Author Topic: The Autodesk Eagle edition  (Read 85449 times)

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Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #125 on: January 21, 2017, 03:05:20 PM »
As for the sharecropper, get serious. With month to month licensing, if Autodesk gets out of line, folks can immediately shut down their subscription in protest. The money from users will now be closely coupled to the corporation's performance. It's a beautiful thing. And a powerful thing. You now get a powerful voice.
What a complete load of nonsense!   :palm:
Previously if they "got out of line", you simply didn't buy that version or any version thereafter until the problem was fixed. They still didn't get your money same as canceling a subscription, and you kept going with your current license.
Now, to exercise your "powerful voice" you are forced to give up your dev tool plus access to all your projects which are saved in Eagle's proprietary format!
Do you refer to the super-duper-double-secret file, proprietary format that OSHPARK can read natively?  The same proprietary, double-encrypted format that imports directly into Altium?  Oh, then there are the secret, proprietary scripts that convert Eagle into that great EU-subsidized ... I mean Free! Free! ... KiCad.
Walking away from Eagle is readily done.

Walking away form a dev tool is never easy.
It:
a) Takes time
b) Takes effort

Iaeen has a very good point. With the previous perpetual license you can simply protest any company changes etc by not buying the new version that comes out. And you pay zero penalty for doing that.
With the new subscription model if you want to protest then your tool stops working instantly you stop paying! You can't just continue on with business as usual using the tool like you can with a perpetual license.

The tool stops when your subscription period expires, not immediately upon cancellation. There's also nothing to say one couldn't drop Eagle and do a two or three month transition to another platform.

Honestly, all the vitriol from the maker community at every, single software platform they interact with ought to be a lesson to software companies everywhere to stop bothering to the maker/hobbiest market at all. There is no pleasing this user group. I'd honestly advise Autodesk just abandon the low-end options and focus on the unserved market: small business and startups for whom an efficient tool for $65/mo is a no brainer. At least one of them might actually say, "thank you."
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #126 on: January 21, 2017, 03:06:25 PM »
The fundamental problem is that in a saturated market a licensing model is the only way for a company to continue to make make money.  And most software markets are saturated these days.  That is bad for the software companies and bad for customers.

Companies (especially public one) love subscription and the steady income it brings. Altium (being a public company) were obsessed with getting every customer onto subscription. And if you read their yearly company reports etc this was obvious.
http://www.altium.com.au/company/investor-relations/publications-and-reports/annual-reports
And presentations like this :
http://www.altium.com.au/resources/investor-announcement/altium_ltd_fy16_full_year_presentation_24_aug_2016.pdf
Subscription is about half of Altium's income stream.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 03:17:11 PM by EEVblog »
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #127 on: January 21, 2017, 03:14:17 PM »
The tool stops when your subscription period expires, not immediately upon cancellation. There's also nothing to say one couldn't drop Eagle and do a two or three month transition to another platform.

But the point is that does not lesson the pain of doing so. So it is not nearly as good a tool to "hold their feet to the fire" with compared to a perpetual license. This is a demonstrable fact.
I'd much rather have my perpetual license and say to them:
"Ok, prove to me your new version is worth the upgrade, I've got nothing to lose, I can keep on using my old version forever, no skin off my nose"
than have to threaten them and say:
"I'm going to stop my subscription move to another tool if your next version isn't good".

If you say the later they are going to just laugh in your face and say to themselves "go right ahead, we dare you, we know how much pain it is to change".
I worked at a PCB tool company and I know that's the effective truth.
It's the pain of changing tools that let Altium get away with inflicting countless horrible changes on their customer base over a 15 year period.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #128 on: January 21, 2017, 03:22:14 PM »
As for the sharecropper, get serious. With month to month licensing, if Autodesk gets out of line, folks can immediately shut down their subscription in protest. The money from users will now be closely coupled to the corporation's performance. It's a beautiful thing. And a powerful thing. You now get a powerful voice.

What a complete load of nonsense!   :palm:

Previously if they "got out of line", you simply didn't buy that version or any version thereafter until the problem was fixed. They still didn't get your money same as canceling a subscription, and you kept going with your current license.

