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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  MG (1)

NAME

mg - emacs-like text editor

CONTENTS

Synopsis
Description
Windows And Buffers
Point And Mark
Backup Files
Tags
Cscope
Default Key Bindings
Mg Commands
Mg Dired Key Bindings
Mg Dired Commands
Configuration Files
Files
See Also
Caveats

SYNOPSIS

mg [-nR] [-f mode] [+ number] []

DESCRIPTION

mg is intended to be a small, fast, and portable editor for people who can’t (or don’t want to) run emacs for one reason or another, or are not familiar with the vi(1) editor. It is compatible with emacs because there shouldn’t be any reason to learn more editor types than emacs or vi(1).

The options are as follows:
+ number
  Go to the line specified by number (do not insert a space between the '+' sign and the number). If a negative number is specified, the line number counts backwards from the end of the file i.e. +-1 will be the last line of the file, +-2 will be second last, and so on.
-f mode
  Run the mode command for all buffers created from arguments on the command line, including the scratch buffer and all files.
-n Turn off backup file generation.
-R Files specified on the command line will be opened read-only.

WINDOWS AND BUFFERS

When a file is loaded into mg, it is stored in a buffer. This buffer may be displayed on the screen in more than one window. At present, windows may only be split horizontally, so each window is delineated by a modeline at the bottom. If changes are made to a buffer, it will be reflected in all open windows.

If a file is changed outside mg and its buffer is about to be changed, mg prompts if the change should go ahead (y), not go ahead (n) or if the buffer should be reverted (r) to the latest file on disk.

If a buffer name begins and ends with an asterisk, the buffer is considered throwaway; i.e. the user will not be prompted to save changes when the buffer is killed.

POINT AND MARK

The current cursor location in mg is called the point (or dot). It is possible to define a window-specific region of text by setting a second location, called the mark. The region is the text between point and mark inclusive. Deleting the character at the mark position leaves the mark at the point of deletion.

Note: The point and mark are window-specific in mg, not buffer-specific, as in other emacs flavours.

BACKUP FILES

Backup files have a '~' character appended to the file name and are created in the current working directory by default. Whether to create backup files or not can be toggled with the make-backup-files command. The backup file location can either be in the current working directory, or all backups can be moved to a ~/.mg.d directory where files retain their path name to retain uniqueness. Use the backup-to-home-directory to alternate between these two locations. Further, if any application creates backup files in the TMPDIR, these can be left with the leave-tmpdir-backups command.

TAGS

mg supports tag files created by ctags(1), allowing the user to quickly locate various object definitions. Note though that emacs uses etags, not ctags.

CSCOPE

mg supports navigating source code using cscope. However, mg requires cscope and cscope-indexer executables to be present in PATH for it to work.

DEFAULT KEY BINDINGS

Normal editing commands are very similar to GNU Emacs. In the following examples, C-x means Control-x, and M-x means Meta-x, where the Meta key may be either a special key on the keyboard or the ALT key; otherwise ESC followed by the key X works as well.

