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Overview
Comment:Fix typos in the new locking document. (CVS 1571)
Downloads: Tarball | ZIP archive | SQL archive
Timelines: family | ancestors | descendants | both | trunk
Files: files | file ages | folders
SHA1: 022075517cc0edc5f21de4b92ef188bda2034c98
User & Date: drh 2004-06-11 22:04:31
Context
2004-06-12
00:42
Use the SQLITE_UTF* symbols instead of the old internal TEXT_Utf* symbols. (CVS 1572) check-in: 9b84f2f4 user: danielk1977 tags: trunk
2004-06-11
22:04
Fix typos in the new locking document. (CVS 1571) check-in: 02207551 user: drh tags: trunk
17:48
Documentation of the new pager locking mechanism. (CVS 1570) check-in: 13cf1ba8 user: drh tags: trunk
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Changes to www/lockingv3.tcl.

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set pnum(6) 0
set pnum(7) 0
set pnum(8) 0

HEADING 1 {File Locking And Concurrency In SQLite Version 3}

puts {
<p>Version 3 of SQLite introduces a more sophisticated locking mechanism
design to improve concurrency and reduce the writer starvation problem.


This document describes the new locking mechanism.
The intended audience is programmers who want to understand and/or modify
the pager code and reviewers working to verify the design
of SQLite version 3.
</p>
}

................................................................................
HEADING 1 {Overview}

puts {
<p>
Locking and concurrency control are handled by the the 
<a href="http://www.sqlite.org/cvstrac/getfile/sqlite/src/pager.c">
pager module</a>.
The pager module is responsible for make SQLite "ACID" (Atomic,
Consistent, Isolated, and Durable).  The pager module makes sure changes
happen all at once, that either all changes occur or none of them do,
that two or more threads or processes do not try to access the database
in incompatible ways at the same time, and that once changes have been
written they persist until explicitly deleted.  The pager also provides
an memory cache of some of the contents of the disk file.</p>

<p>The pager is unconcerned
with the details of B-Trees, text encodings, indices, and so forth.
From the point of view of the pager, the database consists of
a single file of uniform-sized blocks.  Each block is called a
"page" is is usually 1024 bytes in size.   The pages are numbered
beginning with 1.  So the first 1024 bytes of the database are called
"page 1" and the second 1024 bytes are call "page 2" and so forth. All 
other encoding details are handled by higher layers of the library.  
The pager communicates with the operating system using one of several
modules 
(Examples:
<a href="http://www.sqlite.org/cvstrac/getfile/sqlite/src/os_unix.c">
os_unix.c</a>,
<a href="http://www.sqlite.org/cvstrac/getfile/sqlite/src/os_win.c">
os_win.c</a>)
that provides a uniform abstraction for operating system services.
</p>





}

HEADING 1 {Locking}

puts {
<p>
From the point of view of a single thread or process, a database file
can be in one of five locking states:
</p>

<p>
<table cellpadding="20">
<tr><td valign="top">UNLOCKED</td>
<td valign="top">
No locks are held on the database.  The database may be neither read nor
written.  Any internally cached data is considered suspect and subject to
verification against the database file before being used.  Other threads
and processes can read or write the database as their own locking states
permit.  This is the default state.
</td></tr>

<tr><td valign="top">SHARED</td>
<td valign="top">
The database may be read but not written.  Any number of threads or
processes can hold SHARED locks at the same time, hence there can be
many simultaneous readers.  But no other thread or process is allowed
to write to the database file while one or more SHARED locks are active.
</td></tr>

<tr><td valign="top">RESERVED</td>
<td valign="top">
................................................................................
EXCLUSIVE locks are held.
</td></tr>
</table>
</p>

<p>
The operating system interface layer understands and tracks all five
locking states described above.  (It has to, since it is responsible
for implementing the locks.)  But the pager module only tracks four
of the five locking states.  A PENDING lock is always just a temporary
stepping stone on the path to an EXCLUSIVE lock and so the pager module
does not track PENDING locks.
</p>
}

HEADING 1 {The Rollback Journal}

................................................................................
back to its original size on a rollback.</p>

<p>The rollback journal is a ordinary disk file that has the same name as
the database file with the suffix "<tt>-journal</tt>" added.</p>

<p>If SQLite is working with multiple databases at the same time
(using the ATTACH command) then each database has its own journal.
But there is also a separate aggregate journal called the "master journal".