Now, to exercise your "powerful voice" you are forced to give up your dev tool plus access to all your projects which are saved in Eagle's proprietary format!

Do you refer to the super-duper-double-secret file, proprietary format that OSHPARK can read natively?  The same proprietary, double-encrypted format that imports directly into Altium?  Oh, then there are the secret, proprietary scripts that convert Eagle into that great EU-subsidized ... I mean Free! Free! ... KiCad.

Walking away from Eagle is readily done. But that Altium license starts at a grand. All up front.

Yeah, okay. Maybe you can still get at your files. That doesn't make your gushing over this any less absurd.

This has nothing to do with empowering users. It is, in fact, the exact opposite.

My "gushing" is based on being a 25+ year Autodesk user. They've been around that long because they produce a quality tools. They have made mistakes to be sure, but they usually come around to do the right thing. It's pretty likely they'll beat Eagle into shape. What they need to do that is a steady revenue stream. Subscriptions are the way to beat the feast/famine budget cycle and maintain a core development team.
 

Offline nazcalines

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #129 on: January 21, 2017, 03:24:02 PM »
The tool stops when your subscription period expires, not immediately upon cancellation. There's also nothing to say one couldn't drop Eagle and do a two or three month transition to another platform.

Honestly, all the vitriol from the maker community at every, single software platform they interact with ought to be a lesson to software companies everywhere to stop bothering to the maker/hobbiest market at all. There is no pleasing this user group. I'd honestly advise Autodesk just abandon the low-end options and focus on the unserved market: small business and startups for whom an efficient tool for $65/mo is a no brainer. At least one of them might actually say, "thank you."

I've purchased several Eagle licenses going back 12+ years, most recently version 7 Professional license. That's the last time I spend a dime on Eagle unless Autodesk adds a perpetual license. The subscription model adds no value whatsoever for me, in fact for my business it's a huge negative. I suspect many small businesses will be holding out with version 7 for as long as possible. If I were picking a CAD program today, Eagle would not be considered.
 
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Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #130 on: January 21, 2017, 03:31:08 PM »
The tool stops when your subscription period expires, not immediately upon cancellation. There's also nothing to say one couldn't drop Eagle and do a two or three month transition to another platform.

But the point is that does not lesson the pain of doing so. So it is not nearly as good a tool to "hold their feet to the fire" with compared to a perpetual license. This is a demonstrable fact.
I'd much rather have my perpetual license and say to them:
"Ok, prove to me your new version is worth the upgrade, I've got nothing to lose, I can keep on using my old version forever, no skin off my nose"
than have to threaten them and say:
"I'm going to stop my subscription move to another tool if your next version isn't good".

If you say the later they are going to just laugh in your face and say to themselves "go right ahead, we dare you, we know how much pain it is to change".
I worked at a PCB tool company and I know that's the effective truth.
It's the pain of changing tools that let Altium get away with inflicting countless horrible changes on their customer base over a 15 year period.

Altium can get away with that, and I've certainly seen that type of hostage taking attitude before. One of Eagle's prime values is in having a file format others can directly read. If Autodesk walks away from that, they will have issues to be sure. Here in the states, Eagle and OSHPARK are like peanut butter and jelly. 
 

Online KE5FX

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #131 on: January 21, 2017, 03:34:00 PM »
With month to month licensing, if Autodesk gets out of line, folks can immediately shut down their subscription in protest.

I'm fairly sure you haven't thought this through quite as far as you claim you have.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #132 on: January 21, 2017, 03:37:51 PM »
With month to month licensing, if Autodesk gets out of line, folks can immediately shut down their subscription in protest.

I'm fairly sure you haven't thought this through quite as far as you claim you have.

I've thought this through enough to really rile you guys up.  :-DD
 

Offline nazcalines

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #133 on: January 21, 2017, 03:45:58 PM »
With month to month licensing, if Autodesk gets out of line, folks can immediately shut down their subscription in protest.

I'm fairly sure you haven't thought this through quite as far as you claim you have.

I've thought this through enough to really rile you guys up.  :-DD

No you haven't. What you are saying is the opposite of the reality of the situation. If you're just here to  :blah: then that's kinda sad, but ok.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #134 on: January 21, 2017, 03:52:44 PM »
With month to month licensing, if Autodesk gets out of line, folks can immediately shut down their subscription in protest.

