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Font Managers, Anyone?

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by nclinuxus, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. nclinuxus

    nclinuxus Member

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    I have questions, if that's OK with you: 1. I am using a Toshiba Satellite A205 laptop, 80 GB HDD, running Ubuntu MATE 17.10, 32-bit. I attempted to remove several Noto Family fonts from the system, using two generic font managers (at different times) from the Synaptic repository. Unfortunately, both of them failed to remove the selected fonts, so I went straight to Synaptic to remove the fonts, which are listed packages in the repository. Instead of Synaptic removing the selected fonts, I lost all of the custom fonts I had installed for my needs. Thankfully, I have backups, and will attempt to replace them in the future, ideally, after I receive some helpful information from anyone reading this. Question: Are there any flavors of Ubuntu and Linux that offer "built-in" font managers? My experience with Synaptic was disappointing (and equally so with the downloaded font managers). 2. Since Ubuntu MATE 17.10 is ending support for 32-bit machines as of July 2018, my only option from them is to download the older MATE 16. I would rather not, because I have enjoyed MATE 17 and 18 a lot, and I already miss using MATE 18. What flavors of Linux outside of MATE will offer me the flexibility and limitless customization that I've experienced from MATE? I hope the people at Canonical will reconsider, and allow us "32'ers" the opportunity to join them again. If not, I may have to start looking elsewhere. My laptop may not be the latest or most recent machine around, but it's dependable, stable, and gets the job done. Thanks for sharing.


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    FOOTNOTE: I forgot to include: I have been using Synaptic for years, and this is the first time that Synaptic has failed to remove the selected packages.
     
    #1 nclinuxus, Jul 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  2. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Hi @nclinuxus, and welcome! I'm going to skip the font issue for now because I must take care of some chores shortly. I'll try to return to it, or others will jump in with some advice. Fonts are not that important to me personally, so I will just have to Google around for info to try to help you.

    I wanted to clarify that MATE is not Linux... MATE is a Desktop Environment (DE) and can be used on many different Linux distros (Ubuntu is a Linux distro). I use MATE on Linux Mint and I also like it very well.

    Moving on from there, a quick Google of your laptop shows this... does that match yours? There may be a number of different "205" models. If this one looks like yours, then a quick Google of the CPU shows this... which indicates that you can use a 64-bit Linux! You may (as many people do) have assumed that your old 32-bit Windows meant that you had a 32-bit CPU, and that was very often not true. At any rate, I would definitely suggest as you start to shop for a new distro that you first try to boot a 64-bit version and try to run it in "live mode" before installing. If you really have a 32-bit CPU, then you won't be able to boot the 64-bit Linux and it will give you an error. You might try this command to see what it says (copy/paste works best... but LSCPU must be lower case if you type this):
    Code:
    lscpu | grep op-mode
    But you do still have an older laptop, and how much RAM can be very important to your next distro. (You didn't mention that for us.) If you have 2 GB, you can run most any distro fairly comfortably. But there are some distros that are better on low resource and older machines, so that may be something for you to take into consideration too.

    Okay, gotta run for a bit.

    Cheers
     
  3. nclinuxus

    nclinuxus Member

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    @atanere, thanks for the info. Yes, that's the laptop I'm talking about. I did install the 64-bit Ubuntu MATE 18 a couple of weeks ago, and yes, it worked *but* the boot time was 2 to 3 times longer (I really did have to wait a few minutes before I could start using the computer). The processor in my laptop is an Intel Pentium Dual-Core, 3 GB RAM, no expansion available. I have owned this laptop for around 3 years now. Last year, I was running 70% Windows10 and 30% Ubuntu; I had returned to Linux after discovering the MATE desktop. After a few incompatibility issues with Windows (I lost several Linux apps and packages, which were no fault of Linux!), I got rid of Windows, erased my drive, and said, "Welcome Home, Linux!" If I need to use MS Office (Word and Excel), I simply use the computers at work. It would be nice if Microsoft would offer MS Office for Linux, of course (Why so long?). I'm not a geek, so I don't do that well with Playonlinux or Wine. I am planning to install a bigger drive for more space sometime in the near future. I have really been enjoying the Linux experience off and on since 2007! And may I say that it's a good thing when I can perform the maintenance and security updates at my convenience, which the other OS doesn't allow me to do?
     
