Re: Queued updates


 

Hi,

In order to review add-ons posted on community add-on files repository, you must:

  1. Balance things: you must be willing to balance between code and human intentions.
  2. Balance things again: you must be willing to balance priorities between add-on authors, users, and NV Access.
  3. Balance things yet again: you must be willing to balance between philosophies of technological progress and backward compatibility.
  4. Balance things a fourth time: you must be willing to balance between the ideal versus reality when it comes to add-on release policy.

In all seriousness, reviewing add-ons (or for that matter, code written by someone else) require balancing and thinking about many things at once. Some of the prominent ones are:

  1. Knowledge and expertise: you may be an expert in your add-on source code but may not be so for code written by others. Sometimes you must (to use a more direct term) wrestle with code written by someone else i.e. it takes time to fully grasp what others are saying to you in a way that could be translated into code both human parties cannot read easily. Just because you feel you can read Python code like a book written in your native language does not mean you can fully grasp what's going on unless you invest some time (sometimes days) to figure out the intentions behind the code you are reading. For this reason, I usually do not advise new add-on authors to review others code unless they have proven that they can explain their own code to a new author (which can take weeks to months to practice).
  2. Understand release policies: there was a discussion on NVDA Add-ons list about unavailability of add-ons declaring themselves ready for NVDA 2022.1 changes. While some add-ons are ready (including mine), due to add-on release policy regarding new NVDA beta releases, authors are holding off on broad availability i.e. approve queued add-ons until NV Access makes an announcement about 2022.1 beta 1. While you can review add-ons and tell others that add-ons are ready for upcoming (vast) changes, others may take your notice as a confirmation rather than a definitive declaration because, again, due to add-on compatibility declaration policy from NV Access (hold off on changing last tested version flag in the manifest until beta 1 is out).

In other words, just because you are telling the community that you will review add-ons does not necessarily mean people would welcome your proposal at once. As I once wrote when talking about GitHub issues and pull requests, you must think, think, and think again carefully before telling people, "okay, I can review add-ons." People would welcome your proposal if you do have a track record of actually writing and maintaining add-ons and understands policies. But reviewing add-ons for sake of compatibility flag... That, to me is, to say it with honesty and sincerity (and bluntly), not welcome (and to use a phrase many businesses and organizations use, "thanks for your interest and applying but we hired someone already"); I'm telling you like this so you can understand reality, or to paraphrase Brian V's response, "the grass is not always greener on the other side".

Cheers,

Joseph

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