Monthly Archives: June 2011

HTML5 Canvas: scrolling background and selecting/dragging shapes

I have been wanting to do this for a while and just had a chance to mess around with it this week.  I also had more motivation after spending Saturday in an “Designing (for) Interactions” workshop by Dan Mall, and hosted by RefreshPGH.  The key concepts were HTML5, CSS3, some jQuery, and generally getting some good experience on how people in the real world design web sites.  ( I really liked the boilerplate website, font squirrel, and of course A List Apart articles! )

Anyway, the thing I have been wanting to mess around with is the canvas.  I have recently been working on some mobile application prototypes and I am getting familiar with some of the components that exist there.  I wanted to see if I could put together a canvas demo to replicate a ScrollView, as well as being able to throw stuff in and manipulate it.  So here’s my example,with a little explanation.  It is a little hacked together because I put it together pretty quickly, so don’t grade on neatness and optimization —  many of the functions and comments are still very much what Simon Sarris wrote and I pieced things in around his code.  There are also bits and pieces of example code used from multiple places, like here.

The Details…

I started out with the code that Simon Sarris wrote for selectable shapes in a canvas.  After looking and understanding what he was doing, I refactored the code to be object oriented so it was more expandable.  My Goal: Understand the code well enough that I can edit it, make it expandable, and experiment with creating the “ScrollView” effect that I see on mobile devices.

Here is the canvas tag I used:

<canvas id="canvas_clickAndDragOO" width="400" height="300" style="border: 1px black solid;">
   This text is displayed if your browser does not support HTML5 Canvas.
</canvas>

The manipulation of the shapes is exactly how Simon wrote it, so check out his page for that explanation.  The main thing I added was the scrollable content.

Key Points:

  • I have two main things in the javascript:  a Canvas class and Shapes.  The shapes are pretty basic, so the Canvas class is the most interesting.  It maintains two canvas elements: one for the content and one for the view.  The content canvas is never added to the view and is only maintained behind the scenes as a javascript variable.  Everything is written to that content canvas and the context drawImage method is used to send a section of it to the viewable canvas.
  • To make the view ‘scroll,’ an X and Y value are maintained to specify the coordinates of the top left corner of the viewable canvas on the content canvas.  When the background of the canvas is clicked and dragged, this X and Y value are updated.  The draw method simply reacts to these new values and sends an new section of the content canvas out to the viewable canvas.  The viewable canvas is simply a window to a section of the content canvas.

The “content canvas” (hidden) is automatically created twice the size of the “viewable canvas” for this demo, but this and other things are configurable if you look at the Canvas object in the code.  Just include this in a webpage via a script tag and it should work with the canvas above.  (UPDATE: I pasted this here so it could be read and copied easier)

UPDATE 2:  This code doesn’t work on < IE8 using the excanvas.js library because that library does not support the getImageData function!  I would have to find a way around that in order for it to be backwards compatible.  Also, older IE browsers do not support the pageX and pageY properties on the mouse events. This issue can be solved quickly by looking here (search the page for “pageX”).

UPDATE 3: I cannot run a demo on this wordpress site, so here is a link to a zip file demo.  Unzip it and open index.html in your browser. This is on my new site … same blog, but i’m yet to redirect everything there…

/*
 * My object oriented version of click and drag
 *
 */

function Canvas( data ) {
  data = data || {};
  var self = this;

  this.canvasID = data.canvasID || 'canvas';
  this.viewableCanvas = document.getElementById(this.canvasID);
  this.vctx = data.canvasContext || this.viewableCanvas.getContext('2d');
  // set our events. Up and down are for dragging,
  // double click is for making new boxes
  this.viewableCanvas.onmousedown = function(e){ Canvas.prototype.mouseDownAction.call( self, e ) };
  this.viewableCanvas.onmouseup = function(e){ Canvas.prototype.mouseUpAction.call( self, e ) };
  this.viewableCanvas.onmouseout = function(e){ Canvas.prototype.mouseUpAction.call( self, e ) };
  this.viewableCanvas.ondblclick = function(e){ Canvas.prototype.mouseDblClickAction.call( self, e ) };

  this.isValid = Canvas.IS_INVALID;

  this.canvasContentObjectsList = [];

