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Indeed - the add-ons community knew this update was coming, and we had asked them to wait to test against NVDA 2021.1 beta 1 BEFORE declaring their add-ons compatible with 2021.1 - just to ensure we had all the breaking changes in before asking them to work on updating anything. So, we're at that point and we know many authors have already put in much of the work and many more will go ahead and do that now. As with 2019.3, we anticipate that most add-ons will be updated before the stable build comes out, and most of the rest not long after.
I just had a look and there are 84 dot points just in the "Changes for developers" section of the what's new this time around - obviously not all of those will require any action from most developers, but it does give a bit of an insight into the magnitude of the work already done behind the scenes.
So, for those worried about your add-ons, please be patient, and we'd say run the beta as a portable or temporary copy for now. Otherwise, with that in mind, do feel free to test out the beta and give us feedback on any other issues you encounter.
Since this Admin Notice was clearly missed by some, and now that the expected "add-on compatibility bumps" are happening, please read this again. This is not a situation that warrants panic, it's just a major inconvenience for early users of NVDA 2021.1 beta that was entirely predictable and difficult to prevent. It's an unusual shake-out period, but a shake-out period nonetheless and will not last all that long.
That major change is at the level of the NVDA code itself, and while that is not something that should concern you directly, the possible side effects, particularly in reference to add-ons, is likely to.
The add-on application program interface (API) is to be updated to version 2021.1. This means add-ons not declaring support for NVDA 2021.1 in their manifests will be marked as incompatible. It doesn't matter if they're really incompatible or not, because this is the mechanism that is used to check compatibility, and invariably, due to a combination of factors, the add-on manifests sometimes don't get updated in perfect synchrony with the NVDA code. Plenty of add-ons that are now and will be perfectly compatible will end up being flagged as incompatible, and that will stop once the necessary tweak is made to their manifests.
All of that detail shouldn't concern you, either, but I wanted folks to be aware of why this is likely to happen. And it's most likely to occur when the beta versions of the next version of NVDA begin to show up.
If it occurs, please do not panic, it is most likely to get worked out once the incompatibility is flagged. If one of your favorite add-ons continues to be flagged as incompatible for a couple of days after you first see that, then do your add-on developer a favor and let them know. Many will be fixed before even a couple of days passes, which is why I don't suggest that everyone flood the developer's inbox immediately.
The purpose of this message is to make clear that the sky is well and truly not falling, though the possibility of it seeming like it is exists. There is almost certain to be a bump or two, at a minimum. Stay calm and carry on.
Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042
I do not understand why some seek to separate a person from their actions. The self is composed of an individual’s thoughts, actions, and expression, which are contained in and actuated by the body. What you do and say is the clearest indicator of who you are.
~ Brian Vogel
Training and Support Manager