The master journal does not contain page data used for rolling back
changes.  Instead the master journal contains the names of the
individual file journals for each of the ATTACHed databases.   Each of
the individual file journals also contain the name of the master journal.
If there are no ATTACHed databases (or if none of the ATTACHed database
is participating in the current transaction) no master journal is
created and the normal rollback journal contains an empty string
in the place normally reserved for recording the name of the master
journal.</p>

<p>A individual file journal is said to be "hot" if it needs to be rolled back

in order to restore the integrity of its database.  
A hot journal is created when a process is in the middle of a database
update and a program or operating system crash or power failure prevents 
the update from completing.
Hot journals are an exception condition. 
Hot journals exist to facility recovery from crashes and power failures.
If everything is working correctly 
................................................................................
<p>
If no master journal is involved, then
a journal is hot if it exists and its corresponding database file
does not have a RESERVED lock.
If a master journal is named in the file journal, then the file journal
is hot if its master journal exists and there is no RESERVED
lock on the corresponding database file.


</p>











}

HEADING 2 {Dealing with hot journals}

puts {
<p>
Before reading from a a database file, SQLite always checks to see if that
file has a hot journal.  If the file does have a hot journal, then the
journal is rolled back before the file is read.  In this way, we ensure
that the database file is in a consistent state before it is read.
</p>

<p>When a process wants to read from a database file, it followed
the following sequence of steps:
</p>

................................................................................
<ol>
<li>Open the database file and obtain a SHARED lock.  If the SHARED lock
    cannot be obtained, fail immediately and return SQLITE_BUSY.</li>
<li>Check to see if the database file has a hot journal.   If the file
    does not have a hot journal, we are done.  Return immediately.
    If there is a hot journal, that journal must be rolled back by
    the subsequent steps of this algorithm.</li>
<li>Acquire a PENDING then an EXCLUSIVE lock on the database file.
    (Note: do not acquire a RESERVED lock because that would make
    other processes think the journal was no longer hot.)  If we
    fail to acquire this lock it means another process or thread
    is already trying to do the rollback.  In that case,
    drop all locks, close the database, and return SQLITE_BUSY. </li>
<li>Read the journal file and roll back the changes.</li>
<li>Wait for the rolled back changes to be written onto 
    the surface of the disk.  This protects the integrity of the database
    in case another power failure or crash occurs.</li>
<li>Delete the journal file.</li>
................................................................................
we check each of those file journals.  If any of the file journals named
in the master journal exists and points back to the master journal, then
the master journal is not stale.  If all file journals are either missing
or refer to other master journals or no master journal at all, then the
master journal we are testing is stale and can be safely deleted.</p>
}

HEADING 2 {Writing to a database file}

puts {
<p>To write to a database, a process must first acquire a SHARED lock
as described above (possibly rolling back incomplete changes if there
is a hot journal). 
After a SHARED lock is obtained, a RESERVED lock must be acquired.
The RESERVED lock signals that the process intentions to write to the
database at some point in the future.  Only one process at a time
can hold a reserved lock.  But other processes can continue to read
the database while the RESERVED lock is held.
</p>

<p>If the process that wants to write is unable to obtain a RESERVED
lock, it must mean that another process already has a RESERVED lock.
In that case, the write attempt fails and returns SQLITE_BUSY.</p>

................................................................................
<p>After obtaining a RESERVED lock, the process that wants to write
creates a rollback journal.  The header of the journal is initialized
with the original size of the database file.  Space in the journal header
is also reserved for a master journal name, though the master journal
name is initially empty.</p>

<p>Before making changes to any page of the database, the process writes
the original value of that page into the rollback journal.  Changes
to pages are held in memory at first and are not written to the disk.
The original database file remains unaltered, which means that other
processes can continue to read the database.</p>

<p>Eventually, the writing process will want to update the database
file, either because its memory cache has filled up or because it is
ready to commit its changes.  Before this happens, the writer must
................................................................................
<p>
If the reason for writing to the database file is because the memory
cache was full, then the writer will not commit right away.  Instead,
the writer might continue to make changes to other pages.  Before 
subsequent changes are written to the database file, the rollback
journal must be flushed to disk again.  Note also that the EXCLUSIVE
lock that the writer obtained in order to write to the database initially
must be held until all changes are committed.  That means that from the
time the memory cache first spills to disk up until the transaction
commits, no other processes are able to access the database.