C-SPC set-mark-command
C-a beginning-of-line
C-b backward-char
C-c s c cscope-find-functions-calling-this-function
C-c s d cscope-find-global-definition
C-c s e cscope-find-egrep-pattern
C-c s f cscope-find-this-file
C-c s i cscope-find-files-including-file
C-c s n cscope-next-symbol
C-c s p cscope-prev-symbol
C-c s s cscope-find-this-symbol
C-c s t cscope-find-this-text-string
C-d delete-char
C-e end-of-line
C-f forward-char
C-g keyboard-quit
C-h C-h help-help
C-h a apropos
C-h b describe-bindings
C-h c describe-key-briefly
C-j newline-and-indent
C-k kill-line
C-l recenter
RET newline
C-n next-line
C-o open-line
C-p previous-line
C-q quoted-insert
C-r isearch-backward
C-s isearch-forward
C-t transpose-chars
C-u universal-argument
C-v scroll-up
C-w kill-region
C-x C-b list-buffers
C-x C-c save-buffers-kill-emacs
C-x C-f find-file
C-x C-g keyboard-quit
C-x C-l downcase-region
C-x C-o delete-blank-lines
C-x C-q toggle-read-only
C-x C-r find-file-read-only
C-x C-s save-buffer
C-x C-u upcase-region
C-x C-v find-alternate-file
C-x C-w write-file
C-x C-x exchange-point-and-mark
C-x( start-kbd-macro
C-x ) end-kbd-macro
C-x 0 delete-window
C-x 1 delete-other-windows
C-x 2 split-window-vertically
C-x 4 C-f find-file-other-window
C-x 4 C-g keyboard-quit
C-x 4 b switch-to-buffer-other-window
C-x 4 f find-file-other-window
C-x = what-cursor-position
C-x ^ enlarge-window
C-x ‘ next-error
C-x b switch-to-buffer
C-x d dired
C-x e call-last-kbd-macro
C-x f set-fill-column
C-x g goto-line
C-x h mark-whole-buffer
C-x i insert-file
C-x k kill-buffer
C-x n other-window
C-x o other-window
C-x p previous-window
C-x s save-some-buffers
C-x u undo
C-y yank
C-z suspend-emacs
M-C-v scroll-other-window
M-SPC just-one-space
M-! shell-command
M-. find-tag
M-* pop-tag-mark
M-% query-replace
M-< beginning-of-buffer
M-> end-of-buffer
M-\ delete-horizontal-space
M-^ join-line
M-b backward-word
M-c capitalize-word
M-d kill-word
M-f forward-word
M-h mark-paragraph
M-l downcase-word
M-m back-to-indentation
M-q fill-paragraph
M-r search-backward
M-s search-forward
M-t transpose-words
M-u upcase-word
M-v scroll-down
M-w copy-region-as-kill
M-x execute-extended-command
M-{ backward-paragraph
M-| shell-command-on-region
M-} forward-paragraph
M-~ not-modified
M-DEL backward-kill-word
C-_ undo
) blink-and-insert
DEL delete-backward-char

For a complete description of mg commands, see MG COMMANDS. To see the active keybindings at any time, type "M-x describe-bindings".

