[Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack.Updated May 13,2014

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[Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack.Updated May 13,2014

Post#1 by dimx » 02 Dec 2013, 12:32

(Warning: long post! Too lazy to read? -->Download<-- )
1. Introduction
Hello everyone! Fist of all I would like to express my gratitude to Porteus developers, contributors and the rest of the community.
After lots of searching for a distro that would load itself into ram and provide lightning fast speed and good stability I have finally concluded that Porteus is my top choice.
Of course I have extensively used and tested other distros that provide this functionality (Puppy, Knoppix etc), but Porteus beats them all by providing excellent extensibility for adding applications and control over layered file system.
As a small token of my appreciation I post this "enhancement pack" that I use on daily basis and have tested very thoroughly.
Again, thank you, devs!

2. About this pack.
The pack consists of ready-to-be-used .xzm modules that can be placed under /modules of porteus-lxde.
The 3 main categories of my modules are:
a. Applications and themes
b. Their dependencies
c. My personal finely-tuned settings for usability and productivity (more on that later).
(Note: for Porteus-LXDE v2.1 all the .xzm are in the same place, so it may get a bit confusing, but its easy to figure out what each module does. All later module packs have been structured by folders.)

Applications
Cairo-dock with all the plugins (except GnoMenu, which requires tons of ubuntu-based dependencies)
Compiz with Emerald decorator
Volti - tray icon for volume control with mixer and *support for multimedia keys* --yay!-- using xlib
Xarchiver - better than file-roller IMHO, works flawlessly using system's commands for compression/decompression, integrates well with pcmanfm
Python 2 - used mainly as a dependency for lots of above apps, but should be mentioned here
Easystroke - global mouse gestures - excellent productivity enhancer (more on productivity later)
***
(only for Porteus-LXDE 2.1)Slapt-get and Gslapt for easy retrieving of packages with dependencies (for coverting to modules)
(only for Porteus-LXDE 2.1)LXTerminal - a more recent build with fixed Ctrl+Shift+C and Ctrl+Shift+V bug (it would trigger Ctrl+C when pressing Ctrl+Shift+C, effectively stopping currently executing procces on the terminal - VERY annoying bug)
(only for Porteus-LXDE 2.1)Chromium 30.0 - because the one from Porteus base doesnt work for me (although the firefox works great)
(only for Porteus-LXDE 2.1)Google-chrome 31.0 - mainly use it for their much more recent flash version (pepper-flash, google-chrome only)
(only for Porteus-LXDE 2.1)slocate - just like the famous "locate" to quickly find files (also has security enhancements on top of that)

Themes
Boje GTK2-GTK3 theme (I'm using orange variation as default but other colors are included).
Delorean-dark-theme-3.9 for those who prefer more flashy "carbon fiber" style. I suggest you pick another Emerald theme if using Delorean-dark, in order to have a more consistent look.
F-Darkest-combined is the F-Darkest-Black theme combined with theme it inherets, to provide more speed on loading and to reduce the total size.
macfonts collection (my default is set to Lucida Grande and Lucida Console for terminal, the best fonts hands down IMHO)

The rest of .xzm's are dependencies, some of them I have integrated in the application's main xzm, and named the module accordingly (eg. volti-pyalsaaudio-python_xlib.xzm has pyalsaaudio and python-xlib integrated).
The only exception on naming is the Cairo-dock module, cause it would get a VERY long name, so I just named it cairo-dock-3.3.1-final-deps.xzm.

3. Screenshots - everyone loves screenshots.. :)
Yes, this is how Geany looks after applying these themes/icons 8)
http://i44.tinypic.com/23w1vmf.jpg
Image

lxappearance and lxterm
http://i40.tinypic.com/rrtu1s.jpg
Image

by using Down-Left and Down-Right mouse gestures I easily placed pcmanfm and lxterminal to occupy exactly half of screen each
http://i42.tinypic.com/2nm3oee.jpg
Image

firefox
Image

"expose" aka "scale", triggered at top right hot-corner
http://i41.tinypic.com/34gnhmr.jpg
Image

Image

Image

Check the auto-hiding panel (notification area) - Bottom-Right corner
Image



4. Usability
I have a decent background on usability and HCI (human-computer interaction), having worked on some User Interface projects in my university.
While I don't claim to be an expert, my UI choices are based on principles,methodologies and guidelines found in some well-known papers on the subject (Nielsen etc).
(Important!) Personal preference will always be a subjective factor, that cannot be quantified, yet plays enormously important role in how someone perceives the UI. Someone can find a mediocre UI better than a more finely-tuned one (no matter how objectively superior it may be), just because this is what he has used for years. Yes, habits and familiarity play a huge role in how we see things.
On that note, I would recommend sticking with for a few hours/days before drawing a conclusion. Fortunately, you can always modify the UI in case it does not meet your requirements. The beauty of linux ...
Last edited by dimx on 10 Jul 2014, 16:59, edited 24 times in total.

