Fedora Weekly News # 156

Pascal Calarco pcalarco at nd.edu
Mon Dec 15 18:29:38 UTC 2008

-- Fedora Weekly News Issue 156 --

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 156 for the week ending December 
14th, 2008.


This week's issue features an exciting discount for Fedora community 
members in Australia and New Zealand on Red Hat certification training 
and exams. Coverage of Fedora Planet includes event reports from a FOSS 
event in India and a Parisian Fedora install fest, along with a nifty XO 
Exchange Registry. Another flamewar eruption is covered on the 
Developments beat, along with updates on the D-Bus in Fedora and 
discussion on making 'updates-testing' more useful. Fedora websites are 
now available in Russian and Bulgarian, as reported in this issue's 
Translations beat. The Artwork beat reports on the Fedora Art Team's 
re-envisioning discussion as well as using the Fedora branding in the 
OLPC Sugar interface. The security advisory beat updates us on Fedora 9 
and 10 updates, along with reminders of Fedora 8 end of life, January 7, 
2009. In virtualization news, details of the latest libvert in RHEL and 
CentOS 5.2. All this and more in this week's FWN!

FWN is considering changing the format in response to some reader 
suggestions. The Developments section this week attempts to be 
considerably shorter and places URLs below each section instead of 
interspersing them after each paragraph. We welcome reader feedback on 
the subject: fedora-news-list at redhat.com.

If you are interested in contributing to Fedora Weekly News, please see 
our 'join' page[1].

FWN Editorial Team: Pascal Calarco, Oisin Feeley, Huzaifa Sidhpurwala

[0] http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora

[1] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/NewsProject/Join

-- Announcements --

In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project.



Contributing Writer: Max Spevack

-- Red Hat Certification offer --

   STOP THE PRESSES.....50% Discount on Red Hat Certification Exams

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  Special End of Year Offer for Fedora community members in Australia and
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                          February 28th, 2009

        Get your certification today!  Act now... simply visit


  for a complete list of Red Hat exams available until 28th February, 2009
  and write "Fedora Community Special" in the Promo code box.  Make sure
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  If you have a mate who would benefit from a Red Hat certification, make
                   sure you pass on the good news!

-- Terms and Conditions --

This offer begins December 15, 2008 and ends on February 28, 2009. Offer 
void if participant cancels, no shows, or requests a refund. Offer is 
subject to availability. Exams, reschedules and any retakes must be 
completed by February 28, 2009. Participants must register for the 
promotion at http://www.apac.redhat.com/training/register.php3 and enter 
“Fedora Community Special” in the Special Offers section, using their 
Fedora email id to register. Offer may not be used for exams in which 
you are already enrolled, cancellations and re-bookings. This offer is 
not valid in conjunction with any other promotions or special pricing. 
Participant is responsible for assessing his/her suitability for 
enrolling in the appropriate exam. Government employees and contractors 
may not be eligible to receive this offer and the participant 
acknowledges that his/her employer is aware of and consents to the 
receipt of the offer, and that the receipt of the offer does not violate 
the organisation’s policies and regulations. Void where prohibited by 
law. Offer is available to residents of Australia and New Zealand only. 
Red Hat reserves the right to withdraw or extend this offer at anytime.

-- Updates --

Paul Frields wrote[1] about the update problem affecting D-Bus. 
"Recently, an update of D-Bus software package in Fedora 10 caused the 
substantial breakage of some applications, including PackageKit."

The announcement includes instructions that explain how a user can 
update the system manually using yum on the command-line, and return to 

If you are unable to perform a normal system update using PackageKit and 
need help, please read the full announcement.


-- Planet Fedora --

In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora - an 
aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.


Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin

-- General --

Dave Jones answers[1] some frequently asked questions and common 
misconceptions regarding Virtual Memory in Linux

Tom Tromey concluded[2,3,4] his excellent series on scripting and 
extending GDB with Python, including some PyGTK widgetry inside GDB.