MG COMMANDS

Commands are invoked by "M-x", or by binding to a key. Many commands take an optional numerical parameter, n. This parameter is set either by M-<n> (where n is the numerical argument) before the command, or by one or more invocations of the universal argument, usually bound to C-u. When invoked in this manner, the value of the numeric parameter to be passed is displayed in the minibuffer before the M-x. One common use of the parameter is in mode toggles (e.g. make-backup-files). If no parameter is supplied, the mode is toggled to its alternate state. If a positive parameter is supplied, the mode is forced to on. Otherwise, it is forced to off.
apropos
  Help Apropos. Prompt the user for a string, open the *help* buffer, and list all mg commands that contain that string.
audible-bell
  Toggle the audible system bell.
auto-execute
  Register an auto-execute hook; that is, specify a filename pattern (conforming to the shell’s filename globbing rules) and an associated function to execute when a file matching the specified pattern is read into a buffer.
auto-fill-mode
  Toggle auto-fill mode (sometimes called mail-mode), where text inserted past the fill column is automatically wrapped to a new line.
auto-indent-mode
  Toggle indent mode, where indentation is preserved after a newline.
back-to-indentation
  Move the dot to the first non-whitespace character on the current line.
backup-to-home-directory
  Save backup copies to a ~/.mg.d directory instead of working directory. Requires make-backup-files to be on.
backward-char
  Move cursor backwards one character.
backward-kill-word
  Kill text backwards by n words.
backward-paragraph
  Move cursor backwards n paragraphs. Paragraphs are delimited by <NL><NL> or <NL><TAB> or <NL><SPACE>.
backward-word
  Move cursor backwards by the specified number of words.
beginning-of-buffer
  Move cursor to the top of the buffer.
beginning-of-line
  Move cursor to the beginning of the line.
blink-and-insert
  Self-insert a character, then search backwards and blink its matching delimiter. For delimiters other than parenthesis, brackets, and braces, the character itself is used as its own match.
bsmap-mode
  Toggle bsmap mode, where DEL and C-h are swapped.
c-mode
  Toggle a KNF-compliant mode for editing C program files.
call-last-kbd-macro
  Invoke the keyboard macro.
capitalize-word
  Capitalize n words; i.e. convert the first character of the word to upper case, and subsequent letters to lower case.
cd Change the global working directory. See also global-wd-mode.
column-number-mode
  Toggle whether the column number is displayed in the modeline.
copy-region-as-kill
  Copy all of the characters in the region to the kill buffer, clearing the mark afterwards. This is a bit like a kill-region followed by a yank.
count-matches
  Count the number of lines matching the supplied regular expression.
count-non-matches
  Count the number of lines not matching the supplied regular expression.
cscope-find-this-symbol
  List the matches for the given symbol.
cscope-find-global-definition
  List global definitions for the given literal.
cscope-find-called-functions
  List functions called from the given function.
cscope-find-functions-calling-this-function
  List functions calling the given function.
cscope-find-this-text-string
  List locations matching the given text string.
cscope-find-egrep-pattern
  List locations matching the given extended regular expression pattern.
cscope-find-this-file
  List filenames matching the given filename.
cscope-find-files-including-file
  List files that #include the given filename.
cscope-next-symbol
  Navigate to the next match.
cscope-prev-symbol
  Navigate to the previous match.
cscope-next-file
  Navigate to the next file.
cscope-prev-file
  Navigate to the previous file.
cscope-create-list-of-files-to-index
  Create cscope’s List and Index in the given directory.
define-key
  Prompts the user for a named keymap (mode), a key, and an mg command, then creates a keybinding in the appropriate map.
delete-backward-char
  Delete backwards n characters. Like delete-char, this actually does a kill if presented with an argument.
delete-blank-lines
  Delete blank lines around dot. If dot is sitting on a blank line, this command deletes all the blank lines above and below the current line. Otherwise, it deletes all of the blank lines after the current line.
delete-char
  Delete n characters forward. If any argument is present, it kills rather than deletes, saving the result in the kill buffer.
delete-horizontal-space
  Delete any whitespace around the dot.
delete-leading-space
  Delete leading whitespace on the current line.
delete-trailing-space
  Delete trailing whitespace on the current line.
delete-matching-lines
  Delete all lines after dot that contain a string matching the supplied regular expression.
delete-non-matching-lines
  Delete all lines after dot that contain a string matching the supplied regular expression.
delete-other-windows
  Make the current window the only window visible on the screen.
delete-window
  Delete current window.
describe-bindings
  List all global and local keybindings, putting the result in the *help* buffer.
describe-key-briefly
  Read a key from the keyboard, and look it up in the keymap. Display the name of the function currently bound to the key.
diff-buffer-with-file
  View the differences between buffer and its associated file.
digit-argument
  Process a numerical argument for keyboard-invoked functions.
downcase-region
  Set all characters in the region to lower case.
downcase-word
  Set characters to lower case, starting at the dot, and ending n words away.
emacs-version
  Return an mg version string.
end-kbd-macro
  Stop defining a keyboard macro.
end-of-buffer
  Move cursor to the end of the buffer.
end-of-line
  Move cursor to the end of the line.
enlarge-window
  Enlarge the current window by shrinking either the window above or below it.
eval-current-buffer
  Evaluate the current buffer as a series of mg commands. Useful for testing mg startup files.
eval-expression
  Get one line from the user, and run it. Useful for testing expressions in mg startup files.
exchange-point-and-mark
  Swap the values of "dot" and "mark" in the current window. Return an error if no mark is set.