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#2 by dimx » 02 Dec 2013, 12:32

5. Q&A

Q. Why dock (cairo-dock) instead of good old panel for running applications?
A. Dock combines launcher AND indicator, thus saving space and providing good information of which applications are running and how many instances.

Q. Why vertical dock instead of horizontal?
A. As the vast majority of displays is wide-screen format (16:9, 16:10), vertical screen estate is much more valuable than horizontal. Placing the dock to the side, instead of top or bottom ensures more vertical space is available. Real life example: You will never encounter a web page that needs all of your horizontal screen space (unless its a poorely designed web page), but most of the times you will need to scroll down to see all the content. Having more vertical space means less scrolling.

Q. Why dark theme instead of light theme?
A. It causes MUCH less strain on the eyes, especially if working during night hours (and who doesnt?). If you value your eyes, consider using dark theme.
Trust me, after a while, switching to a light theme you will feel as if someone is putting a projector in your face! Also, dark themes are cool, and Boje Orange is IMHO just top of the line.

Q. Where is indicator icons bar / notification area?
A. It hides in the bottom right corner of the screen. As soon as you mouse over bottom right corner it will appear. It auto-hides to provide more vertical screen estate (see above). You can see I left 2 pixel area to be visible when it hides.
Note 1: I know, having notification area like this is not the most elegant solution, but applications must implement a newer free-desktop.org proposed guidelines for notification icons, in order for it to show up in cairo-dock as separate icon.
The alternative is to use "Old notification area" plugin in cairo-dock but after lots of testing I have found it to be inferior to auto-hiding notification bar.
Also, the vast majority of application do not implement the newer free-desktop.org specification, and distribution providers need to patch them if they want that feature implemented. Ubuntu does that for virtually all the apps that have notification area icons, but since we are on slackware, we will have to rely for apps' devs to do so.
Note 2: Since I use lxpanel for the notification area functionality, I added the logoff/shutdown launcher, because it's used only once per session - no need to have logoff button visible all the time, and an applicatin menu (just in case cairo-dock crashes - never crashed for me so far, but just to be on the safe side).

Q. Why compiz?
A. Mainly for its "expose" aka "scale" effect which shows all windows and provides easy switching between them.
Note 1: My defaults are: Top-Right hot-corner for showing all windows, Top-Left hot-corner for showing all windows of current application.
Note 2: I also use compiz in combination with mouse gestures to make a window occupy exactly half of the screen (left or right half). Useful to easily place 2 windows side-by-side.

Q. How to get compiz working (in case it doesnt out of the box)?
A. You will need to setup your xorg to use opengl hardware acceleration, in order for compiz to use gpu. (This way compiz does NOT consume your cpu).
Some user might want to use proprietary drivers, instead of mesa (open source ones), in order to get some extra features working, or for better performance in 3d applications. They need to add base Porteus modules for them.
Additionally you may need to configure your /etc/X11/xorg.conf BEFORE booting into GUI. So, boot to command prompt and type "nvidia-xconfig" if using nvidia card, "amdconfig --initial -f" if using AMD, or "Xorg -configure" if using Intel gpu or nvidia/amd with open source drivers. After that "startx".
Important: Some users might want to have vsync (aka sync to vblank) working with compiz, in order to avoid "tearing". I strongly advise NOT to enable this setting in compiz options, but in xorg.conf. This is because compiz (and any other window manager/compositor for that matter) cannot sync better that the driver itself, and forcing vsync from compiz settings may lead to unnecessary perfomance loss, occasional stutters etc.

Q. Can this pack run on other Porteus bases (like XFCE)?
A. Yes, as long it is on a corresponding arch (i486/amd64). BUT! the dependencies I have included are against the LXDE base, so if you cherry-pick modules and add them to a different Porteus base, be sure to check no vital dependencies are missing. Some deps can be omited (like cups for printing) but some are vital and apps or some of their plugins may not function.

Q. Why so many modules?
A. To keep track of the dependencies that are satisfied. Remember that you can combine modules into larger ones to your liking, but dont forget what packages it contains.

Q. Why "wobbly windows" effect on compiz?
A. Cause I like it. My default settings makes them not so "wobbly", but if it bothers you, disable it through ccsm.

