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Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-06-24)

Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-06-24)

Upcoming Canvas Changes

Rich Content Editor Sidebar: July 1–15
During the first part of July, enhancements to the Rich Content Editor Sidebar (Content Selector) will be enabled in all Canvas features for all Canvas institutions. These enhancements already exist in Pages and the Syllabus using the Remote Version of the Rich Content Editor and Sidebar account-level feature option. Learn more about the Rich Content Editor Sidebar in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-01-07)

Modules Home Page: July 15
On July 15, the Modules Home Page feature option will be enabled for all Canvas institutions and removed from the feature option list. This feature replaces the Recent Activity Stream as the Course Home Page default, though instructors can still choose any home page in a course. Learn more about the Modules Home Page feature in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-04-22).

New User Tutorial: July 15

On July 15, the New User Tutorial feature option will be enabled for all Canvas institutions. On August 5, the feature option will be removed from the feature options list. This feature replaces the existing Course Setup Checklist in Canvas courses and displays to new Canvas instructors. Learn more about the New User Tutorial feature in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-04-22).

In this production release (June 24), admins and designers can create and maintain course design templates for an entire institution.


The Box previewer and Crocodoc annotation tools throughout Canvas have been replaced with Canvas DocViewer, which provides improved performance for a variety of document and image types.

For institutions using custom JavaScript, accordion widgets are no longer supported as a jQueryUI component.

For institutions using student context cards, student group leader names in a group set display context card details.

Other small changes have been made to the Rich Content Editor content selector and the Course Settings sidebar buttons.

Production release notes also include fixed bugs.

watch-screencast-red.png

Canvas New Feature Screencast (2017-06-24)

Next release schedule

  • Beta release and notes: July 3
  • Production release notes: July 10
  • Production release and documentation: July 15

Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. However, some features may already be deployed to production as indicated in the release notes.

New features may differ from those available in your beta environment. Learn more about the Canvas Release Schedule.

Account-level features are not available in Free-for-Teacher accounts.

For advanced JavaScript users: This release includes changes to Canvas that may affect styles and code in custom applications. Please make sure to view your Beta environment for any customization conflicts.

 

  New Features

  BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Blueprint Courses

Blueprint Courses are managed by the Blueprint Course feature option, which applies to the entire account. Admins can enable Blueprint Courses in Account Settings.

Blueprint Courses makes it easy for administrators or designers to deploy, update, and maintain course design templates or components across any number of courses or instructors. For an individual institution, Blueprint Courses allows Canvas admins to create content and learning objects, lock specific settings or content items, and push updates to all associated courses through course syncing.

Any items that are not locked can be managed individually by a course instructor. Content that can be managed by an instructor is not overwritten when the Blueprint Course is synced to associated courses, and new content created in any associated course is also not affected.

For more information about Blueprint Courses, please see the Canvas Release: Blueprint Courses document.

239236_pastedImage_38.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/8387-bulk-copy-shell-course-to-all-courses" modifiedtitle="tru...https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/3784-easier-importingexporting-content-from-one-course-to-anot... 

Canvas DocViewer

In the Beta environment, DocViewer must be re-enabled each week by our engineering team. Tools may not be available immediately on Monday mornings.

DocViewer automatically converts common documents types into web-viewable and interactive learning experiences. This feature replaces the current Box previewer and Crocodoc annotation tools in Canvas and provides improved performance.

For more information about Canvas DocViewer, please see the Canvas Release: Canvas DocViewer document.

239238_pastedImage_41.png

  Updated Features

  BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

People

Group Leader Context Card

This feature requires the Student Context Card feature option, which applies to an entire account. Canvas admins can enable this feature in Account Settings.

Group leader links support student context cards. When an instructor opens a group set in a course and clicks the name of a group leader, the student’s context card displays in the sidebar. If the Student Context Card feature is not enabled for an institution, clicking the group leader’s name links to the student’s user details page.

239239_pastedImage_17.png

Rich Content Editor

Content Selector Page Links

This update applies to institutions using the Remote Version of the Rich Content Editor and Sidebar account-level feature option, which is already enabled in Pages and the Syllabus but is currently optional in all other Canvas areas. Canvas admins can enable full Canvas availability for the Rich Content Editor Sidebar in their account by contacting their Canvas Customer Success Manager.

