Tesla hires architect of Apple's Swift as VP of Autopilot Software

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 69
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,137member
    Rayz2016 said:

    JinTech said:
    Hey Mansfield, my friend, I love you, but you screwed things up.
    Because you know what he has planned? Please do tell us!
    Sounds like Lattner was working on something related to Project Titan. Leaked information indicates that the project has not taken off. Everything indicates that the experienced Mansfield was summoned to put order in the house. Maybe it was not intentional. But Lattner was a very important asset, and Swift is equal important asset and is far from a completed project. My educated guess.
    Actually, that's the most uneducated guess I've seen so far.

    Project Titan remains an unknown skunkworks project surrounded in rumours. Is it failing? Can't really say because Apple hasn't actually said its working on it, or what it's end goals are.

    My own uneducated guess is this:

    Apple likes to skate to where the puck is going to be, and while they were working on the idea of selling their own car, the puck moved, and they had to change direction. I think they realised that by the time they had a car ready to sell, ride-sharing would have put a series dent in the car sales market. They also realised that Tesla doesn’t make that much money (if it makes any money at all) on any of the cars it sells, and it was unlikely that they would either. So rather than look at if they could bring a unique selling proposition to the car market, they switched their focus to ride-sharing. (Someone else here did a really good write-up of this, but I can't find the post). 

    As for the Lattner leaving; I think this is another case of concern trolls piling on. People like him will be looking for the next challenge, and it's entirely possible that Tesla offered him more control of their own car project than Apple was willing to give him on theirs. Swift is out in the wild and open-sourced. IBM is churning out stuff with it, and its extending its reach to other platforms. Lattner has said he will continue to work on it, so I'm not sure that I see the problem.

    When Avie Tevanian left Apple, OSX was nowhere near finished; oddly enough, the OS is still being developed as far as I can tell. Tevanian wasn't working all by himself, neither was Lattner and neither is Ive. 

    There is an assumption that everyone at Apple is irreplaceable; not the case. The only person who they can't seem to replace is Mansfield, and that is a worry, because he will want to retire at some point.

    There is one person who is irreplaceable - Steve Jobs.
  • Reply 42 of 69
    JinTech said:
    Hey Mansfield, my friend, I love you, but you screwed things up.
    Because you know what he has planned? Please do tell us!
    Sounds like Lattner was working on something related to Project Titan. Leaked information indicates that the project has not taken off. Everything indicates that the experienced Mansfield was summoned to put order in the house. Maybe it was not intentional. But Lattner was a very important asset, and Swift is equal important asset and is far from a completed project. My educated guess.
    What leaks says Lattner was working on Project Titan? Link please.
    edited January 11
  • Reply 43 of 69
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,263member
    blastdoor said:

    blastdoor said:
    Major indictment of senior management at apple. 

    This does not bode well for Tim Cook. He needs to right this ship. 2017 is make or break for him. I hope he can do it -- I like him.
    Sorry but that's just concern trolling. People come and go from Silicon Valley leaders every single day. Apple's attrition is surely no different than the industry's, and you're likely only responding to confirmation bias since you don't know about the other comings & goings. 

    Every single year people say apple is DOOOMED, and that this year will be *it*. And yet...40 years later....
    Stick your head in the sand if you want, but this guy matters. He's not just another programmer. 

    The only way Apple is doomed is if they adopt the attitude of fanboys like you. If they recognize how big of a deal this is -- and I'm sure they do -- then they can correct course. I believe they can, I hope they will. 

    People who can't criticize what they love aren't worthy. 

    Actually, the only way Apple would be doomed would be if the loss of one programmer (no matter how good he was) led to the chicken-little doomsday scenario you're pushing. 

    Unsurprisingly, you suffer from the same short-sightedness that afflicts writers on this blog who cribbed this article from other writers on other blogs who copied this story from… well, you get the picture. Not one of them decided to look at the story from a different angle, because unlike real journalists, they're more concerned with short-term blog page hits than finding a unique story.

    Yes, the fact that Lattner is leaving is news, but here's another one no one looked at:

    Who's the guy replacing him?

