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  1. #21  
    Wow, I wasn't depressed enough today, then I had to read that.

    Time to go surf Forums on my Palm Pre.
  2. #22  
    It would be interesting to see how webOS would be doing if Hurd had not been forced out as HP CEO.
  3. #23  
    thanks for posting this ,
    now i have better understanding why webOS never took off ,its really sad , i mean i was rooting for open webOS and had big hope but now its really over for me and my visit to the forum less frequent though i'll b using my Pre 2 as long as i can for the love of webOS but anybody still thinking esp after reading the article that there is any hope for open webOS they are blinded by their love for webOS and they are living in fools paradise.
    RIP webOS ..
    pixi plus (webOS 2.1)>pre2>HP Veer>touchpad
  4. #24  
    What a sad and depressing story. Reminds me so much of the fate of BeOS.
    Still.. I see a niche for OwOS to survive. If everything goes well with the open sourcing and using the Standard Linux Kernel, I'm sure it will be ported to some Android or other (N9 ) devices. Not a mass market OS, but a nice alternative for the technically minded, who know about it and are willing to install it on their device.
    Not everyone needs the newest high-end phone every 6 months, so for the time being we still have Pre 2, 3, Veer and TP - existing and (almost perfectly) working devices.
    And there's work being done on OwOS still, not everyone has left, HP is even actively looking to hire more people plus we have this amazing community. It's not dead yet

    I kinda had to laugh at myself for writing all this, it's like when I'm out running with someone and they are out of breath, I'm like 'No! This is not the end! Come on! We can go another km! You can do it!' it's a crazy industry, but that's where all the fun comes from
  5. #25  
    read the whitman interview on allthingsd.com today (dated 06/05). Among other things she said she "made the decision on webOS." I take this to mean that she is committed to the plan she set out last December and all the foment cited in the Verge about HP dropping webOS in July once they get their tax benefits --is just stirring up talk and page views.
    That said, the openWebOS team has to execute and then 3rd party manufacturers and developers have to come in as well so this topic may be revisited by HP sometime after openWebOS debuts (perhaps next year I would guess).
    Whitman apparently is strong on execution so I hope her skills extend to the webOS team as well.
  6. #26  
    Is webOS the Tucker 48 of mobile OS's?

    It is a shame when great ideas are stifled in the interest of self interest. Well, at least advancements in safer and better automobiles did come out of the Tucker efforts (e.g., seat belts, disc brakes, fuel injection, etc.), the 'Big Three' did what they could to stop Tucker from bringing his advanced auto into the market place. You can still find them...of the 50 that were originally built, 47 still exist. I think I read that one sold recently for $750,000. The original price in 1948 was $2,450.

    Could webOS still rise up and number more than the proverbial '47' devices total? I hope so...
    Sent from my slowly diminishing intellect

    I'm just a soul who's intentions are good...oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!

  7. #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberprashant View Post
    jarring article. Some tidbits we didn't know about. Really a sad story and being a webOS faithful from the start it is really depressing to read this but it does seem to be a honest account from sources. Have CM9 installed on Touchpad but can still dual boot for nostalgia. There's no doubt this is the best gui interface with the cards that you slide and toss, how can the whole world not get it???? Mind-boggling

    Explains a lot too - for example why the touchpad looked like old iPad 1 parts that no-one wanted - sounds like HP wouldn't let them have more $$ to get better parts. Lotsa of bad decisions. Confirms rumors too i.e. the slab device stingray codenamed we had heard about

    It really does seem like the end now. I'm glad I've jumped ship to Android [Samsung Epic 4g w/keyboard] as of 9/2011 (wow, can't believe its been that long already) - seems nothing has really been acccomplished in the last 9 months of major significance. Article quotes "sources" who are skeptical about the 9/2012 open webos deadline and who wouldn't be after all these ppl have left including mcnulty too now. TechTray, What's Shaking and EasyPulse will live on the Google Play Store Thanks to phonegap. (Time unfortunately is limited and the versions are not as complete.)