In the Content Selector Links tab, the Link to New Page link only displays to users who can edit pages. The Content Selector displays in any area of Canvas with the Rich Content Editor, such as course discussions. When a student views a discussion and creates a reply, the student cannot view the Link to New Page link unless the student can edit a course page. This change does not apply to groups, where students are always given access to edit pages.

  Other Updates

  BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Course Settings

Sidebar Links

The buttons in the sidebar have been changed for consistency with other sidebars and lists throughout Canvas. This change also improves accessibility in the Course Settings page.

239240_pastedImage_26.png

Grades

Assignment Groups and Total Points

In the Student Grades page, the Out of column displays assignment group point values in courses where students are allowed to view total grades.

239241_pastedImage_6.png

If a student is not allowed to view total grades, the assignment group displays the total percentage for the assignment group only. Total grades can be restricted by an instructor in Course Settings by hiding the totals in the student grades summary. For courses involved in Multiple Grading Periods, admins can choose to not display totals when students view the All Grading Periods option.

239242_pastedImage_8.png

release-notes-bug-fix-icon.png This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

When a student opened the Grades page and tried to hover over an assignment group percentage total, the assignment group did not display a percentage as tooltip text. Canvas code has been updated to display the group point values and total number of points in the Out of Column.

  Platform/Integration

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For details about using Canvas API documentation, please see the Canvas API Policy page.

API

Account Reports API

In the Account Reports API, the report object includes the current line count being written to the report and updates every 1000 records.

 

Files API

In the Files API, the Delete File endpoint provides clarification about deleting a file and how the call is irreversible. Moreover, content can only be deleted from the production environment.

 

Outcomes API

In the Outcomes API, the Update an Outcome endpoint allows users with the Manage Learning Outcomes permission to update text fields via the API, even if the Outcome has already been assessed. Previously, any Outcome with an associated student assessment could not be updated or edited. Supported fields include title, display_name, description, and ratings[][description]. Any other changes generate an error message.

JavaScript

Accordion jQueryUI Component

As announced in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-02-18)JavaScript modules are loaded into Canvas using Webpack instead of RequireJS. As of this release, accordion widgets are no longer supported as a jQueryUI component.

Admins who are not able to make any JavaScript adjustments can maintain any existing accordion styles by adding widgetize-canvas-lms-user-content code to their Theme Editor JavaScript file. This code does not turn content into a widget but simply maintains accordion styling.

239243_pastedImage_35.png

239244_pastedImage_36.png

JavaScript files that still rely on Canvas jQueryUI will still view a deprecation warning when using .dialogue, .draggable, .resizable, .sortable, or .tabs widget class names, all of which will eventually no longer be supported in future releases.

Ultimately, institutions who rely on custom code should add their own UI library to the custom JavaScript file uploaded to the Theme Editor.

LTI Variable Substitutions

Launch Parameter Privacy Configurations

Updated content item launch lis_launch parameters are now sent depending on the configured tool’s privacy level. Prior to this update, privacy information had to be added using variable expansions in the tool configuration.

  Fixed Bugs

  BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Accessibility

Conversations

When a user clicks the Close, Reply or Reply All buttons, focus is retained on the Close icon.

Modules
In the Module Edit window, focus is retained on the Close icon.

Rich Content Editor 
In the Table properties modal, the General and Advanced tabs indicate focus with tab outlines.

The Rich Content Editor displays the state of the toolbar focus with arrow indicators.

Rubrics
H1 headers are displayed in individual rubrics.

Admin Tools

Restore Courses Tab
The Restore Courses tab only allows an admin to search for a deleted course by ID.

Explanation: When an admin opened the Restore Courses tab to restore a deleted course, the tab included a drop-down menu to select a course by name, which never populated with any courses. Canvas code has been updated to remove the courses drop-down menu and require admins to search for deleted courses by ID.

API

Assignments API
In the Assignments API, the Edit an Assignment API call returns a 200 success status.

