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Part of this has to do with apps – some add-ons were created at a time when apps weren’t accessible, or if they were, not accessible as in today (TeamTalk features, for example). Once an app becomes accessible with NVDA and other screen readers, it becomes unnecessary to keep an add-on around (or if an add-on for an app was integrated into NVDA, it is considered for removal as in Skype 7 support).
The other issue is priorities. There are more important work that NVDA is requested to do, such as improved access to Office applications, keeping up with Python changes, supporting new web browsers, and so on. Sometimes due to this, some would-be NVDA features are created as an add-on to gauge community feedback before integrated into NVDA (Focus Highlight is a good example).
Hope this helps.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> On Behalf Of Ramesh Patil
Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2019 9:29 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Important release note: NVDA 2019.3 add-ons from Joseph Lee to hit the air in waves, starting January 1, 2020
Hello josseph lee.
I am regular user of NVDA. One question always arises in my mind that why separate add ons required for some tasks? Why are you not adding add ons features directly to stable versions of NVDA?
I would like to know reason.
In case you are wondering when you should upgrade to NVDA 2019.3 add-ons: for users, I advise doing so when 2019.3 is released; for developers amongst us, at your earliest convenience.
Before I close my “shop” i.e. add-on development for 2019 (apart from compatibility list), one last announcement on add-on releases in 2020 and beyond:
Starting on January 1, 2020 (or a few hours before), NVDA 2019.3 optimized add-ons from me will be released to stable channel. This will be done in waves, starting and ending with Add-on Updater.
- A few hours prior to new year: Add-on Updater and Virtual Review (Virtual Review is leaving my nest i.e. handing it over to the community then).
- January 1, 2020: Resource Monitor, StationPlaylist, Windows 10 App Essentials.
- January 3, 2020: Easy Table Navigator, Golden Cursor, ObjPad, SystrayList (all of these are leaving my nest then).
- January 6, 2020: Control Usage Assistant, Enhanced Touch Gestures, GoldWave, Object Location Tones
- Seven days after NVDA 2019.3 stable version is released: Add-on updater requiring NVDA 2019.3
For some add-ons, download links for old releases will be made available until March 1, 2020 (no extensions after that). For add-ons leaving my nest, the dates listed above will be the day when last versions from me will be released (and for developers, no more commits from me regarding code for these add-ons after that; I’ll provide repository links when the final releases happen).
A few important notes:
- If you are using Add-on Updater: after installing the next version (mandatory), you’ll see a pop-up message telling you that some add-ons may not be compatible with upcoming NVDA 2019.3. You’ll be advised to contact add-on authors (you can view contact info for authors by opening Add-ons Manager and looking at “author” column for concerned add-ons). A button will be shown that’ll open a page in community add-ons site listing latest compatibility list.
- If you are using Add-on Updater to check for add-on updates: once 2019.3 add-ons come out and you are using 2019.2.1 or earlier, Add-on Updater will refuse to install new releases. This is actually a good thing in that concerned add-ons are ready for 2019.3 or later. The converse is not true: you have 2019.3 yet the updated add-on does not advertise support for 2019.3, that’s a bad thing and you SHOULD contact authors about it (and Add-on Updater will still refuse to install the updates concerned). This applies to almost all add-ons, including Add-on Updater itself (exceptions include Enhanced Aria, Focus Highlight, and Screen Curtain, all of which have their add-on features included in NVDA 2019.3).
- After installing 2019.3 optimized add-ons, you cannot go back. This is especially the case for add-ons that are now powered by Python 3 such as StationPlaylist.
- Various add-on entries on community add-ons website will start showing “NVDA 2019.3 and beyond” message in compatibility statement after Christmas (they concern my add-ons). Some of them will show changelogs for upcoming releases, while others will add a new “download older releases” (or similarly named) link around the same time.
- At least for my add-ons, on March 1, 2020, Python 2 versions of my add-ons (or ones advertising support for older NVDA releases except Screen Curtain) will be removed from community add-ons website. This should give some of you time to archive old add-on installers. In case of Screen Curtain, it is now a legacy add-on.
- For Windows 10 App Essentials users: version 20.01.x is the last release to support Version 1809 (October 2018 Update).
Thanks. Early Merry Christmas and a happy New Year (or as many would say, “happy holidays”).