Michael DeHaan contemplates the complexity of software projects and how 
to encourage new people to get involved and contribute. "Projects that 
have a lot of complex interrelationships and need a lot of experience 
with the codebase (that is acquired over a long period of time) are less 
apt to attract casual contributions"[5]

Jesse Keating announced[6] a new Fedora Hosted project, Offtrac: 
"Offtrac is my attempt at creating a python library for interacting with 
trac via xmlrpc." The project can already perform a number of tasks 
including querying, retrieving and creating tickets and milestones.

Kulbir Saini presented[7] some ideas for hacking a Linux install to make 
it boot faster.

Luis Villa offered[8] a followup regarding some comments that he had 
made criticizing OpenOffice.org's user interface and praising Office 2007.

Máirín Duffy put together[9] an impressive Lightscribe label template 
for Fedora.

Greg DeKoenigsberg introduced[10] the XO Exchange Registry that 
"connects people who have XOs and don't need them with people who need 
XOs and don't have them."

Tom Callaway ranted[11] (don't worry, those are his own words) about 
FOSS licensing. He notes that there are no clear standards for what 
defines a "Free" distribution, as there are often cases where truly 
difficult questions arise, but adds "This is why for Fedora, the goal of 
being 100% Free isn't something that we're losing sleep over. Sure, we'd 
like to be 100% Free, and we're working towards that every day, but 
actually being 100% Free is HARD, especially if you want more than 700 
MB of packages."

John Poelstra discussed[12] the "Benefits of Detailed Schedules" after 
last week's approval of the Fedora 11 schedule.

Till Maas announced[13] "some webpages that cache bugzilla queries of 
package review requests". So if anyone out there would like to jump in 
and help review some packages, please do so! (there were 719 packages in 
the NEW state when Till's post went up and already 725 by the time this 
sentence was written).

Luke Macken decided to share[14] a small python program that determines 
"the amount of time Fedora updates spend in testing within bodhi". Click 
in to see the results.

Matthew Garrett apparently spent a bit of time traveling, and during 
that time analyzed[15] a number of showers, as a metaphor for UI design 
in software.

Luke Macken committed a Python API for interacting with the Fedora Wiki 
and shows off[16] some of its statistical gathering abilities.

[1] http://kernelslacker.livejournal.com/132396.html

[2] http://tromey.com/blog/?p=548

[3] http://tromey.com/blog/?p=550

[4] http://tromey.com/blog/?p=552

[5] http://www.michaeldehaan.net/?p=798

[6] http://jkeating.livejournal.com/66433.html

[7] http://fedora.co.in/content/how-boot-your-fedora-faster


[9] http://mihmo.livejournal.com/65518.html

[10] http://gregdek.livejournal.com/42524.html

[11] http://spot.livejournal.com/303000.html

[12] http://poelcat.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/benefits-of-detailed-schedules/

[13] http://blogs.23.nu/till/2008/12/cached-package-review-buglists/

[14] http://lewk.org/blog/time-in-testing.html

[15] http://mjg59.livejournal.com/104279.html

[16] http://lewk.org/blog/wiki.html

-- Events --

Folks are still posting[17,18,19] photos and writeups of their 
experience at FOSS.IN. It really sounds like an amazing time was had by all.


[18] http://sayamindu.randomink.org/ramblings/2008/12/08/fossin-2008/

[19] http://kushaldas.in/2008/12/10/what-else-we-did-at-fossin/

Thomas Canniot wrote[20] about a successful Fedora Install Fest in Paris

[20] http://blog.mrtomlinux.org/index.php?post/Fedora-10-Install-Fest-Report

-- Developments --

In this section the people, personalities and debates on the 
@fedora-devel mailing list are summarized.

Contributing Writer: Oisin Feeley

-- Fedora 11: OSS and PulseAudio Conflict Resolved by CUSE ? --

A thread[1] from November led Warren Togami to suggest[2] a plan to use 
CUSE[3] as part of a strategy to deprecate the near obsolete Open Sound 
System (OSS) which wreaks havoc with PulseAudio enabled boxes. The plan 
included a fallback to OSS for users who really wanted it.

Bastien Nocera was[4] skeptical that CUSE would be ready in time for 
Fedora 11 and suggested instead that a list of applications using OSS be 
created so that they could be fixed.