I'm fairly sure you haven't thought this through quite as far as you claim you have.

I've thought this through enough to really rile you guys up.  :-DD

No you haven't. What you are saying is the opposite of the reality of the situation. If you're just here to  :blah: then that's kinda sad, but ok.

Listen, I'm really pleased to see Eagle live on and improve.  You don't like counter-points, and that's fine.  I hereby return this thread to you all for continued anger, angst, and outrage about the actions of a company that makes software a lot of folks actually like.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #135 on: January 21, 2017, 04:00:22 PM »
Listen, I'm really pleased to see Eagle live on and improve.

I'm sure we all are. No one wants to hate on them or see them fail for the sake of it I'm sure. The community is simply responding to a big change they have made.

Quote
You don't like counter-points, and that's fine.

We like counter points, that's what forum discussions are for. But if your counter point is without merit or just plain wrong, don't be surprised when that's pointed out to you and it's shot down in flames.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #136 on: January 21, 2017, 04:02:29 PM »
I hereby return this thread to you all for continued anger, angst, and outrage about the actions of a company that makes software a lot of folks actually like.

What's the later go to do with the former?
People are complaining about a big change that affects them.
Why should they be able to do that?
You can complain about a company and/or product and still like it, they aren't mutually exclusive.
 
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Online wilfred

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #137 on: January 21, 2017, 04:24:53 PM »
The fundamental problem is that in a saturated market a licensing model is the only way for a company to continue to make make money.  And most software markets are saturated these days.  That is bad for the software companies and bad for customers.

Companies (especially public one) love subscription and the steady income it brings. Altium (being a public company) were obsessed with getting every customer onto subscription. And if you read their yearly company reports etc this was obvious.


Yes. Good point Dave, that cuts right to the heart of the issue. They'll tweak the subscription terms when they feel the income stream getting squeezed. And for no other reason.
 

Online wilfred

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #138 on: January 21, 2017, 04:47:32 PM »
Altium can get away with that, and I've certainly seen that type of hostage taking attitude before. One of Eagle's prime values is in having a file format others can directly read. If Autodesk walks away from that, they will have issues to be sure. Here in the states, Eagle and OSHPARK are like peanut butter and jelly.

One thing about regular subscription payments is that, unlike an upfront purchase, a customer is constantly reviewing the value of the subscription each time the invoice arrives. unfortunately, like with insurance companies and utilities there is the inherent human inertia to change that is there to be exploited.

Additionally with software companies there is a lock-in due to incompatible file formats. What is needed is for the industry to develop a universal interchange format (yeah dream on), or for the proprietry formats to be publically documented. Does a subscription model world make that more likely to happen? Given that with a subscription you cannot just archive a project and the software away. I think the demand from users will be higher now and the vendors will be in a weaker position to pushback. Maybe that's a bit optimistic, but the shift to subscription only, has to have a counterbalancing  impulse to leave users feeling less vulnerable. The enterprise users will not stand for being vulnerable to the vendors business survival.

Just like with equal and opposite forces  for every change there is a corresponding reaction. The equilibrium is always restored because people like stability. Some vendor seeking a competitive advantage will offer what customers want and if that is the ability to get their head out of the file format noose then it will happen.
 

Offline XFDDesign

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #139 on: January 21, 2017, 05:45:37 PM »

Listen, I'm really pleased to see Eagle live on and improve.  You don't like counter-points, and that's fine.  I hereby return this thread to you all for continued anger, angst, and outrage about the actions of a company that makes software a lot of folks actually like.

I noticed you failed to handle any counterpoints presented to you when your non-arguments got disposed of. Not that you could, of course.


What's the later go to do with the former?
People are complaining about a big change that affects them.
Why should they be able to do that?
You can complain about a company and/or product and still like it, they aren't mutually exclusive.

Absolutely nothing. He lost the argument some time ago, so all he has to go on now is stirring the pot.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 05:47:13 PM by XFDDesign »
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #140 on: January 21, 2017, 08:23:11 PM »

The flaw with this reasoning is that Eagle is not currently a class-leading tool. Its niche has been the maker/small business space, and its customers have neither the need nor the financial means to afford a best-in-class tool.