    From a little digging around the internet, Ted Kremenek is a Stanford PhD who has been working in engineering lead positions at Apple since 2007. His field of expertise is languages and runtimes, having worked on the same projects as Lattner.  Having a look at his entries on the mailing list shows that he's actually been doing a lot more of the management of Swift since mid-2016, so I think Apple has been planning for this for quite some time. What Kremenek lacks is the 'rock-star' status afforded by a project like LLVM, but that doesn't mean he's not capable of taking Swift forward. I'm going to see how he does.

    Yes, Lattner is not another programmer, but that doesn't mean he's irreplaceable, especially if you've known for quite some time that he's leaving.

    propodbkkcanuck
  • Reply 44 of 69
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,263member


    blastdoor said:
    Major indictment of senior management at apple. 

    This does not bode well for Tim Cook. He needs to right this ship. 2017 is make or break for him. I hope he can do it -- I like him.
    Sorry but that's just concern trolling. People come and go from Silicon Valley leaders every single day. Apple's attrition is surely no different than the industry's, and you're likely only responding to confirmation bias since you don't know about the other comings & goings. 

    Every single year people say apple is DOOOMED, and that this year will be *it*. And yet...40 years later....

    Yes, the reason for this is very simple, and why we see cycles of it every ten years or so. After years of being a loyal user, Apple does something that annoys them deeply and personally: Cupertino remove a port or three, or make the machine too thin for the user in question to feel 'professional'; what happens next is something that you only see amongst Apple users. They take the affront personally and then spend huge amounts of time racing around the internet shouting that Apple is doomed. They cite lots of problems, some true, most not, but it usually comes down to one thing:

    Apple removed the Firewire400 port and I still have a Firewire drive! Waaaahhhh!

    The biggest source of Apple trolls on the internet is disgruntled Apple users. Some leave, and then spend their time trolling in forums as if they need someone to prove they made the right decision. Others never leave; they just complain, as if by complaining, Apple will suddenly see their error of their ways and start making huge unprofitable laptops just for them. The reason that the numbers are increasing is probably down to improvements in medical research: they're not dying off at the end of the ten-year cycle, so we have a glut of them. Expect it to get much worse.

    What's funny is that they will accuse you of being a 'blind follower' and unable to see the problems at Apple. The irony is that they allowed their own blind loyalty to prevent them from seeing that Apple is a company, and while Apple takes pride in delighting its customers, who those customers are will change every ten years or so. 

    In ten years time, the people who are buying the iPhone today will join in; screaming how Apple is doomed because they don't like the thin sheet of glass with no ports that is now raking in 98% of the profits in the device market. 

    edited January 11 brucemc
  • Reply 45 of 69
    k2kw said:
    MnMark said:
    What we don't know - is about everything that is speculated on in this piece when it comes to Apple's car plans. What exactly Apple ever planned to do, or is doing with cars is, as far as I've read, all speculation. Were they going to build their own car? Are they considering that? Are they just software? No one is sure outside of probably 5 or 6 people at Apple's HQ.
    Here's what we knows so far:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-17/how-apple-scaled-back-its-titanic-plan-to-take-on-detroit

    "New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said."

    "Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving system and decide on a final direction, two of the people said."
    Hopefully Apple will be able to salvage something from this.   maybe they can develop specialized versions of their A series chips for Detroit that would work with their software.   

    Tesla is too far ahead of Apple for Apple to make their own car (unless they buy Faraday Future).

    or buy McLaren.Automotive
    or buy Magna, or even buy Tesla; or even better - buy both
  • Reply 46 of 69
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,496member
    JinTech said:
    Hey Mansfield, my friend, I love you, but you screwed things up.
    Because you know what he has planned? Please do tell us!
    Sounds like Lattner was working on something related to Project Titan. Leaked information indicates that the project has not taken off. Everything indicates that the experienced Mansfield was summoned to put order in the house. Maybe it was not intentional. But Lattner was a very important asset, and Swift is equal important asset and is far from a completed project. My educated guess.
    What leaks says Lattner was working on Project Titan? Link please.
    http://iphone.appleinsider.com/articles/17/01/10/chris-lattner-joins-tesla-as-vp-of-autopilot-software


