rmistero
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What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:09 pm

Hello,

Following the very long thread in http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 83#p199083 regarding the issues with the USB subsystem on the Rpi, it appears that the Rpi model B is a beta release, it is not a fully functional.

Few people have questioned like myself why it is not clearly stated, on this website ( in the FAQ for instance) and at suppliers that this a beta release.

The model B was released with the schools in mind and as a tool to "evangilize" the masses on Development and programming.
However, a ear to mouth worlwide phenomenon, helped by mass media, has seen the sells of this boarding fairly overwhelming the charity running it.

My aim is not to divide or troll here, I would like to know where this project is really going before I decide to invest more time and energy in it or not.
I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering.
I come from the OSS community and some of the comments from members of the fundation ( or appearing as volunteers and moderators and employees of Broadcom) made me really question the aim and the OSS factor of it.

On one side, I read everywhere that this is a beta release, that it is best effort, that people shouldn't complain, that they should sell their on ebay if they are unhappy.
The aim is the school children and people who wants to learn and use it with a mouse and keyboard period.

On the other side, I can see that it is not the common view amongst the fundation members (http://issuu.com/themagpi/docs/the_magp ... ode=window the MagPi Interview of Eben and Liz in issue #4 from Aug 2012).
It seems that the model B (at least) is for everyone interested in doing something with it and even private projects to prototype or use the board.
I'm personnally not really interested in the school project right now, although I still think it is a great idea.
I see the pi as a cheap prototyping board and a great way to improve my programming skills by pursuing hands on projects.

Now, lots of these projects involve networking and USB by extensions.. The USB system is not ready for me and I wish I would have known this before buying multiple Rpi.
Again, it seems to be well accepted that this is a beta board amongst community. Fair enough, but still, however noble is the aim of this project, more than 200k people have purshased this beta board and I'm sure most of them without knowing this. I personally thinks that the USB issues are pretty serious and possibly relate to the hardware design of the board, not just the drivers.
Only one person is working on it (It is kind of worrying if it is a true OSS project).

Again few people have highlighted this fact in the past and requested for a clear statement/explanation on the website. I can see that these requests were completely ignored ( which is very suspicious to me).

NOTE: Maybe because they were usually asked by so called "trollers" ( like me).. Which didn't help in first place. Again, I'm not trolling here, I'm dead serious and I will "arse" about it, as a paying customer.


Here are my questions :

Could you please

1. Make clear who and what this is for ?
2. Make clear on the FAQ and at suppliers that this board is a beta release ? [Not doing so would be misleading and dishonest.]
2. Review the FAQ and clarify any point related to the USB system, what it was designed, what are the limitations ?

Example, currently I can read in the FAQ :

How do you connect more than two USB devices?

Use a hub to increase the number of ports. Some keyboards have hubs built in which would work well. It is recommended to use a powered hub.


=> This is misleading, it should be : It is really recommended to use a powered hub.


Will there be a WiFi option?

Not in the first version, though you can add a dongle. ARM Linux WiFi support can be a bit patchy; there’s a list of tested dongles on the wiki.


=> one need a powered hub on rev 1 most likely, unless one modifies the board and loses its warranty.

I understood some member ( like Gordon, gsh) requested for help from the community since July ( lost in a 25 pages thread ... tl;rd for most people)

3. Why not creating an announcement page with the current opened issues and a way for people to understand quickly :

- The problem description and what has been done so far.
- The skills needed to help.
- A way to enroll.

4. Also, why not using an online tool like launchpad so more people get involved on the driver/hardware issues ?
5. Finally, would it be possible to have a page somewhere in the wiki where one could quickly see who's who and doing what in this project (nickname ( not real name) and function like moderator, developer,..) ? Sorry if it exist already I didn t find it.

I think these questions are fair and if the project is genuine about its advertised goals and the OSS community, then more transparence is required.

Nicolas

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MrBunsy
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:21 pm

rmistero wrote: Will there be a WiFi option?

Not in the first version, though you can add a dongle. ARM Linux WiFi support can be a bit patchy; there’s a list of tested dongles on the wiki.


=> one need a powered hub on rev 1 most likely, unless one modifies the board and loses its warranty.
Small point here - quite happily running wifi without a powered hub. I'm using this - http://www.edimax.co.uk/en/produce_deta ... &pl2_id=44

I think more than anything, the fact that (until recently) you could only buy the Pi from electronic components distributors should highlight the nature of the thing. I don't want to sound too rude, but why did you buy lots of them before you were certain it would work?

I've been following the Pi since quite a long time before it came out, I'm not sure what else could be said to make it more transparent, aside from some of the commercial announcements.

rmistero
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:34 pm

MrBunsy wrote:
rmistero wrote: aside from some of the commercial announcements
I think it is clear that is what I'm asking for. Please read again.. till the end.. I know it is long question.. Sorry ( really ! I not mean to be rude here :) )

rmistero
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:44 pm

rmistero wrote: as a paying customer
I meant to say, as paying customer and a someone potentially ready to help and spend time on the project.

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fos
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:46 pm

I have an early RPi. I used an external usb hub to add a memory chip for extra storage. I experienced keyboard problems from time to time. Using a more robust power supply solved that issue. Other than that, I have been doing programming and development without any issues. I routinely upgrade the Raspbian OS. I actually find the board and the available software and accessories incredible. Numerous third party providers and the forum here provide excellent support.

I am a recently retired teacher. I hope to offer a programming workshop as an after school option at local high schools. My Gertboard is finally on its way. Once I have assembled it, I will determine whether it or something similar will be suitable. I have other projects in the works that may support special students with assistive technology.