[3] Character Devices in User space: http://lwn.net/Articles/308445/


-- Rawhide Report 2008-12-08 --

When the latest Rawhide Report logged[1] one maintainers use of 
cvs-import.sh Dominik Mierzejewski criticised[2] the use of the script 
for updating. Richard Jones asked[3]: "[I]s this stuff really documented 
anywhere? I have tended to learn it by osmosis, deduction and reading 
the horribly complicated rules in Makefile.common."

Jason Tibbitts argued[4] that using cvs-import.sh nullified the 
potential advantages of using an SCM as it sequestered the sources 
elsewhere. Jesse Keating disagreed[5] due to ease of use issues.

A direct answer was provided[6] by Patrice Dumas with links to the 
relevant portions of the wiki.







-- The D-Bus Problem --

Ian Amess asked[1] for the current status of a problem caused by a 
substantial update of the D-Bus package. The update had resulted in the 
incapacitation of many packages. The most important of these was 
PackageKit, the default graphical application for managing software.

Colin Walters decided[2] that reverting the update was necessary and 
that changes to D-Bus policy would be postponed. PackageKit, and its 
GNOME and KDE clients were updated[3] by Richard Hughes in an attempt to 
accommodate the changes. Richard testified that "[o]ver the last two 
days we've all been working really hard on fixing up all the projects 
after the DBus update. I know personally I'm closing a duplicate 
bugzilla every 30 minutes." He noted that the delay between creating an 
update and pushing it to a mirror was a limiting factor in being able to 
implement these fixes.

A post to @fedora-announce by Paul Frields explained[4] the series of 
steps which allowed users to re-enable normal system updates using 
PackageKit. As of 2008-12-15 this notice also appears at the top of all 
the Fedora Project wiki pages.





-- Fedora Com System ? --

An exploration of possible ways to alert users to critical information 
was initiated[1] by Arthur Pemberton. Most ideas seemed to center around 
some sort of RSS feed enabled by default on the desktop.


-- YUM: Enable --skip-broken by Default ? --

Aliasing yum update to yum --skip-broken update was suggested[1] by 
Steven Moix as a way to prevent a lot of recurring support problems by 
eliminating dependency problems.

It was attempted[2] to strike a balance between reporting these broken 
dependencies so that they can be fixed and guarding the list of packages 
on a user's system as private information.

A divergent sub-thread delved[3] into the appropriate use of Conflicts: 
in rpm packages.




-- Making `updates-testing' More Useful --

The means to enable PackageKit to prompt willing users to install 
testing updates was explored in a thread opened[1] by Matthias Clasen: 
"Basically, PackageKit should know that these are testing updates, and 
should ask me 'There are ... package updates available that need 
testing. Do you want to test these now ?' For extra points, we could 
even show a 'report back' link somewhere that allows to send comments to 

Richard Hughes prototyped a solution but worried[2] that it would be 
necessary to make changes to the users' repository configurations 
without their explicit consent.

A sub-thread discussed[3] the problem of out-of-sync mirrors and the use 
of the --skip-broken option with yum (see also this same FWN#156"YUM: 
Enable --skip-broken by Default?".)




-- Fedora Suckage ? --

The tinder for this week's massive flamewar was laid[1] by Robert Scheck 
in the form of a dryly ironic, multiple-topic rant. Robert attacked the 
use of "memory wasting" python daemons, lags in pushing updates compared 
to the EPEL repositories, lack of information on the recent intrusion, 
poor German translation, the minimal requirements for LiveCD usage, 
RPM-4.6 bugs, Red Hat employees blocking Merge Reviews, PackageKit bugs, 
and the EU support organisation for Fedora[2]!

Although there were several worthy attempts to make use of the above 
material for a true conflagration in general the opportunity was wasted 
and instead several rational, civil discussions of possible underlying 
causes and explanations took place. There were some worthy attempts to 
respond to all parts of this portmanteau complaint, but for the most 
part the discussion fractured naturally into several threads.

One such thread was concerned with the pushing of a D-Bus update which 
broke many applications including PackageKit. Kevin Kofler argued[3] 
that "[...] we need to be more careful with certain types of security 
updates, and better let them get some QA even if it means the fix gets 
delayed." Michael Schwendt asserted[4] the lack of active Quality 
Assurance as one of the contributing factors. KevinKofler explained[5] 
that the package had been rushed out "Because it was deemed a security 
update, complete with a CVE ID[.]" See this FWN#156 "The D-Bus Problem" 
for more details.