  • Reply 47 of 69
    crowleycrowley Posts: 4,922member
    blastdoor said:
    JinTech said:
    Hey Mansfield, my friend, I love you, but you screwed things up.
    Because you know what he has planned? Please do tell us!
    Sounds like Lattner was working on something related to Project Titan. Leaked information indicates that the project has not taken off. Everything indicates that the experienced Mansfield was summoned to put order in the house. Maybe it was not intentional. But Lattner was a very important asset, and Swift is equal important asset and is far from a completed project. My educated guess.
    What leaks says Lattner was working on Project Titan? Link please.
    http://iphone.appleinsider.com/articles/17/01/10/chris-lattner-joins-tesla-as-vp-of-autopilot-software
    That's not a leak, nor does it say that Lattner was working on Titan.  It is a link at least.
    asdasd
  • Reply 48 of 69
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,496member
    crowley said:
    blastdoor said:
    JinTech said:
    Hey Mansfield, my friend, I love you, but you screwed things up.
    Because you know what he has planned? Please do tell us!
    Sounds like Lattner was working on something related to Project Titan. Leaked information indicates that the project has not taken off. Everything indicates that the experienced Mansfield was summoned to put order in the house. Maybe it was not intentional. But Lattner was a very important asset, and Swift is equal important asset and is far from a completed project. My educated guess.
    What leaks says Lattner was working on Project Titan? Link please.
    http://iphone.appleinsider.com/articles/17/01/10/chris-lattner-joins-tesla-as-vp-of-autopilot-software
    That's not a leak, nor does it say that Lattner was working on Titan.  It is a link at least.
    It's a far better indicator that he was working on Titan than just about anything else you're ever going to get through a "leak". 

    Look at the description of job that he's being hired to do at Tesla -- why would Tesla hire someone with no relevant experience for such an important job? 

    Not that I think that's a bad thing. If Lattner's motivation to leave was driven primarily by a strong desire to work on software for autonomous vehicles, then I'm less worried about Apple's future than if the motivation also included dissatisfaction with dysfunction in Apple management more broadly. Ultimately, I don't think it's critical for Apple to be in the autonomous vehicle market. But I do think it's critical for Apple to advance all of their existing, profitable product lines and all of those product lines depend on the work done by Lattner. 
  • Reply 49 of 69
    nhtnht Posts: 3,310member

    FWIW: He's not a Software Guru. He's a compiler researcher Post-Doc. Completely different boats.
    What? He's designing and building the software that enables other developers to write software with. Are you honestly suggesting he's not a software guy? How long have you worked with him personally? Never?

    Software guys develop complex systems. Compiler Guys architect low level portions of design to abstract theory for any application developer to actually develop and later implement, test, file bug reports and expose those theories to reality resulting in a constant iterative process of refining the architecture. He's not a software guy.
    Checking the commit logs for swift says he is a software guy.

    C++ 3,759 commits changing/adding 204,243 lines of code for Swift.



    https://www.openhub.net/p/swift-lang/contributors

    https://www.openhub.net/p/swift-lang/contributors/744064429350785

    https://www.openhub.net/accounts/lattner/positions

    Jealous much?
  • Reply 50 of 69
    nhtnht Posts: 3,310member

    Rayz2016 said:

    JinTech said:
    Hey Mansfield, my friend, I love you, but you screwed things up.
    Because you know what he has planned? Please do tell us!
    Sounds like Lattner was working on something related to Project Titan. Leaked information indicates that the project has not taken off. Everything indicates that the experienced Mansfield was summoned to put order in the house. Maybe it was not intentional. But Lattner was a very important asset, and Swift is equal important asset and is far from a completed project. My educated guess.
    Actually, that's the most uneducated guess I've seen so far.

    Project Titan remains an unknown skunkworks project surrounded in rumours. Is it failing? Can't really say because Apple hasn't actually said its working on it, or what it's end goals are.