The Foundation has always been open and transparent. The founders and developers frequently make posts here in the RPi website. You must remember, they are all volunteers, they are unpaid and have regular full time jobs. I find the work they do here amazing.

It has always been my understanding that the current RPi's have been in development. They are after all listed as development boards. The pace at which problems have been solved and the improvement of the board in general have been exceptional.

I don't see how the RPi Foundation could be more responsive or better managed.

fos
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MrBunsy
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:47 pm

rmistero wrote:
MrBunsy wrote:
rmistero wrote: aside from some of the commercial announcements
I think it is clear that is what I'm asking for. Please read again.. till the end.. I know it is long question.. Sorry ( really ! I not mean to be rude here :) )
Hmm, in that case it's not clear. I did read the whole post. I don't know what you're asking for that isn't already served using the wiki and the forums.

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Wizard
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:55 pm

On the "beta" side of things I think this "project" will always be in beta stage.
Arduino for example releases new revisions and versions every now and then.

Arduino on the other hand is really Open Source which I have to agree that Raspi is not.
I can understand that Broadcoms parts are under NDA but all development seems to be done by few people - and this on spare time... (Thank you by the way!)
Surely the foundation has made a few bob in order to perhaps create dedicated hours for hw drivers, Android support, camera stubs, lvds stubs etc?

It's sad that "we" forum members aren't used in development because not all of us are "noobs"...

Myself has 23+ years in the field and is currently working as an expert at [very large company] with Android hw & sw graphics development and could perhaps be some sort of use to the project - as and when I feel like it - via git.

There are MANY people here like me and I'm sure we could do useful stuff.

Bugzilla with owners for bugs and proper TDD routines for releasing patches/bugfixes/code etc.

Raspberry Pi has a massive userbase and many of us are not seeing this as an el-cheapo xbmc platform. Personally I like the onboard hardware and only bought it for this in order to drive various projects where an Arduino wouldn't work...

But I'm free to create my own board which suits my needs and make it as Open Source as I want - snag is that there are so many of these that I'd probably be the only developer in the git ;)

If we can't contribute to the software, then we will keep asking about various interfaces and add-on hardware binary blobs because we only see the potential, not the obstacles.
I have to admit that when I bought my first Raspberry Pi (and I was amongst the very first) I thought It'd have better hardware support... Now I have more that two handfuls powering all sorts of things and I have to take bad routes in order to interface stuff... Display is for me very important and whilst HDMI works for the xbmc-wannabes it's not optimal for embedding. I've tried the route of HDMI LVDS converter -> panel but when you have as many panels as I have floating around it becomes silly to think that this would be a final solution?

What's Broadcoms view on opening up a few API's for the community and thus enabling us to write our own drivers? I know Raspberry Pi is a small customer of Broadcom with regards to sales but aren't we a nifty customer with regards to good marketing and distribution?
When our beloved SoC is available to us and the real potential of Raspberry Pi is available then surely even Broadcom must see the marketing value?

I work daily with Android development on kernel and device driver level and I'd love to try some of our stuff on Raspberry Pi but since Broadcom is not as excited as I am then I have to look at other platforms.
I will for sure order the new Arduino due and see what can be done.

Long ranting perhaps but we are many that can contribute to the project by implementing the various bits we need and thus providing others with the same functionality.
Even my employer release the source code for most of our platforms that could be tinkered with. (Android and Linux)

Keep up the good work!
Raspberry Pi - finally a worthy replacement for A500!!!

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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:10 pm

rmistero,

The answers to all your questions are in the video of a talk by Eben Upton currently linked to on the front page of rasperrypi.org. http://scpro.streamuk.com/uk/player/?g=d3064d2

Questions of why the pi exists, it's beta status and how open it is and is desire to be are discussed there.

jamesh
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:20 pm

Well, you obviously haven't been around here long. Most of the questions you ask have been asked multiple times in the last year, and answered, but I'll try to answer some of them anyway.
rmistero wrote:Hello,

Following the very long thread in http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 83#p199083 regarding the issues with the USB subsystem on the Rpi, it appears that the Rpi model B is a beta release, it is not a fully functional.

Few people have questioned like myself why it is not clearly stated, on this website ( in the FAQ for instance) and at suppliers that this a beta release.

The model B was released with the schools in mind and as a tool to "evangilize" the masses on Development and programming.
However, a ear to mouth worlwide phenomenon, helped by mass media, has seen the sells of this boarding fairly overwhelming the charity running it.
The Model A is the intended device for schools owing to its lower cost, and less need for networking.
Yes, demand has been overwhelming. Yes there are some remaining problems with the USB which are being worked on.
rmistero wrote: My aim is not to divide or troll here, I would like to know where this project is really going before I decide to invest more time and energy in it or not.
I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering.
I come from the OSS community and some of the comments from members of the fundation ( or appearing as volunteers and moderators and employees of Broadcom) made me really question the aim and the OSS factor of it.
Of course its your decision whether to invest or not, but so far you haven't even invested the time to research in to the project. How much time are you really willing to invest?

With regard to OSS, this has been covered ad nauseam , but suffice to say, as much of the project as possible is OSS. Search the forum if you really wan tmore details.
rmistero wrote:
On one side, I read everywhere that this is a beta release, that it is best effort, that people shouldn't complain, that they should sell their on ebay if they are unhappy.
The aim is the school children and people who wants to learn and use it with a mouse and keyboard period.

