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Log of 2006/01/31 meeting

by novalis last modified 2006-01-31 19:15

<novalis_dt> OK, we're about ready to get started here.
<dondelelcaro> ok, should be working now
<novalis_dt> dondelelcaro: Thanks.
<dondelelcaro> order_bot: startvote
<order_bot> There are currently no votes in progress in #committeed
<dondelelcaro> order_bot: newvote
<order_bot> Voting started at Tue Jan 31 22:08:13 2006 UTC
<dondelelcaro> order_bot: endvote
<order_bot> Vote ended at Tue Jan 31 22:08:15 2006
<order_bot> TIE. Totals: YES: 0 NO: 0 ABSTAIN: 0
<order_bot> Vote tally:
<dondelelcaro> ok... that's working too
<-- Jacob_Fenwick has quit (Client Quit)
<novalis_dt> OK, great.  I can create secret votes on the v3 web site, for committee invites.
<dondelelcaro> cool... that'll probably be easier for everyone
<novalis_dt> dondelelcaro: Yeah, my sysadmins couldn't make devotee work.
<novalis_dt> Anyway, Zak can't make it today.
<dondelelcaro> novalis_dt: no worries; I think getting everyone to have signed e-mails was going to be a problem anyway...
<novalis_dt> dondelelcaro: Fair enough.
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<dondelelcaro> esp. since we needed to take some votes so early
--- novalis_dt gives voice to Jacob_Fenwick
<scalesda> David Rickerby can't make it today, either.  He sends his apologies.
<novalis_dt> Yeah, sorry for the short notice on that.  I just heard about it.
<jblack> Hello.
<obra> 'evening, all
<novalis_dt> I can't both follow the other committee meeting I'm listening to.  So, I nominate Don as coordinator for this meeting, if he wants it.
<obra> +!
<dondelelcaro> ok... I can coordinate at least for an hour if that works
<obra> er, +1
<dondelelcaro> can everyone present announce their name for the record?
<dondelelcaro> Don Armstrong
<obra> Jesse Vincent
<MarkDoliner> Mark Doliner
<massimotisi> Massimo Tisi
<novalis_dt> David Turner
<Jacob_Fenwick> Jacob Fenwick
<jblack> James Blackwell
<scalesda> Daniel Scales
<novalis_dt> OK, any objections on Don coordinating?
<novalis_dt> Passed.
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--- novalis_dt gives voice to fontana
<novalis_dt> Ah, good, I'm off of my other call, so now I can focus here.
<dondelelcaro> heh.
<jblack> <+dondelelcaro> Nominates novalis?
<dyfet> David Sugar
<dondelelcaro> novalis_dt: can you continue coordinating here?
<novalis_dt> Yes.
<novalis_dt> Any objections to that?
* dondelelcaro is in danger of being distracted, as his major professor is sitting in the lab too
<novalis_dt> OK, that makes sense.
<novalis_dt> Great, without objection, I'll coordinate
<novalis_dt> I think the agenda is something like: confirm last meeting minutes, examine committee applicants, examine issues
<novalis_dt> Last meeting minutes are at
<novalis_dt> Would everyone look over them, and see if there's anything that needs to be added?
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<novalis_dt> And if not, give me a second on approving them?
<dondelelcaro> seconded
<novalis_dt> Great, any objections?
<sedwards> sorry just got in
--- novalis_dt gives voice to bkuhn
<sedwards> Steven Edwards here
<novalis_dt> Hi Steven
<novalis_dt> Great, passed by consensus.
<jblack> Point of order?
<novalis_dt> jblack: Go.
<jblack> Would it be considered objectionable for those to note when they don't have objections? It could speed things up slightly to see if people agree, or are just in another window
<jblack> optionally, that is
<novalis_dt> jblack: Good idea.
<dondelelcaro> seems fine to me
<dondelelcaro> (it is useful just to know if people are still alive out there. ;-))
<novalis_dt> As I noted in email, we now have a deadline for new committee members.  So, get your nominations to me as soon as humanly possible, and I will list them as polls (with secret results) on the site.
<novalis_dt> If there's any nomination discussion, let's do it now.
<novalis_dt> I believe we discussed Mike Nordell last time.