Max Spevack took up[6] the complaints about Fedora EMEA and more of that 
discussion continued[7] on the more appropriate @fedora-ambassadors list.

No further information on the security intrusion was forthcoming from 
Paul Frields but he relayed[8] that the matter was not being forgotten 
or hushed up and that he planned to meet with others to discuss 
communication procedures for any possible future intrusions.

Richard Hughes asked[9] for specific bugs to be filed instead of general 
rants: "[...] I think you need to write much shorter, to the point 
emails. Ranting doesn't have much affect on anything, whilst filing bugs 
and getting involved upstream does." He also corrected Robert that many 
of the daemons which he complained about were written in C, not in Python.

Colin Walters issued[10] a mea culpa: "Just to be clear, the direct push 
into stable is my fault; not Red Hat's or other DBus developers or 
anyone else's. I had originally listed it for updates-testing, but then 
changed the update to security and in a moment of total stupidity also 
changed the listing for stable."

The idea of "repeatable updates" was raised[11] again by Les Mikesell 
and critiqued for want of a practical implementation by James Antill. 
Jesse Keating made[12] a suggestion: "Treat rawhide as your 'new code' 
land, leave the release trees as your 'testing and working' code. That 
is don't be so goddamn eager to push new packages and new upstream 
releases to every freaking branch in existence."

Behdad Esfahbod tackled[13] the issue of Red Hat employees allegedly 
stalling on merge reviews. Behdad criticized the jumbling together of so 
many issues and repudiated any suggestion that as the maintainer of 
un-reviewed packages he "[...] must incorporate the merge reviews and 
close them, no thank you, I don't mind not maintaining anything in 
Fedora, and I certainly didn't block anyone from making progress in the 
merge reviews. When you say `The Red Hat people have to follow the 
Fedora packaging guidelines and rules same as the Fedora folks', does it 
mean that Fedora should feel free to decide what *I* work on, when it 
doesn't decide what `other Fedora folks' work on? That doesn't feel right."

The criticism of LiveCD localization was handled[14] by Jeroen van 
Meeuwen and he accepted that it would be useful if there were some 
manner in which the Spin SIG could create spins and torrent seeds 
outside of Fedora release engineering. It seemed that the need to make 
absolutely certain that such torrents and spins are kept available for 
support purposes may make this difficult.


[2] EMEA is a non-profit organization with the mission to provide a 
focal-point and economic base for the European Fedora community. 





[7] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-ambassadors-list/2008- 








-- Help Needed: Sift "rawhide" for .pc Files --

Jesse Keating requested[1] "[...] somebody to examine all the packages 
in rawhide that provide .pc [pkg-config] files and ensure proper 
placement of them based on the review guideline. This will likely 
require interaction with the packages maintainer(s) so the first step 
should probably be to produce a list of packages that ship .pc in a non 
-devel package and send the list (sorted by maintainer) to here so that 
we can discuss and pick off items."

Michael Schwendt helped[2] to start the process by providing some lists 
of non-devel packages which included .pc files or had requires which 
pulled in packages which provided .pc files.



-- Offtrac --

An itch scratched[1] by Jesse Keating was to be able to interact with 
Trac via the commandline to create milestones for the Fedora 11 release 
cycle. He implemented his own python library, named Offtrac, to interact 
with trac using XML-RPC and asked for help in firming up the API and 
extending his client. Later Jesse explained[2] that the purpose was to 
"[...] make some aspects of using trac easier for folks, not just 
project owners but people who file tickets in track, like say for 
package tagging requests, or blocks, or... "



-- Updates QA and Karma --

The updates system came in for some more questioning (see this FWN#156 
"Making `updates-testing' More Useful") when Orion Poplawski showed[1] 
that an rpcbind update for Fedora 9 may have been pushed to stable 
despite comments made by him indicating that it failed due to a 
dependency. Orion asked two questions: "[1] Should update submitters be 
allowed to give positive karma to their updates? Seems like that they 
are too biased. [2] Is there any requirement that an update have 
positive karma before being pushed to stable?"