    It'd be awesome if someone like cyanogenmod (Or webosinternals??) can take the good parts of webOS and create a interface for android (SImilar to Touchwiz by Samsung) to skin webOS onto android devices
    They can't. webOS operates in a fundamentally different way than Android. The Luna UI cannot be simply hacked on top of Android, it would require a complete rewrite, AKA reinventing the wheel. Cyanogen or webOS internals have neither the time nor the interest in doing that.
  8. #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by deCorvett View Post
    Someone told me it will last more than that. But it could be possible, anyways.
    I find this (HPs current plans - if any) pretty irrelevant.

    I didn't believe they have concrete plans for new devices anyway. At worst it's a bookkeeping thing, at best a backup option vs W8 crashing and burning by next year. And even in the best case scenario webos has 2 rivals: Android and HPs internal strategy battles.

    webos will likely survive in an enthusiast niche. A few thousand, perhaps 10s of thousands who enjoy putting it on "Android" (or perhaps Nokia - there's likely to be Wp7 surplus devices) Hardware.

    There is a very small chance that a hungry fresh manufacturer from Asia might use it. Being the zillionth Android shop has its drawbacks.

    But at this point any interested manufacturer will likely use ACL to get the necessary app selection in reasonable time - unless Enyo manages to become a successful framework.

    Even if HP has plans at the moment - why would anybody bet on them following through with it?
    Whitman is quite an improvement over Leo - but HPs backstabbing board of directors might fire her before xmas just to keep the tradition going (of burning through CEOs and shiny new strategies).

    I believe we'll have an open-sourced webos by the end of this year. I doubt HP will make any real investments in the foreseeable future. So enthusiasts like me will likely be able to hack on it and put in on compatible devices and that's likely it.

    There is not going to be a mass-market success with dedicated devices unless some company is willing to do what Hurd announced and doubles down on it. And it's now harder than a year ago. A year ago there was still some momentum and still a lot of the original talent on board.A disappointing TP launch could have been handled by aggresive bundling and pushing a competitive TP2 a couple months ago.
    The Pre3 could have been made a success with serious ads and bribing a relatively small number of app devs to provide popular functionality. I believe even the Veer could have been a niche semi-succes. Follow this up a few months later with both a 4" slab device and a Pre4 and webos could have been on a nice upward trend by now (ahead of WP7 at least). Yup would have been costly the first year. But that's what doubling down means and that's what it takes to play with the big boys and coming late to the party. HP had the resources and the necessity to do *something*. But HP wasted as much money on internal infighting and still has to convince anybody that they can actually move forward and compete in the modern mobile marketplace.

    Personally I'll have fun installing webos on nice devices designed for other platforms. Most of the rest of the world will not know webos ever existed.
    Pre -> Pre3 & TP32 -> Nexus 5
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygewitter View Post
    What a sad and depressing story. Reminds me so much of the fate of BeOS.
    Still.. I see a niche for OwOS to survive. If everything goes well with the open sourcing and using the Standard Linux Kernel, I'm sure it will be ported to some Android or other (N9 ) devices. Not a mass market OS, but a nice alternative for the technically minded, who know about it and are willing to install it on their device.
    Not everyone needs the newest high-end phone every 6 months, so for the time being we still have Pre 2, 3, Veer and TP - existing and (almost perfectly) working devices.
    And there's work being done on OwOS still, not everyone has left, HP is even actively looking to hire more people plus we have this amazing community. It's not dead yet

    I kinda had to laugh at myself for writing all this, it's like when I'm out running with someone and they are out of breath, I'm like 'No! This is not the end! Come on! We can go another km! You can do it!' it's a crazy industry, but that's where all the fun comes from
    Didn't an employee mention something about Open webOS sitting on top of any compiled standard android kernel and using the existing drivers via a hardware abstraction layer? Add that to the probable release of an Android Compatibility Layer with Open webOS to run Android apps, and you have a replacement for android that runs on any android phone and can run android apps.