</p>

<p>
When a writer is ready to commit its changes, it executes the following
steps:
</p>

................................................................................
    will persist.
    </li>
<li>Delete all individual journal files.
<li>Drop the EXCLUSIVE and PENDING locks from all database files.
    </li>
</ol>
}




















HEADING 1 {How To Corrupt Your Database Files}

puts {
<p>The pager module is robust but it is not completely failsafe.
It can be subverted.  This section attempt to identify and explain
the risks.</p>

<p>
Clearly, a hardware or operating system fault that introduces incorrect data
into the middle of the database file or journal will cause problems.
Likewise, 
if a rogue process opens a database file or journal and writes malformed
data into the middle of it, then the database will become corrupt.
There is not much that can be done about these kinds of problems so
so they are given no further attention.
</p>

<p>
SQLite uses POSIX advisory locks to implement locking on Unix.  On
windows it uses the LockFile(), LockFileEx(), and UnlockFile() system
calls.  SQLite assumes that these system calls all work as advertised.  If
that is not the case, then database corruption can result.  One should
note that POSIX advisory locking is known to be buggy or even unimplemented
on many NFS implementations (including recent versions of Mac OS X)
and that there are persistent reports of locking problems
for network filesystems under windows.  Your best defense is to not
use SQLite for files on a network filesystem.
</p>

<p>
SQLite uses the fsync() system call to flush data to the disk under Unix and
it uses the FlushFileBuffers() to do the same under windows.  Once again,
................................................................................
<p>
The last (fourth) bullet above merits additional comment.  When SQLite creates
a journal file on Unix, it opens the directory that contains that file and
calls fsync() on the directory, in an effort to push the directory information
to disk.  But suppose some other process is adding or removing unrelated
files to the directory that contains the database and journal at the the
moment of a power failure.  The supposedly unrelated actions of this other
process might in the journal file being dropped from the directory and
moved into "lost+found".  This is an unlikely scenario, but it could happen.
The best defenses are to use a journaling filesystem or to keep the
database and journal in a directory by themselves.
</p>

<p>
For a commit involving multiple databases and a master journal, if the
................................................................................
HEADING 1 {Transaction Control At The SQL Level}

puts {
<p>
The changes to locking and concurrency control in SQLite version 3 also
introduce some subtle changes in the way transactions work at the SQL
language level.
By default, SQLite version 3 operates in "autocommit" mode.  In autocommit mode,

all changes to the database are committed as soon as all operations associated
with the current database connection complete.</p>

<p>The SQL command "BEGIN TRANSACTION" (the TRANSACTION keyword
is optional) is used to take SQLite out of autocommit mode.
Note that the BEGIN command does not acquire any locks on the database.
After a BEGIN command, a SHARED lock will be acquired when the first
SELECT statement is executed.  A RESERVED lock will be acquired when
the first INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE statement is executed.  No EXCLUSIVE
locks is acquired until either the memory cache fills up and must
be spilled to disk or until the transaction commits.  In this way,
the system delays blocking read access to the file file until the
last possible moment.
</p>

<p>The SQL command "COMMIT"  does not actually commit the changes to
disk.  It just turns autocommit back on.  Then, at the conclusion of
................................................................................
than commit.</p>

<p>If the SQL COMMIT command turns autocommit on and the autocommit logic
then tries to commit change but fails because some other process is holding
a SHARED lock, then autocommit is turned back off automatically.  This
allows the user to retry the COMMIT at a later time after the SHARED lock
has had an opportunity to clear.</p>









}


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set pnum(7) 0
set pnum(8) 0

HEADING 1 {File Locking And Concurrency In SQLite Version 3}

puts {
<p>Version 3 of SQLite introduces a more complex locking and journaling 
mechanism designed to improve concurrency and reduce the writer starvation 
problem.  The new mechanism also allows atomic commits of transactions
involving multiple database files.
This document describes the new locking mechanism.
The intended audience is programmers who want to understand and/or modify
the pager code and reviewers working to verify the design
of SQLite version 3.
</p>
}