On the other side, I can see that it is not the common view amongst the fundation members (http://issuu.com/themagpi/docs/the_magp ... ode=window the MagPi Interview of Eben and Liz in issue #4 from Aug 2012).
It seems that the model B (at least) is for everyone interested in doing something with it and even private projects to prototype or use the board.
I'm personnally not really interested in the school project right now, although I still think it is a great idea.
I see the pi as a cheap prototyping board and a great way to improve my programming skills by pursuing hands on projects.

Now, lots of these projects involve networking and USB by extensions.. The USB system is not ready for me and I wish I would have known this before buying multiple Rpi.
Again, it seems to be well accepted that this is a beta board amongst community. Fair enough, but still, however noble is the aim of this project, more than 200k people have purshased this beta board and I'm sure most of them without knowing this. I personally thinks that the USB issues are pretty serious and possibly relate to the hardware design of the board, not just the drivers.
Only one person is working on it (It is kind of worrying if it is a true OSS project).
There have been no other volunteers. Please help if you can. Although this is a particularly difficult problem, and not for the faint hearted, or inexperienced.
rmistero wrote:
Again few people have highlighted this fact in the past and requested for a clear statement/explanation on the website. I can see that these requests were completely ignored ( which is very suspicious to me).

NOTE: Maybe because they were usually asked by so called "trollers" ( like me).. Which didn't help in first place. Again, I'm not trolling here, I'm dead serious and I will "arse" about it, as a paying customer.
Not sure what you are talking about here. What is 'suspicious'?
rmistero wrote:
Here are my questions :

Could you please

1. Make clear who and what this is for ?
Bizarre question, but it should be obvious - anyone can buy the board, its on public sale, but it was designed and intended as a teaching device. It can however, encroach on other markets, should people so wish to use it for such.
rmistero wrote:
2. Make clear on the FAQ and at suppliers that this board is a beta release ? [Not doing so would be misleading and dishonest.]
The only problematic area on the current board is failure to work fully with certain combinations of USB device. Does that still make it a beta? The HW is in fact set in stone - it's only the software that will change from now on, so it's out of beta with regard to HW.
rmistero wrote:
2. Review the FAQ and clarify any point related to the USB system, what it was designed, what are the limitations ?

Example, currently I can read in the FAQ :

How do you connect more than two USB devices?

Use a hub to increase the number of ports. Some keyboards have hubs built in which would work well. It is recommended to use a powered hub.


=> This is misleading, it should be : It is really recommended to use a powered hub.
We recommened you use a powered hub. Inserting the word 'really' seem rather pointless.
rmistero wrote:
Will there be a WiFi option?

Not in the first version, though you can add a dongle. ARM Linux WiFi support can be a bit patchy; there’s a list of tested dongles on the wiki.


=> one need a powered hub on rev 1 most likely, unless one modifies the board and loses its warranty.

I understood some member ( like Gordon, gsh) requested for help from the community since July ( lost in a 25 pages thread ... tl;rd for most people)

3. Why not creating an announcement page with the current opened issues and a way for people to understand quickly :

- The problem description and what has been done so far.
- The skills needed to help.
- A way to enroll.

4. Also, why not using an online tool like launchpad so more people get involved on the driver/hardware issues ?
5. Finally, would it be possible to have a page somewhere in the wiki where one could quickly see who's who and doing what in this project (nickname ( not real name) and function like moderator, developer,..) ? Sorry if it exist already I didn t find it.

I think these questions are fair and if the project is genuine about its advertised goals and the OSS community, then more transparence is required.

Nicolas
If people want to contribute, they can. The USB thread is fairly well known. The Wiki is out of the Foundations control - it's a community effort, so YOU can go an edit it if you wish to add the items you want.

As for transparency. You got about as much as possible right now. There are certain commercial areas that remain closed, for obvious reasons. Everything else is pretty much open, you just need to look for it. For example, the Wiki, the Github bug report system, the forums. It's all there.
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tufty
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:23 pm

@Wizard:

The bits you could usefully help with, and quite a few of the bits you couldn't, are /already/ on github (and a few other sites for the bits that aren't pi-specific forks).

The reason there are very few people actually working on this are summed up by:

1 - there are very few people with the skills and / or access to the relevant documentation. Yes, bits of this are closed, and that's unlikely to change. If you want to fix USB, for example, contact synopsys and ask for documentation.
2 - lots of people whine about things not being open enough, "if only I could contribute", but a percentage approaching 0 actually /do/ contribute when given the chance.

There's nothing stopping you contributing.

Simon

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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:28 pm

Wizard wrote:On the "beta" side of things I think this "project" will always be in beta stage.
Arduino for example releases new revisions and versions every now and then.

Arduino on the other hand is really Open Source which I have to agree that Raspi is not.
I can understand that Broadcoms parts are under NDA but all development seems to be done by few people - and this on spare time... (Thank you by the way!)
Surely the foundation has made a few bob in order to perhaps create dedicated hours for hw drivers, Android support, camera stubs, lvds stubs etc?

It's sad that "we" forum members aren't used in development because not all of us are "noobs"...

Myself has 23+ years in the field and is currently working as an expert at [very large company] with Android hw & sw graphics development and could perhaps be some sort of use to the project - as and when I feel like it - via git.

There are MANY people here like me and I'm sure we could do useful stuff.

Bugzilla with owners for bugs and proper TDD routines for releasing patches/bugfixes/code etc.

Raspberry Pi has a massive userbase and many of us are not seeing this as an el-cheapo xbmc platform. Personally I like the onboard hardware and only bought it for this in order to drive various projects where an Arduino wouldn't work...