    Sounds like it would not only be easy to install, but would also allow people to use their apps that they already purchased. Being a win-win situation has its perks, and perhaps we could gain traction from there.
  10. jlamb0's Avatar
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    #30  
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygewitter View Post
    What a sad and depressing story. Reminds me so much of the fate of BeOS.
    Still.. I see a niche for OwOS to survive. If everything goes well with the open sourcing and using the Standard Linux Kernel, I'm sure it will be ported to some Android or other (N9 ) devices. Not a mass market OS, but a nice alternative for the technically minded, who know about it and are willing to install it on their device.
    Not everyone needs the newest high-end phone every 6 months, so for the time being we still have Pre 2, 3, Veer and TP - existing and (almost perfectly) working devices.
    And there's work being done on OwOS still, not everyone has left, HP is even actively looking to hire more people plus we have this amazing community. It's not dead yet

    I kinda had to laugh at myself for writing all this, it's like when I'm out running with someone and they are out of breath, I'm like 'No! This is not the end! Come on! We can go another km! You can do it!' it's a crazy industry, but that's where all the fun comes from
    OwOS. Reading that abbreviation causes me almost physical pain. But it may be apt.
  11. #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by quiestbml View Post
    Didn't an employee mention something about Open webOS sitting on top of any compiled standard android kernel and using the existing drivers via a hardware abstraction layer? Add that to the probable release of an Android Compatibility Layer with Open webOS to run Android apps, and you have a replacement for android that runs on any android phone and can run android apps.
    It's sitting on top of the Standard Linux Kernel (nothing Android) and it's not just talk, read about it here: Open webOS | Overview
    It won't run on any Android phone and we'll have to see how good and compatible ACL actually is, but I sure hope ACL will indeed be released someday!

    Quote Originally Posted by jlamb0 View Post
    OwOS. Reading that abbreviation causes me almost physical pain. But it may be apt.
    LOL yeah the pain is tangible, so OwOS is pretty apt
  12. #32  
    1 hell of a read, really was an impossible uphill climb when even HP wouldnt give them what they needed.
  13. #33  
    Microsoft not letting HTC into the mobile game. So HTC lives and dies by Android?


    HTC Said to Be Shut Out of Next Version of Windows - Bloomberg
  14. #34  
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry201 View Post
    I don't see what this has to do with this thread.
    There's vulnerability for the hardware manufacturers, especially if they don't own the OS. MSFT can do this as it has other hardware manfacturers whereas HTC needs to play ball with the few OS's that are out there.

    While I am not saying HP would be shut out of Windows manufacturing, nor am I saying webOS will be picked up by HTC as a replacement for windows, don't think that the other hardware manufacturers aren't looking hard at this decision by MSFT and thinking of defensive ways to protect themselves.
  15. #35  
    This makes me sad and angry. WebOS is such a great platform. I came from a treo 755 as my first smartphone, but I had found and followed the treo line since the handspring line and the Treo 600. Even though I didn't have a phone, I was on the forums daily, watching the phone evolve. I bought my pre June 2009, a touchpad Nov 2011, (One for my brother dec 2011) and in order to keep webOS I left my carrier of choice, Sprint, after over 10 years and moved to ATT with a veer. If this article doesn't cause the pre 3's to sell out or go up in price on ebay, I hope to get one of those as well. I still have my pre and use it for an alarm and as a wifi device.

    I am already at the point where I never want to buy another HP product again. When the touchpad came out, I was willing to buy a printer from HP, even tho I prefer canon. (Thanks to homebrew, I can now print to any printer.) I'd also planned to make my next laptop purchase an HP, to support the company supporting webOS. HP could have had such a loyal fan base. It came built in with the Palm brand. Even when there was the firesale for the touch pad, that gave them an opportunity to get webOS into the hands of thousands new to webOS so that when a phone with webOS showed up, the new consumers would gravitate toward it.

    The fact that the sales people at best buy and sprint were trying to talk customers into a different phone didn't help.

    I've never been one to hold on to a phone for more than a year or so. Sprint offered all sorts of deals to renew a contract, get a different phone, but none of them compared to the elegance of webOS. I'm also angry that I could have left them a lot sooner and gone to att for the newer webOS tech had I known the background and that there would never be another cdma webOS device. Sprint kept throwing out crumbs of hope. Since I know my veer won't last forever, I've considered what other phone or platform I could go to. The galaxy note is the first phone that has appealed to me but if I could get instagram on webOS, I'd be more than happy.

