locked Re: Poll: I think ducking should go; and other NVDA features proposal and wider discussion



I must disagree with just using size as the measure of quality of add-ons:

  • Size: add-ons are small because they are compressed – they are essentially zipped packages. When uncompressed, it can take more space.
  • Performance: size is just one factor; what makes add-ons usable is perceived performance – some add-ons are known for causing performance issues if not tuned carefully (I have learned that the hard way while optimizing StationPlaylist Studio add-on).
  • Dependencies: some add-ons depend on one another for proper operations, and for some, causes conflicts. The most cited problem is command conflicts.
  • Services used: some add-ons rely on external services that could be terminated at any time. We saw this the first hand with WeatherPlus add-on, and hope to never go through that problem again (thus I am strongly not in favor of including that particular add-on into NVDA Core).
  • Factors beyond NVDA: there are add-ons that require additional licenses to be obtained, and for some, designed with something in addition to NVDA in mind. In case of the former, we are talking about speech synthesizers, and the latter is the reason why I cannot allow the entire package from Windows 10 App Essentials to be included in NVDA in one go (Windows 10 is a service, therefore uses continuous delivery, which means it is way faster to let users meet changed bits through the add-on).
  • Copyrights on add-ons themselves: not all add-ons are copyrighted through GPL, and those that might not be, we lost touch with authors of these add-ons. It isn’t just a simple matter of changing the copyright header – we need to obtain permission from original authors/copyright holders to proceed with licensing their add-ons under a different copyright. For my own add-ons, I still hold copyright to ones I have actually created and do maintain, but did license them under GPL to meet copyright requirements and to comply with copyright notice from NVDA itself. The add-ons community had a huge debate on this issue before, hence the reason why any add-on that does not comply with copyright and license requirements of GPL (hence, what NVDA is actually licensed under) immediately fails basic add-on review process – if that happens, other reviews cannot proceed until license and copyright issue is resolved.





From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: Sunday, April 28, 2019 9:56 AM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] pole, I think ducking should go and other nvda features proposal and wider discussion


First, as to the size of add-ons, my impression is that they are generally small and that you can incorporate many, perhaps a large number, without making the program larger enough to matter to any extent.  Those who work with add-ons technically will, I hope, discuss the matter.


I have a few add-ons in case I want to use or reinstall them at some point.  I just checked one.  It's only 5.90 KB for its download size.  Another is 2.76 KB as the download size.


Some may be much larger than others and the two I looked at may not be representative but large size can't be assumed to be a problem.


It isn't just a matter of size.  Even if the program is somewhat larger, the benefits to a lot of users who, I suspect, would never know about add-ons, might far outweigh the larger program size in terms of possible inconvenience.


Size may be of concern if you are going to add add-ons with no limit over time but I doubt we are near that point now.


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, April 28, 2019 9:26 AM

Subject: Re: [nvda] pole, I think ducking should go and other nvda features proposal and wider discussion


Hi Vlad,


I agree with you on the ducting.  I don't use it a lot with NVDA because I use a computer and long before ducting, I used 2 separate sound cards and have total control.  However, I am using ducting on the iPhone and the way Apple has instituted it works great and is definitely an advantage.  For those who can't run 2 separate sound cards, it is truly a godsend.


As far as including a huge number of add-ons with NVDA, I  also disagree with this one.  One of the good things about NVDA is that it is under public license and is subject to a lot of different additions and variations. I would hate to see it become so bulky that is gets like JAWS which has so much bloteware and features that many people don't use that it is at times extremely redundant.  People in developing countries probably appreciate the slim and streamline aspects of NVDA.  If they need it only for word processing, why should they have to include a bunch of add-ons that would make the download so much larger and perhaps create a situation where there could be conflicts with their desired tasks.


...just my opinion.


On 4/28/2019 8:57 AM, Vlad Dragomir wrote:



Interesting topic! Personally I only agree with half of it. It would be indeed great if at least some add-ons became part of NVDA, and I would include Screen Curtain among those.


On the other hand, I totally oppose the exclusion of the ducking function. It’s extremely useful, especially with  services like Youtube  or Google Play Music. Often it’s the only way to hear the screen reader without having to close everything else.


Let’s see what other opinions come up!





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