<novalis_dt> I'll put him up in a poll once I'm done coordinating this meeting.
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<novalis_dt> Any others? 
--- novalis_dt gives voice to biella
<novalis_dt> Going once, going twice, I'll ask again at the end of the meeting.
<novalis_dt> Right, sedwards wanted to adopt the naming issue.
<sedwards> yes I was wondering how we go about adopting issues
<novalis_dt> sedwards: You just did it :)
<dondelelcaro> sedwards: you were adopted last week
<sedwards> hehe well I guess I mean how we babysit the the comments around the issue
<sedwards> once we decide its a issue
<novalis_dt> sedwards: There's no need to babysit (although RSS should help there as we improve the technology)
<novalis_dt> bkuhn: Can you explain what RSS feeds will become available in the next few weeks?
<novalis_dt> Once something is upgrade from a comment to an issue, associated comment ticket are attached as children.
<bkuhn> novalis_dt: within 48 hours, we'll have an RSS feed of pure comment stats.
<bkuhn> ... which will link back to static pages about each days status ...
<novalis_dt> Meanwhile, the issue steward starts writing up the issue.
<sedwards> Is there a way on the site I can show all comments?
<novalis_dt> sedwards: Click "list"
<novalis_dt> Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to write up their own position, and find someone who disagrees to write the other sections.
<novalis_dt> Since sedwards seems to be in the minority on the committee, it shouldn't be hard to find someone willing to write up the against-changing position.
<bkuhn>   ... the status' will include number of new comments/issues for that, new claimants, etc.  If there is something people specifically want in that feed, let me know and I'll see that it gets added.
<novalis_dt> sedwards: So, you should start by writing up what you think the problem is, and what you think the license should do about it.
<novalis_dt> sedwards: Does that sound good?
<MarkDoliner> Should that be written up on the wiki...?
<MarkDoliner> As a comment...?
<novalis_dt> MarkDoliner: Should what?
<novalis_dt> MarkDoliner: sedwards's position?
<sedwards> novalis_dt, ok thanks
<MarkDoliner> novalis_dt: Yes
<novalis_dt> If sedwards's position isn't represented in a comment yet, he should put it up there in a comment, yes.
<sedwards> I put it in a comment but can't find the comment I filed
<novalis_dt> But the general document, which outlines all the arguments, will be made public -- but not as a comment.
<MarkDoliner> Ah, ok
<novalis_dt> sedwards: You can do a custom search, which will let you search by name.
<sedwards> ok cool. Upgrading it to a issue now
<novalis_dt> sedwards: bkuhn will tell you how to do this if you can't figure it out from the interface.
<novalis_dt> bkuhn is fantastically helpful :)
<novalis_dt> Also, Don has listed a number of comments he is interested in.  Don, which of those do you want to upgrade to issues and become steward of?
<biella> you may want to say his nick dondelelcaro novalis_dt
<dondelelcaro> sorry; was out there... in theory all of them can be upgraded; I'm not sure if I can steward them all though.
<novalis_dt> dondelelcaro: Well, let us know which ones you are and aren't interested in, and we'll see if anyone else wants to take the others.
<jblack> dondelecaro: Can you put a list of comments on the list? Some of us may be able to help you
<dondelelcaro> I was hoping to get some other people interested in stewarding them so I could sit back and watch. ;-)
<jblack> Thats what I mean.
<dondelelcaro> jblack:
<dondelelcaro> jblack: beyond that initial list of 5, there is a set of futher ones that I wasn't as interested in yet, but which may need to be upgraded in the future
<jblack> I can take #1 and #5 from you
<dondelelcaro> ok... I can deal with 2-3
<dondelelcaro> s/2-3/2-4/
<dondelelcaro> but of course, if someone else is really interested in them, speak up
<novalis_dt> OK, does anyone object to that?
<obra> No objection
<Jacob_Fenwick> no objection
<dyfet> no objection
<dondelelcaro> should we just vote for it really quick?
<scalesda> no objection
<novalis_dt> dondelelcaro: I don't see a strong reason to -- nobody objects.
<novalis_dt> But if it makes you happy, we can.
<dondelelcaro> raise the things identified in <> to issues; jblack to do #1 and #5, dondelelcaro to do rest?