But I'm free to create my own board which suits my needs and make it as Open Source as I want - snag is that there are so many of these that I'd probably be the only developer in the git ;)

If we can't contribute to the software, then we will keep asking about various interfaces and add-on hardware binary blobs because we only see the potential, not the obstacles.
I have to admit that when I bought my first Raspberry Pi (and I was amongst the very first) I thought It'd have better hardware support... Now I have more that two handfuls powering all sorts of things and I have to take bad routes in order to interface stuff... Display is for me very important and whilst HDMI works for the xbmc-wannabes it's not optimal for embedding. I've tried the route of HDMI LVDS converter -> panel but when you have as many panels as I have floating around it becomes silly to think that this would be a final solution?

What's Broadcoms view on opening up a few API's for the community and thus enabling us to write our own drivers? I know Raspberry Pi is a small customer of Broadcom with regards to sales but aren't we a nifty customer with regards to good marketing and distribution?
When our beloved SoC is available to us and the real potential of Raspberry Pi is available then surely even Broadcom must see the marketing value?

I work daily with Android development on kernel and device driver level and I'd love to try some of our stuff on Raspberry Pi but since Broadcom is not as excited as I am then I have to look at other platforms.
I will for sure order the new Arduino due and see what can be done.

Long ranting perhaps but we are many that can contribute to the project by implementing the various bits we need and thus providing others with the same functionality.
Even my employer release the source code for most of our platforms that could be tinkered with. (Android and Linux)

Keep up the good work!
Forum members are more than welcome to help out! If you have any experience in low level USB stuff (which is the last area that needs major bug fixing), please check out the elephant thread and see if you can help. Also the Raspi github bug stuff might need some attention!

There is also the X acceleration stuff, Simon could probably do with help in there if anyone has X driver experience.

As for API's, obviously the standard acceleration stuff is already available - OpenGL etc.
The camera and DSI ports interface directly to the GPU so are not available to those outside Broadcom - and that's not likely to change - that's out of Foundation control. However, there will be the camera board, and hopefully some display stuff over the next few months. We certainly hope that once the camera board is out the community will be able to help out with some of the extra SW required - for reasons that will become obvious closer to the time!

Note, that all the software that can be OS is OS, and is available from github - fill 'yer boots!
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abishur
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:30 pm

Well I have no one to blame for this but myself, now do I? :-P

Let me try to address each point as succinctly and directly as possible.

First, I disagree with those who are trying to call this a beta product. This was released as a version 1.0 board. I think we're up to 1.3 (1.1 happened early on, 1.2 was the fuse replacement, mount holes, et al, and 1.3 is the 512MB). Now a 1.X board is not a beta product, but it is a product that is in its infancy and problems will abound. I personally am very happy the board has been so prolific because it has allowed the biggest flaws to be addressed so quickly (case in point the USB power issue)

For its intended audience, at the user level, the pi is for them whatever they want it to be, there's no right or wrong answer for what you desire to use the pi for. At the foundation level their stated goals have always been to get a personal, inexpensive board into the hands of children so they can increase computer awareness (my own personal paraphrase). This is, admittedly, at odds sometimes with what the vast percentage of the rpi community desires. (Again, case in point the USB core issue, people want to do so much more than a keyboard/mouse to learn programming and its created issues that are being addressed)

For anyone that the USB issue affects (+ Gordan and James) the USB is crippling serious, for the other >95% of the users out there, the USB issue can be at times annoying, but most of them just aren't affected by it. This genre of chips were designed to be USB_OTG devices and we're using them as so much more. One may classify that as a hardware bug or a flaw in the driver, either way the solution is the same for the pi, improve the driver to either fix the driver issues or fix the hardware limitations

I don't think only one person is working on it, but it is a very *very* small number of people (like in the 2-5 range). This is not because of any closed sourceness of the USB system, but just a lack of experience among the community.

I can alleviate any confusion on the OSS front. The pi is not OSS (please let's not get into that debate, it's been done to death!) The RPF has made as much of the pi 100% open as they are legally allowed to do. There are a scant number of things (namely the GPU blob) that are closed to us, but by definition that makes it not a "true" OSS project. We've stated this ad nauseum so its possible we ignored it a couple times and no we don't apply the phrase "troll" to people who don't deserve it, in fact we have repeatedly request for people not to respond to some thread by calling people a troll. We can see when someone joins the board just to stir up trouble (to troll) and when they're just trying to get questions and respond to each situation as is appropriate.

To your questions:

1) This is for anyone and everyone whose needs are filled by the pi. It's nebulous I know, but it's the honest truth. There are going to be people who need a gig of ram and 2 nics, and true sata interfaces, and then get upset when the pi is none of that! The pi's specs are very clearly listed if you can work with that great, if you can't then you need to buy one of the more expensive boards out there, that's fine :-)

2) I have never claimed and to the best of my knowledge neither have Liz or Eben claimed that this is a beta device. There was a beta board that used more power, was larger, and had some different features (like a built in reset button), there were something like a hundred of them built and some of them were auctioned off. The pi that has sold something in excess of 500 thousand units is a Rev 1 board, but it is a stable release.

