VB.net, whats the point? 
Author Message
 VB.net, whats the point?

Can someone give me some information or point me in a direction that lists
real world reasons why I want to use VB.net instead of just vb6?  No marketing
nonsense, just simple, effective reasons why its beneficial.  Preferabbly code
examples maybe focusing on the difference between .net and COM/ActiveX.

Thanks.



Fri, 15 Oct 2004 04:51:27 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?

Quote:
> Can someone give me some information or point me in a direction that lists
> real world reasons why I want to use VB.net instead of just vb6?  No
marketing
> nonsense, just simple, effective reasons why its beneficial.  Preferabbly
code
> examples maybe focusing on the difference between .net and COM/ActiveX.

> Thanks.

Unless you have a specific request from a client, I can see no compeling
reason to move to VB.Net. While I like some of the features, the down side
is not worth the move. Porting any of your current code is very difficult
and many third party controls that worked under VB classic do not work
correctly under VB.Net.

I think there are a large number of professional VB developers out there
(myself included) still scratching their heads wondering what the hell M$
was thinking about when it produced VB.Net, given that VB classic is so
popular. While I have completed a couple of small VB.Net projects, I found
the whole exercise very tedious compared to VB classic.



Fri, 15 Oct 2004 05:00:09 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?

Quote:

>Can someone give me some information or point me in a direction that lists
>real world reasons why I want to use VB.net instead of just vb6?

If you're looking at purely practical reasons to migrate (as opposed to
aesthetic, design reasons), there are more reasons NOT to migrate existing
VB6 applications than there are to make the effort. The big three off the
top of my head...

1. Migration is not a simple straight-forward process; people who think that
going from VB6 to VB.NET is going to be like migrating from VB5 to VB6 (or
even VB3 to VB4) are in for a rude awakening. There are over 100
incompatibilies between the two languages, and a fair number of them are
more than simple mechanical changes in syntax; they require redesign on the
part of the developer.

2. Deploying your application requires that you either include the .NET
Framework redistributable, or require that they download and install it
before installing your application. If you thought including the VB runtime
stuff was bad, wait until you have to explain why the equivalent of a
"Hello, world" program requires a 21Mb (yes, that's megabytes) download. And
since you can't guarantee that every platform has it, you need to include it
or make it available. Given that the majority of end-users out there are
still running Windows 9x/ME with a dial-up Internet connection, electronic
distribution isn't practical for .NET applications.

3. Redistributing a .NET program means effectively giving your source code
away. There are open source decompilers out there which can take MSIL and
convert it back into C# (and possibly other languages); one example can be
found at  http://www.saurik.com/net/exemplar/  If you're developing
commercial software, then your option is to either wait for Microsoft to
address the issue or buy an obsfucator like Demeanor
(http://www.wiseowl.com/) for $900 to $2500, depending on your needs.

----

Catalyst Development Corporation          Web:   http://www.catalyst.com



Fri, 15 Oct 2004 07:10:20 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?
"Ken Williams" wrote

 > Can someone give me some
 > information or point me in a
 > direction that lists real world
 > reasons why I want to use
 > VB.net instead of just vb6?
 > No marketing nonsense, just
 > simple, effective reasons why
 > its beneficial.
.
It seems eminently clear to many of us that .NET is simply Microsoft's
strategy to take a bigger bite out of the enterprise application market, and
anything else is, at best, secondary. If you are developing server-centered,
browser-interface, huge, distributed enterprise applications, then you
should take a look at .NET, along with such competing approaches as J2EE.

If you are developing something less extensive, I think you'll be hard
pressed to find enough valid reasons to justify the (quite extensive) time
and effort required to learn a new approach, a new platform, and at least
one new language, plus a plethora of "classes" that wrap the API you may
have used in the past.

I know that I have repeatedly requested Microsoft to provide a speaker to
our user group to give a presentation on benefits of .NET to the developer
of single-user standalone and straight, two-tier, client-server
applications. Each time, someone has seemed quite happy to comply, but, in
the end, none of them has been able to find and schedule a speaker who can
address these issues.



Fri, 15 Oct 2004 08:07:40 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?