execute-extended-command
  Invoke an extended command; i.e. M-x. Call the message line routine to read in the command name and apply autocompletion to it. When it comes back, look the name up in the symbol table and run the command if it is found, passing arguments as necessary. Print an error if there is anything wrong.
fill-paragraph
  Justify a paragraph, wrapping text at the current fill column.
find-file
  Select a file for editing. First check if the file can be found in another buffer; if it is there, just switch to that buffer. If the file cannot be found, create a new buffer, read in the file from disk, and switch to the new buffer.
find-file-read-only
  Same as find-file, except the new buffer is set to read-only.
find-alternate-file
  Replace the current file with an alternate one. Semantics for finding the replacement file are the same as find-file, except the current buffer is killed before the switch. If the kill fails, or is aborted, revert to the original file.
find-file-other-window
  Opens the specified file in a second buffer. Splits the current window if necessary.
find-tag
  Jump to definition of tag at dot.
forward-char
  Move cursor forwards (or backwards, if n is negative) n characters. Returns an error if the end of buffer is reached.
forward-paragraph
  Move forward n paragraphs. Paragraphs are delimited by <NL><NL> or <NL><TAB> or <NL><SPACE>.
forward-word
  Move the cursor forward by the specified number of words.
global-set-key
  Bind a key in the global (fundamental) key map.
global-unset-key
  Unbind a key from the global (fundamental) key map; i.e. set it to ’rescan’.
global-wd-mode
  Toggle global working-directory mode. When enabled, mg defaults to opening files (and executing commands like compile and grep) relative to the global working directory. When disabled, a working directory is set for each buffer.
goto-line
  Go to a specific line. If an argument is present, then it is the line number, else prompt for a line number to use.
help-help
  Prompts for one of (a)propos, (b)indings, des(c)ribe key briefly.
insert
  Insert a string, mainly for use from macros.
insert-buffer
  Insert the contents of another buffer at dot.
insert-file
  Insert a file into the current buffer at dot.
insert-with-wrap
  Insert the bound character with word wrap. Check to see if we’re past the fill column, and if so, justify this line.
isearch-backward
  Use incremental searching, initially in the reverse direction. isearch ignores any explicit arguments. If invoked during macro definition or evaluation, the non-incremental search-backward is invoked instead.
isearch-forward
  Use incremental searching, initially in the forward direction. isearch ignores any explicit arguments. If invoked during macro definition or evaluation, the non-incremental search-forward is invoked instead.
join-line
  Join the current line to the previous. If called with an argument, join the next line to the current one.
just-one-space
  Delete any whitespace around dot, then insert a space.
keyboard-quit
  Abort the current action.
kill-buffer
  Dispose of a buffer, by name. If the buffer name does not start and end with an asterisk, prompt the user if the buffer has been changed.
kill-line
  Kill line. If called without an argument, it kills from dot to the end of the line, unless it is at the end of the line, when it kills the newline. If called with an argument of 0, it kills from the start of the line to dot. If called with a positive argument, it kills from dot forward over that number of newlines. If called with a negative argument it kills any text before dot on the current line, then it kills back abs(n) lines.
kill-paragraph
  Delete n paragraphs starting with the current one.
kill-region
  Kill the currently defined region.
kill-word
  Delete forward n words.
leave-tmpdir-backups
  Modifies the behaviour of backup-to-home-directory. Backup files that would normally reside in the system TMPDIR are left there and not moved to the ~/.mg.d directory.
line-number-mode
  Toggle whether the line number is displayed in the modeline.
list-buffers
  Display the list of available buffers.
load Prompt the user for a filename, and then execute commands from that file.
local-set-key
  Bind a key mapping in the local (topmost) mode.
local-unset-key
  Unbind a key mapping in the local (topmost) mode.
make-backup-files
  Toggle generation of backup files.
make-directory
  Prompt the user for a path or directory name which is then created.
mark-paragraph
  Mark n paragraphs.
mark-whole-buffer
  Marks whole buffer as a region by putting dot at the beginning and mark at the end of buffer.
meta-key-mode
  When disabled, the meta key can be used to insert extended-ascii (8-bit) characters. When enabled, the meta key acts as usual.
negative-argument
  Process a negative argument for keyboard-invoked functions.
newline
  Insert a newline into the current buffer.
newline-and-indent
  Insert a newline, then enough tabs and spaces to duplicate the indentation of the previous line. Assumes tabs are every eight characters.
next-line
  Move forward n lines.
not-modified
  Turn off the modified flag in the current buffer.
open-line
  Open up some blank space. Essentially, insert n newlines, then back up over them.
other-window
  The command to make the next (down the screen) window the current window. There are no real errors, although the command does nothing if there is only 1 window on the screen.
overwrite-mode
  Toggle overwrite mode, where typing in a buffer overwrites existing characters rather than inserting them.
prefix-region
  Inserts a prefix string before each line of a region. The prefix string is settable by using ’set-prefix-string’.
previous-line
  Move backwards n lines.
previous-window
  This command makes the previous (up the screen) window the current window. There are no errors, although the command does not do a lot if there is only 1 window.
pop-tag-mark
  Return to position where find-tag was previously invoked.
push-shell
  Suspend mg and switch to alternate screen, if available.
pwd Display current (global) working directory in the status area.
query-replace
  Query Replace. Search and replace strings selectively, prompting after each match.
replace-string