    My own uneducated guess is this:

    Apple likes to skate to where the puck is going to be, and while they were working on the idea of selling their own car, the puck moved, and they had to change direction. I think they realised that by the time they had a car ready to sell, ride-sharing would have put a series dent in the car sales market. They also realised that Tesla doesn’t make that much money (if it makes any money at all) on any of the cars it sells, and it was unlikely that they would either. So rather than look at if they could bring a unique selling proposition to the car market, they switched their focus to ride-sharing. (Someone else here did a really good write-up of this, but I can't find the post). 

    As for the Lattner leaving; I think this is another case of concern trolls piling on. People like him will be looking for the next challenge, and it's entirely possible that Tesla offered him more control of their own car project than Apple was willing to give him on theirs. Swift is out in the wild and open-sourced. IBM is churning out stuff with it, and its extending its reach to other platforms. Lattner has said he will continue to work on it, so I'm not sure that I see the problem.

    When Avie Tevanian left Apple, OSX was nowhere near finished; oddly enough, the OS is still being developed as far as I can tell. Tevanian wasn't working all by himself, neither was Lattner and neither is Ive. 

    There is an assumption that everyone at Apple is irreplaceable; not the case. The only person who they can't seem to replace is Mansfield, and that is a worry, because he will want to retire at some point.

    Yes, it's just concern trolling.  High level moves happen all the time.  While he was a great asset for Apple the work he has done will continue anyway...and it's not like Apple needs yet another language any time soon.

    Swift is his baby and he'll be working on it wherever he goes although he hasn't committed anything in 4 months...it may be he's hanging up his coding spurs but given the success of both LLVM and Swift he was obviously good at managing software teams in addition to designing languages and slinging code.  Tesla already has plenty of hot coders.

    He's this generation's Gosling and he's wise to switch to something new rather than stay at Apple.  Gosling is somewhat pigeon holed as just a language guy but prior to creating Java he wrote his own version of emacs and a unix desktop. 
  • Reply 51 of 69
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,532member
    clock07 said:
    k2kw said:
    MnMark said:
    What we don't know - is about everything that is speculated on in this piece when it comes to Apple's car plans. What exactly Apple ever planned to do, or is doing with cars is, as far as I've read, all speculation. Were they going to build their own car? Are they considering that? Are they just software? No one is sure outside of probably 5 or 6 people at Apple's HQ.
    Here's what we knows so far:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-17/how-apple-scaled-back-its-titanic-plan-to-take-on-detroit

    "New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said."

    "Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving system and decide on a final direction, two of the people said."
    Hopefully Apple will be able to salvage something from this.   maybe they can develop specialized versions of their A series chips for Detroit that would work with their software.   

    Tesla is too far ahead of Apple for Apple to make their own car (unless they buy Faraday Future).

    or buy McLaren.Automotive
    or buy Magna, or even buy Tesla; or even better - buy both
    Buy 'em all and let God sort 'em out.  :)
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 52 of 69
    blastdoor said:
    crowley said:
    blastdoor said:
    JinTech said:
    Hey Mansfield, my friend, I love you, but you screwed things up.
    Because you know what he has planned? Please do tell us!
    Sounds like Lattner was working on something related to Project Titan. Leaked information indicates that the project has not taken off. Everything indicates that the experienced Mansfield was summoned to put order in the house. Maybe it was not intentional. But Lattner was a very important asset, and Swift is equal important asset and is far from a completed project. My educated guess.
    What leaks says Lattner was working on Project Titan? Link please.
    http://iphone.appleinsider.com/articles/17/01/10/chris-lattner-joins-tesla-as-vp-of-autopilot-software
    That's not a leak, nor does it say that Lattner was working on Titan.  It is a link at least.
    It's a far better indicator that he was working on Titan than just about anything else you're ever going to get through a "leak". 

    Look at the description of job that he's being hired to do at Tesla -- why would Tesla hire someone with no relevant experience for such an important job? 