Explanation: When a user used the Edit an Assignment API endpoint, the API call returned an HTTP 201 error. Canvas code has been updated to return a 200 success status.

Calendar

Daylight Savings Time
Events display dates according to the user’s time zone.

Explanation: When a user set a time zone that does not observe Daylight Savings Time, calendar events display one hour ahead when the event extends into the next month. Canvas code has been updated to display dates according to the user’s time zone.

Conversations

Self-Sent Messages
Users can send messages to themselves without any other recipients.

Explanation: When a user tried to send a message with his or her name as the recipient, the message would not send and silently failed. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to send messages to themselves without any other recipients.

Course Import

Canvas Export Syllabus Page
Canvas exports do not export a blank Syllabus.

Explanation: When a user exported a Canvas course that included no changes to the Syllabus, reset the course content, and then imported the file that was exported, the Syllabus was overwritten with no content. Canvas code has been updated to not export a blank Syllabus in a course export.

Course Home Page Announcements

Imported announcements are listed in the course home page when the Show recent announcements on the course home page feature is enabled.

Explanation: When an imported course included the setting to show recent announcements on the course home page, announcements did not display on the course home page. Canvas code has been updated to show home page announcements in imported courses.

Moodle Special Characters
Moodle imports support special characters.

Explanation: When a Moodle import package included a special character, the special character was ignored in the import. Canvas code has been updated to support special characters in import packages.

Grades

Assignment Groups and Total Points
In the Student Grades page, the Out of Column displays assignment group point values in courses where students are allowed to view total grades.

Explanation: When a student opened the Grades page and tried to hover over an assignment group percentage total, the assignment group did not display a percentage as tooltip text. Canvas code has been updated to display the group point values and total number of points in the Out of Column.

Grading Periods
Grading periods can be edited for terms with large numbers of courses.

Explanation: When an admin edited a grading period for a term that included more than 2000 courses, the grading period generated an error message. Canvas code has been updated to reconfigure grading period changes for terms with large numbers of courses.

Groups

Group Leaders
Group changes are saved when a group leader is removed from a group.

Explanation: When a student group leader was removed from a group, the leader appeared to be removed but was re-added immediately afterward. Canvas code has been updated to save changes to groups when a group leader is removed from a group.

Modules

Custom Roles and Published Module Color
Users with custom instructor-based roles view module icons in Student View the same way students can view them.

Explanation: When a user with a custom instructor-based role accessed Modules using Student View, some published modules displayed in gray instead of green. Canvas code has been updated to correct user caching for custom instructor-based roles in Student View.

Module Drag and Drop
Module items are retained in the order they are reordered.

Explanation: When module items were reordered by the drag and drop option, the first module item was placed in the zero position instead of the first position. Canvas code has been updated to retain the order of each module item.

Muted Assignments and Minimum Score Requirements

Students cannot view scores in muted assignments in the assignment hover text.

Explanation: When a muted assignment was part of a module with a minimum score requirement, and a student hovered over the assignment name, the student was able to view the score as part of the hover text. Canvas code has been updated to not display module score requirements for muted assignments.

Notifications

Announcement Notifications and Section Dates
Notifications are not sent to students in a concluded section.

Explanation: When a course was concluded by section dates but the term was still active, announcement notifications were sent to students. However, if the term ended before the section end date, notifications were not sent. Canvas code has been updated to not send notifications to students in a concluded section.

Rubric Assessment Submission Reminders and Assignment Names
Rubric Assessment Submission Reminder notifications display the current name of the associated assignment.

Explanation: When an assignment name was edited, Rubric Assessment Submission Reminder notifications were not updated to the new assignment name. Canvas code has been updated to display current assignment names for reminder notifications.


Quizzes

Decimal Point Values
Quizzes with decimal answer values do not trigger a quiz re-grade.

Explanation: When a quiz included questions with decimal answer values, the quiz total rounded to a number larger than the nearest hundredth. This behavior caused the quiz to trigger a re-graded even if no changes were made to the quiz. Canvas code has been updated to correct decimal point values in quiz totals.

