locked FOR EARLY ADOPTERS AND DEVELOPERS ONLY: introducing Project Blue - teaching NVDA to say goodbye to Windows 7 and 8


 

Hi all,

IMPORTANT: the following message is intended for early adopters and developers. If you have any questions, please DO NOT reply to this message on the forum – please write to me privately.

A while ago there was a discussion on this forum about ending support for unsupported software. As Enes pointed out, I did work on Project Longhorn years ago to experiment with NVDA dropping support for Windows XP and letting the screen reader use modern CPU instructions such as SSE2 (Streaming SIMD Extensions 2). I’m back again with another experiment: Project Blue, which will teach NVDA to drop support for Windows 7 and 8.

Project Blue is an experiment to drop support for Windows 7 and 8; that is, with this experiment, the goal is to optimize NVDA for Windows 8.1, 10, 11, and future Windows releases (“Blue” comes from Windows 8.1 codename). The overall purpose of Project Blue is to serve as a way to let you taste what would happen if NV Access one day decides to end support for Windows 7, and to inform NV Access as to code changes required to achieve this.

The high level changes to Project Blue include:

  • Using assumptions from Windows 8.1, including simplified touchscreen support and audio ducking feature checks
  • Removing code related to Windows 7 support
  • Compiling parts of NVDA to run with Windows 8.1 compatibility in mind

 

To demonstrate Project Blue, a prototype snapshot build is available. Since Project Blue is work in progress and is intended for early adopters and developers, features will be identical to NVDA alpha builds. Consequently, there can be errors and many add-ons not updated to use recent NVDA features will not work properly.

 

Prototype build download link:

https://www.josephsl.net/files/bin/nvda_snapshot_blue-20211220.exe

 

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THE PROTOTYPE BUILD:

  • This build will not run on Windows 7 and 8 (considered a success), or if it runs, things will not work properly especially if using Windows Explorer (older name for File Explorer).
  • Features are identical to portable copy of latest alpha build.
  • Don’t worry if you get a file warning notification from the web browser – tell the web browser that you wish to keep the file.
  • This is a third-party NVDA build, not that of NV Access. Please DO NOT contact NV Access to seek support for Project Blue.

 

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

  • End of support for Windows 7 and 8 is not up for me to decide – NV Access will make a decision when circumstances warrant it.
  • Again Project Blue is meant for early adopters and developers.
  • I may publish a related project codenamed “Aqua” to tell NVDA to support Windows 10 and later, but that’s an idea at the moment.

 

IMPORTANT: if you have any questions about Project Blue, please DO NOT write a reply on this forum – contact me directly.

Thank you, and please stay safe and healthy.

Cheers,

Joseph

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