Quote:

> Can someone give me some information or point me in a direction that lists
> real world reasons why I want to use VB.net instead of just vb6?  No marketing
> nonsense, just simple, effective reasons why its beneficial.  Preferabbly code
> examples maybe focusing on the difference between .net and COM/ActiveX.

It's because Microsoft hired Anders "VB Killer" Hejlsberg away from
Borland/Inprise and put him in charge of Visual Studio development.
Evidently, he's still got it in for VB and his rampant case of Java
envy continues unabated, despite his conviction that he's forgotten
much more about programming than all of us combined will ever know!

--
Joe Foster <mailto:jlfoster%40znet.com>   Space Cooties! <http://www.xenu.net/>
WARNING: I cannot be held responsible for the above        They're   coming  to
because  my cats have  apparently  learned to type.        take me away, ha ha!



Fri, 15 Oct 2004 09:39:14 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?
Here are some things I have enjoyed in VB.NET:

- Free Threading
- Inheritance
- Oveloading
- Variable Initializers
- Structured exception handling
- Giant class library compared to the native VB Classic methods
- Faster!
- Platform independent within a year or so (when the ports to other
operating systems are finished)
- Dream-IDE

It took me about a day to switch from VB Classic to VB.NET and now that I
worked with VB.NET I really don't like working with VB Classic anymore...
It's so primitive.

IMO, the only real disadvantage is the size of the class library. But this
problem is nothing new. When Windows95 was released, developers had to
choose to write either 16 bit applications to satisfy their large Windows
3.1 user base, or write 32 bit applications and take advantage of new
technologies. A few years later, practically everyone was writing 32 bit
applications. The same thing will happen to .NET; you just have to give it
some time (after all, the final realease of .NET is only a few months
young).

Regards,
Pieter Philippaerts
http://www.mentalis.org/


Quote:
> Can someone give me some information or point me in a direction that lists
> real world reasons why I want to use VB.net instead of just vb6?  No
marketing
> nonsense, just simple, effective reasons why its beneficial.  Preferabbly
code
> examples maybe focusing on the difference between .net and COM/ActiveX.

> Thanks.



Fri, 15 Oct 2004 09:42:25 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?

Quote:

> 2. Deploying your application requires that you either include the .NET
> Framework redistributable, or require that they download and install it
> before installing your application. If you thought including the VB runtime
> stuff was bad, wait until you have to explain why the equivalent of a
> "Hello, world" program requires a 21Mb (yes, that's megabytes) download. And
> since you can't guarantee that every platform has it, you need to include it
> or make it available. Given that the majority of end-users out there are
> still running Windows 9x/ME with a dial-up Internet connection, electronic
> distribution isn't practical for .NET applications.

How many still use Lose95?  .NET probably won't work at all on that!

Quote:
> 3. Redistributing a .NET program means effectively giving your source code
> away. There are open source decompilers out there which can take MSIL and
> convert it back into C# (and possibly other languages); one example can be
> found at  http://www.saurik.com/net/exemplar/  If you're developing
> commercial software, then your option is to either wait for Microsoft to
> address the issue or buy an obsfucator like Demeanor
> (http://www.wiseowl.com/) for $900 to $2500, depending on your needs.

All these "obfuscators" do is replace the embedded form, module, and
member names with randomly-generated Unicode strings.  Nothing stops
the discompiler writers from adding something like a de-obfuscating
browser which can replace the names with more readable ones and even

what a method, property, or variable is for.  No, the /only/ way to
protect your code in .NET is to host it within Windows XP Enterprise
Server clusters (in case a server or two BSODs) running COM+ talking
to IIS/ASP+ web-server farms and force clients to use MSIE6 to turn
their machines into little more than "dumb terminals"!  Of course,
Micro$haft Consulting Services will be happy to help you with that,
so don't worry about a thing, until your budget is exhausted...

--
Joe Foster <mailto:jlfoster%40znet.com>     Got Thetans? <http://www.xenu.net/>
WARNING: I cannot be held responsible for the above        They're   coming  to
because  my cats have  apparently  learned to type.        take me away, ha ha!