Lock this Quiz Functionality

Quizzes can be locked immediately for quizzes assigned to everyone.

Explanation: When the Lock this Quiz Now option was selected in a quiz, the notification showed the quiz was updated successfully but the quiz did not lock and update the option to allow the quiz to be unlocked. Canvas code has been updated to lock the quiz. This change only affects quizzes assigned to everyone and does not apply to differentiated assignments.

Source Code-16.png Canvas open source contributions: Unable to lock quizzes

Reports
Grade Export Report
When including deleted items, the Grade Export report includes inactive enrollments.

Explanation: When a Grade Export report was generated with deleted items, the report did not include inactive enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to include inactive enrollments in the Grade Export report.

Subaccount Provisioning Report and Course-Level Group Memberships
Subaccount provisioning reports display course group membership data.

Explanation: In the subaccount provisioning report for group_membership, the report only included account-level groups and not course-level groups. Canvas code has been updated to show course groups for subaccount provisioning reports.

Rich Content Editor

Safari 9.1 Content
Canvas content displays to users in Safari 9.1.

Explanation: When users viewed Canvas in Safari 9.1, the majority of Canvas content displayed as a blank page. Canvas code has been updated to display Canvas content in Safari.

Toolbar Selection
The Rich Content Editor displays the state of the toolbar focus with arrow indicators.

Explanation: When a keyboard user accessed the Rich Content Editor toolbar, the focus indicator was the same size and shape as the indicator for the selected and active states. Canvas code has been updated to display the state of the toolbar focus with arrow indicators instead of relying on color.

User Settings

Profile Pictures and Trust Accounts
Profile pictures are saved for users in trust accounts.

Explanation: When a user account was created in one account and added to a second account through a trust setup, and the user logs in to the second account and adds a profile picture, the profile picture was not saved. Canvas code has been updated to save profile pictures for users in trust accounts.

Users

User Details Page and Trust Accounts
Admins can view the User Details Page for a user in a trust account.

Explanation: When an admin viewed the User Details Page for a user in a trust account, the user ID was rounded up and displayed the page view information for the wrong user. Canvas code has been updated to associated the correct user ID for a user’s page views.

Labels (1)
Comments

Regarding the Grades change...  Is it just me, or is the "Out of" somewhat confusing when students are allowed to view total grades?

view total grades on:239269_pastedImage_2.png vs view total grades off: 239270_pastedImage_3.png

In the total grades on screenshot in the notes here, the group totals make complete sense to me, but there is no indication of any possible group "weight" there at all like there is when view total grades is off, which then makes the Total very confusing.  It appears the Total line is just representing the final percentage as a fraction, which isn't really necessary at all.

I think the group weights should always be listed somewhere there (whether the view total grades is on or off) and the "Out of" shouldn't apply to the course total line at all.

Files API

In the Files API, the Delete File endpoint provides clarification about deleting a file and how the call is irreversible. Moreover, content can only be deleted from the production environment.

I'd also like to voice my concerns about the "content can only be deleted from the production environment" part of this.  If the API only works properly in production, how are developers supposed to test code without the possibility of breaking things in their production environment?  I strongly think API (including delete) needs to be fully functional in Test and Beta as well.

Hi, 2 things:

1) I want to be clear that even though you are making the modules page the new default, that we will still be able to set a different homepage (for me, the Front Page from the Pages section).

2) This isn't really a question, just a lament that with the removal of jQuery components, instructors (or their assistants here) have even less ability to enhance and improve the functionality/navigation/style of our Canvas courses. No way our admins are going to start adding this into the institute javascript for us to use. 😕 I used tabs for a course's homepage last Spring and it was great (not having to load up a different page like if you're trying to replace the functionality with buttons) and the popups are going to come in handy for an upcoming course. I could do these things outside of Canvas and just import the pages/js/css wholesale I guess for a couple of courses whose instructors don't touch the pages and leave it to me, but it's less convenient in some ways. Oh well...

Ditto to what you said in your first point. We have worked hard to get professors to use the Front Page as a welcome and contact page before directing students to the course content in modules.

1) I want to be clear that even though you are making the modules page the new default, that we will still be able to set a different homepage (for me, the Front Page from the Pages section).