I think this is the key problem. I've not used Eagle but my understanding is its main attractive feature is being free, and people only buy the non-free version because it's what they know.
So where 's the ongoing future market ?
Anyone starting out from scratch (or deciding how to transition form Free Eagle) is probably going to take a very hard look at Kicad and alternatives like Designspark, Diptrace etc. I've not used Kicad but seeing what people have done with it, it must be pretty useable and it can only get better.
Many existing paying Eagle users will probably subscribe.
Unless they do some very major improvements to make it much more attractive to new users than Kicad, I think they have a rather stagnant and diminishing user base.

Question for people who have used a reasonable number of PCB packages - given a choice based purely on UI and features, not price, how many would choose Eagle?

Given what they must have paid for Eagle, I wonder if they could have got more value by writing something completely new with world-beating features, rather than inheriting a lot of legacy baggage. 

Comparisons have been made to Fusion360, but from what I've seen this is a class-leading tool which offers way more for the money than anything else on the market - as & when I have a need for serious 3D design I wouldn't hesitate to subscribe.
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Offline Kjelt

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #141 on: January 21, 2017, 08:35:38 PM »
Don't forget the time and thus money it will take to go to another softwarepackage.
I personally think that people will stick with their old perpetual version till they really can not anymore, such as that the OS does not run it properly anymore.
One thing all Eagle users are already used to is that it does not have state of the art tech, there were not many valuable updates or significant improvements, so the current version can stil last a decade. Time enough to slowly transfer somewhere else, leaving Autodesk with no customers and no income.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #142 on: January 21, 2017, 08:46:33 PM »
Don't forget the time and thus money it will take to go to another softwarepackage.
I personally think that people will stick with their old perpetual version till they really can not anymore, such as that the OS does not run it properly anymore.
One thing all Eagle users are already used to is that it does not have state of the art tech, there were not many valuable updates or significant improvements, so the current version can stil last a decade. Time enough to slowly transfer somewhere else, leaving Autodesk with no customers and no income.
Another good point. PCB software has little need to be updated to be useable - PCBs today are no different to PCBs 10 years ago except possibly in scale. I still use a 10 year old package and there isn't much I find lacking, certainly not enough to invest time in learning a whole new package.
3D integration is about the only major thing that has happened in the PCB market in recent years, and many users can happily live without it.

It's hard to see what Autodesk could do in the way of new features on top of the baggage they've inherited to make it attractive enough to new users for them to invest in it. 
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 08:48:31 PM by mikeselectricstuff »
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Offline MarkS

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #143 on: January 21, 2017, 09:23:48 PM »
Honestly, all the vitriol from the maker community at every, single software platform they interact with ought to be a lesson to software companies everywhere to stop bothering to the maker/hobbiest market at all.

If you do not understand this, then I really do not know what to say. The Maker/Hobbyist communities are the ones that have been served by Eagle since its inception. It has been the only affordable option for many people like myself. Even the Pro license was a fraction of the cost of pretty much anyone else. I cannot afford $500 per year. Truth be told, I cannot afford $65 per month. I would have saved for the Pro license, but not that is not an option. I'm stuck with a gimped free version of Eagle and KiCAD sucks balls. (KiCAD developers - If you're reading this, copy Eagle's interface. Seriously. KiCAD is a mess. But that's another thread.)

The issue here is that AutoDesk is abandoning Eagle's base in the hope that they can attract a more professional clientele. They do not understand what Eagle brought to the table, do not seem to know what Eagle's base has been, did not ask anyone and seem to simply not care. Those of us that have been served best by Eagle are now finding ourselves in an impossible situation with no real, usable alternatives. It is really hard to feel a whole lot of love for a company that pulls the rug out from under you and doesn't care.
 

Offline madires

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #144 on: January 21, 2017, 10:16:37 PM »
You guys are funny. Microsoft, Adobe and many others have moved to a subscription model. I wonder why...

Because they make more money that way. Doesn't mean it's good for everyone else.

Nor does it mean that all their customers are happy about that.
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Online lwatts666

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #145 on: January 21, 2017, 10:38:20 PM »
...The fundamental problem is that in a saturated market a licensing model is the only way for a company to continue to make make money...