Fri, 15 Oct 2004 10:01:06 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?
On Mon, 29 Apr 2002 03:42:25 +0200, "Pieter Philippaerts"

Quote:

>Here are some things I have enjoyed in VB.NET:

>- Free Threading
>- Inheritance
>- Oveloading
>- Variable Initializers
>- Structured exception handling
>- Giant class library compared to the native VB Classic methods
>- Faster!
>- Platform independent within a year or so (when the ports to other
>operating systems are finished)

     \___ Is that true ?   You mean .NET will run on Linux ?
Quote:
>- Dream-IDE

>It took me about a day to switch from VB Classic to VB.NET and now that I
>worked with VB.NET I really don't like working with VB Classic anymore...
>It's so primitive.

>IMO, the only real disadvantage is the size of the class library. But this
>problem is nothing new. When Windows95 was released, developers had to
>choose to write either 16 bit applications to satisfy their large Windows
>3.1 user base, or write 32 bit applications and take advantage of new
>technologies. A few years later, practically everyone was writing 32 bit
>applications. The same thing will happen to .NET; you just have to give it
>some time (after all, the final realease of .NET is only a few months
>young).

>Regards,
>Pieter Philippaerts
>http://www.mentalis.org/



>> Can someone give me some information or point me in a direction that lists
>> real world reasons why I want to use VB.net instead of just vb6?  No
>marketing
>> nonsense, just simple, effective reasons why its beneficial.  Preferabbly
>code
>> examples maybe focusing on the difference between .net and COM/ActiveX.

>> Thanks.



Fri, 15 Oct 2004 15:31:04 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?

Quote:
> On Mon, 29 Apr 2002 03:42:25 +0200, "Pieter Philippaerts"

> >Here are some things I have enjoyed in VB.NET:

<snipped/>

Quote:
> >operating systems are finished)
>      \___ Is that true ?   You mean .NET will run on Linux ?

You mean you didn't know? ;-)

You see... There *is* hope:
http://www.dotgnu.org/
http://www.halcyonsoft.com/products/iNET.asp
http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/dotnet/2001/06/27/dotnet.html
http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/dotnet/2002/03/27/archtour.html

--
Dag.



Fri, 15 Oct 2004 16:09:42 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?

Quote:
> >- Platform independent within a year or so (when the ports to other
> >operating systems are finished)
>      \___ Is that true ?   You mean .NET will run on Linux ?

In addition to what Dag posted, here are some more links:

Linux: http://www.go-mono.com

FreeBSD:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/Dndo...
ml/mssharsourcecli.asp?frame=true

Regards,
Pieter Philippaerts
http://www.mentalis.org/



Fri, 15 Oct 2004 18:38:49 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?

Quote:

> Here are some things I have enjoyed in VB.NET:

[...]

Quote:
> - Faster!

Maybe in your specific experience. But several independent evaluators
have found the opposite. As have most of the people around here who
have been evaluating it.

Quote:
> - Platform independent within a year or so (when the ports to other
> operating systems are finished)

You "have enjoyed" something that *doesn't exist yet?* Didn't Ken's
request specify "No marketing nonsense" and "real world reasons"
rather than such speculative hype?

[...]

Quote:
> When Windows95 was released, developers had to choose to write
> either 16 bit applications to satisfy their large Windows
> 3.1 user base, or write 32 bit applications and take advantage of
> new technologies. A few years later, practically everyone was
> writing 32 bit applications.

And although he did not ask for downsides, you bring up a number of
them in your attempt at a parallel. Most obvious: Win95, which .NET
does not and will not support. Second most obvious: the product for
the transition period you describe (VB4) allowed for both kinds of
development, and could compile either way from the same source code.
VB.NET does not allow for such "retro" development and has significant
syntax differences. Finally, the change from 3.x to 9x was driven by
the change from systems described as 16 bit to those described as 32
bit. The change to .NET is not driven by any such change.

--

W.E. (Bill) Goodrich, PhD

*-----------------------*--------------------------------------------*
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Fri, 15 Oct 2004 22:00:42 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?


Quote:
> > - Faster!
> Maybe in your specific experience. But several independent evaluators
> have found the opposite. As have most of the people around here who
> have been evaluating it.