    #3 nclinuxus, Jul 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
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  4. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Well, even though Microsoft seems to be trying to get all comfy-cozy with the Linux people.... I don't think they will make an Office version for us. No need really.... LibreOffice has filled most needs for most people. Try it, if you haven't already! It is quite compatible with most MSOffice files (excluding macros and Access databases).

    Regardless of your boot time experience, I would encourage you to move to 64-bit processing since you can. Ubuntu and many other distros are moving away from 32-bit support, although you can still find other distros if you insist on using this outdated architecture. Really, 64-bit processing is faster, and I think that other things were factoring in to your slow boot experience.

    MATE is a relatively light desktop, and since you have 3GB of RAM you should be fine with most distros on your computer. Since I use Linux Mint MATE, I would gladly recommend it. But you can install MATE with Debian, Arch, Manjaro, Solus, Fedora, PCLinuxOS, and more.

    I did look around a bit for font managers for Linux, and there isn't much available, as you have already discovered. I installed font-manager and FontBase, but I'm not too impressed either. :(

    Cheers
     
  5. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Nope, nick off, run along :mad:

    I'm only kidding, look at my age in profile, and Stan turns 61 tomorrow US time - we are all 57ers

    (Wizard appears in a puff of smoke, reminding people that 1957 was also the launch of Sputnik, the first major satellite)

    Welcome @nclinuxus , to linux.org :D

    First things first about the fonts -

    You can also find your update/install history through /var/log/apt/history.log if you want to work out how to read it, can be quite useful.

    Tell us some more about how they are customised, and we will see what we can do.

    Also, start a slow read of my Tute on Timeshift here

    https://www.linux.org/threads/timeshift-similar-solutions-safeguard-recover-your-linux.15241/

    External space is better for storage, in case the HDD goes bellyup, but you've said about backups, so maybe there?

    And with a 160GB HDD you can at least set up an interim testing point for the snapshots Timeshift takes.

    On DEs, perhaps read here

    https://renewablepcs.wordpress.com/about-linux/kde-gnome-or-xfce/

    ... doesn't cover all DEs but a significant idea of them. The only one near as customisable as MATE is KDE, but I reckon MATE is better.

    KDE can be covered within Ubuntu by use of Kubuntu.

    See what you think, and we'll talk more ... more of us Seniors, LOL.

    Chris Turner
    wizardfromoz
     
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  6. nclinuxus

    nclinuxus Member

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    I have been waiting, but many companies and businesses continue to use MS Office for their productivity. I do use LibreOffice, been doing it since 2013! Even though I have no intention of reinstalling Windows on my laptop ever again, I have to use the computers at work to access Excel or PowerPoint because I find they are not always compatible with LibreOffice. I believe that this issue may have been placed into MS software on purpose...but that's my opinion on the matter. I'm not a geek (I did say that before, yes?), and sometimes I'm frustrated with Excel or PowerPoint because I have to go to a Windows OS to correct minor mistakes not easy or possible to take care of with LibreOffice. You also mentioned:

    I appreciate the tip. Forgive the following, if my opinion sounds strong: I was under the impression that one of GNU/Linux's strong points is that the many flavors of the kernel and OS were designed for backward compatibility: Regardless of the age of the computer, there would always be support for older machines. I have always viewed Linux as the "uncola" of the major OS distributors around the world. From my end of things, it seems as if some distributors want to "keep up with the Smiths," and abandon users with older but very dependable machines. If given the opportunity, they could continue working for another 5 to 10 years on the same computers! I call to mind the antique car collectors, who are still showing off their beauties from the 20's, 30's, and 40's, and they're still going strong because people and groups continue to offer support for these machines. About 5 years ago, I met a man driving his 1913 Model T, a convertible, rust spots in a few places, but it ran like a charm; it won't be parked in a garage or museum anytime soon. In spite of technology advancing rapidly and companies ending support for a lot of machines, I believe that older doesn't mean obsolete. And you said:

    I am looking and hoping for the day (very soon!) when Linux will add a native font manager to the OS. I would like you to give me a "crash course" on adding and deleting fonts via commands. Is it acceptable to add and remove them using Caja or file manager? Thanks for your feedback.
     