  // we use a content canvas to draw individual shapes.  This is larger than the viewable canvas.  
  // only a section of this is passed to the viewable canvas
  var contentCanvasHeight = data.contentCanvasHeight || this.viewableCanvas.height * 2;
  if (contentCanvasHeight < this.viewableCanvas.height) { contentCanvasHeight = this.viewableCanvas.height }
  var contentCanvasWidth = data.contentCanvasWidth || this.viewableCanvas.width * 2;
  if (contentCanvasWidth < this.viewableCanvas.width) { contentCanvasWidth = this.viewableCanvas.width }
  this.contentCanvas = document.createElement('canvas');
  this.contentCanvas.height = contentCanvasHeight;
  this.contentCanvas.width = contentCanvasWidth;
  this.cctx = this.contentCanvas.getContext('2d'); // content context
  // These X and Y values are the top left corner of the "viewable window" of this content canvas
  this.ccViewX = Math.max( (contentCanvasWidth/2) - (this.viewableCanvas.width/2), 0 );
  this.ccViewY = Math.max( (contentCanvasHeight/2) - (this.viewableCanvas.height/2), 0 );

  // Max values for the ccView X and Y vals
  this.ccViewXMax = this.cctx.canvas.width - this.vctx.canvas.width;
  this.ccViewYMax = this.cctx.canvas.height - this.vctx.canvas.height;

  this.isContentObjectDragAction = false;
  this.isContentCanvasDragAction = false;

  // the X and Y coordinate for when the mousedown event is triggered
  this.contentCanvasDragStartX = 0;
  this.contentCanvasDragStartY = 0;

    //fixes a problem where double clicking causes text to get selected on the canvas
  this.viewableCanvas.onselectstart = function () { return false; }

  // fixes mouse co-ordinate problems when there's a border or padding
  // see getMouse for more detail
  this.stylePaddingLeft = 0;
  this.stylePaddingTop = 0;
  this.styleBorderLeft = 0;
  this.styleBorderTop = 0;
  if (document.defaultView && document.defaultView.getComputedStyle) {
    this.stylePaddingLeft = parseInt(document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(this.viewableCanvas, null)['paddingLeft'], 10)      || 0;
    this.stylePaddingTop  = parseInt(document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(this.viewableCanvas, null)['paddingTop'], 10)       || 0;
    this.styleBorderLeft  = parseInt(document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(this.viewableCanvas, null)['borderLeftWidth'], 10)  || 0;
    this.styleBorderTop   = parseInt(document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(this.viewableCanvas, null)['borderTopWidth'], 10)   || 0;
  }

// The selection color and width. Right now we have a red selection with a small width
  this.selectedColor = data.selectedColor || '#CC0000';
  this.selectedWidth = data.selectedwidth || 2;

  // since we can drag from anywhere in a node
  // instead of just its x/y corner, we need to save
  // the offset of the mouse when we start dragging.
  this.offsetx = this.ccViewX;
  this.offsety = this.ccViewY;

  this.currentlySelectedContentObject = null;

    // make draw() fire every INTERVAL milliseconds
  setInterval(function() { Canvas.prototype.draw.call( self ) }, 1000/(data.interval?data.interval:40) );
}
// static members
Canvas.IS_VALID = true;
Canvas.IS_INVALID = false;

// create a random number between two ints, inclusive
Canvas.randomFromTo = function( from, to ) {
  return Math.floor(Math.random() * (to - from + 1) + from);
}

//wipes the canvas context
Canvas.prototype.clear = function( ctx ) {
  ctx.clearRect(0, 0, ctx.canvas.width, ctx.canvas.height);
}

// While draw is called as often as the INTERVAL variable demands,
// It only ever does something if the canvas gets invalidated by our code
Canvas.prototype.draw = function( ) {
  if ( !this.isValid && this.cctx ) {
    //Canvas.prototype.clear.call( this, ctx );
    this.clear( this.cctx );

    // Add stuff you want drawn in the background all the time here
    //Draw a grid to assist in seeing the background scroll
    this.drawGrid();

    // draw all boxes
    var l = this.canvasContentObjectsList.length;
    for (var i = 0; i < l; i++) {
      this.canvasContentObjectsList[i].drawshape({
        ctx: this.cctx
      });
    }

