Re: Request for comments: an outline of a complete course on NVDA internals and code contributions


HTML book: Not at the moment. My plan is to collect notes from devlearning subgroup and compile it into a book later, with wisdom and comments from developers included. At one point, I did think about writing an internals book, but that was 2014 when my knowledge of NVDA wasn't solid as today.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of nasrin khaksar
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2017 8:20 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Request for comments: an outline of a complete course on NVDA internals and code contributions

hi joseph.
this cources are very great.
also do you provide for us html format of this book to download and have all courses in one book, one collection and one file?
God bless you!

On 8/20/17, Joseph Lee <> wrote:
Hi everyone,

Those of you on the users list may have heard about a subgroup over
there that aims to teach people how to contribute code to NVDA. After
going over some membership intros and looking at skill sets
represented, I came up with a rough outline or a six to twelve month
course on NVDA code contributions and internals. Obviously most of the
course content will require working knowledge of Python, but for those
who lack this, I've included a one unit outline on Python.


* Title: So you want to improve NVDA with code contributions?
* Instructor: one or more NVDA experts and developers, along with
several Python users as tutors
* Purpose: the overall purpose of this course is to equip new
developers with knowledge required to provide code contributions to
NVDA project. Topics covered include a short review of Python, running
NVDA from source code, source code layout and overall architecture,
behind the scenes tour of features and commands, as well as things
required when contributing code such as identifying, designing,
coding, debugging, testing, submitting, maintaining, and explaining
new features, changes and bug fixes.
* Goals: have a working knowledge of Python so students can use it in
NVDA and other projects; learn the overall purpose and architecture of
NVDA; have knowledge of workings of features and commands through
reading, understanding and writing source code; learn tips for
becoming successful NVDA code contributors who serves the community
and improves NVDA; develop critical problem solving and thinking
skills required in today's software engineering projects including
that of NVDA.

Course outline:

Unit 0: Review of Python

1. Python is a general-purpose programming language
2. Downloading and using Python
3. Explain variables, how to import useful modules, conditionals and
4. Learn how to define functions.
5. Design classes and objects
6. Learn to interact with lists, dictionaries, sets, tuples and other
objects of interest
7. Use modules and objects provided by Python to solve various problems
8. Exercise: random walk on a treadmill
9. Expected duration: four to six months

Skills test and preview 0: come up with solutions to two other
problems via Python, write a design for an add-on, or write about how
a student would solve an NVDA issue on GitHub.

Unit 1: Basics and the big picture

1. What screen readers are and are not
2. A portrait of operations of a screen reader
3. A brief history of NVDA
4. Obtaining NVDA source code
5. Compiling NVDA's source code with dependencies
6. Running NVDA from source for the first time
7. Example of code contribution: command to restart NVDA with no
8. Expected duration: one month

Skills test and preview 1: explain in your own words how you would
teach your friend to download NVDA source code.

Unit 2: NVDA at a glance

1. Features overview
2. Source code layout
3. Overall architecture
4. Importance of objects, events, and modules
5. Extensibility through classes
6. Why accessibility API's matter
7. Exercise: what is the code responsible for announcing speech via
8. Example of code contribution: Popping up browse mode window for some
NVDA messages
9. Expected duration: two months

Skills test and preview 2: in your own words, describe ui.message function.

Unit 3: feature and command internals 1

1. Global commands
2. Focus, caret, system cursor
3. Object navigation, properties, developer information and object
4. Accessibility API's
5. Review cursor and text infos
6. Keyboard, mouse, and touchscreen
7. Basics of browse mode
8. Exercise: explain how NvDA+T command works to a new user
9. Example of code contribution: indentation announcement by tones
10. Expected duration: two to three months

Skills test and preview 3: in your own words, describe either one
property of a navigator object or how a first letter navigation
command works in browse mode.

Unit 4: Feature and command internals 2

1. App modules, global plugins and add-ons
2. Speech, braille, and tones
3. Synthesizers and braille displays
4. Math presentation layer and content recognition framework
5. NVDA dialogs, configuration management, and managing add-ons
6. Exercise: track down bugs in speech synthesizers
7. Example of code contribution: Unicode braille output
8. Expected duration: two months

Skills test and preview 4: in your own words, define what a speech
synthesizer driver is.

Unit 5: Code contributions

1. Identifying issues and suggestions
2. Designing a problem and its solution(s)
3. Coding a solution
4. Debugging and testing solutions
5. Effective use of log viewer and Python Console
6. Submitting, maintaining, and explaining a feature, a change, or a
bug fix
7. Exercise: not all warnings from the log are fatal
8. Example of code contribution: tab completion in Python Console
9. Expected duration: two to three months

Skills test and preview 5: write a solution for a minor issue on
GitHub or a small add-on that uses any concept from previous units.

Unit 6: Beyond code contributions

1. Translations
2. Documentation
3. Keep in touch with users and others in the community
4. Researching new ideas alone or in groups
5. Working on collaborative projects
6. Apply skills from NVDA to other projects
7. Exercise: write an article explaining inner workings of a community
8. Example of code contribution: Liblouis project
9. Expected duration: one month

Unit 7 (advanced): thinking outside of NVDA

1. Windows API
2. Python libraries
3. Dependency checks
4. Using Component Object Model
5. Using advanced features of accessibility API's
6. Adding new math presentation layers and content recognition
7. Troubleshooting braille input and output
8. Engaging with the wider python and programming communities
9. Ethical issues in code contributions
10. Things to think about when leading or working on an international
software project

Final skills test:

1. From a set of problems dealing with Python, write solutions for two
and provide an explanation for one of them.
2. Write an NVDA add-on that utilizes at least two concepts described
in one or more units.
3. For a major NVDA GitHub issue, identify, design, code, debug, test,
submit, maintain, and explain a solution.

I expect the minimum time to complete this course would be six months
(excluding Python intros and advanced topics), with most people taking
up to a year to master the concepts above and become comfortable while
providing basic code contributions. The Python version to be employed
will be a mixture of 2.7 and 3.6.

Comments are appreciated.



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