    #6 nclinuxus, Jul 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
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  7. nclinuxus

    nclinuxus Member

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    Age is only a number...Wisdom and gray hairs are worthy of honor and respect!

    Thank you for the hospitality, everyone! Allow me to explain this one further:

    I did not customize the fonts, I downloaded them from a legit free font site, such as Myfonts, Larabiefonts, and others. I have them backed up on an external drive, just in case. I used the word "custom" because they were not included with the OS or distro when I installed Ubuntu 17.10. That was the very first time Synaptic failed to remove marked packages from my drive! I'm still baffled...didn't know that could happen!

    Sounds good, when I have additional space, either externally or internally, I will try this.

    More power to you!
     
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  8. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Just a note on terminology

    Caja IS the File Manager (for MATE DE), lol.

    And yes it is acceptable, broadly speaking. Many of your fonts are housed within /usr/share/fonts/ - anything under user (/usr/) is owned by Root, so you would need to take on elevated privileges first in order to delete them. This can be as simple as rightclicking in Caja, choosing "Open As Administrator", entering your password, and a new window will open with you as the superuser.

    But I wouldn't do it without advice (nor without a current Timeshift snapshot up my Wizard's sleeve).

    Fonts may also be kept in ~/.local/share/fonts. This might need creating. The tilde means /home/yourusername . The dot means .local is one of a number of hidden files and folders, hidden for a reason, but can be revealed with Ctrl-h when in the appropriate area, and can be set as a preference in many file managers.

    So if I had such a folder (which I don't currently) , that would be in /home/chris/.local/share/fonts. May be a good place for storing your preferred fonts, I have to look into it.

    EOL for 17.10 'Artful Aardvark' MATE and its sibling, GNOME aka Desktop, has been confirmed as 19th July US time. I wouldn't mind spending a little time on this, as I am interested, and I am writing this from your Distro, which I will be replacing when appropriate (ie at the last minute :D).

    BUT (there's always a but with Wizard) I have other commitments to fulfill here as well, so my collaboration may be a little haphazard, if you are patient.

    A good start if you are interested is to provide us with the output of, from Terminal:

    Code:
    inxi -Fxs
    ... no privacy implications. This will allow me and others to see what you have under the bonnet (Aussie term for hood) and work within that framework.

    Also tell us if there are other Users in the household, as some solutions are deployed on a per user basis, and might need tweaking to become global.

    Cheers

    Chris Turner
    wizardfromoz
     
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  9. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    True enough, or documents with macros. There will probably never be 100% compatibility. You can, however, run some versions of Microsoft Office successfully in Linux with Wine. That may help, but again, it may not be perfect either.

    And so it has been for a very long time. But for there to "always be support" is not quite realistic either. I liked your car analogy... take it a step further: Ford no longer supports the Model T. They don't make engine parts or body parts for it. There is a group of people with a love for the vehicle who make it possible to keep driving them, and so it is with i386 computers. But the car fans can make money with their passion better than the computer devs can. The passion for Model T's may go up and down a bit, but the passion for running older computers only declines... interest does not increase in this market.

    Cheers
     
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  10. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    I was rushing a bit this morning to get off for work, but I also wanted to comment on this: No forgiveness needed! Nothing wrong with strong opinions at all as long as we are polite and respectful... which you are. I often have strong opinions too, but I have been humbled many times as well when shown my mistakes... my wife leads in that contest, but I think Wizard may be catching up to her! :D

    Enjoy Linux in whatever way it serves you best! :cool::D

    Cheers
     
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  11. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    I don't know anyone around here with strong opinions, do you Stan? :D

    @nclinuxus - Mate the following may be of use to you, Google search keywords "install ms office on linux". MakeUseOf is a handy site

    https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/install-use-microsoft-office-linux/

    Article is November 2016 so not so dated. I haven't tried it, so can't vouch for it, I have little use for WINE and PlayOnLinux.

    Both wine-stable and playonlinux can be found in your Synaptic Package Manager as well.