6. Productivity (Easystroke).

I cannot overstate how much time and wrist strain did easystroke save me! I have used for a long time various plugins in browsers that enabled mouse gestures, but with easystroke gestures are global! Yes, that means that back/forward/close_tab etc can now be used even in file managers/text_editor/whatever_else_u_like!
Think of it: you don't have to move your mouse all the way to the top right corner to press the [X] button to close a window - instead just use a gesture!
Note 1: For those who don't know mouse gesture is pressing and holding right click on the mouse and moving the mouse in a pattern (ie up, down, etc)
Note 2: My default settings for gestures are at following screenshot. Add/remove/modify gestures to your liking using easystroke gui.
Image

Q. Why cairo-dock's network traffic graph seems dead? I'm sure I have my internet connection up and running!
A. I have set cairo-dock's netspeed plugin to monitor wlan0 interface (wireless). If you are using ethernet cable to connect to internet, you may want to change it to eth0. Right-click on netspeed icon -> netspeed -> edit -> configuration tab -> change it.
Note: It is possible (but not likely) that your network interface is not listed as wlan0/eth0. To learn what its name is, type in terminal: ifconfig

7. Whew!!! (Are you still with me?.. Good!)

8. Before adding current pack to your porteus system...
... test it on a clean porteus-lxde, NO CHANGES, NO SAVEFILE etc.., to check that your graphics driver and xorg are good to go. If they are not, check above to learn what steps are needed. Most likely this pack will work out of the box, but to be on the safe side ALWAYS TEST FIRST!

9. Rebuilding icon theme caches.
In case some icons are not shown correctly, I have provided a script that rebuilds icon caches. It is located under /root.
To run it:
./.fix-icon-caches
it will force rebuild ALL icon caches and will create caches for gtk themes too (which may be unnecessary).
Note: I keep this script mainly for legacy reasons and for debugging themes. A more elegant way is provided in Downloads section below, as a separate module that makes icon caches update at boot time (with negligible boot speed pentaly of about 0.5 sec).

10.*Only for Porteus 2.1 pack* Adding audio/video user groups.
Some applications need audio/video user group to exist in order to access audio/video devices as default. Else, the output devices should be explicitly configured for each app.
This is mostly porteus (lxde?) issue, not this pack's, but since I have found the fix, here it is. Under /root run:
./.add_user_groups_audio_video

Note: apparently this issue was caused by slocate package, converted from slackware. Check the updated slocate xzm in downloads below and replace the previous one. This issue does affects only UI Pack for Porteus LXDE 2.1. If you have already run the add_user_groups_audio_video script then after replacing the slocate xzm with the update one, enter in terminal

Code: Select all

rm -rf /mnt/live/memory/changes/etc/group
reboot
11.*Relevant only to UI Pack for Porteus LXDE 2.1* If already using chromium or google-chrome remove my .xzm's accordingly. Check both /modules and /base directories. You dont want to have 2 different xzm's for the same application!

12. In case anyone wonders if their system can run with the this pack.
This pack (on porteus-lxde) is what I use as my main OS on the following specs (laptop):
Intel T2080 cpu (1.73GHz, 32-bit)
Intel GMA950 graphics (yes, really!)
4 GB RAM (using copy2ram, if you have less you should be just fine without copy2ram or load to ram selectively)
If my crappy and old GMA950 is able to run this perfectly, I guess your system will run it even better!

13.List of shortcuts.
• Top Right Hot-corner = show all windows
• Top Left Hot-corner = show windows of current applications. The same will happen if
you click on app’s icon in cairo-dock (if it has 2 or more windows, they will be
shown/scaled)
• Bottom Right corner = special tray panel (autohides)
• Middle click on window while in "scale mode" = closes the window
• MIddle click on application in cairo-dock = closes all windows of that application
• Down – mouse gesture = close tab / close application
• Up – mouse gesture = new tab (for tabbed applications only)
• Left – mouse gestures = Go Back (browsers, file manager)
• Right – mouse gesture = Go Forward (browsers, file manager)
• UpRight – mouse gesture = Reopen Closed Tab (browsers)
• DownRight – mouse gesture = Place application on exactly right half of screen
• DownLeft – mouse gesture = Place application on exactly left half of screen
Feel free to add other gestures you might find useful, through Easystroke graphical interface!
Sky is the limit!
Last edited by dimx on 15 May 2014, 21:48, edited 52 times in total.

