NVDA List, A Reboot #adminnotice

Nimer Jaber

Hello everyone,


Here's hoping this message finds everyone well.


A bit over a month ago, Brian and I began working together as he became moderator of this list. One of my goals, and Brian's too, was to think of ways to make sure that we are remaining on target with our discussions, that we are a community who is helpful, open to new users as they embark on their journey of learning NVDA, and so on. To that end, Brian worked on a letter to our community. This letter is to provide for a reboot of this list. This is still the same list, but it is not as loose as it has been in some ways, and we believe that it will be more open to new and long-time users alike, while at the same time, allowing us to be productive and efficient in our discussions. Please read this letter. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, I am requesting that you please e-mail the owner address, found at the bottom of every e-mail. These will be the guidelines moving forward for this list, and they will be sent out to all new users.

The NVDA Group – A Reboot

The NVDA Group has as its central purpose discussing how to use NVDA in order to accomplish any specific task an end user has in mind.  Like all screen readers, it is a tool for accessing something else, and really serves no other purpose.  Its function as an accessibility tool is, of course, its reason for being.

The group has existed for some time now with “unwritten rules or guidelines” some of which really do warrant being put into writing, and I will try to set forth some of those here, illustrating some with examples.

The group has subgroups, the main one of which is the Chat Subgroup (see: https://nvda.groups.io/g/chat, Group Email Addresses section) that has as its purpose the asking of virtually any “off-topic” question about anything you can think of, including just socializing.  It should be used for exactly that purpose.  If you ask yourself the question, “Is what I’m about to ask related to using NVDA directly to accomplish something, using a specific program with NVDA, or to control NVDA itself?,” and the answer is, “No,” then the topic belongs in the NVDA Chat Subgroup, not on the main group.

Respectful, even if slightly heated, disagreements will occur occasionally and will be tolerated provided what is described next does not occur.  Flaming, name calling, instigating arguments for their own sake that do nothing to advance anyone’s knowledge, pointed rudeness, and similar boorish behavior will not be tolerated.  If at any point one of you happens upon a message anywhere in the NVDA Group sphere, main or chat, that you feel fits that description then please report it to the group owner either via e-mail at, nvda+owner@nvda.groups.io, or, if you read via the web interface at https://nvda.groups.io/g/nvda/topics, then use the Report this message option that’s a part of the More button at the end of each message.  Please don’t add a protest message the topic.  If we receive a report and agree with it, the issue will be taken care of promptly.

In order to make your experience with the NVDA Group as easy as it can be, we are asking members to please consider the following:

1.       Using threaded or conversation view in their respective e-mail client programs and reading through the entirety of a thread before replying.  It gets you completely up to speed and avoids a lot of repetition.  If you choose not to use threaded/conversation view, please take the time to read through all messages from the group that are in your inbox prior to adding any reply to the group.  It’s the only way you can be sure you’re up to speed on any topic when not using threaded/conversation view.

2.       If you are virtually certain that your question has likely been asked, and answered, in the past please search the Group Archive first.  The Group Archive is located at  https://nvda.groups.io/g/nvda/topics.  At the very top of the page is a search button that allows you to enter the search terms, including exact phrases if you enclose them in quotations, you need to find what you’re looking for.  If you get too much back, and need to whittle it down further, there is a Tools button on the search results page that lets you do this in a variety of ways such as specifying a time range, collapsing the individual messages back into topics, and excluding text in signatures.   You can also use a web search, if you prefer, where you include the search term site:nvda.groups.io/g/nvda/topics with whatever other search operators you might wish to get a narrower result.  Also consider using a web search first for questions that have almost certainly been asked frequently and for which myriad answers, often in the form of tutorials, already exist.

3.       Think very carefully about the title you are going to give any topic you post.  The topic is the first (and, sometimes, only) thing a member sees and that may be how they decide if they’re going to look further.   Generic titles, such as “Help Me!,” are not helpful because they give no idea about what.  Compare that to something like, “NVDA not reading Excel cell contents,” or, “NVDA setting for pronouncing numbers,” where the exact issue where help is needed is front and center.   Even something like, “Need help with the following . . .,” lets the reader know that you are going to present a list of issues.

4.       Please avoid, “What is the best . . .?,” topics, because what qualifies as “best” is entirely subjective.   Topics of this sort are also always chat topics.  If you know you have specific needs then asking, “What {insert program type here} has the following features . . .,” is much more descriptive.   If you want to know what programs people like for a specific task, asking, “What’s your favorite . . . and why?,” is far more likely to get you the details you want to have.  Notice that none of the above questions include, “to work with NVDA.”  If you’re asking something like, “Which {insert program class here} has worked well for you with NVDA?,” then it’s a main group topic.

5.       Any topic that is not about using NVDA to accomplish a task, or how to control NVDA, belongs in the chat subgroup, not the main group.

The moderator and owner will be taking the above into account, and will be trying follow those guidelines very closely for themselves and all members, which really should not be difficult.  There will likely be some locking of topics the main group accompanied by a note that the chat subgroup is where it should be taken up until it becomes habitual for those looking for “off central topic” information to start topics on the chat group.  If we lock your topic please do not take it as a personal affront; this transition will come more naturally to some than others, and there are limited options for gentle guidance after a point.

I will also ask that everyone take the time to read the following tutorial, which I put together, about:

Controlling the Messages You Receive via E-Mail from Groups.io (docx)

Controlling the Messages You Receive via E-Mail from Groups.io  (PDF)

Each of you has the ability to mute topics that don’t interest you, get digests instead of individual messages, or to set up topic preview for yourself via the Following Only and First Messages Also features used in conjunction with each other.  It is up to you to use those to manage your e-mail as you see fit.  It’s almost certain that there will be plenty of topics on the chat subgroup that will not be of the least interest to you as an individual. Setting up topic preview lets you pick and choose what you want to continue to see, and this function can be used on any Groups.io group.

Cultures are created by the consistent application of guidelines and rules, and that’s what we’re setting out to do.


Nimer Jaber                                     Brian Vogel

NVDA Group Owner                       NVDA Group Moderator


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