    I would be sure of having my data safeguarded via backup or Timeshift before introducing the Windows element.

    Cheers

    Wiz
     
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  12. nclinuxus

    nclinuxus Member

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  13. nclinuxus

    nclinuxus Member

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    I appreciate these tips...I'm going to take some time to review this and return to you with my reply. As you say on the great continent, "Cheers."
     
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  14. nclinuxus

    nclinuxus Member

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    Thanks again...it's a deep experience when other people humble us...I've learned to admit when I'm wrong, pick myself up, and continue on. Of course, it's hard sometimes. Nobody is perfect, and there's always something new to learn. After I return from work on this day, I plan to stop in again, take a closer look at Wizard's tips, and send him a reply. You have been gracious, and that says more than words alone.

     
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  15. nclinuxus

    nclinuxus Member

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    G'Day, Mate!

    I opened Terminal and took screenshots of my INXI information. My question is: How do I send them to you? I don't have a URL to forward them your way, so that you can look under the bonnet / hood of my machine. I will try to delete the fonts via Administrator -- gently-- I will start by deleting one or two fonts and check the system afterwards. I am continuing to read your tips and learn some more. Thanks for the help!
    And yes, my fonts are located under ~/usr/share/fonts. You have been a very good teacher.

    Cheers and Good Wednesday to you!
     
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  16. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    He must be talking about you, Stan - I'm just a stumblebum who blows things up and learns from them :)

    Morning all, (just morning, midday in 5). I'm going for another coffee and I'll swing over to my Artful Aardvark MATE and address a couple of things.

    c u soon

    Wiz
     
  17. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    FONTS

    From the time we enter our password at login until the time we reboot or power down, we are in (usually) an X Session (either that or Wayland, usually X).

    These are Display Servers you can read about here and here

    They control our graphical experience, the GUI or desktop environment.

    With Ubuntu, it has default fonts which it uses to deliver the Look and Feel of our applications, our Desktop, our Terminal text, text within our Browser eg Firefox or Chromium, our icons whether in a Panel, or under icons on the desktop, and so on.

    You can see the status quo in your 17.1 MATE, by going to System - Control Centre - Look and Feel - Appearance and clicking the Fonts tab. Mine looks as below

    [​IMG]

    SCREENSHOT 1- INXI OUTPUT


    Simplest way to get the output here is to copy and paste. My screenshot below illustrates a part of the process.


    [​IMG]

    SCREENSHOT 2 - WIZARD'S INXI OUTPUT FROM TERMINAL

    To get to this point I have opened a fresh instance of Terminal, and issued the command inxi -Fxs . In your MATE environment, your Terminal has a Menu at top, choose Edit - Select All ... and the text highlights perhaps in a different colour to mine above.

    Then rightclick and choose Copy to copy the text to your Clipboard.

    Next, come into your linux.org Reply Pane, may be put a "Hi Guys" and a line break or two (Enter)

    Then Ctrl-v or right-click and Paste. Your text appears in your reply, go to the end of it and enter a line or two and continue typing. Voila.

    For long output (perhaps from logs &c), we can follow the first steps, and then here in our Reply Pane, use the Toolbar. 4th from right is a small plus sign in a square. It contains Quote, Spoiler, Code and Strikethrough. Choose Spoiler, skip the Spoiler Title if you wish and continue. You will have to look closely, but yoiur insertion point for typing will appear blinking between the square brackets saying spoiler and spoiler with a forward slash preceding it.

    Paste your text there, then navigate to past the last square bracket and enter a line to continue.

    Here's my inxi output (press Spoiler)