    // draw selection
    // right now this is just a stroke along the edge of the selected box
    var selectedObj = this.currentlySelectedContentObject;
    if (selectedObj != null) {
      selectedObj.highlightBorder({
        ctx: this.cctx,
        selectedColor: this.selectedColor,
        selectedWidth: this.selectedWidth
      });
    }

    // copy section of content canvas out to the viewable canvas
    try {
      this.clear( this.vctx );
      this.vctx.drawImage(
        this.cctx.canvas,
        this.ccViewX,
        this.ccViewY,
        this.viewableCanvas.width,
        this.viewableCanvas.height,
        0,
        0,
        this.viewableCanvas.width,
        this.viewableCanvas.height
      )
    } catch(e) {
      // Do nothing.  a draw error may occur because we are updating this canvas
      // before the cctx.canvas is done drawing.
    }

    // Add stuff you want drawn on top all the time here

    this.isValid = Canvas.IS_VALID;
  }
}

// draw grid lines, but only on the part visible
Canvas.prototype.drawGrid = function( data ) {

  // Draw gridlines to help with scrolling
  for (var x = (this.ccViewX + 0.5); x < (this.ccViewX + this.vctx.canvas.width); x += 40) {
    this.cctx.moveTo(x, 0);
    this.cctx.lineTo(x, this.ccViewY + this.vctx.canvas.height);
  }
  for (var y = (this.ccViewY + 0.5); y < (this.ccViewY + this.vctx.canvas.height); y += 40) {
    this.cctx.moveTo(0, y);
    this.cctx.lineTo(this.ccViewX + this.vctx.canvas.width, y);
  }
  this.cctx.strokeStyle = "#eee";
  this.cctx.stroke();
}

// Sets mx,my to the mouse position relative to the canvas
// unfortunately this can be tricky, we have to worry about padding and borders
Canvas.prototype.getMouseCoordinates = function(e) {
      var element = this.viewableCanvas, offsetX = 0, offsetY = 0;

      if (element.offsetParent) {
        do {
          offsetX += element.offsetLeft;
          offsetY += element.offsetTop;
        } while ((element = element.offsetParent));
      }

      // Add padding and border style widths to offset
      offsetX += this.stylePaddingLeft;
      offsetY += this.stylePaddingTop;

      offsetX += this.styleBorderLeft;
      offsetY += this.styleBorderTop;

      var mx = e.pageX - offsetX + this.ccViewX;
      var my = e.pageY - offsetY + this.ccViewY;

      // These are the mouse coordinates on the VIEWABLE CANVAS
      return {
        mouseX: mx,
        mouseY: my
      };
}

// Happens when the mouse is clicked in the canvas
Canvas.prototype.mouseDownAction = function(e){

  var self = this;
  var mouseMoveFunction = function(e){ Canvas.prototype.mouseMoveAction.call( self, e ) };

  var mouseCoords = this.getMouseCoordinates(e);
  //Canvas.prototype.clear.call( this, ctx );
  this.clear( this.cctx );
  var l = this.canvasContentObjectsList.length;
  for (var i = l-1; i >= 0; i--) {
    // draw shape onto ghost context
      this.canvasContentObjectsList[i].drawshape({
        ctx: this.cctx,
        fill: 'black'
      });

    // get image data at the mouse x,y pixel
    var imageData = this.cctx.getImageData(mouseCoords.mouseX, mouseCoords.mouseY, 1, 1);
    //var index = (mouseCoords.mouseX + mouseCoords.mouseY * imageData.width) * 4;

    // if the mouse pixel exists, select and break
    if (imageData.data[3] > 0) {
      this.currentlySelectedContentObject = this.canvasContentObjectsList[i];
      this.offsetx = mouseCoords.mouseX - this.currentlySelectedContentObject.x;
      this.offsety = mouseCoords.mouseY - this.currentlySelectedContentObject.y;
      this.currentlySelectedContentObject.x = mouseCoords.mouseX - this.offsetx;
      this.currentlySelectedContentObject.y = mouseCoords.mouseY - this.offsety;
      this.isContentObjectDragAction = true;
      this.viewableCanvas.onmousemove = mouseMoveFunction;
      this.isValid = Canvas.IS_INVALID;
      //Canvas.prototype.clear.call( this, ctx );
      this.clear( this.cctx );
      return;
    }
  }
  // Register a drag action for the whole canvas
  if ( !this.isContentCanvasDragAction ) {
    this.contentCanvasDragStartX = mouseCoords.mouseX;
    this.contentCanvasDragStartY = mouseCoords.mouseY;
    this.originalCCViewX = this.ccViewX;
    this.originalCCViewY = this.ccViewY;
  }
  this.isContentCanvasDragAction = true;
  this.viewableCanvas.onmousemove = mouseMoveFunction;
  // havent returned means we have selected nothing
  this.currentlySelectedContentObject = null;
  // clear the ghost canvas for next time
  //Canvas.prototype.clear.call( this, ctx );
  this.clear( this.cctx );
  // invalidate because we might need the selection border to disappear
  this.isValid = Canvas.IS_INVALID;
}