    Not that I think that's a bad thing. If Lattner's motivation to leave was driven primarily by a strong desire to work on software for autonomous vehicles, then I'm less worried about Apple's future than if the motivation also included dissatisfaction with dysfunction in Apple management more broadly. Ultimately, I don't think it's critical for Apple to be in the autonomous vehicle market. But I do think it's critical for Apple to advance all of their existing, profitable product lines and all of those product lines depend on the work done by Lattner. 
    If he had been part of Project Titan I think more stories would have mentioned it. John Gruber and Rene Ritchie didn't mention it and they usually know stuff like this, especially if Lattner was as important inside the company a source people say.
  • Reply 53 of 69
    MacProMacPro Posts: 15,855member
    It's like an arranged marriage of royalty between kingdoms with significant benefits to both.
    That's increasingly my take too.  
  • Reply 54 of 69
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,532member
    MacPro said:
    It's like an arranged marriage of royalty between kingdoms with significant benefits to both.
    That's increasingly my take too.  
    I just don't envision Apple ever gobbling up Tesla. Musk and Cook are SO different from each other it would be like trying to mix oil and water. One would have to go away.
  • Reply 55 of 69
    1st1st Posts: 237member
    good for Lattner.  If he think he has more to contribute to the car by join a CAR company (hardware and software coupling/co-design), Tesla might be the better place than apple to have impact.  Talent is still human, they are age limited (career wise).  He has to find the best place to utilize his effort to move the field of his selection forward - look like tesla is his choice.  As for the position, great to have land in a place to call the shot - better position to make difference... as long as Peter's principle not yet applicable (hopefully, he know his limit).  Many chaps are so in grained with a companies support structure, if they left their cocoon, they can not function properly... that is risk he is taking by move to the greener place.  Hopefully, his background of both hardware/software and compiler will benefit for self driving car... complicated computation and data structure (sensors) need someone with overall view of the control... Best luck Lattner - be a star, not dust. 
                          ,
  • Reply 56 of 69
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 4,455member
    Rayz2016 said:

    JinTech said:
    Hey Mansfield, my friend, I love you, but you screwed things up.
    Because you know what he has planned? Please do tell us!
    Sounds like Lattner was working on something related to Project Titan. Leaked information indicates that the project has not taken off. Everything indicates that the experienced Mansfield was summoned to put order in the house. Maybe it was not intentional. But Lattner was a very important asset, and Swift is equal important asset and is far from a completed project. My educated guess.
    Actually, that's the most uneducated guess I've seen so far.

    Project Titan remains an unknown skunkworks project surrounded in rumours. Is it failing? Can't really say because Apple hasn't actually said its working on it, or what it's end goals are.

    When Avie Tevanian left Apple, OSX was nowhere near finished; oddly enough, the OS is still being developed as far as I can tell. Tevanian wasn't working all by himself, neither was Lattner and neither is Ive. 

    There is an assumption that everyone at Apple is irreplaceable; not the case. The only person who they can't seem to replace is Mansfield, and that is a worry, because he will want to retire at some point.

    No comparison, because Swift isnt finalised as a language yet. It is still basically in Beta. ITs like Bertrand Serlet or Tevanian leaving during the 4 year beta of OS X.

    I mean he started this internally on his  own bat - was given that opportunity by Apple, created a language. And generally most people would see that as their life's work. But Musk clearly has his own reality distortion field. 
    edited January 11
  • Reply 57 of 69
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 4,455member
    Rayz2016 said:


    blastdoor said:
    Major indictment of senior management at apple. 

    This does not bode well for Tim Cook. He needs to right this ship. 2017 is make or break for him. I hope he can do it -- I like him.
    Sorry but that's just concern trolling. People come and go from Silicon Valley leaders every single day. Apple's attrition is surely no different than the industry's, and you're likely only responding to confirmation bias since you don't know about the other comings & goings. 

    Every single year people say apple is DOOOMED, and that this year will be *it*. And yet...40 years later....

