Re: Please read before suggesting new add-ons or NVDA screen reader features: a contributor's assessment of 2022.1 and add-ons situation, open-source, anxiety, and burnout


 

On Fri, May 27, 2022 at 05:09 PM, Jackie wrote:
Yall need to understand this is not just w/NVDA.
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And it's not just with open source software, either, though even I will admit that the problem is more common in the open-source world because, literally, "anyone may play," even if their participation is completely unofficial.   For NVDA, look at the number of add-ons that exist that are not now and never have been part of the official community add-ons, which get review/vetting.

When Windows 10 rolled out I vividly remember some very big players, including but not limited to assistive technology houses, that effectively pretended that it was not coming and did not update their software in a timely manner.  There was a months long period of incompatibility/semi-compatibility because the can kept being kicked by those who should have known better.

But when it comes to open-source, and particularly add-ons not maintained by any given project's core team, you have to realize that you are 100% at the mercy of the diligence of that add-on's developer(s).  Certain ones will be abandoned, period, and as Joseph's message noted, that's sometimes after a month's long effort to get someone else to pick up the baton when an original developer wishes to cease maintenance (or this happens via accidents, death, and illness).  It's also worth remembering that most add-on developers are not monetarily compensated for their work, it's literally done "out of the goodness of their hearts," and for any given individual it's foolish to believe that this is an infinite resource.

Change is a constant, and nowhere is it more constant and frequent than in the world of computing.

In the end, computers and all that goes with them are products.  Like all products one chooses to use, it is up to you as the user to educate yourself about "the way things work."  Regardless of the shortcomings, and there are plenty, of the way things are, none of what is happening now is news.  We have been through this before, at least twice during my tenure in the NVDA world, and it is shocking to me that many of the people who are expressing shock and dismay at these rocky periods are doing so, because they've been there before.  They should know, as Gene pointed out, that it is not required that they update the day any given software maker issues an update.  For years I've been telling Windows users, and particularly those who are using screen readers and other assistive technology, that they should NOT rush to obtain the latest Feature Update on the day of its release.  Let others deal with the shakedown cruise that often typifies the early days of new software.  Unless there so happens to be something in a given release that you simply MUST have, which happens very seldom, if ever, for most of us, then just let things ride for a while until the kinks that are characteristic of these periods have been worked out.  It's not rocket science, nor should it be a surprise.

And I will give Gene a great deal of credit as far as his noting that one can use NVDA in portable mode.  Before applying any major NVDA update I would be creating a portable copy that includes all my add-ons so that a fallback exists.  It's easy, and takes only a few short minutes.  And one need not create portable copies only on external media like USB drives or SD Cards.  You can create a folder on your hard drive and have it created there.  I've got scads of portable programs on my computers that are not running from external media, but from a dedicated folder I have created for parking all the various portable programs I wish to use.
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Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

You can't crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them.
     ~ Ursula LeGuin, The Dispossessed

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