Letter from a community add-ons reviewer: how you can help make NVDA add-ons compatible with NVDA 2019.3


 

Hi all,

 

Please circulate this letter to the wider community:

 

Dear NVDA users and the wider NVDA community,

 

I’m Joseph Lee, one of the NVDA code contributors and a community add-ons reviewer. On behalf of NVDA core and add-ons developers, I would like to thank you for your continued support for NVDA. And as the developer responsible for leading the much anticipated Python 3 transition research, I would like to personally thank you for continued encouragements, feedback, and guidance in making this transition work as smooth as possible.

 

One of the frequently asked questions for the past few months has been, “are my favorite add-ons compatible with future NVDA releases?” Until a few months ago, the answer was “not many”; today, a vast majority of add-ons are compatible with NVDA 2019.3, or will require this version to work. Since the release of NVDA 2019.3 beta on December 9, 2019, more add-ons are coming onboard the compatibility train, especially speech synthesizers such as Code Factory’s Vocalizer and Eloquence package, Vocalizer Direct and Expressive voices, and others.

 

As many of you may know, part of what makes NVDA great is a variety of community add-ons. Since late 2018, several community add-on authors were testing Python 3 version of NVDA internally to make sure their add-ons were ready in time for NVDA 2019.3. Since August 2019, add-on authors were encouraged to make their add-ons compatible, and a page listing compatible add-ons has been created to track the progress of this work, which can be found as an announcement in community add-ons website (addons.nvda-project.org).

 

As a community project, NVDA relies on community participation to shape its destiny. As part of this, you can make NVDA 2019.3 stable and even better by helping to make add-ons compatible on day 1 of NVDA 2019.3 era. As part of this effort, please take note of the following suggestions:

 

  1. Hold off on feature requests for a while: I know that many of you would like to see a cool thing or two included in add-ons. But as I noted above, NVDA 2019.3 is a huge release, with changes such as Python 3 that will affect many add-ons. So until NVDA 2019.3 stable version is released for everyone, please hold off on suggesting new features for add-ons so add-on authors can focus on making their add-ons compatible and stable.
  2. Provide feedback in a timely manner: although add-on authors will try their best to make sure their add-ons are ready for NVDA 2019.3, they cannot cover all bugs. If you do run into problems with add-ons that are specific to NVDA 2019.3 changes, please send feedback to add-on authors as soon as possible. On the compatible add-ons page, you’ll find not only compatibility information for add-ons, but also contact information such as email addresses of people who made add-ons possible.
  3. Encourage add-on authors: add-on authors are not superheroes – they are humans. Encourage them while giving feedback about their add-ons.

 

As a community, we are in this journey together – NVDA 2019.3 is all about preparing for the future and a necessary stepping stone to make sure you (users) can have equal access to technology. You can make NVDA 2019.3 better and truly revolutionary by participating in making sure add-ons are ready for the new year. My personal new year’s resolution for 2020 is to see 100 percent of community add-ons compatible with NVDA 2019.3 on the day it is released for everyone. I am certain that we as a community can make this dream a reality. Keep up the good work, and in the meantime, please test NVDA 2019.3 beta with add-ons and provide feedback to authors.

 

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Joseph

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