................................................................................
HEADING 1 {Overview}

puts {
<p>
Locking and concurrency control are handled by the the 
<a href="http://www.sqlite.org/cvstrac/getfile/sqlite/src/pager.c">
pager module</a>.
The pager module is responsible for making SQLite "ACID" (Atomic,
Consistent, Isolated, and Durable).  The pager module makes sure changes
happen all at once, that either all changes occur or none of them do,
that two or more processes do not try to access the database
in incompatible ways at the same time, and that once changes have been
written they persist until explicitly deleted.  The pager also provides
an memory cache of some of the contents of the disk file.</p>

<p>The pager is unconcerned
with the details of B-Trees, text encodings, indices, and so forth.
From the point of view of the pager the database consists of
a single file of uniform-sized blocks.  Each block is called a
"page" and is usually 1024 bytes in size.   The pages are numbered
beginning with 1.  So the first 1024 bytes of the database are called
"page 1" and the second 1024 bytes are call "page 2" and so forth. All 
other encoding details are handled by higher layers of the library.  
The pager communicates with the operating system using one of several
modules 
(Examples:
<a href="http://www.sqlite.org/cvstrac/getfile/sqlite/src/os_unix.c">
os_unix.c</a>,
<a href="http://www.sqlite.org/cvstrac/getfile/sqlite/src/os_win.c">
os_win.c</a>)
that provides a uniform abstraction for operating system services.
</p>

<p>The pager module effectively controls access for separate threads, or
separate processes, or both.  Throughout this document whenever the
word "process" is written you may substitute the word "thread" without
changing the truth of the statement.</p>
}

HEADING 1 {Locking}

puts {
<p>
From the point of view of a single process, a database file
can be in one of five locking states:
</p>

<p>
<table cellpadding="20">
<tr><td valign="top">UNLOCKED</td>
<td valign="top">
No locks are held on the database.  The database may be neither read nor
written.  Any internally cached data is considered suspect and subject to
verification against the database file before being used.  Other 
processes can read or write the database as their own locking states
permit.  This is the default state.
</td></tr>

<tr><td valign="top">SHARED</td>
<td valign="top">
The database may be read but not written.  Any number of 
processes can hold SHARED locks at the same time, hence there can be
many simultaneous readers.  But no other thread or process is allowed
to write to the database file while one or more SHARED locks are active.
</td></tr>

<tr><td valign="top">RESERVED</td>
<td valign="top">
................................................................................
EXCLUSIVE locks are held.
</td></tr>
</table>
</p>

<p>
The operating system interface layer understands and tracks all five
locking states described above.  
The pager module only tracks four of the five locking states.
A PENDING lock is always just a temporary
stepping stone on the path to an EXCLUSIVE lock and so the pager module
does not track PENDING locks.
</p>
}

HEADING 1 {The Rollback Journal}

................................................................................
back to its original size on a rollback.</p>

<p>The rollback journal is a ordinary disk file that has the same name as
the database file with the suffix "<tt>-journal</tt>" added.</p>

<p>If SQLite is working with multiple databases at the same time
(using the ATTACH command) then each database has its own journal.
But there is also a separate aggregate journal
called the <em>master journal</em>.
The master journal does not contain page data used for rolling back
changes.  Instead the master journal contains the names of the
individual file journals for each of the ATTACHed databases.   Each of
the individual file journals also contain the name of the master journal.
If there are no ATTACHed databases (or if none of the ATTACHed database
is participating in the current transaction) no master journal is
created and the normal rollback journal contains an empty string
in the place normally reserved for recording the name of the master
journal.</p>

<p>A individual file journal is said to be <em>hot</em>
if it needs to be rolled back
in order to restore the integrity of its database.  
A hot journal is created when a process is in the middle of a database
update and a program or operating system crash or power failure prevents 
the update from completing.
Hot journals are an exception condition. 
Hot journals exist to facility recovery from crashes and power failures.
If everything is working correctly 
................................................................................
<p>
If no master journal is involved, then
a journal is hot if it exists and its corresponding database file
does not have a RESERVED lock.
If a master journal is named in the file journal, then the file journal
is hot if its master journal exists and there is no RESERVED
lock on the corresponding database file.
It is important to understand when a journal is hot so the
preceding rules will be repeated in bullets:
</p>