The second 2) The FAQ was actually updated after the 512MB announcement and reflects the current state of the USB system for the boards. While we still recommend using a powered hub, with the removal of the fuses at the USB ports it no longer strictly necessary. To tell newcomers that they must have a powered hub for a revision of the board they cannot purchase from a distributor is needless ;-)

3) Unnecessary, the main real problem (and not just something created because they're trying to power the pi from a fake apple charger or off a 500 mA plug) and practically only problem (outside everyday "how do I do this in Linux stuff") affecting the pi is the USB issue, and this is affecting an extremely small percentage of users. Think of it, 500 thousand units sold and make 30 people contributing to that thread. Even if you assume that for every person who posts there are a thousand who don't mention their issue that still only 6% of the people buying a pi having a usb issue with the pi (and most of that 6% are people wanting to do unusual things on the usb ports)

4) I know there's talk about this at github, but I get the feeling there's another place doing this exact thing already which I've forgotten

5) Sure, go and make it ;-)

The question are fair, I don't mind addressing them, but again this isn't an OSS thing. It's a *mostly* OSS thing and there actually already exists extreme transparency, but since this is a community led effort, that transparency exists here in the forum and can be hard to find. It's not that the foundation is trying to sinisterly cover things up, it just that not everything the community does needs to plastered on the front page. I *NEVER* want to diminish the reality of the USB issue for those it is affecting. But I also want to be able to step back, take a breath, and realize that with how few people its affecting, it's not logical to give it front page coverage. Letting it be addressed and fixed by those in the community it afflicts is reasonable and logical.
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:44 pm

abishur wrote: 2) I have never claimed and to the best of my knowledge neither have Liz or Eben claimed that this is a beta device.
I think the phrase they have used is "developers version"... It is intended for developers to develop educational software to help in the primary aim of teaching CS in schools. To me that also says it's not the final,finished product and that problems will still need fixing. I think description that matches reality very well.
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:30 pm

Let me be a bit more blunt ....

"I come from the OSS community"

Great. Go back to it. If you don't like the Pi then go and buy something else. It is exactly what it was described to be. Read more. Post less.
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abishur
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:42 pm

MattHawkinsUK wrote:Let me be a bit more blunt ....

"I come from the OSS community"

Great. Go back to it. If you don't like the Pi then go and buy something else. It is exactly what it was described to be. Read more. Post less.
There's no need to be mean, especially when they're just trying to get the facts straight ;-)
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

Heater
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:11 pm

I would not be so quick to send members of the OSS community packing. My Raspi, at least, needs everything that comes with Debian and a whole lot more.

This OSS thing can be taken to extremes but even the biggest and most successful OSS project ever, Linux itself and everything that runs on top of it, tolerates closed source drivers and closed source firmware blobs. Not to mention closed source apps running on top of it.

In an ideal OSS world those things would be open source but we are not there yet I'm afraid.

Taking it further eventually at the bottom, most open source software is running on decidedly closed source processors. I have often heard it said that people love the Arduino over other solutions due to its open source development ennvironment, libraries and hardware design. Carefully skipping over the closed source nature of the AVR it is running on.

The Raspi is then, by these comparisons, doing quite well on the openness front. Just think of that GPU binary blob as the firmware that comes with the GPU or that closed source BIOS on your PC.

We can dream that one day, opencores or some such will come up with a decent processor design, they may already have done so, that we can download that design, tweak it to our hearts content and send it of to any chip fab for manufacture getting our own opensource 3GHz CPU back in the post a few days later.

But then, we might realize we have only pushed the open source issue down a level, what processes and software did they use to get our design into silcon? And so on and so on....

rmistero
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:25 pm

Abishur,

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions in a professional manner.

NOTE: I'm a bit disappointed thought. I thought you were part of the foundation but then I read this in your signature :

I am not a part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, just a fan helping out in the forums
I'm happy with these answers already but what I was looking for is an official statement clear and easily available for everyone to find ( the FAQs not the Forums)

Why not adding some these questions to the FAQ if they are so frequent ?

NOTE: They are more than 200000 Rpi rev 1 in the field. They will continue to be sold as second hand on auction sites. The raspberry pi is the charity's visit card. It also represents Linux OS.
Being transparent about issues and making issues easily accessible to anyone ( since this product target anyone) seems to me like the right way to move forward.

To everyone else who has already or will comment, there is no stupid question and if you think I'm doing this for myself.. You couldn't be more wrong... I see a problem I try to fix it, this is a problem to me : If these questions have been asked frequently, they should be in the FAQ.
You may not agree with the means ( not searching enough the forum), but I think being more accurate about a project, where people may decide to invest personal time and money on, is a fair/useful request.

Again, I'm not trying to agress anyone, I was trying to be constructive and yes critic can be healthy ! It doesn't mean I'm ungrateful/irrespectful to the contributors of this project who have and will give their time ( like I'm just doing ).

Regarding the OSS :

Here an extract from the MagPi interview(This magazine is really good btw! :) ) :

Q1 9: What have you gained from
the experience of being involved in
this project and what has surprised
/ pleased / disappointed you?
(Apart from the TROLLS)

Eben: I've learned that open source is
actually real.
The bazaar pitch is real; if
you make something like Raspberry Pi,
then you can rely on people chipping
in; that's been amazing.

Sorry, I think I got confused by (or wrongly interpreted) this statement ( or the way his words were possibly interpreted by the interviewer tho :) ).

Your answer Abishur makes much more sense to me, thank you again.

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Jim Manley
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:48 pm

This isn't aimed specifically at you, rmistero, but is provided for the edification of those who share the wishes and dreams of some naive, uninformed idealists. There really is no modern computing system that is 100% open-source in both hardware and software today, any more than there is a truly free lunch, or are unicorns or perpetual motion machines. Every technology operating at the top level of performance today uses proprietary technology, some of it patented, some copyrighted, and others hidden from public view as trade secrets. It is absolutely not true that if a project uses any open-source technology, then the entire project must be made open-source. It is entirely up to the owner(s) of the project whether they want to open up anything that is otherwise proprietary to them. It is true under the various open-source licensing models that if any open-source information (which is not limited to software, BTW) is modified, then the modifications must be published.