    [email protected]:~$ inxi -Fxs
    System: Host: ArtfulMATE-Study Kernel: 4.13.0-43-generic x86_64
    bits: 64 gcc: 7.2.0
    Desktop: MATE 1.18.0 (Gtk 3.22.25-0ubuntu0.1) Distro: Ubuntu 17.10
    Machine: Device: laptop System: TOSHIBA product: Satellite S70t-A v: PSKNEA-04G034 serial: N/A
    Mobo: Type2 - Board Vendor Name1 model: Type2 - Board Product Name1 v: Type2 - Board Version serial: N/A
    UEFI: Insyde v: 1.60 date: 04/18/2014
    Battery BAT1: charge: 43.8 Wh 100.0% condition: 43.8/48.6 Wh (90%)
    model: Panasonic PA5109U-1BRS status: Full
    CPU: Quad core Intel Core i7-4700MQ (-HT-MCP-)
    arch: Haswell rev.3 cache: 6144 KB
    flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 19155
    clock speeds: max: 3400 MHz 1: 2385 MHz 2: 2384 MHz 3: 2394 MHz
    4: 2395 MHz 5: 2388 MHz 6: 2393 MHz 7: 2394 MHz 8: 2392 MHz
    Graphics: Card-1: Intel 4th Gen Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller
    bus-ID: 00:02.0
    Card-2: NVIDIA GK208M [GeForce GT 740M] bus-ID: 01:00.0
    Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.19.5 )
    drivers: (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) FAILED: modesetting,nouveau
    Resolution: [email protected]
    OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Haswell Mobile
    version: 4.5 Mesa 17.2.8 Direct Render: Yes
    Audio: Card-1 Intel 8 Series/C220 Series High Def. Audio Controller
    driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
    Card-2 Intel Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor HD Audio Controller
    driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:03.0
    Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.13.0-43-generic
    Network: Card-1: Qualcomm Atheros QCA9565 / AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter
    driver: ath9k bus-ID: 0d:00.0
    IF: wlp13s0 state: up mac: a4:db:30:2c:2d:75
    Card-2: Qualcomm Atheros AR8161 Gigabit Ethernet
    driver: alx port: 3000 bus-ID: 0e:00.0
    IF: enp14s0 state: down mac: 08:9e:01:e7:f7:0a
    Drives: HDD Total Size: 5001.0GB (0.5% used)
    ID-1: /dev/sda model: TOSHIBA_MQ01ABD1 size: 1000.2GB
    ID-2: USB /dev/sdb model: My_Book_25EE size: 4000.8GB
    Partition: ID-1: / size: 15G used: 9.8G (71%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda22
    RAID: No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
    Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 55.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 48.0
    Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
    Info: Processes: 222 Uptime: 18 min Memory: 1827.6/7900.8MB
    Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: N/A
    Client: Shell (bash 4.4.121) inxi: 2.3.37
    [email protected]:~$


    SCREENSHOT POSTING

    If you've used the default screenshot utility, (GNOME's) Screenshot to take your pic/x, its default saves it as .png format, which can be added as an attachment here (see upload a file bottom right-hand side of your reply pane) or inserted in a special way into this text body.

    The latter is how I do my screenshots, but it involves signing up with a free image hosting site - includes but is not limited to Imgur, Photobucket, TinyPic and others. Imgur is my preferred choice.

    I haven't the time at the moment to explain more, but if you digest the above, we'll see how we go.

    Meanwhile maybe Stan, or our erstwhile Administrator @Rob ? ... can fast-track me to whether or not we have a Tute on Posting Images and Videos here, if not perhaps I can cobble one together and we could pin it?

    Cheers

    Wiz
     
  18. nclinuxus

    nclinuxus Member

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    Hip, hip, hooray...I did it. Two screenshots for your examination. Everyone here has made the Linux.org experience painless and enjoyable. Thank you!

    INXI 001-- 2018-07-10.png INXI 001-- 2018-07-10.png
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. nclinuxus

    nclinuxus Member

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    Here are updated INXI screenshots, sorry about the repetition. Taken minutes ago. Thanks again. Second INXI-1 on 2018-07-12.png Second INXI-2 on 2018-07-12.png
     
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  20. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    That's Legend, Jonathan, goodonyer :), you're doing fine.

    Back in #1, your OP (OP can be either of Original Poster, ie you, or the OP's Original Post) you mentioned being dissatisfied with two (2) generic font managers. Do you want to let us know what they were, and we can keep an eye out for prospects other than those? I'll be pretty busy this arvo (afternoon) but I can scout around, and I have a couple of ideas in mind for Linux Distros that might suit for you to try also. Some 32-bit, some 64, but the 64ers will be lighter in resources than the Ubuntu.

    Cheers

    Chris
     
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