<ul>
<li>A journal is hot if...
    <ul>
    <li>It exists, and</li>
    <li>It's master journal exists or the master journal name is an
        empty string, and</li>
    <li>There is no RESERVED lock on the corresponding database file.</li>
    </ul>
</li>
</ul>
}

HEADING 2 {Dealing with hot journals}

puts {
<p>
Before reading from a a database file, SQLite always checks to see if that
database file has a hot journal.  If the file does have a hot journal, then
the journal is rolled back before the file is read.  In this way, we ensure
that the database file is in a consistent state before it is read.
</p>

<p>When a process wants to read from a database file, it followed
the following sequence of steps:
</p>

................................................................................
<ol>
<li>Open the database file and obtain a SHARED lock.  If the SHARED lock
    cannot be obtained, fail immediately and return SQLITE_BUSY.</li>
<li>Check to see if the database file has a hot journal.   If the file
    does not have a hot journal, we are done.  Return immediately.
    If there is a hot journal, that journal must be rolled back by
    the subsequent steps of this algorithm.</li>
<li>Acquire a PENDING lock then an EXCLUSIVE lock on the database file.
    (Note: Do not acquire a RESERVED lock because that would make
    other processes think the journal was no longer hot.)  If we
    fail to acquire these locks it means another process
    is already trying to do the rollback.  In that case,
    drop all locks, close the database, and return SQLITE_BUSY. </li>
<li>Read the journal file and roll back the changes.</li>
<li>Wait for the rolled back changes to be written onto 
    the surface of the disk.  This protects the integrity of the database
    in case another power failure or crash occurs.</li>
<li>Delete the journal file.</li>
................................................................................
we check each of those file journals.  If any of the file journals named
in the master journal exists and points back to the master journal, then
the master journal is not stale.  If all file journals are either missing
or refer to other master journals or no master journal at all, then the
master journal we are testing is stale and can be safely deleted.</p>
}

HEADING 1 {Writing to a database file}

puts {
<p>To write to a database, a process must first acquire a SHARED lock
as described above (possibly rolling back incomplete changes if there
is a hot journal). 
After a SHARED lock is obtained, a RESERVED lock must be acquired.
The RESERVED lock signals that the process intends to write to the
database at some point in the future.  Only one process at a time
can hold a RESERVED lock.  But other processes can continue to read
the database while the RESERVED lock is held.
</p>

<p>If the process that wants to write is unable to obtain a RESERVED
lock, it must mean that another process already has a RESERVED lock.
In that case, the write attempt fails and returns SQLITE_BUSY.</p>

................................................................................
<p>After obtaining a RESERVED lock, the process that wants to write
creates a rollback journal.  The header of the journal is initialized
with the original size of the database file.  Space in the journal header
is also reserved for a master journal name, though the master journal
name is initially empty.</p>

<p>Before making changes to any page of the database, the process writes
the original content of that page into the rollback journal.  Changes
to pages are held in memory at first and are not written to the disk.
The original database file remains unaltered, which means that other
processes can continue to read the database.</p>

<p>Eventually, the writing process will want to update the database
file, either because its memory cache has filled up or because it is
ready to commit its changes.  Before this happens, the writer must
................................................................................
<p>
If the reason for writing to the database file is because the memory
cache was full, then the writer will not commit right away.  Instead,
the writer might continue to make changes to other pages.  Before 
subsequent changes are written to the database file, the rollback
journal must be flushed to disk again.  Note also that the EXCLUSIVE
lock that the writer obtained in order to write to the database initially
must be held until all changes are committed.  That means that no other

processes are able to access the database from the
time the memory cache first spills to disk until the transaction
commits.
</p>

<p>
When a writer is ready to commit its changes, it executes the following
steps:
</p>

................................................................................
    will persist.
    </li>
<li>Delete all individual journal files.
<li>Drop the EXCLUSIVE and PENDING locks from all database files.
    </li>
</ol>
}