    I hope this isn't the end of webOS. I pray that the Open source project is successful and that phone manufacturers pick up on it. Long live webOS!!
    The value of knowledge is not in its possession, but in its use.
  16. #36  
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygewitter View Post
    It's sitting on top of the Standard Linux Kernel (nothing Android) and it's not just talk, read about it here: Open webOS | Overview
    Actually, even that is all still just talk until code implementing it is publicly released.

    When talking open source, you must be very careful to separate promises from published source code.

    -- Rod
    matteebee13 likes this.
  17. #37  
    Rod, have you heard anything more about community webOS edition to be completed in June or did that vanish when Sam left (see blog entry below from March)?

    "We are very excited to announce that we will be publishing additional components from the current release of webOS for the TouchPad, version 3.0.5, at opensource.palm.com. In future discussions, we will refer to these components at opensource.palm.com as the “Community Edition.” Look for this effort to be completed in June. (Note that this release is not directly related to our Open webOS project, which remains dedicated to open sourcing an up-leveled version of webOS.)"
  18. #38  
    webOS on The Verge

    webOS on The Verge
    I'm not sure I'll ever be ready to tell everything about my time at Palm. Certainly not now. Perhaps in a novel or an 8bit video game, one day. I don't know. I really enjoyed my time there and made wonderful friends. It was also two straight years of frustration. For now I suggest you read The Verge's excellent in-depth article on the 31 months from Palm's 2009 CES debut to the end of the platform (and possible rebirth?). After you read it come back to compare notes. Below are some inaccuracies or clarifications based on my own recollection of events. Think of it as directors commentary if the director was forced to sit in the back and watch through a 3 inch screen.

    Caution Ahead
    A note to the reader. Before you continue there are three things you must keep in mind:

    I am now an employee at Nokia. The comments below reflect entirely my own opinion, not of Nokia or my team. Also note that I am not working in the Windows Phone division (or any product division for that matter) and have no insight into product plans.
    The comments below reflect entirely my own opinion. This is based on my recollection of events and personal speculation. Others have different recollections. These are mine.
    I wrote the following comments while reading The Verge's article. The thoughts are spontaneous, passionate, off the cuff, and unedited. Please adjust your expectations accordingly.
    Commentary
    Prima (2008). I never got a chance to see Prima. I wish I did. Sounds ugly. I was able to get my hands on a Foleo, though. Insert another epic yarn about a brilliant but doomed product. I do know that Prima was Java based, and closer to JavaME than JavaSE. It had major performance issues because it was built on some wonky embedded JVM they got from a small company (I don't know who) rather than a proper JITed VM like HotSpot and JavaSE Embedded (though that wasn't a shipping product from Sun at the time these decisions were being made).

    Prima's JVM at CES 2009. Yes, it was still there running some system services. Those lasted until around the time of WebOS 2.0, towards the end of 2010 as I recall. There were always references to it in the open source code dumps which is why people kept asking me if webOS supported Java. It never did in any way that a developer could actually use. That JVM also sucked up way too much memory, making a lot of system services dog slow.

    CES 2009 This is the event which sold me on Palm. When I met Ben and Dion in Sweden to discuss working for Palm later that year this was the event I watched and analyzed to see if I truly wanted to work for Palm. The polish and practice was really amazing. If you haven't seen it you should watch it. It even made up for the truly horrible TV ads Palm later aired.

    The de-Mercerization to create Blowfish: I don't know the details of exactly how Blowfish was built. Engineering was very closed off to us (Developer Relations). It was like pulling teeth to get information about them. I learned a whole lot by searching JIRA bugs and watching commit logs, however. Blowfish turned into a classic Fred Brooks "Second System Effect" death march. The release stretched on and on. Things which worked previously were broken and never fixed. Testing started to fall by the way side. Quality declined and the release kept slipping. In the end we missed an entire product cycle. This probably doomed us more than anything else.

    2010 This when I joined. The Droid campaign had already screwed Palm (or Palm let itself be screwed by placing so much fait in a a carrier). Verizon promised to support the Pre Plus but it turns out that support didn't extend to the actual employees in the retail store. In the US, at least, a phone lives or dies by the retail staff in the carrier stores. Nothing else matters. Not price. Not features. Not apps. If the retail staff doesn't like you... you die.