// Happens when the mouse is moving inside the canvas
Canvas.prototype.mouseMoveAction = function(e){
  var mouseCoords = null;

  if ( this.isContentObjectDragAction ){
    mouseCoords = this.getMouseCoordinates(e);

    this.currentlySelectedContentObject.x = mouseCoords.mouseX - this.offsetx;
    this.currentlySelectedContentObject.y = mouseCoords.mouseY - this.offsety;   

    // something is changing position so we better invalidate the canvas!
    this.isValid = Canvas.IS_INVALID;
  }

  if ( this.isContentCanvasDragAction ) {
    mouseCoords = this.getMouseCoordinates(e);

    xChange = (mouseCoords.mouseX - this.contentCanvasDragStartX);
    yChange = (mouseCoords.mouseY - this.contentCanvasDragStartY);

    // Must move 30 pixels before scrolling.
    if (Math.abs(xChange) > 30 || Math.abs(yChange) > 30) {
      var newX = this.originalCCViewX - xChange;
      newX = newX < 0 ? 0 : newX;
      newX = newX > this.ccViewXMax ? this.ccViewXMax : newX;
      this.ccViewX = newX;

      var newY = this.originalCCViewY - yChange;
      newY = newY < 0 ? 0 : newY;
      newY = newY > this.ccViewYMax ? this.ccViewYMax : newY;
      this.ccViewY = newY;

      this.isValid = Canvas.IS_INVALID;
    }
  }
}

Canvas.prototype.mouseUpAction = function(){
  this.isContentObjectDragAction = false;
  this.isContentCanvasDragAction = false;
  this.viewableCanvas.onmousemove = null;
}

Canvas.prototype.addContentObject = function( obj ) {
  // Verify that this is the correct object type so we have X and Y coordinates

  this.canvasContentObjectsList.push( obj );
  this.isValid = Canvas.IS_INVALID;
}

// adds a new node
Canvas.prototype.mouseDblClickAction = function(e) {
  var mouseCoords = this.getMouseCoordinates(e);
  var randomColor = '#'+(Math.random()*0xFFFFFF<<0).toString(16);

  switch( Canvas.randomFromTo( 1, 3 ) ) {
    case 1:
      this.addContentObject( new Circle({
          x: mouseCoords.mouseX,
          y: mouseCoords.mouseY,
          r: Canvas.randomFromTo( 20, 50 ),
          fill: randomColor
        })
      );
      break;
    case 2:
      this.addContentObject( new Rectangle({
          x: mouseCoords.mouseX,
          y: mouseCoords.mouseY,
          w: Canvas.randomFromTo( 20, 100 ),
          h: Canvas.randomFromTo( 20, 100 ),
          fill: randomColor
        })
      );
      break;
    case 3:
    default:
      this.addContentObject( new Triangle({
          x: mouseCoords.mouseX,
          y: mouseCoords.mouseY,
          w: Canvas.randomFromTo( 20, 100 ),
          h: Canvas.randomFromTo( 20, 100 ),
          fill: randomColor
        })
      );
      break;
  }
}

/***********************************************************
 * Shape super class
 *
 ***********************************************************/

function Shape( data ) {
  data = data || {};

  this.shape = data.shape || 'Shape';
  this.shapeID = data.id || 'Shape';

  this.fill = data.fill || '#444444';

  this.x = data.x;
  this.y = data.y;
}

// Draws a single shape to a single context
// draw() will call this with the normal canvas
// myDown will call this with the ghost canvas
Shape.prototype.drawshape = function( data ) {
    if (!data) return;