According to the wording on the Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-04-22) ... (highlighting is my own)

"In new courses, the Course Home Page defaults to the Modules layout. Instructors can still choose any home page for the course, but this change replaces the Recent Activity Stream as the Home page default."

Thanks, Chris, I had read that. I asked because wording in this release note ("On July 15, the Modules Home Page feature option will no longer be a feature option in Canvas and will apply to all new Canvas courses. ") made it sound like the Modules Home Page was no longer an "option" and was mandatory. But reading it again, I now see that they meant it's no longer a default option that Canvas admins can decide to implement if they want to, but is going to be implemented as the default regardless. 

Hi, Ashley,

If you're not already in the Canvas Developers group, you may be interested in the background related to these changes as discussed by one of our engineers in Deprecated use of magic jQueryUI widget

Thanks,

Erin

Christopher,

Our engineers aren't trying to limit the API functionality for files; they're working to protect it. When the delete method is called in test or beta, the file would be deleted from production. Test and beta are copies of production and all point to the same files.

You can still test the code if you'd like in test and beta; the functionality is the same but it just won't destroy the file.

Thanks,

Erin

We don't use the enhanceable_content class. We have our own classes for accordions and tabs and this is how we widgetize them:

     onElementRendered('div.erau-accordion', function(el) {
          $('div.erau-accordion').accordion();
     }, 4);
     onElementRendered('div.erau-ui-tabs', function(el) {
          $('div.erau-ui-tabs').tabs();
     }, 4);

This works fine in Beta. How long will jQuery UI continue to work before it is actually removed?

It will be interesting using this feature on canvas, very intricate layout.

Is there a way to remove the area annotation box in Canvas DocViewer? We can get rid of the text by replacing it with blank text. That works when the comment is made on a blank area of the page. But when a comment has been made in the text area, the box, although invisible, is still there and is layered over the document text, thereby blanking it out. Instructors who make an area notation and then want to remove it cannot either delete the box nor drag it to a blank area where it does not block existing text. I thought perhaps an eraser tool would work as well. We will be getting queries from our instructors and we have not come up with a fix or workaround to solve this issue.

Same here. Just got my first call.

Testing this (in Chrome), it looks like there are 2 layers to the box. Click so that the outside layer is selected, and hit backspace. A dialog box pops up to confirm whether you would like to delete the comment. This seems to be working for me.

Hi, Lou,

Yes, that's something our team is aware of and working to resolve. All the most recent information for DocViewer is being kept in Canvas Release: Canvas DocViewer so I'd recommend following that document for updates.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi, Simon,

Our engineers made the announcement in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-02-18)‌; changes will continue to be made though I don't have a specific timeline. Full details directly from one of our engineers is included in Deprecated use of magic jQueryUI widget, which may provide you with more helpful information.

Thanks,

Erin 

I appreciate the information.  However, it would be helpful if the Fixed Bugs section of the page was formatted with the same heading structure as the rest of the document.  I use screen reading software and it is difficult to navigate the page when there is not a consistent heading structure throughout the document.

It would also be helpful if the alt text descriptions in these documents were more descriptive.  For example, rather than "Link Graphic 1600-680/pastedImage_35", the alt text could be "Current accordion content example".    

Hey Erin,

Any chance this page will be updated to reflect that the accordion is now deprecated as well?  Canvas LMS 

I had a few users point to this and state it says nothing about going away.  Thanks!

jazemlya@iu.edu, technically it does still work (in beta since the production doesn't roll out until tomorrow), although having it in the StyleGuide makes it sound like it is supported and the documentation here in the Release Notes says:

For institutions using custom JavaScript, accordion widgets are no longer supported as a jQueryUI component.