    Anyway. I'd been at Palm for only a few months when the HP deal was announced. I still feel it was the best decision. The smart phone game of the early 2000s changed forever after the iPhone. It was now a rich man's game. Palm was against companies literally 10 times it's size. To create a viable smart phone platform today you have to be prepared to spend about a billion dollars a year. Palm was simply too small. HP had the size and the cash, and a desire to not just be a Windows OEM forever. It was by far the best option. (All other options would simply have liquidated us). But the best laid plans of mice and men…

    Leo: Well…. We will never really know what happened inside Mr. Apotheker's mind when he decided to cancel all webOS hardware. Did he not have the stomach for a billion dollar a year run rate? Did he never really want to be in the consumer business? Was his talk of "doubling down" a lie all along? We will never know. It was clear then and now that he never believed in the webOS vision. Perhaps if Hurd had not left history would have gone differently. At the very least the TouchPad would have had the chance to develop into the strong product it could have been. We were, for a brief time, the #2 tablet in the US.

    Greg Simon: It really hit me hard when Greg Simon left. He was the only one who was getting my graphics bugs fixed! We had no hard specs for what our Canvas and CSS graphics output should be so I made it my personal mission to write tests for every missing feature of the spec and then push to have them implemented. For a long time Greg was the only guy who could help me. He's the one who implemented CSS gradients for me.

    TouchPad hardware: One thing I don't see mentioned is that the hardware design for the touchpad came from HP. It was designed before the acquisition and originally ran Android. That's why you'll occasionally hear rumors of a touchpad the shipped with Android on it. That's also why the specs were a bit anemic when it shipped over a year later.

    So ultimately the question is why did the TouchPad fail in the market place? The software was definitely buggy, but we made pretty rapid improvements in the update releases. The iPhone was buggy when it launched but got better very quickly. The hardware specs were considered anemic, but really it should have been flying with a dual core 1.2ghz proc. The immature software held it back. My only real complaint about the hardware was the weight and the lack of a camera. The 7" Opal / TouchPad Go would have solved the camera issue but it was still too heavy. The other big issue was the price. It should have gone out the door at 399 or lower, even if we would have lost money for a while. We didn't have a comparable product to the iPad, so we shouldn't have priced it as such.

    So why did it fail in the market place? Actually, I question that assertion. Clearly we weren't selling as well as the iPad but based on anecdotal evidence we were selling more than any Android tablet. One Best Buy employee told me the iPad sold about 10 units a day a his store while the TouchPad sold two a day. The other tablets (Android and BlackBerry) were lucky to sell one a week each. While Samsung may have shipped millions of tablets they later admitted that most of them were never actually sold to end customers. We were the #2 tablet even before the fire sale. A weak #2, but still #2. Not bad for a 1.0 product. If we continued working on the software, pushing out consistent updates, and shipped the Opal then we would have gone into the Christmas season with a strong momentum.

    I will say this for both Apple, Google, and Microsoft. They go in big and they don't give up. They take the long view; steadily improving their products over months and years. Spending heavily on advertising then giving a product only six weeks in the market is *not* long term thinking. If HP was only going for a quick buck then webOS would never have survived, whether or not Leo was at the helm. This is a game for the rich and patient man.

    So then why was the TouchPad canceled? As I said, we will never know. Perhaps the sales projections weren't realistic. But we do know that the *way* it was killed was designed to be irreversible. The press release announcing cancelation took everyone by surprise, including our partners. AT&T refused to carry the Pre 3 just before it was scheduled to go on sale. The Opal was canceled just days before it would have gone into production for a release in late September. Once you scupper a supply chain that way it takes at least a year to rebuild. The damage was irreversible. Even if Leo had been fired a week later and Meg reversed the decision, it still was too late. And it was that supply chain which cost most of the two billion dollar write down HP had to take later. I sometimes wonder if it would have been cheaper to build the TouchPad Go anyway and still sell it for 99$ like the TouchPad. In any case, the decision was made and it was immediately final.

    Of note: when Meg Whitman was asked in an all-hands meeting how the board could have voted for such a decision, she said the board was "informed" of the plan, not consulted. No vote was required or taken.