Could you point me to some of these? All the independent evaluations I've
seen all tell .NET is faster than VB Classic/Java and about as fast as VC++
(unmanaged, of course). In my personal experience, I was able to verify
this.

Quote:
> > - Platform independent within a year or so (when the ports to other
> > operating systems are finished)
> You "have enjoyed" something that *doesn't exist yet?*

Please don't comment on things you know nothing about.
Our team is building an application and we want to keep the core classes
cross platform. That's why we often compile and run it on FreeBSD. So we
were able to run these classes on two different operating systems, which
obviously means it's cross platform.
From what I've heard, Mono is also able to compile and run programs on Linux
(although not all the classes from the class library are implemented).

So it definitely _is_ cross platform and you _can_ already enjoy this
benifit.

Quote:
> And although he did not ask for downsides, you bring up a number of
> them in your attempt at a parallel.

I brought up exactely one downside. And he asked for reasons to move to
VB.NET or to stick with VB Classic; this is a potential reason to stick with
VB Classic for now, so I don't see your problem with it.

Quote:
> Most obvious: Win95, which .NET
> does not and will not support.

Microsoft has supported Windows95 for 6 years; you have to draw the line
somewhere. RedHat linux version 1.2 isn't supported anymore either... What's
the big deal?

Quote:
> Second most obvious: the product for
> the transition period you describe (VB4) allowed for both kinds of
> development, and could compile either way from the same source code.

That's because VB4-16 and VB4-32 had exactely the same features. VB6 and
VB.NET significantly differ in features. They also implement a totally
different paradigm.

Quote:
> VB.NET does not allow for such "retro" development and has significant
> syntax differences.

As I said in an earlier post, it took me a day to get used to those syntax
differences. I really don't understand why you're making such a big deal out
of this.
(also note that I learned VB.NET in notepad, so I didn't have an IDE to help
me)

Quote:
> Finally, the change from 3.x to 9x was driven by
> the change from systems described as 16 bit to those described as 32
> bit. The change to .NET is not driven by any such change.

The change to .NET is driven by a change of the mainstream paradigm. You
should read the following article that explains _why_ Microsoft did what
they did: http://dabbler.manilasites.com/stories/storyReader$88
Read it. It's very interesting.

Regards,
Pieter Philippaerts
http://www.mentalis.org/



Fri, 15 Oct 2004 22:56:55 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?

Quote:



> > > - Faster!
> > Maybe in your specific experience. But several independent evaluators
> > have found the opposite. As have most of the people around here who
> > have been evaluating it.

> Could you point me to some of these? All the independent evaluations I've
> seen all tell .NET is faster than VB Classic/Java and about as fast as VC++
> (unmanaged, of course). In my personal experience, I was able to verify
> this.

/What/ "independent evaluations"?  Any such are violations of section
4.8 of the .NET SDK EULA!  Perhaps you're speaking of Robert "Microsoft
Research" Wlodarczyk's "independent evaluations"?

 URL:http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=ub6rkaj9mj5s7e%40corp.supernews.com

Quote:
> > VB.NET does not allow for such "retro" development and has significant
> > syntax differences.

> As I said in an earlier post, it took me a day to get used to those syntax
> differences. I really don't understand why you're making such a big deal out
> of this.
> (also note that I learned VB.NET in notepad, so I didn't have an IDE to help
> me)

> > Finally, the change from 3.x to 9x was driven by
> > the change from systems described as 16 bit to those described as 32
> > bit. The change to .NET is not driven by any such change.

> The change to .NET is driven by a change of the mainstream paradigm. You
> should read the following article that explains _why_ Microsoft did what
> they did: http://dabbler.manilasites.com/stories/storyReader$88
> Read it. It's very interesting.

It's a load of crap.  It can be summed up in two words:  "Java envy"!
If Microsoft wanted to release a watered-down Java clone with various
macros to substitute "End Function" and "End While" for "}", fine, but
why destroy Visual Basic in order to do it?  Anyway, hacking around
the various "quirks" introduced by GC and NDF will /waste/ developers'
time, not save it.  After all, if computing power is so cheap and Java
makes developers so productive, surely it would have taken over the
desktop already!  Free clue:  It doesn't, and it hasn't.