Should someone decide to make a federal case of it, a very solid argument can be made that pretty much every new product introduced nowadays is a beta whether it comes from a for-profit or non-profit organization. Apple, the company with the highest market capitalization in the world, has to routinely issue bug fixes within days of each major new product and software release.. Some for-profit companies often ignore obvious bugs for the entire lifetime of a product, which is infamously and facetiously dealt with via the oft-quoted marketing saying, "It's not a bug, it's a feature!" So, it should be no surprise that a tiny charity completely dependent on volunteer efforts hasn't been able to solve every issue encountered immediately, particularly those issues that are created by suppliers of components (e.g., the USB issue).

We have a saying in SillyCon Valley startups that if you complain about a problem, then you accept responsibility for it and do everything necessary to contributing to resolving the problem (not typical corporate/government bureaucratic behavior by any stretch of the imagination). That includes educating yourself on what the problem really is and what needs to be done to fix it if you don't have the expertise. One of the reasons for development of open-source technology is advancing public education, just like the Pi board itself even if it contains proprietary technology. If you're not willing and able to contribute, which includes doing the research to find out who's doing the work, what's already known about the problem, what still needs to be determined, what's been fixed, what remains to be done, etc., then as my chemistry teacher said, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

Raising concerns in a new thread in a forum entitled "General Discussion" about thoroughly-discussed issues currently undergoing troubleshooting and correction, is neither required nor desired. Complaining about the content in a publicly editable wiki is about as close to a mortal sin as you can get. If you don't like what you see, do the necessary research and then post an update. If you don't think the information is clearly organized, then create your own page and link it into the existing pages - let the public decide which is more useful.

We look forward to your contributions in the FAQs wherever you feel they are lacking - the Foundation members are unpaid volunteers, the rest of us contributing here and in the wiki are unpaid volunteers, and should you wish to participate, you too will be an unpaid volunteer. As Pink Floyd sang, "Welcome ... to The Machine ... " :D
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!

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abishur
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:04 am

rmistero wrote:Abishur,

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions in a professional manner.

NOTE: I'm a bit disappointed thought. I thought you were part of the foundation but then I read this in your signature :
I am not a part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, just a fan helping out in the forums
That is correct, I'm just a moderator, the only people are actually full fledged foundation people on the site are Liz and Eben, but Eben only gets to visit from time to time so mainly only Liz.

That said, I am a *very* knowledgeable moderator and actually was the last person to update the FAQ ;-)
I'm happy with these answers already but what I was looking for is an official statement clear and easily available for everyone to find ( the FAQs not the Forums)

Why not adding some these questions to the FAQ if they are so frequent ?
Because they're not frequently asked.
NOTE: They are more than 200000 Rpi rev 1 in the field. They will continue to be sold as second hand on auction sites. The raspberry pi is the charity's visit card. It also represents Linux OS.
Being transparent about issues and making issues easily accessible to anyone ( since this product target anyone) seems to me like the right way to move forward.
I'm guessing this is in response to my statement about the FAQ being relevant for the current board revision (and that number is actually in the 500,000 range). The thing is, however, that when you go to Apple's website you don't see FAQs for the iPhone4, you see it for the iPhone5. If you want info on the iPhone4 you have to go digging through their site. That said, maybe we need to add an "outdated" FAQ section for old board revisions. Of course, since the board revision is discontinued it might need to be the responsibility of the buyer to find out the information.
To everyone else who has already or will comment, there is no stupid question and if you think I'm doing this for myself.. You couldn't be more wrong... I see a problem I try to fix it, this is a problem to me : If these questions have been asked frequently, they should be in the FAQ.
I do agree that there is no need for incivility. Though, again, these questions aren't asked frequently, and I'm not sure if anyone was suggesting they were.
You may not agree with the means ( not searching enough the forum), but I think being more accurate about a project, where people may decide to invest personal time and money on, is a fair/useful request.
I'm not 100% on what you mean with this statement. I think this is in reference to providing more information in the FAQs or possibly wiki. Unfortunately, there does come a point where FAQs just become an AQ (all questions) and no one pays attention to it. Though this information is up on the wiki as well as in the forums.
Regarding the OSS :

Here an extract from the MagPi interview(This magazine is really good btw! :) ) :

Q1 9: What have you gained from
the experience of being involved in
this project and what has surprised
/ pleased / disappointed you?
(Apart from the TROLLS)

Eben: I've learned that open source is
actually real.
The bazaar pitch is real; if
you make something like Raspberry Pi,
then you can rely on people chipping
in; that's been amazing.

Sorry, I think I got confused by (or wrongly interpreted) this statement ( or the way his words were possibly interpreted by the interviewer tho :) ).

Your answer Abishur makes much more sense to me, thank you again.
Glad I could help :-)
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

jamesh
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:23 am

rmistero wrote: Again, I'm not trying to agress anyone, I was trying to be constructive and yes critic can be healthy ! It doesn't mean I'm ungrateful/irrespectful to the contributors of this project who have and will give their time ( like I'm just doing ).
Critisism can be healthy, but please don't go over the top and keep going on and on about the same stuff, which you appear to be doing. Continual posting of criticism that has already been covered is inappropriate. Would you let someone continue to post on your website if they were continually critical even when their questions have been answered? You might not like the answers you've got here, but then, it's not your product or forum, so please bear that in mind.

Your questions I believe have now been answered?
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

rmistero
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:31 pm

You guys need to chill out ( Jamesh,..) , all this aggressiveness is uncalled for. I see that a lot everywhere, not just here.. This is very human.. I appreciate you are protecting your baby but there is no need to be scared, I have no power, I cannot make (nor I want to make) any harm to it.