    Post cancelation stasis: my biggest memory of that period is when we were scheduled to go on a three stop tour of Asia (Australia, Singapore, and Bejing) to excite developers about products that now would never ship. In the end we made the trip because Richard Kerris (head of devrel) felt it was important to meet our developers on their own terms and be honest with them. It was both an interesting and awkward experience. I'm glad we did it.

    Meg Whitman. During my final months at HP, Meg was refreshingly honest. She took her time to make the decision, but honestly we had plenty of time after the hardware cancellation. A few months either way would make no difference, and she had bigger fish to fry (like the PC division). In the end I think she made the best decisions possible under the circumstances. I wish her and the rest of HP well. I do not envy the work ahead of her.

    Sam Greenblat & Martin Risau: I ramped down my travel after my son was born so I only came into the office twice after the cancelation. I only met each briefly. They both seemed smart and competent but had different visions of what Open webOS would be. It doesn't surprise me that there were conflicts.

    Other tidbits:
    There was other hardware in the works beyond the TouchPad Go. I saw prototypes of many products including a transforming tablet / netbook combo with an ingenious sliding hinge and super thin keyboard. I really hope someone makes it one day.
    On "competing for #3" Yes it would have cost us billions of dollars over a bunch of years, but I think we would have been #2, not #3. It has been nearly a year since the TouchPad launched and Android tablets are still failures. I think there is a lesson in here for us: without a carrier and contract pushing them, Android devices don't sell themselves.
    WebKit: Using WebKit for the GUI was pure genius. Forking Webkit so you couldn't take advantage of community improvements was pure stupidity.
    Oh. and the Palm V is still the best PalmOS device ever. It was the perfect size to fit in a shirt pocket, had a beautiful and unique shape, and was made of good metal materials. And the battery would last forever. It was an iPod Touch ten years early.

    Post Mortem
    I am still very proud of what we created, especially my teammates in Developer Relations. The TouchPad launched essentially on schedule and had a solid over the air update. We opened the catalog with 10k webOS apps and 600 specifically for the TouchPad. That put us ahead of the number of Android Tablet apps at the same time, even though we shipped 6 months later. We continued to increase the number of apps in the catalog even after the hardware was canceled. We ran fun developer contests and promotions. Our developer community was always been passionate and appreciative, even in the times when we weren't allowed to say much. I'm glad we were able to open source Enyo in a way that lets those developers take their apps to other platforms.

    Post Post Mortem
    It has been nearly a year since the webOS hardware was canceled. A year that has afforded me some perspective. I left HP not because I didn't enjoy my time there. My reasons were more personal. After seven years of being a technical evangelist for Java, JavaFX, the JavaStore, and then webOS; I was simply tired. Tired of putting emotion and energy into platforms. Tired of the travel and speaking engagements. Tired of the constant product deadlines. Combined with having a (now) one year old child I realized I needed a break.

    My current position requires little travel, has a flexible schedule, and lets me work on interesting things not tied to any particular platform. Best of all a specifically *can't* talk about what I'm working on. Perhaps one day I will return to platform evangelism. I still enjoy it. But for now I'm in a nice peaceful place.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my tiny part of this epic tale. One day it will truly be the stuff of valley legend.
    The value of knowledge is not in its possession, but in its use.
  19. cgk
    cgk is offline
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    #39  
    Some interesting nuggets coming out of this story:

    Sadly, Blowfish / 2.0 ended up using even more memory and CPU resources than the Java-based services in 1.0. We spent two months trying to get 2.1 to run with reasonable performance on all devices, then on 512MB RAM devices only, then finally we had to cut our losses and pushed 2.1 to just the Pre 2 (which Verizon proceeded to sit on for 6+ months) as everyone switched gears to work on the Touchpad. We should have shipped the Pre 2 with webOS 1.4.5 given that the hardware was ready to ship in June but 2.0 wasn't.

    There was also complex migration code needed to convert user data from SQLite to the new DB8 database which never worked 100% reliably and prevented OTA rollout Some EU carriers eventually got the 2.1 doctor.
  20. #40  
    CGK,

    You must be a devrel or engineer to be able to follow like that....or heavily involved.
    J.M. congrats on the baby. I never had the chance to say so.
    You'll be back with your first baby; Open webOS, that is!


    Peterdev
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