Re: Futore porting of NVDA to Python 3.X. Why?


Gene New Zealand <hurrikennyandopo@...>
 

Hi Joseph


What advantage will the store version have over the desk top version? That would still mean it would not work on a windows phone? or is it more for tablets?


Would you still be able to have it start at log on and when windows starts etc?

Gene nz

On 12/26/2017 12:51 AM, Joseph Lee wrote:
Hi everyone,
Ah, an interesting question on the morning of Christmas (where it is past 3
AM my time)...
A bit of explaining is in order:
Regarding dropping support for Windows releases prior to 7 SP1: for a long
time, folks using Firefox and other web browsers experienced a problem where
NVDA's browse mode functionality wouldn't work when you restart NVDA while
focused on the browser window. In order to fix this, NV Access turned to
using some things from Windows API that isn't part of old Windows releases.
Because of this and other factors outlined below, NV Access wrote in August
2017 that NVDA 2017.3 will be the last release to support old Windows
versions.
Another factor is Windows OneCore rate boost issue. Currently in order to
use OneCore voices (on Windows 10 only) with faster speech rate, you have to
go to Settings, go to Ease of Access/Narrator and change the speech rate to
a faster value. A fix is now available but only on Windows 10 Version 1709
(Fall Creators Update), and incorporating the fix requires us (NV Access and
other developers) to use latest Windows 10 SDK, which will work only on an
update to Visual Studio 2017. Unfortunately, this meant giving up ability to
compile NVDA so it can run on old Windows releases.
Last one for now: a few days ago, you may recall a message where I told some
people to "shhh for now" over something under active development, and I
hinted on Twitter that you'll meet NVDA on a new outlet. For those who
solved the puzzle, great. For the rest of you: one day, you'll find yourself
opening Microsoft Store app on your Windows 10 S computer, searching for and
installing a Windows Store (aka Project Centennial) version of NVDA. This
also answers a question some of you may have had: yes, the Windows Store
version of NVDA CANNOT run add-ons at this time, but that could change as
development progresses. I won't go into details on mechanics of how this can
be done, but suffice to say that those running latest next branch snapshots
are already running a modified code that lets NVDA detect if it's running
inside a modified container. Fortunately for now, the old desktop version
code still lives, but once the Store version of NVDA ships, this will mean
saying goodbye to old technologies that were used on old Windows releases
(and the Store version and the desktop edition will still be together).
This is sort of an interesting segue to the question at hand: why Python 3?
The biggest advantage is ease of making NVDA speak and understand more
languages through extensive use of Unicode. One of our goals (developers,
and in extension, the community at large) is to let more blind people taste
what it is like to work and play with minimal or no financial barriers, and
internationalization is the key (this is why I kept asking for folks to help
out with translations). Python 3.x changes the game by shipping with
built-in support for Unicode, something Python 2 does not do well (hence the
need to use the Unicode function when needed).
Of course upgrading to Python 3 comes with downsides. Although we'll gain
native Unicode support, code must be edited and checked to make sure things
are working for folks as before. Unfortunately, there is a dark cloud over
us: add-ons, and I and community leaders are mostly to blame: we lost
contact with creators of some prominent add-ons, there are add-ons installed
on many NVDA installations that weren't updated in a very long time, and
add-on repositories are scattered all over the internet. As much as add-ons
are the sauce that binds the community together (among other things), our
lack of coordination, coupled with ones that won't be ported to Python 3
easily saddens me, knowing that this will be our undoing. Thankfully, some
in the add-ons community have recognized this early and are working
tirelessly to make sure that our add-ons are Python 3 ready.
Regarding Python 3 readiness of add-ons: mostly for add-ons community, but
effective March 1, 2018, any add-on I'll be reviewing must show that it is
python 3 ready, otherwise I'll ask authors to "transform" their code before
asking for another round of reviews. As for details, I'll post on the
add-ons mailing list, as it mostly concerns source code edits. For users,
this is so that your favorite add-ons can run on future NVDA versions
powered by Python 3.
Cheers,
Joseph

-----Original Message-----
From: nvda@nvda.groups.io [mailto:nvda@nvda.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brian's
Mail list account via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, December 25, 2017 2:34 AM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: [nvda] Futore porting of NVDA to Python 3.X. Why?

Hi folks. I see a lot of  issues and  chat about doing this on github and
other places, however what seems to be lacking in these mostly technical
discussions, is a reason for doing it.
 Is there anybody out there who understands the reasons well enough to
explain to the user who has probably not go a lot of understanding of
computer languages, exactly why this seems to be being prioritised over
getting nvda to work better as it stands.
 I ask as to me at least, unless there is a need to rewrite whole sections
for some reason, it does seem a lot of work and will obviously slow down
development and indeed create bugs or remove functions accidentally.
 We have just been through the dropping of support for XP, a decision not
universally popular from what I have heard, but obvious when you here
somebody explain why in as plain a  language as one can. If somebody could
do the same for this major move it would I think go a long way toward
calming the frustrations some feel at the moment.
Oh and don't shoot me for saying this, its the season of Good Will you know!

Brian

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--
Check out my website for NVDA tutorials and other blindness related material at http://www.accessibilitycentral.net Regardless of where you are in New Zealand if you are near one of the APNK sites you can use a copy of the NVDA screen reader on one of their computers. To find out which locations (or location) is near to you please visit http://www.aotearoapeoplesnetwork.org/content/partner-libraries (Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa). To find an NVDA certified expert near you, please visit the following link https://certification.nvaccess.org/. The certification page contains the official list of NVDA certified individuals from around the world, who have sat and successfully passed the NVDA expert exam.

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