Again, I was not looking for trouble either ( although I agree it didn't start well, since I was sarscastic few days ago, not in this thread, I m human too.. Jamesh, please accept my sincere apologies).

Since the beginning, I have been looking for clear official facts and I didn't find within 30mins or so . Worse, what I was reading in the forum threads and wiki, from volunteers, seemed to contradict the interview I read in MagPi from the Official side.
So, I thought it would be useful to ask for an official statement somewhere, available for anyone asking again about this controversial subjects .
Abishur partly rectified this. I do have the answers I was looking for, but, they are neither official nor easily available. To me, a forum is not the place for this. The wiki on elinux is not official ( quiet good and complete tho). Why Liz, the only person paid full time here, doesn't reply ?

About searching forums and DIY, I had spent time digging/troubleshooting ( you may have -not- noticed that I didn't ask any questions before I posted in the correct thread for the issue on my board with the meaningful information regarding the troubleshooting http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 41#p195941 ).
I really don't think.. No, I know by XP and I'm 100% sure that I'm not an oddity ( I do work for a company from the Silicon Valley :) ) and I'm actually thinking to the 100s of people I helped in the past who make even less efforts ( and I mean home users and professionals.. Remember you are targeting anyone here ).

I do understand that this a non profit organization running as best effort. And actually I find strange that you guys keep comparing it to big private companies.

Thanks again for your time, again I was hoping for official answers but that's enough for me to make my opinion. I hope this thread will be useful to some people .

Good luck to everyone, I wish you the best in your endeavors ! I won't bother you any longer..

FINAL NOTES: This is Abishur who proposed to create a new thread and who told me to post in the General questions. I think I should have followed my instincts and post it in Feedback and requests, I didn't meant to start a discussion about OSS. Indeed, although I admire Richard Stallman and the FSF for what they are standing for (fsf.org), OSS is not free software( as in Freedom of speech) , this is the commercial branch of it, OSS accepts usage of closed sources binaries, Free software don't.

FINAL QUESTION ( I'm not expecting an answer): Since when being an idealist ( which I am a bit) is considered as derogatory or as a negative quality ? ;)

Heater
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:03 pm

rmistero,
...all this aggressiveness is uncalled for. I see that a lot everywhere, not just here.
Have you ever thought there might be a reason for that? :D

Anyway, in case you missed it, one of the best places to get the official story is to listen to Eben Upton himself describing what the Foundation is, why it exists, what it's mission is and how open or closed it may be now and in the future. A fine example is this talk: http://scpro.streamuk.com/uk/player/?g=d3064d2 It's a bit long but well worth the effort to watch.

jamesh
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:05 pm

rmistero wrote:You guys need to chill out ( Jamesh,..) , all this aggressiveness is uncalled for. I see that a lot everywhere, not just here.. This is very human.. I appreciate you are protecting your baby but there is no need to be scared, I have no power, I cannot make (nor I want to make) any harm to it.

Again, I was not looking for trouble either ( although I agree it didn't start well, since I was sarscastic few days ago, not in this thread, I m human too.. Jamesh, please accept my sincere apologies).

Since the beginning, I have been looking for clear official facts and I didn't find within 30mins or so . Worse, what I was reading in the forum threads and wiki, from volunteers, seemed to contradict the interview I read in MagPi from the Official side.
So, I thought it would be useful to ask for an official statement somewhere, available for anyone asking again about this controversial subjects .
Abishur partly rectified this. I do have the answers I was looking for, but, they are neither official nor easily available. To me, a forum is not the place for this. The wiki on elinux is not official ( quiet good and complete tho). Why Liz, the only person paid full time here, doesn't reply ?

About searching forums and DIY, I had spent time digging/troubleshooting ( you may have -not- noticed that I didn't ask any questions before I posted in the correct thread for the issue on my board with the meaningful information regarding the troubleshooting http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 41#p195941 ).
I really don't think.. No, I know by XP and I'm 100% sure that I'm not an oddity ( I do work for a company from the Silicon Valley :) ) and I'm actually thinking to the 100s of people I helped in the past who make even less efforts ( and I mean home users and professionals.. Remember you are targeting anyone here ).

I do understand that this a non profit organization running as best effort. And actually I find strange that you guys keep comparing it to big private companies.

Thanks again for your time, again I was hoping for official answers but that's enough for me to make my opinion. I hope this thread will be useful to some people .

Good luck to everyone, I wish you the best in your endeavors ! I won't bother you any longer..

FINAL NOTES: This is Abishur who proposed to create a new thread and who told me to post in the General questions. I think I should have followed my instincts and post it in Feedback and requests, I didn't meant to start a discussion about OSS. Indeed, although I admire Richard Stallman and the FSF for what they are standing for (fsf.org), OSS is not free software( as in Freedom of speech) , this is the commercial branch of it, OSS accepts usage of closed sources binaries, Free software don't.

