboard locations under different names. It also required chording which slows down typing (especially if you weren't sure where the meta keys were on this keyboard). And as other people have pointed at, at the time you were guaranteed that vi would be available on any Unix system, while access to emacs was hit or miss.
  • by FuzzyDaddy (584528) on Monday May 08, 2006 @04:55PM (#15288272) Journal
    I've been using vi or vim in some context for over ten years. Here's what I know about it:

    Right slash to search

    Period to repeat a command

    I to insert at the beginning of the line, i to insert at the cursor

    :w to write, :q to quit, :wq to do both, :q! to quit without saving

    :23 to go to line 23

    yy to copy a line, 5yy to copy 5 lines

    dd to delete a line

    cw to change a word

    :syntax on for syntax coloring

    ma and y'a or ma and d'a to delete or copy a block

    p to paste

    u for undo

    x to delete a character

    % to find a closing bracket or parenthesis

    That's really all I've ever learned or needed. It's a pretty small subset (and getting smaller with each release), but I get by on it!

  • by zerosignal (222614) on Monday May 08, 2006 @06:50PM (#15288992) Homepage Journal
    I've never used vim or emacs, but would like to learn. However, I'm concerned that I'd be losing out on a lot of Eclipse's functionality when it comes to writing Java, e.g. refactoring, object-sensitive method name autocompletion, etc. Would vim or emacs really be better?

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