--
Joe Foster <mailto:jlfoster%40znet.com>   L. Ron Dullard <http://www.xenu.net/>
WARNING: I cannot be held responsible for the above        They're   coming  to
because  my cats have  apparently  learned to type.        take me away, ha ha!



Sat, 16 Oct 2004 02:32:30 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?


Quote:
> /What/ "independent evaluations"?  Any such are violations of section
> 4.8 of the .NET SDK EULA!  Perhaps you're speaking of Robert "Microsoft
> Research" Wlodarczyk's "independent evaluations"?

Do you really think anyone cares about that paragraph in the EULA?
Everyone's posting benchmarks, including IBM, Oracle and Sun, so I don't
think MS will mind if I do my own little benchmarks. Besides, if they'd
mind, why did they create the microsoft.public.dotnet.framework.performance
newsgroup?

Quote:
> > The change to .NET is driven by a change of the mainstream paradigm. You
> > should read the following article that explains _why_ Microsoft did what
> > they did: http://dabbler.manilasites.com/stories/storyReader$88
> > Read it. It's very interesting.

> It's a load of crap.  It can be summed up in two words:  "Java envy"!

If MS simply wanted a Java-like language, they would have stopped with C#
and they wouldn't have paid any attention to VB.

Quote:
> If Microsoft wanted to release a watered-down Java clone with various
> macros to substitute "End Function" and "End While" for "}", fine, but
> why destroy Visual Basic in order to do it?

What exactely is destroyed? I can still talk to my VB Classic (class)
modules trough COM and I can take advantage of every new .NET feature... So
again, what exactely is destoyed?

Quote:
> After all, if computing power is so cheap and Java
> makes developers so productive, surely it would have taken over the
> desktop already!  Free clue:  It doesn't, and it hasn't.

Free clue: an American court has recently found Microsoft guilty of using
their monopoly against Sun to make sure Java never got a grip on the desktop
market.

Regards,
Pieter Philippaerts
http://www.mentalis.org/



Sat, 16 Oct 2004 03:26:28 GMT  
 VB.net, whats the point?

Quote:



> > > - Faster!
> > Maybe in your specific experience. But several independent
> > evaluators have found the opposite. As have most of the people
> > around here who have been evaluating it.
> Could you point me to some of these? All the independent evaluations
> I've seen all tell .NET is faster than VB Classic/Java and about as
> fast as VC++ (unmanaged, of course).

Most of them are internal to various companies, so there is nothing
to point to. Especially since Micro$oft included language in the
EULA (sec. 4.8) which seriously (illegally) discourages publication
of such results. However, you touch on one major point in the
above. Unlike the "benchmarks" that Micro$oft tailored to "show" the
speed of VB.NET, many VB6 apps *are* "about as fast as VC++" when
compiled to native code. If you choose to compile to p-code and use
that for your comparison, you unnecessarily slow down the VB6 app.

Quote:
> In my personal experience, I was able to verify this.

What kind of compiles? What kind(s) of code?

Quote:
> > > - Platform independent within a year or so (when the ports to
> > > other operating systems are finished)
> > You "have enjoyed" something that *doesn't exist yet?*
> Please don't comment on things you know nothing about.

I wasn't. I was commenting on your absurd claim that you "have
enjoyed" something that you *admit* is *in the future*. Unless you
claim to be a time traveler, your claim is nonsense on its face.

Quote:
> Our team is building an application and we want to keep the core
> classes cross platform. That's why we often compile and run it on
> FreeBSD.

VB.NET - the subject in question - does not run on FreeBSD and
therefore does not "compile" on FreeBSD. You can write C++ classes
which can be compiled to any number of platforms if that is what you
want, but it is not the same thing.

Quote:
> So we were able to run these classes on two different operating
> systems,

... after somehow "compiling them" on each ...

Quote:
> which obviously means it's cross platform.

By that token, fortran IV was "cross platform" as well.

Quote:
> From what I've heard, Mono is also able to compile and run programs
> on Linux (although not all the classes from the class library are
> implemented).

By the same token, Lindows is able to compile and run Windows programs
on Linux systems, so VB6 is just as "cross platform" as VB.NET. And
given the fact that neither Mono nor Lindows is released yet, VB6 is
still just as "cross platform" as VB.NET.