<dondelelcaro> nah, it's fine
<novalis_dt> OK, passed.
<sedwards> is the list of issues located somewhere?
<novalis_dt> sedwards: You can do a custom search for "is an issue"
<sedwards> ok thanks
<novalis_dt> Great, dondelelcaro and jblack, please do the necessary work in the comment system for each issue to (a) upgrade the central comment, and (b) list it as the parent of the other comments.
<jblack> Aye.
<dondelelcaro> jblack: and are mboxes containing the comments which were appropriate to the issue; feel free to start there if it's easiser.
<jblack> Thanks
<dondelelcaro> s/were/I felt were/
<novalis_dt> This is the committee most likely to deal with 60_days_to_short.  Is anyone else interested in that topic?
<novalis_dt> The issue there is how the 60-day forgiveness of violations works.
<sedwards> I think 60days is ok
<novalis_dt> sedwards: I think it is OK for how I run FSF's enforcement -- if not particularly well phrased.
<dondelelcaro> I think the phrasing was the critical issue with that one; a lot of the comments seemed to feel that it was 60 days from the first breech, not 60 days from the last
<novalis_dt> I know a few of you have done enforcement in the past, and I would love to hear about how the former section 4's termination provisions affect your work.
<novalis_dt> dondelelcaro: Yeah, the phrasing is less than ideal.
<novalis_dt> Someone can probably just whip up a quick wording change suggestion there.
<dondelelcaro> right; I think that was the main issue; there may have been a few who understood the phrasing and still felt that 60 was to short, but I remember it being more of a phrasing issue
<dyfet> I have seen other confusion about the 60 day window and how some have read the language to mean instead that one gives up right to enforce after 60 days
<novalis_dt> dyfet: The rationale document does clarify the intent here, but it shouldn't be necessary.
<novalis_dt> dyfet: Do you want to take this one?
<dyfet> lol, i guess i volunteered :)
* dondelelcaro seconds dyfet's volunteering
<novalis_dt> All opposed?
<novalis_dt> dyfet: See, that's the way I like to run a committee -- anyone who raises their voice immediately volunteers :)
<jblack> not opposed
<dyfet> im not opposed either :)
<novalis_dt> Great, if nobody is opposed, passed.
<Jacob_Fenwick> !opposed
<obra> not opposed
<mako> hey
 mako marcell MarkDoliner massimotisi
<novalis_dt> mako: hey what?
<novalis_dt> obra: You had a minor wording issue which you submitteed as a comment.  Do you want to upgrade it to an issue and take it?
<obra> I actually feel a little weird taking my own comments and pushing them as issues.
<dondelelcaro> obra: nothing wrong with it, since we have to agree to it anyway
<novalis_dt> obra: There's no reason not to do it that I can think of.
<dondelelcaro> we're all biased anyway to various extents... some of us more heinously than other... ;-)
<obra> ...I'm also not entirely happy with my solution ;)
<novalis_dt> obra: Ah, well, we can certainly discuss solutions as a committee.
<obra> But ok. Having been away last week, at this point it's just "upgrade it to an issue" and try to get other people to comment?
<novalis_dt> obra: Yep.
<novalis_dt> We can also discuss it here
<obra> Ok. I'm willing, then
<novalis_dt> If the committee is willing, we can even start that discussion now.
<obra> It's a small enough point that it might make a decent early discussion.
<novalis_dt> obra: I agree.
<novalis_dt> obra: Plus, I'm a terribly impatient person.
<obra> heh.
<novalis_dt> Ok, anyone opposed to discussing that wording issue?
<novalis_dt> Oh, I should say what it is.
<Jacob_Fenwick> that would help
<novalis_dt> The issue is that the phrase "Digital Restrictions Management" is clumsy and, well, obra can explain.
<obra> Ok. so the basic gist is related to my somewhat atypical feelings about the political slant to the wording of the license text of the GPL. Given that I end up attempting to push GPLed software into large corporations on a regular basis, I like to not make their lawyers twitch (much)
<obra> The fact that the GPL uses perjorative language makes these folks assume that anything covered by it is written by...folks with a strong political agenda.