    Yes, the reason for this is very simple, and why we see cycles of it every ten years or so. After years of being a loyal user, Apple does something that annoys them deeply and personally: Cupertino remove a port or three, or make the machine too thin for the user in question to feel 'professional'; what happens next is something that you only see amongst Apple users. They take the affront personally and then spend huge amounts of time racing around the internet shouting that Apple is doomed. They cite lots of problems, some true, most not, but it usually comes down to one thing:

    Apple removed the Firewire400 port and I still have a Firewire drive! Waaaahhhh!

    The biggest source of Apple trolls on the internet is disgruntled Apple users. Some leave, and then spend their time trolling in forums as if they need someone to prove they made the right decision. Others never leave; they just complain, as if by complaining, Apple will suddenly see their error of their ways and start making huge unprofitable laptops just for them. The reason that the numbers are increasing is probably down to improvements in medical research: they're not dying off at the end of the ten-year cycle, so we have a glut of them. Expect it to get much worse.

    What's funny is that they will accuse you of being a 'blind follower' and unable to see the problems at Apple. The irony is that they allowed their own blind loyalty to prevent them from seeing that Apple is a company, and while Apple takes pride in delighting its customers, who those customers are will change every ten years or so. 

    In ten years time, the people who are buying the iPhone today will join in; screaming how Apple is doomed because they don't like the thin sheet of glass with no ports that is now raking in 98% of the profits in the device market. 

    Are disgruntled Apple users trolls? Or just customers with issues?
    gatorguy
  • Reply 58 of 69
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 827member
    clock07 said:
    k2kw said:
    MnMark said:
    What we don't know - is about everything that is speculated on in this piece when it comes to Apple's car plans. What exactly Apple ever planned to do, or is doing with cars is, as far as I've read, all speculation. Were they going to build their own car? Are they considering that? Are they just software? No one is sure outside of probably 5 or 6 people at Apple's HQ.
    Here's what we knows so far:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-17/how-apple-scaled-back-its-titanic-plan-to-take-on-detroit

    "New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said."

    "Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving system and decide on a final direction, two of the people said."
    Hopefully Apple will be able to salvage something from this.   maybe they can develop specialized versions of their A series chips for Detroit that would work with their software.   

    Tesla is too far ahead of Apple for Apple to make their own car (unless they buy Faraday Future).

    or buy McLaren.Automotive
    or buy Magna, or even buy Tesla; or even better - buy both
    Spend ~$60B to get into the car business, where the largest price (Tesla) is losing money hand over fist?  Is the car business really that profitable to spend that amount to get an entry where you might hit 1% share in 5-6 years?  Using Magma's mostly old-school manufacturing capability?
  • Reply 59 of 69
    1st1st Posts: 237member
    brucemc said:

    Spend ~$60B to get into the car business, where the largest price (Tesla) is losing money hand over fist?  Is the car business really that profitable to spend that amount to get an entry where you might hit 1% share in 5-6 years?  Using Magma's mostly old-school manufacturing capability?

    Does Magma got machine build machine?  http://fortune.com/2016/07/30/tesla-gigafactory-elon-event/
    the body, parts are different for the tesla... anything new always start from less than 1%.  Any start up take up to 1% market share, VC will all over it... valuation possibly will go to unicorn road in a second... besides, if under new rule, depreciation of equipment is immediate, you want put new right now... not sure Magma got free floor space to do so ;-)


  • Reply 60 of 69
    1st said:
     Hopefully, his background of both hardware/software and compiler will benefit for self driving car... complicated computation and data structure (sensors) need someone with overall view of the control... Best luck Lattner - be a star, not dust. 
                          ,
    The issue is that from what I can see is that he has no background Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence at all (based on Linked In)....  Autopilot is all about Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence.   I see a big gaping hole in his work experience in regards to transferrable skillset technically.... though what we are talking about his he is going to Tesla to be a VP.... and I don't know many VPs that spend there days doing much if at all anything technical.... yes technical skills are important when you are managing technical people.... but quite often technical gurus make really horrible managers.... and the higher they go the more it becomes obvious.  Not saying it is the case here, but just because a person is good in compiler design & development does not mean he will be very good at artificial intelligence.
    monstrosity
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