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#3 by dimx » 02 Dec 2013, 12:33

13. Download.
For Porteus-3.0 any edition, both 32bit and 64bit
Main pack is below. This is an *Optional module* to update icon caches at startup. No more broken icons.
(Technical detail: its basically the rc.M script Porteus uses with a snippet appended to it, from Slackware's original rc.M, to check and update icon caches. Hopefully next Porteus version will have it implemented and this module becomes obsolete.)
size: 4 KB
http://www.mediafire.com/download/wewo4 ... tartup.xzm

Main pack
For Porteus-LXDE-3.0 x86_64 (64bit)
v1.0
size: 77 MB
md5: 7006a9e706ed00b4314095b1c1e6952f
http://www.mediafire.com/download/be518 ... k-v1.0.zip

For Porteus-LXDE-3.0 i486 (32bit)
v1.0
size: 77 MB
md5: eca10b0dd9c81ac20fa8882e1c41e433
http://www.mediafire.com/download/un9mo ... k-v1.0.zip

For Porteus-LXDE-3rc1 amd64 (64bit)
v0.1
size: 78 MB
md5: 64d8aa0472c0c15bddc4251d0eb81d1f
http://www.mediafire.com/download/yaaye ... -amd64.zip

v0.2
size: 78 MB
md5: 8e1a5c0960fa73775be51671b6b99eb2
http://www.mediafire.com/download/w8h9l ... k-v0.2.zip

For Porteus-LXDE-2.1 i486 (32bit)
size: around 170 MB
Note: Do not let the size intimidate you. 80 MB are chromium-30.0 and google-chrome-31.0 modules, so basically the real size of UI features of this pack are about 90MB. Feel free to remove those modules (along with their settings) if you dont need them.
UI-SuperPack for Porteus-LXDE-2.1
md5: 15edf14c844a453accc67ba4385b9ace
http://www.mediafire.com/download/9azlt ... ack.tar.gz
Updated slocate module - replace the existing one and check the note 10 above:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/afpd4 ... update.xzm

14.Changelog
5/13/2014: v1.0 for Porteus LXDE 3.0 32bit.
- Lots of improvements / bugfixes, where to begin..
- All modules rebuilt from scratch. (modules from Porteus 3rc1 should work fine on Porteus 3.0, but just to be sure...)
- Rebuilt gtk3 with a patch to fix random submenu delays on gtk3 apps, when using with compiz.
- Merged and fine-tuned icon theme F-Darkest, now it loads faster and takes up less space.
- Fine-tuned compiz presets even more, now all the transitions are as smooth and professional-looking as possible, even on weak machines.
- Added all settings configs to guest account
- Created custom LXDM theme to match the current dark theme - relogin to check it out.
- Logout app's icon is now in black and white for more consistent look.
- Added openbox custom theme, based on Boje theme, in case anyone wants to use openbox instead of compiz.
- Included a README.pdf with description and images.
- Added a few wallpapers and changed the default one.
- Custom color picker icon (for Geany and other apps that use it), for more consistent look.
- Some minor tweaks.
1/12/2014: v0.2 for Porteus LXDE 3rc1 64bit.
- added volti
- moved python's xzm module to a separate folder
- naming scheme for the pack is now pLXDE-XXX-<arch>-UIPack-vYYY.zip
1/11/2014: Release v0.1 for Porteus LXDE 3rc1 64bit (the 32bit version will follow soon)
- removed all browsers
- removed slapt-get and gslapt
- removed custom build of LXTerminal, as the bugs are fixed in the provided version
- added ROXTerm - terminal with tabs, drag'n'drop etc
- the xzm modules are now structured by folders, for a cleaner presentation and more tweak-friendly
12/02/2012: Initial release for Porteus LXDE 2.1 32bit

Enjoy! :)
Last edited by dimx on 18 May 2014, 11:02, edited 19 times in total.

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#4 by francois » 02 Dec 2013, 18:09

Welcome on porteus forum dimx.

Many of us here in the forum share your enthousiasm about this distribution. Porteus is the main operating system on my computers at work and at home.

I appreciate the improvements that you were able to install on porteus, and it reminds me that I might adopt some of them.

This post is really a nice nice way to introduce yourself to the forum. It is as if you have been on this forum for many months. I am sure that your will be able to make some interesting collaboration to our community. :)
Last edited by francois on 03 Dec 2013, 01:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#5 by dimx » 02 Dec 2013, 18:47

Thank you, Francois! Glad you like my presentation, I really hope Porteus gains the popularity it really deserves.
Maybe if I find time I will upload slackbuilds for compiz and cairo-dock, cause they were a pain to build (especially cairo-dock, so many dependencies for the plugins, and lots of them were not available as binaries - so needed to compile them too - but in the end it was totally worth it!!).

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#6 by fanthom » 02 Dec 2013, 20:06

looks awesome :)
Please add [Solved] to your thread title if the solution was found.