<obra> Whether or not that's the case, it's not a useful frame of mind to put them in.
<obra> (One recent client handed me a contract which labeled anything covered by the GPL as 'prohibited software')
<dondelelcaro> heh
<obra> So. I'm looking for small ways to soften the wording of the license without diluting its meaning.
<obra> "Digital Restrictions Management" -> "Digital Restriction Mechanisms" flows a little bit better. It's not "far enough" for me, but it's at least better (IMO) than what's there.
<obra> (Did all that make _any_ sense?)
<novalis_dt> It makes sense to me.  I suggest that, for RMS acceptance, you do not use words like soften.
<dondelelcaro> yeah, it makes sense; part of the issue is going to be selling it because a large part of the GPL is a political point
<dyfet> Why not simply "Digital Restrictions"?
<novalis_dt> I agree (speaking as a highly political individual) that Digital Restrictions Mechanisms flows better. 
<obra> dyfet: because the DRM acronym is "important" for people to get what the section is talking about
<jblack> I don't see how "mechanisms" solves the complaint. The word under complaint is the word "Restrictions"
<obra> novalis_dt: noted.
<fontana> "DRM" is a standard term.  The standard expansion is Digital Rights Management, which (in our view, anyway) conceals the nature of this technology.
<obra> jblack: see above "it's not enough for me but flows better"
<obra> this is minor wordsmithing
<fontana> So the point is to offer a funny but instructive alternative expansion of the standard abbreviation DRM
<dyfet> obra: good point, but i was thinkin of moving away from DRM to the more general case, since there the wording is not a political statement
<obra> Which is, I think, why novalis suggested it as an early topic of debate
<obra> dyfet: got a more radical suggestion?
<dondelelcaro> what could be better is just ignoring the term entirely, and using words that explain what the clause is prohibiting
<obra> dondelelcaro++
<dyfet> dondelelcaro: yes
<dondelelcaro> like "No Restrictions on Deploying Modifications"
<Jacob_Fenwick> it's not a necessity to make any reference to the acroynm, correct?
<novalis_dt> dondelelcaro: Note that "deploy" is a magic word in certain other licenses.
<novalis_dt> (this may or may not matter to you)
<jblack> I wouldn't think so. Its about behaviours, not about definitions.
<dondelelcaro> novalis_dt: true
<dyfet> Perhaps "Propogating" modifications rather than Deploy?
<dondelelcaro> (I'm not really suggesting that as the final wording, but that's basically what that clause is for; eliminating technological restrictions on the use of modified versions)
<fontana> Propagate is already defined in a specific way in the license... I'm not sure whether that would work.
<jblack> I've certainly heard plenty from people that think the clause means handing over gpg keys for signed packages.
<novalis_dt> jblack: That's certainly not the intent.  But that's outside the scope of obra's issue.
<jblack> As in the verifying origin sense, not in the tivo sense.
<fontana> Indeed, "propagate" would be too narrow.
<dondelelcaro> jblack: yeah, that's issue #4... ;-)
<obra> So. I'm happy to drop the minor wordsmithing if folks think this merits a 'bigger' change
<novalis_dt> I think the anti-DRM section is likely to stay in the license; its title is mostly independent of its content.
<novalis_dt> So, no matter what happens with Don's issue, this will be useful.
<dyfet> novalis_dt: I hope it does, whatever it is called :)
<jblack> novalis_dt: I'm seeing the two issues as the same thing; they're both wording issues.
<dondelelcaro> jblack: but with different outcomes; the one is a clarity of what the DRM clause is trying to accheive, the other is mainly a political/palatability argument...
<novalis_dt> jblack: Actually, I am certain that there will be discussion of precisely what sorts of signing keys will need to be turned over (tivo, yes; gpg, no, authenticode, ?) in don's issue
<sedwards> I have another wording issue but on another subjuect
<novalis_dt> That is a substantive rather than stylistic issue.
<novalis_dt> sedwards: Can we table that until later?
<sedwards> sure
<novalis_dt> I do think that Jesse's experience is important here -- while the goal of the FSF is always greater freedom (rather than greater adoption), we do support greater adoption if it doesn't come at the expense of freedom.