  Replace string globally without individual prompting.
query-replace-regexp
  Replace strings selectively. Does a search and replace operation using regular expressions for both patterns.
quoted-insert
  Insert the next character verbatim into the current buffer; i.e. ignore any function bound to that key.
re-search-again
  Perform a regular expression search again, using the same search string and direction as the last search command.
re-search-backward
  Search backwards using a regular expression. Get a search string from the user, and search, starting at dot and proceeding toward the front of the buffer. If found, dot is left pointing at the first character of the pattern [the last character that was matched].
re-search-forward
  Search forward using a regular expression. Get a search string from the user and search for it starting at dot. If found, move dot to just after the matched characters. display does all the hard stuff. If not found, it just prints a message.
recenter
  Reposition dot in the current window. By default, the dot is centered. If given a positive argument (n), the display is repositioned to line n. If n is negative, it is that line from the bottom.
redraw-display
  Refresh the display. Recomputes all window sizes in case something has changed.
revert-buffer
  Revert the current buffer to the latest file on disk.
save-buffer
  Save the contents of the current buffer if it has been changed, optionally creating a backup copy.
save-buffers-kill-emacs
  Offer to save modified buffers and quit mg.
save-some-buffers
  Look through the list of buffers, offering to save any buffer that has been changed. Buffers that are not associated with files (such as *scratch*, *grep*, *compile*) are ignored.
scroll-down
  Scroll backwards n pages. A two-line overlap between pages is assumed. If given a repeat argument, scrolls back lines, not pages.
scroll-one-line-down
  Scroll the display down n lines without changing the cursor position.
scroll-one-line-up
  Scroll the display n lines up without moving the cursor position.
scroll-other-window
  Scroll the next window in the window list window forward n pages.
scroll-up
  Scroll forward one page. A two-line overlap between pages is assumed. If given a repeat argument, scrolls back lines, not pages.
search-again
  Search again, using the same search string and direction as the last search command.
search-backward
  Reverse search. Get a search string from the user, and search, starting at dot and proceeding toward the front of the buffer. If found, dot is left pointing at the first character of the pattern (the last character that was matched).
search-forward
  Search forward. Get a search string from the user, and search for it starting at dot. If found, dot gets moved to just after the matched characters, if not found, print a message.
self-insert-command
  Insert a character.
set-case-fold-search
  Set case-fold searching, causing case not to matter in regular expression searches. This is the default.
set-default-mode
  Append the supplied mode to the list of default modes used by subsequent buffer creation. Built in modes include: fill, indent, overwrite, and notab.
set-fill-column
  Prompt the user for a fill column. Used by auto-fill-mode.
set-mark-command
  Sets the mark in the current window to the current dot location.
set-prefix-string
  Sets the prefix string to be used by the ’prefix-region’ command.
shell-command
  Execute external command from mini-buffer.
shell-command-on-region
  Provide the text in region to the shell command as input.
shrink-window
  Shrink current window by one line. The window immediately below is expanded to pick up the slack. If only one window is present, this command has no effect.
split-window-vertically
  Split the current window. A window smaller than 3 lines cannot be split.
start-kbd-macro
  Start defining a keyboard macro. Macro definition is ended by invoking end-kbd-macro.
suspend-emacs
  Suspend mg and switch back to alternate screen, if in use.
switch-to-buffer
  Prompt and switch to a new buffer in the current window.
switch-to-buffer-other-window
  Switch to buffer in another window.
toggle-read-only
  Toggle the read-only flag on the current buffer.
transpose-chars
  Transpose the two characters in front of and under dot, then move forward one character. Treat newline characters the same as any other.
transpose-paragraphs
  Transpose adjacent paragraphs. If multiple iterations are requested, the current paragraph will be moved n paragraphs forward.
transpose-words
  Transpose adjacent words.
undo Undo the most recent action. If invoked again without an intervening command, move the undo pointer to the previous action and undo it.
undo-boundary
  Add an undo boundary. This is not usually done interactively.
undo-boundary-toggle
  Toggle whether undo boundaries are generated. Undo boundaries are often disabled before operations that should be considered atomically undoable.
undo-enable
  Toggle whether undo information is kept.
undo-list
  Show the undo records for the current buffer in a new buffer.
universal-argument
  Repeat the next command 4 times. Usually bound to C-u. This command may be stacked; e.g. C-u C-u C-f moves the cursor forward 16 characters.
upcase-region
  Upper case region. Change all of the lower case characters in the region to upper case.
upcase-word
  Move the cursor forward by the specified number of words. As it moves, convert any characters to upper case.
visible-bell
  Toggle the visible bell. If this toggle is on, the modeline will flash.
visit-tags-table
  Record name of the tags file to be used for subsequent find-tag.
what-cursor-position
  Display a bunch of useful information about the current location of dot. The character under the cursor (in octal), the current line, row, and column, and approximate position of the cursor in the file (as a percentage) is displayed. The column position assumes an infinite position display; it does not truncate just because the screen does.
write-file
  Ask for a file name and write the contents of the current buffer to that file. Update the remembered file name and clear the buffer changed flag.
yank Yank text from kill-buffer. Unlike emacs, the mg kill buffer consists only of the most recent kill. It is not a ring.