Quote:
> So it definitely _is_ cross platform and you _can_ already enjoy
> this benifit.

But your claim wasn't "cross platform". It was "Platform independent
within a year or so", a claim about the future.

Quote:
> > And although he did not ask for downsides, you bring up a number
> > of them in your attempt at a parallel.
> I brought up exactely one downside.

Three, as I spelled out.

Quote:
> And he asked for reasons to move to VB.NET or to stick with VB
> Classic;

More specifically, he asked for "real world reasons why I want to
use VB.net instead of just vb6?  No marketing nonsense, just simple,
effective reasons why its beneficial."

Quote:
> this is a potential reason to stick with VB Classic for now, so I
> don't see your problem with it.
> > Most obvious: Win95, which .NET does not and will not support.
> Microsoft has supported Windows95 for 6 years; you have to draw the
> line somewhere. RedHat linux version 1.2 isn't supported anymore
> either... What's the big deal?

And there you fall into exactly the kind of thinking that got
Micro$oft into so much legal trouble. VB.NET is not a part of the OS.
In theory - especially legal theory - it is a separate and independent
product. Connecting the issues of OS support and product operation is
illegal when the OS is a functional monopoly (as Windows is). You
wouldn't argue that Borland, PureBasic, TreuBasic, etc. have been
"supporting" Windows 95 in that way, by virtue of the fact that their
products produce programs which run on Windows 95. Well, maybe *you*
would, but no reasonable person would.

There is still a very large installed base of Win95 systems. VB.NET
will not produce programs which will run on those systems. Period.
If there is any possibility that *any* of his target systems are
among them, that is a significant reason to avoid VB.NET.

Quote:
> > Second most obvious: the product for
> > the transition period you describe (VB4) allowed for both kinds of
> > development, and could compile either way from the same source code.
> That's because VB4-16 and VB4-32 had exactely the same features.

Not exactly. They produced different executable code, which was the
point of including both. And called different libraries.

Quote:
> VB6 and VB.NET significantly differ in features.

Apples and oranges. There is absolutely nothing in the feature set
of VB.NET which precludes an option for native code compile (and
references to a much smaller runtime). The .NET C++ includes that
option.

Quote:
> They also implement a totally different paradigm.

VS.NET is an attempt to force platform migrations on two fronts. It
attempts to force current owners of older systems to "upgrade" to
newer OS versions (at significant cost to the user, and significant
profit to the OS vendor - Micro$oft). And it is an attempt to push
out the JVM system-independent platform with one controlled by
Micro$oft.

However, you do bring up another disadvantage. VB.NET trashes legacy
VB code to an unprecedented extent. To all intents and purposes, it
is an entirely different language.

Quote:
> > VB.NET does not allow for such "retro" development and has
> > significant syntax differences.
> As I said in an earlier post, it took me a day to get used to
> those syntax differences.

Congratulations. Others here have reported significantly different
results. Especially when having to go back and forth between the two.

Quote:
> I really don't understand why you're making such a big deal out
> of this.

Obviously.

Quote:
> (also note that I learned VB.NET in notepad, so I didn't have an
> IDE to help me)

It might well have hindered rather than helped you, from what others
have said.

Quote:
> > Finally, the change from 3.x to 9x was driven by the change from
> > systems described as 16 bit to those described as 32 bit. The
> > change to .NET is not driven by any such change.
> The change to .NET is driven by a change of the mainstream
> paradigm.

Nope. It was and is an attempt to *drive* a change of the mainstream
paradigm in a way which would extend the Micro$oft monopoly.

Quote:
> You should read the following article that explains _why_ Microsoft
> did what they did:

http://www.*-*-*.com/ $88

Quote:
> Read it. It's very interesting.

Same old revisionist history. Not all that interesting. *You* should
read the Micro$oft memos (introduced at the antitrust trial) which
discussed "_why_" Micro$oft did what they did - and how they were
doing it. They paint rather a different picture.

--

W.E. (Bill) Goodrich, PhD

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Sat, 16 Oct 2004 03:57:54 GMT  
 
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