Re: NVDA the miracle of modern assistive technology


Janet Brandly
 

Braveau! Standing ovation!

-----Original Message-----
From: Jaffar Sidek
Sent: Sunday, March 3, 2019 7:31 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: [nvda] NVDA the miracle of modern assistive technology

Hi all. In 2006, when Michael Currant conceived the idea of developing
an open source screen reader to neutralize the high cost of commercial
screen readers, and when he and James Teh founded NVAccess, The feeling
going around was that sooner or later, this upstart in the screen reader
industry would shortly be gobbled up by the more recognized players.
Well, Window eyes has gone down the proverbial plug hole. SaraTech and
Dolphin has gone almost quiet, and the two left standing proud and tall
in the boxing ring is JFW and NVDA. These are the facts, not mere
conjecture, and the facts are clear enough to see. Why am I writing
this? Financial reward is a big factor in motivating a company to work
towards improving a product. However, the demand for immediate rewards
can also lead to a product being rushed out in the hope that it will
satisfy the needs of the customers as well as filling up the company's
coffers. But hope is one thing, delivery is another vital factor. I do
not have to revise the recent debacle experienced by the end users of
Windows 1809. Jaws is now into it's 2019 version. Yet their new driver
is not as stable as it should be and there are complains about it from
users and Jaws scripters alike.

And what about NVDA? O yes! NVDA does have it's quirks, No software can
avoid that. But there is an almost daily alpha version released that
tries to fix reported issues. Then we must not leave out a dedicated
community of users who do their very best to help in the form of advise
and tutorials, some even dedicating part of their website to put up
materials for reference for those who need them. And then there are
those from the community who help with NVDA's development, Translators
who help translate NVDA itself and it's numerous addons into the many
languages, and the addon developers who develop addons that make NVDA
more than just a mere screen reader, All these done in their own spare
time and without the apparent rewards in dollars. Which reminds me, Is
there a clock addon for JFW? Which brings me back to motivation. I did
earlier allude to the fact that monetary reward is a big incentive. But
you know, humanity can be a bigger incentive than finance. For most
blind people, and especially for those living in the poorer countries,
just getting a working computer makes a dent in their pockets. Add the
cost of a screen reader and the dent could be astronomical. NVDA has
provided us from rich and poor regions of the world with another
alternative, and that in itself is a modern miracle. And, most
important, NVDA, as I said earlier is not just a mere screen reader. It
goes way beyond basic screen reading tasks like browsing the web or
checking emails or formatting documents. It works seemlessly with
programming IDES like visual Studio, and Android Studio, just to name a
few, and then musicians use it in association with DAWS like Reaper to
make music as a hobby or as a profession, and broadcasters benefit from
addons developed for Station playlist studio. I use both Jaws and NVDA,
and I had to pay almost 2000 Singapore dollars to get my new version of
Jaws. And after all that, I had to pay for some scripts by independent
Jaws Scripters to make jaws work with some applications. NVDA is open
source and free, it's addons are free, and therein lies the difference.

How then can a thread about NVDA dying be ever posted is way beyond my
understanding. Negative posts like this are rather disturbing because
it could put a huge dent into the efforts of all concerned with NVDA's
development. And one must not forget the extraneous update routines put
out by Microsoft which not only affects NVDA but JFW as well. Pardon
this long and rambling email, but I felt that I had to pen my thoughts
onto paper, as it were, just to remind ourselves that we do owe these
people dedicated to ever improving NVDA a huge debt, and to remind us
all that as long as this great effort continues, NVDA will be far from
dying a slow death or disappearing into the ether. To me, NVDA is, and
always will be a modern miracle. Cheers!

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