locked Re: Statement from Joseph Lee regarding NVDA add-ons and Windows XP support requests: no more, period
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The exact statements from NV Access and developers back then were that using XP is now a security risk for many, and that people can use NVDA 2017.3 and old add-ons should they need to use XP and friends. As for my statement back then, it referred to my own add-ons. The statement I wrote below covers cases where a user would write to developers asking us to make certain new features available for old releases, which cannot be done, particularly now that we have fully moved onto Python 3.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> On Behalf Of Arlene
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2020 10:55 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Statement from Joseph Lee regarding NVDA add-ons and Windows XP support requests: no more, period
Hi, I don’t remember the time you and NVDA developers did say xp support was no longer going to work for users who still want to continue using xp. You did say maybe 2 or 3 years ago you were going to no longer support xp and vista. I think windows 7 is next.
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
Hello NVDA users and add-on developers,
First, I would like to reiterate how important it is that everyone listen to advice from reputable sources regarding COVID-19, including public health officials recommending folks to exercise social distancing for a while. Even if you do not feel sick, please help others by washing hands, practice social distancing, and monitor the situation regarding the pandemic and community spread. And since the NVDA community is a global movement, please support each other.
Onto the matter at hand: for several days I have received requests about NVDA add-ons and Windows XP support. Requests have included making add-ons compatible with Windows XP again, compatibility issues, and backporting newer NVDA bug fixes and features to users of NVDA 2017.3, the last version compatible with Windows XP.
At the moment there is no community guidance on support for Windows XP, with many people asking others to upgrade to newer Windows releases. But as an individual add-on author and a contributor to NVDA screen reader project, I would like to take this time to make the following personal announcement:
Effective April 15, 2020, if you ask me to do one or more of the following for Windows XP users, the answer you will get is, “sorry, no more, period.” These include:
Most importantly, I will flatly say “no” if you ask me privately to ask NV Access and/or add-on developers about Windows XP support. Many features introduced in newer NVDA releases cannot be backported for various reasons, including risk of crashing NVDA (grammar error announcement, for example), incompatibility with Python 2 (broader Unicode support, for example), features that will not work properly with XP (screen curtain, for example), support for apps no longer recommended for wider use (outlook Express, for example), and broad changes that alters how add-ons work (speech refactor and multi-category settings dialog, for example). Several add-on authors have indicated reluctance to support XP, and in case of add-ons I’m either maintaining or have passed onto the community, none of them support NVDA 2019.2.1 or earlier, let alone Windows XP and friends.
My personal statement above will not be in effect until April so that you can help others going through COVID-19 and for my statement as an individual developer to sink in. Note that I’m not speaking on behalf of other developers – others have their own policies regarding support for Windows XP. NV Access does provide a download link for NVDA 2017.3, the last version compatible with Windows XP.
I know my statement is a huge blow to many of you. As much as I wanted folks to understand that end of support means end of support, and I understand that many of you cannot afford newer equipment and software releases (including moving to newer Windows releases), I felt it is time to make a bold statement and say “no” to Windows XP support. In the past, I did note on various NVDA forums that my add-ons will not and does not support Windows XP, but didn’t announce a statement like this then, hoping that folks will understand the reality at last. But alas, it is time to officially close the doors to Windows XP support from my end – once again, this is an individual developer saying this, not on behalf of the community at large, knowing that others will make statements on their own.
Thank you for understanding.