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I'm not clear on the differences between full validators and basic validators on a network. Taken from official doc, it seems like the differences are mostly an abstraction, with full validators being present in quorums as v-blocking nodes.

Furthermore, it seems like the only technical difference between the two is that a full validator "helps other nodes to catch up and join the network", I'm assuming that means a full validator configures and writes to an archive where as basic validator doesn't. Is that correct?

Lastly, referring to the example quorum config, are [QUORUM_SET.FULLSDF] and [QUORUM_SET.BASIC] keywords that explicitly define a node's full and basic validators? What's going on here in the config?

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Yes, you are right that a full validator configures and writes to an archive. But basic validator can also have a history archive.

Apart from all other differences mentioned in the documentation, main difference between Full and Basic validator is that, full validator maintaines full history archive and publishes it for anyone to view. Its publicly accessible.

One such example from Stellar Network is:
http://history.stellar.org/prd/core-live/core_live_001/.well-known/stellar-history.json
After creating such archive link, you should list it in your TOML file in HISTORY field.

Regarding QUORUM_SET I think they are not defining a full vs basic validator. They are just defining two different quorum sets for your server to use.

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