* mako nods
<novalis_dt> (And, of course, the two issues are fairly straightforwardly interconnected)
<novalis_dt> So, if the proposal is to s/Management/Mechanisms/ because it sounds better, and matches the purpose of the section better, that's a proposal I think is likely to pass.
<MarkDoliner> Personally I think I like "Digital Rights Management" better.  Sure, it hides the meaning of what DRM really is, but I'm not sure a software license is really the best place to teach people that.  Using a term that people identify with ("Digital Rights Management") seems like it would be more beneficial
<MarkDoliner> But "Digital Restrictions Mechanisms" is a billion times better than "Digital Restrictions Management"
<novalis_dt> MarkDoliner: I agree that it is a good thing to make the GPL more readable to the average programmer/lawyer.
<jblack> Another possibility is not spelling out the acronym at all
<novalis_dt> jblack: That is likely to be equivalent to MarkDoliner's proposal.
<fontana> What is the problem with "Management" here?
<fontana> Is it that it doesn't make sense, or something else?
<novalis_dt> fontana: It flows very poorly; it's obscure outside the context of the original acronym.
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--- novalis_dt gives voice to tomislav_medak
<fontana> OK.
<novalis_dt> MarkDoliner: I think the problem with the term Digital Rights Management is that it's fundamentally dishonest marketing-speak.
<novalis_dt> Sure, it's a recognizable term -- but so is (say) No Child Left Behind, or the Healthy Forests Initiative (which, whatever you think about them, are propaganda-type names)
<obra> "Clean coal"
<fontana> "Trusted computing"
<obra> Enh. There, at least, the vendor trusts the computer ;)
<jblack> I agree that. I don't see how doing s/Management/Mechanism/ makes the situation any clearer or flow better.
<novalis_dt> jblack: Well, what's being "managed" by DRM?
<jblack> In our context, restrictions.
<fontana> "Mechanism" might make more sense, though it's further removed from the reference to the original acronym expansion.
<novalis_dt> It would be more accurate to say that they're being imposed, than that they're being managed.
<novalis_dt> fontana: Yep, I think that's the trade-off.
<obra> Ironically, my change may make it more political and less just a play on words
<novalis_dt> Oh, and MarkDoliner, an anti-political reader might be happier if the license mentioned "rights" less often :)
<fontana> Just did a Google search ... there are a small number of expansions of "DRM" to "Digital Restrictions Mechanisms"
<jblack> Can we take a preliminary vote to see where we stand on this at the moment?
<novalis_dt> jblack: I don't think we need to vote on this.
<novalis_dt> jblack: obra will write up his view, and anyone else can add their view.
<MarkDoliner> novalis_dt: Yeah, but an anti-political reader won't be fighting against the license in a court room
<dondelelcaro> at least, not until we've got a write up of the different viewpoints
<mako> FWIW, i think mechanisms reads better than management
<novalis_dt> jblack: We'll vote once we have a document that we can vote on :)
<obra> If not a vote, then a straw poll?
<obra> (I'd be curious to know if the basic feeling in the room is that this is worth pursuing)
<novalis_dt> obra: Straw poll is fine.  Options are: (a) Digital Restrictions Management, (b) Digital Restrictions Mechanisms, (c) Digital Rights Management, (d) DRM, (e) something else.  Vote for as many as you like.
<mako> i'm not sure i think it's worth pursuing at any significant cost
<novalis_dt> b
<mako> but if i had to choose, i would choose b
<jblack> a,e
<dondelelcaro> e,b
<obra> b, e
<dyfet> a,b,e
<Jacob_Fenwick> b,e
<mako> ok.. ranked pairs everyone (I wrote a library for just this recently) ;)
<dondelelcaro> heh
<MarkDoliner> c, b, a, d, in that order
<marcell> b
<tomislav_medak> b
<novalis_dt> What are everyone's others?
<tomislav_medak> b a c d
<jblack> Folding into the larger "this is confusing" problem
<novalis_dt> jblack: But won't the outcome ultimately be one of these?  Or do you think it will be something else?
<dyfet> maybe a good wiki topic
<dondelelcaro> I'd much rather something that explains what the clause is doing, rather than reacting to the stupidity of DRM...