MG DIRED KEY BINDINGS

Specific key bindings are available in dired mode.

DEL dired-unmark-backward
RET, e, f and C-m dired-find-file
SPC dired-next-line
! dired-shell-command
+ dired-create-directory
a dired-find-alternate-file
c dired-do-copy
d and C-d dired-flag-file-deletion
g dired-revert
n dired-next-line
o dired-find-file-other-window
p dired-previous-line
q quit-window
r dired-do-rename
u dired-unmark
x dired-do-flagged-delete
C-v dired-scroll-down
M-v dired-scroll-up

MG DIRED COMMANDS

The following are a list of the commands specific to dired mode:
dired-create-directory
  Create a directory.
dired-do-copy
  Copy the file listed on the current line of the dired buffer.
dired-do-flagged-delete
  Delete the files that have been flagged for deletion.
dired-do-rename
  Rename the file listed on the current line of the dired buffer.
dired-find-alternate-file
  Replace the current dired buffer with an alternate one as specified by the position of the cursor in the dired buffer.
dired-find-file
  Open the file on the current line of the dired buffer. If the cursor is on a directory it will be opened in dired mode.
dired-flag-file-deletion
  Flag the file listed on the current line for deletion. This is indicated in the buffer by putting a D at the left margin. No files are actually deleted until the function dired-do-flagged-delete is executed.
dired-find-file-other-window
  Open the file on the current line of the dired buffer in a different window.
dired-next-line
  Move the cursor to the next line.
dired-other-window
  This function works just like dired, except that it puts the dired buffer in another window.
dired-previous-line
  Move the cursor to the previous line.
dired-revert
  Refresh the dired buffer.
dired-scroll-down
  Scroll down the dired buffer.
dired-scroll-up
  Scroll up the dired buffer.
dired-unmark
  Remove the deletion flag for the file on the current line.
dired-unmark-backward
  Remove the deletion flag from the file listed on the previous line of the dired buffer, then move up to that line.
quit-window
  Close the current dired buffer.

CONFIGURATION FILES

There are two configuration files, .mg and .mg-TERM. Here, TERM represents the name of the terminal type; e.g. if the terminal type is set to "vt100", mg will use .mg-vt100 as a startup file. The terminal type startup file is used first.

The startup file format is a list of commands, one per line, as used for interactive evaluation. Strings that are normally entered by the user at any subsequent prompts may be specified after the command name; e.g.:

global-set-key ")" self-insert-command
global-set-key "\^x\^f" find-file
global-set-key "\e[Z" backward-char
set-default-mode fill
set-fill-column 72
auto-execute *.c c-mode

Comments can be added to the startup files by placing "\;" or "#" as the first character of a line.

FILES

~/.mg normal startup file
~/.mg-TERM terminal-specific startup file
~/.mg.d alternative backup file location
/usr/share/doc/mg/tutorial
  concise tutorial

SEE ALSO

ctags(1), vi(1)

CAVEATS

Since it is written completely in C, there is currently no language in which extensions can be written; however, keys can be rebound and certain parameters can be changed in startup files.

In order to use 8-bit characters (such as German umlauts), the Meta key needs to be disabled via the "meta-key-mode" command.

Multi-byte character sets, such as UTF-8, are not supported.

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