Re: Notes on Joseph Lee's add-ons: Add-on Updater mechanics, possible end of support for Windows 7 from my add-ons in 2022


You know I've said this before but I will say it yet again.
I really think its about time for the addon updater to become part of nvda core.
That and the windows app essentials if not part of nvda at least one
of the addons installed by default.
Saying that the last time I mentioned this I was told the store was
coming along.
Now I admit I don't really duck about with looking at each repo unless
its not compatible or working or anything as much as I should, I am
just a normal user for the most part.
So what is the status, idealy there should be a way to add addon
sourdces as well as addons like in linux.
Obviously if you sideload and it falls over its your own funeral but
linux allows adding extra addon points as well as the official addons.
There should also be an easy way to register one either vote one to
the main site as a user or something though obviously authors would
need to put them there.
As well as this where possible things like interactive fiction stuff
should be if not part of the core at least have basic support.
I realise that some engines do change from time to time though.

On 19/12/2021, Joseph Lee <joseph.lee22590@...> wrote:
Hi all,

With the end of fall finals, I decided to look at the forum archives in
hopes of answering some add-on questions raised in the last few days.
Specifically, I'm posting this message in response to a thread about
Application Dictionary compatibility and the maintenance window for most of
my add-ons is coming to a close soon.

Regarding Add-on Updater: some of you might be wondering about which
Add-on Updater can check for updates. Add-on Updater can check for updates
for add-ons registered on NVDA Community Add-ons website
( This means Add-on Updater cannot check for
add-ons not registered there.

In the past, in order to get an add-on registered on community add-ons
website, it must go through a review by an add-ons community member. This
process was simplified recently - all that the add-on author must do is
provide the following when registering add-ons:

* Add-on name
* Author information
* Brief add-on description
* Download link to an add-on release
* Add-on source code repository (if one exists)

This information forms the basis of a pull request to be sent to NV Access
to officially register new add-ons and/or update existing add-ons. Once
registered, Add-on Updater will start checking for add-on updates without
user intervention.

But that's only part of the picture: one of the things people look for when
testing add-ons is compatibility, specifically the minimum and last tested
NVDA releases the add-on is compatible with. Even if an add-on is
on community add-ons website, if NVDA determines the add-on is incompatible
with the version of NVDA you are using, then NVDA itself will not install
the add-on. Add-on Updater will go further and will not offer updates to
add-ons deemed incompatible for the version of NVDA the Add-on Updater is
running on (this check is also done without user intervention); this is the
reason why I announced the other day that Add-on Updater will not offer
add-on updates for NVDA versions earlier than 2021.2 for some add-ons
(notably mine), so to get updates for these, you must install newer NVDA

In relation to Application Dictionary, Add-on Updater cannot check for
updates not only because the add-on is not registered on community add-ons
website, the add-on itself isn't compatible with NVDA 2021.1 API. I'm
writing this explanation for three reasons:

1. The best people to contact regarding add-on compatibility isn't just
users - add-on authors are the best people to contact about add-ons, and if
contact is lost, the add-ons community.
2. Unless unable to do so, add-on authors must be proactive in keeping
their add-ons updated and ready for recent changes, including compatibility
changes. I guarantee that by the time NVDA 2022.1 beta 1 is released, there
will be attempts to circumvent API changes by "modifying" add-on manifests,
and that strategy will FAIL for several add-ons.
3. Please help the community add-ons website by requesting add-on
registrations (it would be great if add-on authors themselves shows
willingness to register their add-ons). Not only it helps the add-ons
community, it would also improve the reputation of NVDA by making add-ons
more discoverable.

Speaking of add-ons, I hereby announce that the following add-ons will end
support for Windows 7 and 8.0 (not 8.1) as early as 2022:

* Control Usage Assistant
* Enhanced Touch Gestures
* GoldWave
* Resource Monitor
* StationPlaylist

Specifically, I expect the next (planned )stable versions of these add-ons
will be one of the last releases to end support for Windows 7. This is so
that whoever is going to maintain these add-ons in the future can work with
simplified code. As for NVDA itself ending support for Windows 7, that's
up to me to decide - that decision lies with NV Access (although you can
taste what that would look like; coming soon).

I'm making the above statement to prepare you for the day when NVDA will
require Windows 8.1 or later (or for that matter, Windows 10 and later).
Unless your computer is part of an organization that has elected to stay on
Windows 7 and/or need to use it for development and testing purposes, I
advise you all to move to a supported Windows release - Windows 8.1, 10, or
11 (and any future release). Windows 7 will be supported by Microsoft until
January 2023 but if and only if the organization the computer is part of
pays Microsoft for extended security updates (ESU's); for everyone else,
Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft. Again let me make it clear
that the decision to end support for Windows 7 from NVDA itself does not
rest with me - it is up to NV Access to decide, and for now NVDA supports
Windows 7.



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