It appeared that ultimately monitoring of such pushes are down to 
package maintainers and depend upon the good judgment of those doing the 
updates. Michael Schwendt provided[2] an overview of the situation.



-- Translation --

This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) 


Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee
-- Modules Updated in translate.fedoraproject.org

5 modules have been updated[1] in translate.fedoraproject.org due to a 
move in the backend repositories. These are 
system-config-(services|date|samba|users|nfs). NilsPhilippsen had 
earlier conveyed[2] the proposed shift. These modules can now be updated 
via translate.fedoraprojet.org. DiegoZacarao also adds[1] that the docs 
modules for these 5 modules would also be added soon for translation 



-- New languages for Fedora Websites --

The Fedora website pages can now be seen in two more languages - 
Russian[3] and Bulgarian[4]. Additionally, RickyZhou also mentions[5][6] 
that the language code needs to be added to the LINGUAS file and a 
ticket with Fedora Infrastructure can be filed to ensure the 
translations included in Fedora websites.





-- Fedora 10- Release Notes Updation Process --

Any changes to the Fedora 10 Release Notes are to be submitted via 
translate.fedoraproject.org into the "f1-" branch[7]. KarstenWade also 
mentions that an intimation to the fedora-docs mailing list would be 
helpful to ensure that the modifications are accounted for, for the next 


-- Suggestions for Fedora Translation Process Improvements --

RobertScheck initiated a general discussion[8] about suggestions to 
various aspects of the Fedora process including translations. Thomas 
Spura suggested an an online translation tool[9] that would help more 
translators to participate in the translation process. Lauri Nurmi 
reiterates[10] the risks to quality of translations due to a splurge in 
the quantity of unmonitored translations.




-- New Members in FLP --

Christof Kälin[11], Mario Italo[12] and Liu Peng[13] joined the German, 
Brazilian Portugeuse and Simplified Chinese teams respectively.




-- Artwork --

In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.


Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei

-- Reimagining the Fedora Art Team --

Following a talk on the chat channel, Máirín Duffy proposed[1] on 
@fedora-art a reimagining of the Art Team, as a better way to define the 
activities encompassed by its members "The Fedora Art Team's name and 
focus is more on artwork than UI design. Folks in Fedora who need help 
with UI design or potential contributors who want to help out with UI 
design might not necessarily link those kinds of tasks to an art team so 
they might be a bit lost. What if we renamed the art team to be the 
'Fedora Design & Creative Team,' and the art team as it is now would be 
a subgroup of this new design team? Under a 'design' banner, it might be 
easier for developers seeking out UI design advice to know where to go, 
and for community UI designers to find a home / a place to get 
involved." The proposal was welcomed warmly, with only a minor technical 
concern[2] from Ian Weller "Only thing I'm worried about is renaming all 
the references to the Art team that we control, but, eh, whatever."



-- OLPC Branding --

An earlier project of the Art Team, reported back at the time in Fedora 
Weekly News, to create a secondary mark for Fedora derivatives came to 
fruition: OLPC has started to use it for Sugar and Paul Frields asked[1] 
for a guidelines compliance check on @fedora-art and Máirín Duffy 
approved[2] it. This is the first known use of the secondary trademark.



-- A Fedora Promo Video (Beta) --

María Leandro posted[1] on @fedora-art a video experiment she's working 
on "I'm working on some videos that can be used on events or some clips. 
This is the first beta (well... 2nd) and is an easy animation on blender 
with the 'infinite' and the 'four f's' messages. The idea came up 
because in LatinAmerica there's an event, FLISoL (installfest) and it 
was a good idea to have 'something' on the big screen when the 
Fedora-Team is giving some information, media and stickers" and followed 
quickly[2] with an improved version. WARNING: the video[3] is available 
in the "evil" Flash format.



[3] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci2DhmjqWt0

-- Security Advisories --

In this section, we cover Security Advisories from fedora-package-announce.