<marcell> b a c d
<massimotisi> e
<dondelelcaro> but I don't really feel very strongly about it either way. titles are pretty much meaningless to me
<novalis_dt> dondelelcaro: Beyond the rationale doc?
<tomislav_medak> Do Rights Matter
<dondelelcaro> novalis_dt: no, I mean a title that actually says what the clause does instead of bothering with DRM...
<jblack> novalis: Its likely to be one of the former and probably comes naturally as part of a clearer restatement of the section.
<fontana>  dondelelcaro: I think titles can be significant... I'm not sure how important this one is, however.
<marcell> dondelelcaro: i agree.. i'm not sure ppl really understand the issue so whatever is the name they need precious definition from and by gpl....
<dondelelcaro> fontana: they're important to a surprising number of people, granted...
<dondelelcaro> "this clause needs no title" ;-)
<novalis_dt> I just need titles so that I can stop referring to sections of the GPL by number, because that drives people crazy.
<jblack> I think people are hitting upon the title because they don't understand the section. That could go away if they understood the section better.
<dondelelcaro> novalis_dt: aw, but then you know that you're talking to a licencing nerd when they can quote numbers back!
<obra> "Section 4..of V2. Or section 7 of V3draft1" ;)
<fontana> novalis_dt: the only ones I know by heart are sections 7 and 11
<fontana> For v3 of course.
<fontana> That's probably a bad thing...
<novalis_dt> fontana: I knew them all for v2.  For v3, I'm working on it.  But I want titles for people who are less nerdy than me :)
<novalis_dt> dondelelcaro: I know I'm talking to a licensing nerd when they can pass the GPL quiz :)
<fontana> I believe that it was some European lawyers who insisted that a license's sections should have headings.
<dondelelcaro> ah... it could be; a lot of legal systems have wierd things that "A LICENCE MUST DO"
<novalis_dt> fontana: I also heard it suggested from a purely practical perspective.
<fontana> These same European lawyers had a problem with starting numbering from 0... we resisted that change.
<obra> Ok. I'll try to write up a paragraph on why I want the change. Which mostly boils down to "I think it sounds a little better"
<MarkDoliner> I think it makes more sense
<novalis_dt> If someone else want to write up the alternate views, please volunteer now.
<novalis_dt> You may also wait to see obra's paragraph.
<novalis_dt> OK, any further comments on this?
<novalis_dt> Great, closed.  We tabled sedwards earlier; sedwards, do you have something still?
<sedwards> one sec
<novalis_dt> OK, meeting is paused for one standard sec.
<sedwards> comment 682 interested me
<sedwards> about having to show and date changes
<sedwards> I agree about sharing all changes of course
<sedwards> but I already think the person making the comment has a point that dating is a issue
<sedwards> date of the commit, date of the patch created? date of the release of changes?
<novalis_dt> sedwards: What do you think is most useful?
<novalis_dt> sedwards: And, do you want to upgrade this to an issue and take it?
<sedwards> sure I'll take it
<sedwards> date of distribution works for me with just a list of files changed
<sedwards> something along that line sounds fair
<novalis_dt> sedwards: So, a Changelog wouldn't satisfy you?
<sedwards> A changelog would be fine
<novalis_dt> Those usually list date change made.
<novalis_dt> Rather than date of release.
<sedwards> I guess it should just be made clear
<novalis_dt> (also, it's not clear what release means -- do you mean when the change was sent to the maintainer?)
<sedwards> that we are talking about a Changelog from the version control system
<novalis_dt> sedwards: Would it satisfy you to broaden it to include any suitable listing of changes?
<sedwards> yeah that would do it
<novalis_dt> OK, I propose to upgrade this to an issue under stewardship of sedwards, then adjourn the meeting.  Any opposed to upgrading?
<Jacob_Fenwick> not I
<novalis_dt> Last call?
<novalis_dt> OK, upgraded.
<novalis_dt> Anyone opposed to adjourning the meeting?
<dondelelcaro> second adjournment
<dondelelcaro> with reconvention next week tuesday at 2200UTC
<novalis_dt> Great.
<sedwards> Adios
<novalis_dt> OK, meeting adjourned.  Send me nominations so I can get the polls online!  We want to close the committee by next week.


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