Version 22.03/22.03.1 of Joseph Lee's add-ons: mandatory security updates #addonrelease


 

Hello NVDA users community,

I understand the subject line may look strange, but it will become clear as you read this announcement:

In a few hours I will release version 22.03 of my add-ons (manual mandatory updates), followed by 22.03.1 which will make my add-ons compatible with upcoming NVDA 2022.1 changes. It is likely that 22.03.1, scheduled to be released the day after NVDA 2022.1 beta 1 is released, will be the one showing up on Add-on Updater and on community add-ons website (I will update this thread once that happens).

 

Three important notes:

  • You may notice that I’m talking about two add-on versions: 22.03 and 22.03.1. Originally I was planning to release 22.03 as soon as upcoming NVDA 2022.1 beta 1 was released. However, I have received a private report last week detailing the fact that parts of some add-ons will continue to function if NVDA is running in secure screens. Further, after checking my add-ons, I have discovered at least two security issues that can cause problems: commands that can open a web browser to a specific site then allowing users to browse somewhere else, and creating and writing files other than NVDA configuration file. Because at least two add-ons I maintain had both issues present, I decided to check other add-ons and work on solutions throughout the weekend. While doing so, a potential issue was discovered that could affect system settings, and at least one add-on was affected. The result is 22.03 security update for my add-ons (mandatory). Because NV Access is working on NVDA 2022.1 at the moment, I decided to prioritize security rather than wait for 2022.1 beta 1 to be released, therefore the two releases. In short, both 22.03 and 22.03.1 will be identical apart from NVDA compatibility (more on that below); if Add-on Updater offers what appears to be an older version of add-ons, ignore this, or you can turn off automatic add-on updates until I say go ahead and upgrade when Add-on Updater offers these releases (likely 22.03.1).
  • As I announced a few days ago, I’m ending support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 from my add-ons soon. In preparation for that, I hereby declare that 22.03/22.03.1 will be the final release(s) to support old Windows releases. I strongly urge you to upgrade to Windows 10, or if your system is ready, to Windows 11 unless you are in a situation where an upgrade can’t be performed (corporate domain, for example).
  • A while ago I announced that I’m about to end maintenance for most of my add-ons. I thought 22.01 (January 2022) will be the final releases, but since no-one has stepped up to maintain them, I decided to provide a one last release so add-ons can be made compatible with upcoming NVDA changes. But then security issues came up, so in a way I’m dividing this last release into two parts: 22.03 and 22.03.1, a security release compatible with NVDA 2021.3 and a follow-up release compatible with 2022.1 changes, respectively; I expect no changes between these two releases apart from add-on manifests, hence my statement of identical releases abov. To users of Enhanced Touch Gestures, GoldWave, Resource Monitor, Sound Splitter, and StationPlaylist, I would like to take this time to say thank you from bottom of my heart for all your feedback while I maintained these add-ons. My final day as a maintainer of these add-ons will be a week after NVDA 2022.1 beta 1 is released so I can prepare these add-ons to end support for older Windows releases before handing the add-on to the community for further maintenance.

 

One more thing: I will update this thread when version 22.03 of my add-ons are ready for download.

 

Changelog:

 

All add-ons:

  • NVDA 2021.3 or later is required. I strongly urge everyone to upgrade to 2021.3.3 if possible.
  • Version 22.03.x will be the final releases to support Windows 7 SP1, 8, and 8.1 with three exceptions: Add-on Updater, Sound Splitter, and Windows App Essentials. If you haven’t, I urge you to upgrade to Windows 10, or if compatible, to Windows 11 unless you are in a situation where you can’t do so.

 

Security:

  • The following add-ons will be disabled completely if NVDA is running in secure screens: Add-on Updater, Sound Splitter, StationPlaylist. These add-ons can access the web, read and write files other than NVDA configuration database, and change system settings, with the first two being high security risks.

 

Windows compatibility:

  • As noted above, most of my add-ons will end support for older Windows releases. A message will be displayed when installing version 22.03/22.03.1 of the following add-ons: Enhanced Touch Gestures, GoldWave, Resource Monitor, StationPlaylist.

 

Add-on Updater:

  • Because the add-on will be disabled completely in secure screens, Add-on Updater will not check for updates for add-ons installed in secure screen copy of NVDA.

 

Resource Monitor and Sound Splitter:

  • Psutil dependency was updated to 5.9.0.

 

Sound Splitter:

  • Changed sound splitter toggle command (Alt+NVDA+S) to toggle between NVDA on the right channel, on the left channel, or sound splitter disabled.

 

StationPlaylist:

  • This is the last version to support Studio suite 5.30.
  • It is no longer possible to perform the following commands if NVDA is running in secure mode: all SPL Controller layer commands, switching to Studio from other programs, obtaining Studio status and encoder status from other programs.
  • It is no longer possible to copy track comments to the clipboard or add or change comments if NVDA is running in secure mode.
  • It is no longer possible to copy playlist transcripts to clipboard or save it to a file if NVDA is running in secure mode. Only viewing transcripts will be allowed in secure mode.
  • To improve security, online user guide command from SPL Assistant (Shift+F1) has been removed.
  • It is no longer possible to create, copy, rename, delete, or configure instant switch status for broadcast profiles if NVDA is running in secure mode.
  • It is no longer possible to configure advanced add-on settings or reset settings to defaults from add-on settings screen if NVDA is running in secure mode.
  • In Studio, NVDA will no longer do nothing or play error tones if attempting to obtain playlist snapshots (SPL Assistant, F8) if the loaded playlist consists only of hour markers.
  • In Creator 6.0, NVDA will no longer appear to do nothing when one of the columns explorer column is "Date Restriction" as the column has been renamed to "Restrictions".

 

Windows App Essentials:

  • Various features and fixes that were included with the add-on are now part of NVDA. These include announcing search suggestion count in apps such as Settings and Microsoft Store and "pane" no longer being announced when switching between apps in Windows 11.
  • Installing and using the add-on on Windows Insider Preview builds between 20348 (Server 2022) and 22000 (Windows 11) is no longer supported.
  • Removed the warning message when installing the add-on on Windows Server systems as the add-on is better optimized for Windows 10/11 client systems.
  • Removed deprecated XAML heading detection feature.
  • Removed the debug tone heard when UIA notification events come from background apps when debug log is on. Use Event Tracker add-on to debug UIA notification events.
  • Removed Start menu size announcement workaround as it is no longer heard in recent Windows 10 releases.
  • UIA drag drop effect property event is now tracked.
  • More information is announced when arranging Start menu tiles or Action center quick actions with Alt+Shift+arrow keys such as potential location of the dragged tile and placement of Action center quick action.
  • Calculator: NvDA will announce results when more commands are performed such as pressing equals (=) key and performing operations in scientific calculator mode such as trigonometric operations.
  • Maps: Removed street side view workaround as it is no longer applicable in recent app releases.
  • Modern keyboard: In Windows 11 clipboard history, browse mode will be turned off by default, designed to let NVDA announce clipboard history entry menu items.
  • Settings: In Windows 10, update history items no longer include installation status to align with Windows 11.

 

This thread will be updated when:

  • Version 22.03 of these add-ons are ready for download (manual update)
  • NVDA 2022.1 beta 1 is released, and subsequently, version 22.03.1 of these add-ons are released
  • Add-on updates are showing on Add-on Updater

 

Thank you.

Cheers,

Joseph

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