It actually saves the vendor a significant amount of money on product support. Supporting the last few major versions, each with several minor versions can be a real pain. Patching a security/feature hole, testing, QA and release documentation for multiple versions is an expensive nightmare. The subscription model removes any perceived cost in upgrading to the latest version, so the vendor only needs to support the latest version and tell the customer it will be fixed in the next release.

I'm not for one minute supporting the subscription model here. I have worked on both sides of the fence, both as a developer and a customer of large industrial software products. The subscription model, as many have pointed out here, ignores the very real costs to the customers of frequent upgrades, lost production dealing with changes in UI, new bugs/features, etc. Not to mention needing to support your own customers older projects.

In a similar situation, in a company I once worked for, the actions were explained to the development and engineering teams by the software product manager: "Don't worry, We will still have plenty of customers, they just won't be the same ones we have now." Perhaps that manager now works for Autodesk...

 

Offline plazma

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #146 on: January 21, 2017, 10:57:07 PM »


Comparisons have been made to Fusion360, but from what I've seen this is a class-leading tool which offers way more for the money than anything else on the market - as & when I have a need for serious 3D design I wouldn't hesitate to subscribe.

Fusion360 like licencing would be great. Free for students/hobbyist/sub 100k start-up. However that would mean almost no income since those groups probably make 99.9% of the users.
 

Offline madires

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #147 on: January 21, 2017, 11:04:48 PM »
Question for people who have used a reasonable number of PCB packages - given a choice based purely on UI and features, not price, how many would choose Eagle?

A few, I'd think. Eagle's UI is easy to use, despite some :palm: quirks. And if you're happy with basic features Eagle is a good compromise for hobbyists, makers and small(er) companies. The scripting mitigates some downsides, still Eagle is not suited for professional use.
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Offline dmills

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #148 on: January 22, 2017, 12:26:05 AM »
One thing to note when comparing say the Altium and the Eagle subscription model is that an AD subscription is not usually quite the same thing as an Eagle one....

We bought an AD license and subscribe to get the updates, which works for us, but if we let the subscription lapse AD does not stop working, we simply stop getting updates, this is fundamentally different to the Eagle model, and I suspect a lot of that subscription revenue for Altium is update subscriptions on perpetual licenses.

Now Altium pricing has been messed about with in all sorts of ways over the years, but lump sum for the package plus subscribe to get updates and support is a very, very standard model for high end tools, and has none of the downsides that the Eagle model has.

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Offline Tandy

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Re: The Autodesk Eagle edition
« Reply #149 on: January 22, 2017, 12:28:05 AM »
North Americans are more accustomed to the rental model, 43% of Americans rent their home where as here in Britain it is closer to 30%. More than 30% of US drivers lease their cars where as here private leasing is almost unheard of, only companies lease cars. That is not to say one option is better than the other ownership vs Leasing has different advantages for different circumstances.

At least here in the UK there is a strong preference for ownership, we like to feel in control of the things we have, not be somebody else's tenant. Owning a license that enables someone to use the software for as long as they need it is preferable for many. There is no reason that AutoDesk couldn't have continued with a perpetual license along side the subscription model for those who wanted it. Suddenly pulling the rug from out from under everyone and forcing everyone to choose between a subscription or nothing is what has got people upset. It makes people feel at best that AutoDesk doesn't understand their needs properly as a customer or worse the company is only interested in what is best for their profitability and to hell with customers who don't like it.

A significant majority of people on here are I imagine either enthusiasts or work in some small scale electronics engineering capacity. It is this kind of person who would have started out with the free version of Eagle and migrated to one of the paid editions as their needs increased. For a hobbyist the idea of renting really doesn't work. Paying every month for something you might only use randomly for a few hours here and there is silly, subscribing and unsubscribing each time you want to use software is also irritating at best.

Perhaps AutoDesk will turn Eagle into something much greater than it is today and eventually become a competitor to Altium but throwing away revenue from a large segment of your existing customers before you get to that point is not exactly the best thing to do. If AutoDesk thinks it can take on the likes of Altium with Eagle at this stage they are in for a rude awakening.
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