If you go into beta, you'll see that the accordions are not automatically implemented. Based on what berubes@erau.edu  asked, I tested it and found that jQuery UI does still include the code for the accordion widget (just now unsupported and might disappear at any time).  This can be confirmed by running your own custom JavaScript on the page (I did it through the browser's console)

$('.enhanceable_content.accordion').accordion();

When you do that, the accordion comes back.

sure but if the end goal is to take this away since it has been identified as deprecated then Canvas should note it everywhere its referenced

Hi, Justin,

The style guide may be visible to Canvas users, but it is designed for developer use and built using our custom Instructure library. So what you see in the style guide may not be relevant to what you're trying to build for your own use. Accordions in the style guide will be removed once they're no longer available to Instructure developers.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi, Nicolas,

Thanks for the feedback. We've been including images with alt text but I'm not sure why the text is changing. I'll look into that.

As far as the fixed bug section, we haven't been using headings since the list can be exceptionally long, and any headings we add show up in the table of contents. I'll see what kind of modifications we may be able to make.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi, all,

We updated the release notes to include on additional Course Import fixed bug related to the course home page and announcements.

Thanks,

Erin

Anyone seeing this behavior? With the update, our branding on the root page reverts back to default. Our other pages display fine, only the root changed. So this  ...

239990_pastedImage_2.png

Becomes this at root ...

239991_pastedImage_3.png

Hi, Ira,

Any time you see something that doesn't work as intended, please submit a support case so our team can review.

Thanks!

Erin

Thanks, erinhallmark‌, will do! Just wasn't sure if it was intended behavior.

Another DocViewer issue we've been seeing is that comments quickly pile up and end up hiding comments beneath them (certainly when using the point annotation tool), especially for subjects like English where the teacher has a lot of corrections to make. Clicking on the point marker brings it forward, but it's not been obvious to students. This problem seems to largely be caused by the larger size of the comments in the margins compared to previously. 

I imagine it's more a feature than a bug, so wasn't sure about filing a ticket, but can do so!

Why was the Doc Viewer rolled out so quickly and with so many problems? It's basically an Alpha product. Did Box indicate some sort of end of life date on July 1? We're having many of the same struggles mentioned above and don't understand the lack of time to test and ready the campus. The Math department in particular is struggling because they use a graphical pen for markup.

Followup. Blackboard also uses Crocodoc, but they are moving forward with the replacement product called 'Box View' to be released in Q4. Crocodoc doesn't EOL until Jan 2018, so why the rush to move everyone over to DocViewer now? Behind the Blackboard

Hi, Rob,

You'll find a lot of questions like yours already addressed over in Canvas Release: Canvas DocViewer  and Insights: Canvas DocViewer

Thanks!

Erin 

Sadly it is not possible to copy group sets or group contents

complicated work arounds exist  ( e.g. create group shells in a new course before copy over course content and group assignment) etc- but  all manual and time consuming . I was hoping the new blueprint (master and children option) would copy group set ups and content (created by anyone) So i still  have to create say 36 separate groups, manually create all the content in EACH one and manually add students to them (if self-enrol or csv file not an option) 

My wish list re groups is 

a) the ability to create content etc in one group and then be able to copy it in ONE go to other groups in that set in that course

b) the ability to copy group set ups and ALL group content to another course 

i.e the option to clone within a course and copy set ups across different courses would be the perfect solution 

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1551-copy-group-settings 

If I may, unless it's hidden somewhere down in the comments (and I've read many of them), Rob's question about why this was rushed out when EOL for Box is Jan 2018 has not been answered. My staff are experiencing significant trouble with tools hanging and being unable to delete annotations - these are significant issues slowing down their work and costing us. 

Any resolution straussi@erau.edu‌?  I didn't notice any issue with ours - maybe something with custom CSS or JS?  Some bad JS threw our branding out a while ago when I was playing with it in Test, so it's possible some update made your custom JS file unusable.

It wasn't answered in the referenced links.

Hi, Martha,

Please reference Renee's reply about the DocViewer deadline.

Keep following https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-11514-canvas-release-docviewer?sr=search&searchId=f6b859f2-...‌ as the team is still making updates as quickly as they can.

Thanks,

Erin

Yep, as noted by Support, "it appears that they may have been a cache conflict, so went ahead and refreshed the theme for you (no modifications were made)." Once they cleared cache all was well. 

Hi, all,

Beta release notes have been published for the next upcoming release: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-11660 

Thanks!

Erin

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