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#7 by dimx » 02 Dec 2013, 20:37

fanthom wrote:looks awesome :)
Thank you, I'm glad u liked it! :Yahoo!:

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#8 by tome » 03 Dec 2013, 09:41

size: around 170 MB
Note: Do not let the size intimidate you. 80 MB are chromium-30.0 and google-chrome-31.0 modules, so basically the real size of UI features of this pack are about 90MB
So why not chromium/chrome (python) are not separately, or all in zip or iso archive (preview or httpfs2 can be used for downloading only needed modules).
Great :Bravo:

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#9 by dimx » 04 Dec 2013, 05:34

tome wrote:
size: around 170 MB
Note: Do not let the size intimidate you. 80 MB are chromium-30.0 and google-chrome-31.0 modules, so basically the real size of UI features of this pack are about 90MB
So why not chromium/chrome (python) are not separately, or all in zip or iso archive (preview or httpfs2 can be used for downloading only needed modules).
Great :Bravo:
Firstly, you are probably right. Its a good idea to upload each module (with deps) separately and post them under the according forum section, but after putting a lot of effort into this pack (compiling, testing, tuning etc), I am currently in my "lazy mode" - too lazy to break this into separate releases.

If anyone would like to post (in the modules section) any apps included in this pack as reparate module, feel free to do so. Dont forget to check for dependencies.

Secondly, the main idea of UI-Productivity-SuperPack is to provide an out-of-the-box and ready to use apps - UI - enhancements. So keeping this as a whole is okay. The reason I have not combined everything into one big module is to provide the option to "cherry-pick" modules.
I will probably make an upload without chrome and chromium later. Cheers! :)

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#10 by brokenman » 05 Dec 2013, 21:58

It makes lxde look really swesome. I like the style and i especially like the dock! Do you find it (the dock) to be stable? Does it occasionally crash?
How do i become super user?
Wear your underpants on the outside and put on a cape.

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#11 by dimx » 06 Dec 2013, 14:05

brokenman wrote:It makes lxde look really swesome. I like the style and i especially like the dock! Do you find it (the dock) to be stable? Does it occasionally crash?
Never crashed for me so far with my settings. I use glx backend in my settings.
Cairo-dock and compiz seem to be rock stable.
The only peculiar thing about cairo-dock version 3.3.2 I have encountered, is that it while using chromium/chrome. It would use different icon for each chromium window and would not use the default icon/indicator. This bug was probably introduced with the new "feature" for supporting chrome's web apps.
The cairo-dock I provide is version 3.3.1 that does not suffer from this bug. 8)
BTW the dock's theme is made by me from scratch. :oops:
PS anyone liked EasyStroke?

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#12 by phhpro » 06 Dec 2013, 22:53

...
Last edited by phhpro on 03 Feb 2016, 22:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#13 by dimx » 07 Dec 2013, 06:16

phhpro wrote:I would have loved to grab a copy, but it's only 32 bit. Any chance for a 64 bit clone coming this way?
I currently cannot make 64-bit version of the pack, cause my cpu (laptop) lacks 64-bit instruction set, And my desktop (which has 64-bit Core 2 Duo) has motherboard issues and is very unstable. :evil: :evil: :evil:
I think if your Porteus-LXDE 64 is multilib-enabled, you could probably just run this pack just as it is.
Also, another solution is to grab architecture-independent xzm's (like themes, icons, settings, my shell scripts) from this pack and get the rest from either prebuilt slackware binaries (the easy way), or by compiling using slackbuilds (the harder way).
For example cairo-dock and it's plugins are available as prebuilt slackware64 package from ralvex:
http://pkgs.org/slackware-14.0/ralvex-x ... x.txz.html
http://pkgs.org/slackware-14.0/ralvex-x ... x.txz.html
Convert them to xzm's, activate them, check for dependencies with slackyd, get the appropriate dependencies and convert them to xzm's and activate. Re-check for deps again until you know no vital deps are missing. Good to go.
Here is my cairo-dock theme standalone (to be imported from cairo-dock options):
http://www.mediafire.com/download/va6xq ... al2.tar.gz

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#14 by phhpro » 07 Dec 2013, 22:47

...
Last edited by phhpro on 03 Feb 2016, 22:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [Porteus-LXDE] UI-Productivity-SuperPack

Post#15 by dimx » 16 Dec 2013, 20:00

Small update:
looks like i will have access to 64-bit computer soon, so if all goes well and i have enough time i will post this pack for 64-bit porteus-lxde.
(this time no browsers will be included - probably upload a no-browser version for 32-bit too, if not too lazy/tired)
cheers! :)

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