  // fill can be overridded if passed in
  data.ctx.fillStyle = data.fill || this.fill;

  // subclass specific
}

Shape.prototype.highlightBorder = function( data ) {
  // Handle the basic, standard highlight things here.
  if (!data) return;

  data.ctx.strokeStyle = data.selectedColor;
  data.ctx.lineWidth = data.selectedWidth;
}

/***********************************************************
 * Rectangle super class
 *
 ***********************************************************/

// Create subclass and reassign constructor to self.
Rectangle.prototype = new Shape();
Rectangle.prototype.constructor = Rectangle;
function Rectangle( data ) {
  data = data || {};

  Shape.call( this, data );

  this.w = data.w;
  this.h = data.h;
}

// Draws a single shape to a single context
// draw() will call this with the normal canvas
// myDown will call this with the ghost canvas
Rectangle.prototype.drawshape = function( data ) {
  Shape.prototype.drawshape.call(this, data); 

  // We can skip the drawing of elements that have moved off the screen:
  if (this.x > data.ctx.canvas.width || this.y > data.ctx.canvas.height) return;
  if (this.x + this.w < 0 || this.y + this.h < 0) return;

  data.ctx.fillRect(this.x,this.y,this.w,this.h);
}

Rectangle.prototype.highlightBorder = function( data ) {
  Shape.prototype.highlightBorder.call(this, data);
  data.ctx.strokeRect(this.x,this.y,this.w,this.h);
}

/***********************************************************
 * Circle super class
 *
 ***********************************************************/

// Create subclass and reassign constructor to self.
Circle.prototype = new Shape();
Circle.prototype.constructor = Circle;
function Circle( data ) {
  data = data || {};

  Shape.call( this, data );

  this.r = data.r; //radius
}

// Draws a single shape to a single context
// draw() will call this with the normal canvas
// myDown will call this with the ghost canvas
Circle.prototype.drawshape = function( data ) {
  Shape.prototype.drawshape.call(this, data); 

  // We can skip the drawing of elements that have moved off the screen:
  if (this.x > data.ctx.canvas.width || this.y > data.ctx.canvas.height) return;
  if (this.x + this.r < 0 || this.y + this.r < 0) return;

  this.drawCircle( data );
}

Circle.prototype.highlightBorder = function( data ) {
  Shape.prototype.highlightBorder.call(this, data); 

  data['borderOnly'] = true;
  this.drawCircle( data );
}

Circle.prototype.drawCircle = function( data ) {
    // Draw a circle using the arc function.
  data.ctx.beginPath();

  // Arguments: x, y, radius, start angle, end angle, anticlockwise
  data.ctx.arc(this.x, this.y, this.r, 0, 360, false);
  if ( !data['borderOnly'] ) {
    data.ctx.fill();
  } else {
    data.ctx.stroke();
  }

  data.ctx.closePath();
}

/***********************************************************
 * Triangle super class
 *
 ***********************************************************/

// Create subclass and reassign constructor to self.
Triangle.prototype = new Shape();
Triangle.prototype.constructor = Triangle;
function Triangle( data ) {
  data = data || {};

  Shape.call( this, data );

  this.w = data.w;
  this.h = data.h;
}

// Draws a single shape to a single context
// draw() will call this with the normal canvas
// myDown will call this with the ghost canvas
Triangle.prototype.drawshape = function( data ) {
  Shape.prototype.drawshape.call(this, data); 

  // We can skip the drawing of elements that have moved off the screen:
  if (this.x > data.ctx.canvas.width || this.y > data.ctx.canvas.height) return;
  if (this.x + this.w < 0 || this.y + this.h < 0) return;

  this.drawTriangle( data );
}

Triangle.prototype.highlightBorder = function( data ) {
  Shape.prototype.highlightBorder.call(this, data);
  data['borderOnly'] = true;
  this.drawTriangle( data );
}

Triangle.prototype.drawTriangle = function( data ) {
  data.ctx.beginPath();
  // Start from the top-left point.
  data.ctx.moveTo( this.x, this.y - (this.h / 2) ); // give the (x,y) coordinates
  data.ctx.lineTo( this.x + (this.w / 2), this.y + (this.h / 2) );
  data.ctx.lineTo( this.x - (this.w / 2), this.y + (this.h / 2) );
  data.ctx.lineTo( this.x, this.y - (this.h / 2) );