FINAL QUESTION ( I'm not expecting an answer): Since when being an idealist ( which I am a bit) is considered as derogatory or as a negative quality ? ;)
1. What aggressiveness? I'm sure I have been really rather polite given your propensity for sarcasm and criticism early on, and people do need warning if they are approaching some forum limit. Which you were. We are occasionally beset by what we term as concern trolls - people who, on the surface appear concerned, and trying to do the right thing, but in fact are damaging the very thing they are allegedly trying to help with their continual criticism. They believe they are right, and that whatever argument is put forward to refute them cannot possible hold water, even when confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Those sort of people we have to ban fairly quickly before their continual criticism causes too much harm, and usually our instincts are correct -some people banned from here have gone elsewhere are have been extremely and personally offensive to Liz and others here. My first impression was that you were one of these people, but I think not now. So you are still here!
2. Liz is immensely busy and relies on the moderators here to answer the vast majority of questions. That's why you don't see much posting from her here.
3. Idealism is fine - just don't try and ram it down peoples throats! We have our own brand of idealism merged with pragmatism here, which seems to be a good combination.
4. We could do with sorting out some clearer entries on the website and the Wiki on various aspects, but again, we are all volunteers, and very busy, so these things will get done in time.

Thanks for your post.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

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MattHawkinsUK
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:33 pm

Answers :

1) Education
2) It's not a beta board.
3) The 2 two USB ports are for 1 mouse and 1 keyboard. See answer 1.

All these points were clear before the boards went on sale. Anything anyone can do beyond this is a bonus.
My Raspberry Pi blog and home of the BerryClip Add-on board : http://www.raspberrypi-spy.co.uk/
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abishur
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Re: What is the aim of this project and it is really open ?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:50 pm

rmistero we get that you're not out for trouble you don't need to spend so much of every post stating that (indeed, it creates the thought "The lady doth protest too much, methinks")
rmistero wrote:You guys need to chill out ( Jamesh,..) , all this aggressiveness is uncalled for. I see that a lot everywhere, not just here.. This is very human.. I appreciate you are protecting your baby but there is no need to be scared, I have no power, I cannot make (nor I want to make) any harm to it.
Having gotten to know James for almost a year and a half, I can with much confidence say you're misinterpreting what he's said, and being a little quick to pull the victim card with others responses. There was one person who was being a little overly aggressive and they got reprimanded for that. The rest of the comments were respectful and contributed to the conversation. A lot of inflection is lost by writing on forums, so please be quick to cut a little slack and not see aggressors where there are none.
Since the beginning, I have been looking for clear official facts and I didn't find within 30mins or so . Worse, what I was reading in the forum threads and wiki, from volunteers, seemed to contradict the interview I read in MagPi from the Official side.
So, I thought it would be useful to ask for an official statement somewhere, available for anyone asking again about this controversial subjects .
Abishur partly rectified this. I do have the answers I was looking for, but, they are neither official nor easily available. To me, a forum is not the place for this. The wiki on elinux is not official ( quiet good and complete tho). Why Liz, the only person paid full time here, doesn't reply ?
Last I checked, Liz isn't paid, and while I freely (and blatantly) admit that I'm not part of the RPF, I should have also made it more clear that my answers (and all the mod's answers) are quiet official. We make sure to take what has been said officially, and repeat it as many times as necessary so they can answer new questions ;-)
About searching forums and DIY, I had spent time digging/troubleshooting ( you may have -not- noticed that I didn't ask any questions before I posted in the correct thread for the issue on my board with the meaningful information regarding the troubleshooting http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 41#p195941 ).
I really don't think.. No, I know by XP and I'm 100% sure that I'm not an oddity ( I do work for a company from the Silicon Valley :) ) and I'm actually thinking to the 100s of people I helped in the past who make even less efforts ( and I mean home users and professionals.. Remember you are targeting anyone here ).
Sorry, I'm afraid you lost me on this part. Could you please clarify and elaborate? It would really help if you quoted who you were responding to. I fear I read a ton of posts and at times I forget which thread has said which thing or what is a new subjected being mention our of the blue, so it's hard to figure out where a person is coming from and where they are going without quotes :-P
I do understand that this a non profit organization running as best effort. And actually I find strange that you guys keep comparing it to big private companies.
We compare it to industry standards. non-profit or most profitable on the planet a good business practice is a good business practice
Thanks again for your time, again I was hoping for official answers but that's enough for me to make my opinion. I hope this thread will be useful to some people .
Again, I fear that I haven't made it clear that these are official answers. My experience is that threads like this are useful only to the person who creates them, and each new person with these thoughts will make a new thread to discuss it, but as long as it helps you then it's a worthwhile thread :-)
FINAL NOTES: This is Abishur who proposed to create a new thread and who told me to post in the General questions. I think I should have followed my instincts and post it in Feedback and requests, I didn't meant to start a discussion about OSS. Indeed, although I admire Richard Stallman and the FSF for what they are standing for (fsf.org), OSS is not free software( as in Freedom of speech) , this is the commercial branch of it, OSS accepts usage of closed sources binaries, Free software don't.
Absolutely true, I 100% both asked rmistero to start a new thread where we could discuss this and that it be in general discussion. Mainly because I recognize that these have been general discussion points more so than a feedback or a request (no offense).
FINAL QUESTION ( I'm not expecting an answer): Since when being an idealist ( which I am a bit) is considered as derogatory or as a negative quality ? ;)
Zing? Or not so much? An idealist isn't considered derogatory or negative, nor has anyone been trying to ascribe such a thing (which kinda goes back to my "too quick to pull the victim card"). Now certainly there would have been an issue *IF* you had come in in a manner different than you did. If anyone had come in talking about how great this was *But* it could be so much better for the children. They would have been saying nothing but idealist things, but essentially they would have been attacking and hindering everything the RPF tried to do. At that point their idealism turns trollish. But, like I said, you didn't come in in that manner. If anything I would have described these questions as "confusion caused by trusting random forum members over the RPF ;-)

Also a self correction, I called this a 1.3 or 1.4 board, but I realized that there was a front page post actually calling it a 2.0 board so my mistake
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

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