Community-wide call: registering add-ons community add-ons website for distribution


 

Hi all,

The following call was sent to NVDA add-ons list first but is most applicable to users:

Dear NVDA community,

One of the strengths of NVDA is extending the screen reader with add-ons. To help users discover add-ons easily, the add-ons community hosts a community add-ons website (addons.nvda-project.org). While you can locate add-ons from a variety of places, add-ons hosted on community add-ons website were tested and reviewed by the community for security, user experience, and compatibility with recent NVDA releases.

To help users discover more add-ons that can make their NVDA experience more productive and to encourage add-on developers to find ways to engage with users, the add-ons community would like to invite users and developers of add-ons to submit their add-ons to community add-ons website. All that is required is that the add-on is ready for recent NVDA releases, is licensed under GNU General Public License, and is trustworthy and secure. A team of community add-on authors are willing to review add-ons and provide basic review that certifies that the add-on is ready for distribution through community add-ons website.

 

Reasons to submit add-ons to community add-ons website:

  • Ease of discovery.
  • Reviewed by the community.
  • Checked for security.
  • Checking for latest versions of add-ons through an add-on designed for this purpose (the add-on itself is hosted on community add-ons website and can check for its own updates).

 

To encourage the community to submit add-ons for community add-ons website distribution, a special add-on registration period will run for two weeks, starting from June 15, 2021 or two weeks after NVDA 2021.1 beta 1 is released, whichever happens later (for example, if NVDA 2021.1 beta 1 is released after June 2, 2021, registration period will start after June 16, 2021). This is so that developers (especially developers of add-ons you are thinking about registering) can test their add-ons with upcoming NVDA 2021.1 beta releases, as 2021.1 will be a backwards incompatible release for add-ons. Once add-on requests are received, the add-ons community will review add-ons, and if certified for distribution, they will appear on community add-ons website some time after the registration period closes. Details on how to submit add-ons for community add-ons website distribution will be sent before the registration period opens.

 

Frequently asked questions:

 

Q. What license should add-ons be licensed under?

Add-ons registered on community add-ons website should be licensed under GNU General Public License (GPL).

 

Q. I cannot contact the author of the add-on I would like to submit for community website distribution.

First, try contacting the author of the add-on you wish to submit and ask for permission, or even better, have the add-on author request their add-on(s) to be included in community add-ons website.

 

Q. What happens after I submit my add-on for community distribution?

A member of the add-ons community will perform the following basic review:

  • License and copyright: the reviewer will check if the add-on was released under GPL. Additional checks can include checking to make sure the add-on developer has obtained the right to distribute copyrighted material, especially applicable if TTS (text-to-speech) add-ons are requested.
  • User experience: add-on messages, dialog boxes if any, possible issues with add-on commands and so on.
  • Documentation: is the add-on documentation easy to understand.
  • Security: checking for issues such as modifying files and folders without permission, downloading files without user consent.

 

Q. What information should I include when submitting add-ons for community add-ons website distribution?

At least include the add-on name, its author, brief description, download link, and if applicable, the source code repository. Although download link is sufficient when reviewing add-ons, source code repository is ideal for best review results.

 

Q. How will I know if the add-on I requested made it to community add-ons website?

Results of basic add-on reviews will be published on NVDA Add-ons list (https://nvda-addons.groups.io/g/nvda-addons) and will be communicated to those who requested the add-on (including users and developers). As soon as the new add-ons appear on community add-ons website, an RSS (real simple syndication) update will be sent to NVDA Users and Add-ons lists.

 

Q. When can I expect to start receiving updates for new add-ons through Add-on Updater?

At least a week after new add-ons were registered on community add-ons website.

 

Q. Can we request add-on localizations during the registration period?

Localization requests are welcome any time, although the community cannot guarantee when localizations will be released.

 

Specific answers for add-on developers:

 

Q. I wish to submit a new add-on, but it is written in Python 2.

The add-ons community no longer accepts Python 2 versions of add-ons without a statement that they will be converted to Python 3 version or an exception request. Please make your add-ons compatible with NVDA 2019.3 (Python 3 NVDA) or later, or write the add-on in a way that will allow it to run on old and new NVDA releases.

 

Q. I wish to submit a speech synthesizer add-on.

Make sure you have the right to distribute the speech engine part of your add-on. This is very important if you wish to distribute commercial speech synthesizers with makers still in business. When in doubt, ask the synthesizer maker first and obtain permission to package the speech synthesizer as an NVDA add-on, or better yet, ask the speech synthesizer maker if they are willing to package their products as NvDA add-ons.

 

Q. Should I subscribe to NVDA Add-ons list to track the progress of my add-ons during the registration period?

You don’t have to, but the community strongly encourages add-on developers to subscribe and network with other add-on developers and users.

 

Thanks.

Cheers,

Joseph

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