Contributing Writer: David Nalley

-- Fedora 10 Security Advisories --

     * dbus-1.2.6-1.fc10 - 
     * squirrelmail-1.4.17-2.fc10 - 
     * clamav-0.94.2-1.fc10 - 
     * syslog-ng-2.0.10-1.fc10 - 
     * java-1.6.0-openjdk- - 
     * awstats-6.8-3.fc10 - 
     * vinagre-2.24.2-1.fc10 - 
     * cups-1.3.9-4.fc10 - 
     * gallery2-2.3-1.fc10 - 
     * drupal-6.7-1.fc10 - 
     * roundcubemail-0.2-4.beta.fc10 - 
     * phpMyAdmin-3.1.1-1.fc10 - 

-- Fedora 9 Security Advisories --

     * squirrelmail-1.4.17-1.fc9 - 
     * syslog-ng-2.0.10-1.fc9 - 
     * java-1.6.0-openjdk- - 
     * dbus-1.2.6-1.fc9 - 
     * vinagre-0.5.2-1.fc9 - 
     * awstats-6.8-3.fc9 - 
     * cups-1.3.9-2.fc9 - 
     * phpMyAdmin-3.1.1-1.fc9 - 
     * drupal-6.7-1.fc9 - 
     * roundcubemail-0.2-4.beta.fc9 - 
     * gallery2-2.3-1.fc9 - 

-- Fedora 8 Security Advisories --

Fedora 8 is nearing EOL

Per FESCo support for Fedora 8 will be discontinued on January 7th 2009 

     * squirrelmail-1.4.17-1.fc8 - 
     * syslog-ng-2.0.10-1.fc8 - 
     * awstats-6.8-3.fc8 - 
     * vinagre-0.4-2.fc8 - 
     * cups-1.3.9-2.fc8 - 
     * drupal-5.13-1.fc8 - 
     * roundcubemail-0.2-4.beta.fc8 - 
     * phpMyAdmin-3.1.1-1.fc8 - 
     * gallery2-2.3-1.fc8 - 

-- Libvirt List --

This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.

-- sVirt 0.20 Patch Request for Comments --

James Morris announced[1] "the release of v0.20[2] of sVirt, a project 
to add security labeling support to Linux-based virtualization. I'm 
hoping to be able to propose an initial version for upstream merge 
within the next few minor releases, tasks for which are being scoped out 
in the new TODO list[3]."

"If the current release passes review, the next major task will be to 
add dynamic MCS labeling of domains and disk images for simple isolation."

Daniel P. Berrange said "this patch all looks pretty good to me from a 
the point of view of libvirt integration & XML config representation."

[1] http://www.redhat.com/archives/libvir-list/2008-December/msg00260.html


[3] http://selinuxproject.org/page/SVirt/TODO

-- Latest libvirt on RHEL and CentOS 5.2 --

Marco Sinhoreli needed[1] image:Echo-package-16px.pnglibvirt 0.5.x for 
testing oVirt on RHEL 5.2. Marco wondered what was necessary to update 
from the 0.3.x version available for RHEL.

Soon after, Daniel P. Berrange "uploaded[2] a set of patches[3] which 
make libvirt 0.5.1 work with RHEL-5's version of Xen. Basically we have 
to tweak a few version assumptions to take account of fact that RHEL-5 
Xen has a number of feature backports like the new paravirt framebuffer 
and NUMA support."

"Of course running a newer libvirt on RHEL-5 is totally unsupported but 
hopefully these will be usful to those who absolutely need this newer 
libvirt and don't mind about lack of support."

[1] http://www.redhat.com/archives/libvir-list/2008-December/msg00218.html

[2] http://www.redhat.com/archives/libvir-list/2008-December/msg00298.html

[3] http://berrange.fedorapeople.org/libvirt-rhel5-xen/

-- oVirt Devel List --

This section contains the discussion happening on the ovirt-devel list.

-- Building oVirt from Rawhide --

Perry Myers posted[1] instructions for building[2] and installing[3] 
oVirt from rawhide.

[1] http://www.redhat.com/archives/ovirt-devel/2008-December/msg00127.html

[2] http://ovirt.org/rawhide-build-instructions.html

[3] http://ovirt.org/rawhide-install-instructions.html

--- end Fedora Weekly News #156 ---

Pascal Calarco

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