HEADING 2 {Writer starvation}

puts {
<p>In SQLite version 2, if many processes are reading from the database,
it might be the case that there is never a time when there are
no active readers.  And if there is always at least one read lock on the
database, no process would ever be able to make changes to the database
because it would be impossible to acquire a write lock.  This situation
is called <em>writer starvation</em>.</p>

<p>SQLite version 3 seeks to avoid writer starvation through the use of
the PENDING lock.  The PENDING lock allows existing readers to continue
but prevents new readers from connecting to the database.  So when a
process wants to write a busy database, it can set a PENDING lock which
will prevent new readers from coming in.  Assuming existing readers do
eventually complete, all SHARED locks will eventually clear and the
writer will be given a chance to make its changes.</p>
}

HEADING 1 {How To Corrupt Your Database Files}

puts {
<p>The pager module is robust but it is not completely failsafe.
It can be subverted.  This section attempts to identify and explain
the risks.</p>

<p>
Clearly, a hardware or operating system fault that introduces incorrect data
into the middle of the database file or journal will cause problems.
Likewise, 
if a rogue process opens a database file or journal and writes malformed
data into the middle of it, then the database will become corrupt.
There is not much that can be done about these kinds of problems
so they are given no further attention.
</p>

<p>
SQLite uses POSIX advisory locks to implement locking on Unix.  On
windows it uses the LockFile(), LockFileEx(), and UnlockFile() system
calls.  SQLite assumes that these system calls all work as advertised.  If
that is not the case, then database corruption can result.  One should
note that POSIX advisory locking is known to be buggy or even unimplemented
on many NFS implementations (including recent versions of Mac OS X)
and that there are reports of locking problems
for network filesystems under windows.  Your best defense is to not
use SQLite for files on a network filesystem.
</p>

<p>
SQLite uses the fsync() system call to flush data to the disk under Unix and
it uses the FlushFileBuffers() to do the same under windows.  Once again,
................................................................................
<p>
The last (fourth) bullet above merits additional comment.  When SQLite creates
a journal file on Unix, it opens the directory that contains that file and
calls fsync() on the directory, in an effort to push the directory information
to disk.  But suppose some other process is adding or removing unrelated
files to the directory that contains the database and journal at the the
moment of a power failure.  The supposedly unrelated actions of this other
process might result in the journal file being dropped from the directory and
moved into "lost+found".  This is an unlikely scenario, but it could happen.
The best defenses are to use a journaling filesystem or to keep the
database and journal in a directory by themselves.
</p>

<p>
For a commit involving multiple databases and a master journal, if the
................................................................................
HEADING 1 {Transaction Control At The SQL Level}

puts {
<p>
The changes to locking and concurrency control in SQLite version 3 also
introduce some subtle changes in the way transactions work at the SQL
language level.
By default, SQLite version 3 operates in <em>autocommit</em> mode.
In autocommit mode,
all changes to the database are committed as soon as all operations associated
with the current database connection complete.</p>

<p>The SQL command "BEGIN TRANSACTION" (the TRANSACTION keyword
is optional) is used to take SQLite out of autocommit mode.
Note that the BEGIN command does not acquire any locks on the database.
After a BEGIN command, a SHARED lock will be acquired when the first
SELECT statement is executed.  A RESERVED lock will be acquired when
the first INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE statement is executed.  No EXCLUSIVE
lock is acquired until either the memory cache fills up and must
be spilled to disk or until the transaction commits.  In this way,
the system delays blocking read access to the file file until the
last possible moment.
</p>

<p>The SQL command "COMMIT"  does not actually commit the changes to
disk.  It just turns autocommit back on.  Then, at the conclusion of
................................................................................
than commit.</p>

<p>If the SQL COMMIT command turns autocommit on and the autocommit logic
then tries to commit change but fails because some other process is holding
a SHARED lock, then autocommit is turned back off automatically.  This
allows the user to retry the COMMIT at a later time after the SHARED lock
has had an opportunity to clear.</p>

<p>If multiple commands are being executed against the same SQLite database
connection at the same time, the autocommit is deferred until the very
last command completes.  For example, if a SELECT statement is being
executed, the execution of the command will pause as each row of the
result is returned.  During this pause other INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE
commands can be executed against other tables in the database.  But none
of these changes will commit until the original SELECT statement finishes.
</p>
}


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