  // Done! Now fill the shape, and draw the stroke.
  // Note: your shape will not be visible until you call any of the two methods.
  if ( !data['borderOnly'] ) {
    data.ctx.fill();
  } else {
    data.ctx.stroke();
  }
  data.ctx.closePath();
}

// start it up!
window.onload = function(){
  var OO_canvas = new Canvas( { canvasID: 'canvas_clickAndDragOO' });

  var r1 = new Rectangle({
    x: 800,
    y: 700,
    w: 40,
    h: 70,
    fill: '#FFC02B'
  });
  OO_canvas.addContentObject( r1 );

  var r2 = new Rectangle({
    x: 780,
    y: 780,
    w: 70,
    h: 40,
    fill: '#2BB8FF'
  });
  OO_canvas.addContentObject( r2 );

  var t1 = new Triangle({
    x: 700,
    y: 600,
    w: 70,
    h: 40,
    fill: '#900'
  });
  OO_canvas.addContentObject( t1 );

  var t2 = new Triangle({
    x: 900,
    y: 600,
    w: 70,
    h: 40,
    fill: '#009'
  });
  OO_canvas.addContentObject( t2 );

  var c1 = new Circle({
    x: 675,
    y: 730,
    r: 30,
    fill: '#459'
  });
  OO_canvas.addContentObject( c1 );

  var c2 = new Circle({
    x: 950,
    y: 730,
    r: 30,
    fill: '#954'
  });
  OO_canvas.addContentObject( c2 );
};

Apache POI – Formatting of ‘General’ data extracted from Excel

I just fixed an issue that has to do with pulling data out of excel using the Apache POI framework into Java and having the data’s format change along the way. It is not a particularly difficult issue, but when researching it I found that there were a couple of other posts on it that didn’t really solve it, or solved it in a round-about way. So my solution is here:

The issue I ran into was that there were cells in Excel that were meant to be strings but had the default Excel cell format of “General.” If a normal string was in one of the cells in this column, then it would be correctly read into the Java code as a string. However, if a value was like ‘123123123,’ it would be read in as an HSSFCell.CELL_TYPE_NUMERIC and would convert to a string in scientific notation. These needed to be read in exactly as there were seen in the spreadsheet.

Other solutions I saw included additional reformatting once the data was inside Java, but that seemed too dirty to me. I would have to make assumptions on what the user put into the spreadsheet. There should be a way to pull the data from the Excel file and receive a string that looks exactly like what is shown in Excel.

A quick solution to this would be to change the formatting of the cell in Excel to ‘Text’ so that the fields were always designated correctly. But, in my case, I cannot always control what is in the Excel file. A user might change the formatting to whatever they want, but my system expects a String. So this was not a solution.

What I can control is the java code, of course. So after some digging I found two keys that would help me solve this issue.  If I am trying to convert a HSSFCell.CELL_TYPE_NUMERIC value to a string, I need to use these two things:

  1. I can get the format of the cell that is being used by Excel with cell.getCellStyle( ).getDataFormat( ). This returns a short.  The Excel format for “General” is 0 and the format for Scientific Notation is 11 (I found this through debugging, but a table exists at least here in the ‘Value’ column).  So I know if the user really wanted scientific notation, or if the value was just formatted like that when passed to me.
  2. Once I know the user did not mean for the value to be in scientific notation, I can check the string for the existence of an “E,” and if it exists I will pull the string from Excel using Excel’s formatting instead of my own.  I do this with value = new HSSFDataFormatter().formatCellValue( cell ).  This converts the cell to a string using the Excel cell format pattern instead of trying to reformat the numeric value in the HSSFCell in Java.
I could simply use this formatCellValue all of the time instead of even checking I suppose, but i’m doing some other custom formatting as well so this is treated as a special case.
So this is the solution I ended up using.  The key is to check the format that is set up in Excel, and then use it directly if it produces a cleaner result in the Java code.  Hope that helps someone.

I’m not maintaining this blog here so commenting is closed… Please see this same post on my new site to ask questions: http://mpickell.com/blog/2011/06/03/apache-poi-formatting-of-data-extracted-from-excel/


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