Date   

Re: what next

David Goldfield
 

If memory serves the American Printing House for the Blind once produced a device which allowed users to access BIOS settings during the boot sequence. I believe it was a hardware device and it was made for DOS-based PCs. It was pronounced Speakualizer although I don’t know the spelling. Needless to say the device is no longer available and it wouldn’t work even if you could find one on Ebay. Still it would be very nifty if we could have something like it for today’s computers assuming the technology on today’s machines would even allow for interfacing with such a device.

 

David Goldfield,

Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist

JAWS Certified, 2019

Subscribe to the Tech-VI announcement list to receive emails regarding news and events in the blindness assistive technology field.

Email: tech-vi+subscribe@groups.io

 

www.DavidGoldfield.org

 

 

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 7:47 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] what next

 

On Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 07:32 PM, Arlene wrote:

I hope in the future blind users can go in there with Nairator.

-
Not likely.

What folks who use screen readers, as they currently exist, need to understand is that they are application software.  Mind you, a very specialized application, but still an application.  The operating system (whether Windows or any other one) must be up and running at least to a certain point before any screen reader can come online.

UEFI/BIOS occur in the boot sequence well prior to Windows (or other OSes such as Linux) ever being kicked off for loading.  While it would be conceivably possible to have a dedicated screen reader for that environment, and if memory serves a prototype was once made, long ago, it certainly would not be Narrator, NVDA, JAWS or any other screen reader as end users know them.  And it would also very likely have commands strictly limited to the environment at hand, which means it would be very different in that way, too.

And, as you mention, even if you were to have a screen reader of some sort available to navigate UEFI/BIOS, you still have to be very, very certain that what you're doing is precisely what you intend to do and that what you intend is actually what needs to be done to achieve the result hoped for.   If you can have this certainty, then go for it, otherwise, get assistance.  And this is completely separate from your visual status.  Most of my sighted clients have no idea that UEFI/BIOS even exists nor how to interact with it.  It's just not something most end users ever need to touch.

As far as turning off "media keys" or whatever a maker might call the actions associated with the function keys, lobbying them to create utilities such as the one Lenovo already has that allow these to be turned on or off from within Windows, or asking for some keyboard shortcut, likely a 4-key press to avoid accidents, to do this are both better ideas than a screen reader for UEFI/BIOS likely would be.  They're safer, too.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.

         ~ John F. Kennedy

 


Re: what next

 

On Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 07:32 PM, Arlene wrote:
I hope in the future blind users can go in there with Nairator.
-
Not likely.

What folks who use screen readers, as they currently exist, need to understand is that they are application software.  Mind you, a very specialized application, but still an application.  The operating system (whether Windows or any other one) must be up and running at least to a certain point before any screen reader can come online.

UEFI/BIOS occur in the boot sequence well prior to Windows (or other OSes such as Linux) ever being kicked off for loading.  While it would be conceivably possible to have a dedicated screen reader for that environment, and if memory serves a prototype was once made, long ago, it certainly would not be Narrator, NVDA, JAWS or any other screen reader as end users know them.  And it would also very likely have commands strictly limited to the environment at hand, which means it would be very different in that way, too.

And, as you mention, even if you were to have a screen reader of some sort available to navigate UEFI/BIOS, you still have to be very, very certain that what you're doing is precisely what you intend to do and that what you intend is actually what needs to be done to achieve the result hoped for.   If you can have this certainty, then go for it, otherwise, get assistance.  And this is completely separate from your visual status.  Most of my sighted clients have no idea that UEFI/BIOS even exists nor how to interact with it.  It's just not something most end users ever need to touch.

As far as turning off "media keys" or whatever a maker might call the actions associated with the function keys, lobbying them to create utilities such as the one Lenovo already has that allow these to be turned on or off from within Windows, or asking for some keyboard shortcut, likely a 4-key press to avoid accidents, to do this are both better ideas than a screen reader for UEFI/BIOS likely would be.  They're safer, too.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.

         ~ John F. Kennedy

 


Re: what next

Arlene
 

I agree with Jackie. I’d stay clear of the BIOS I’ll get sighted assistance.  I hope in the future blind users can go in there with Nairator. You pretty much would have to know what’s in there.  You’d have to know what to fix and what not to fix. I’d stay clear of it. 

 

Sent from Mail for Windows

 

From: ken lawrence via groups.io
Sent: October 20, 2021 10:40 AM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: [nvda] what next

 

Hi NVDA apparently BIOS is set this way in default the HP tech support says that BIOS is outside windows and therefore screen reader won’t work.  Will narrator work this way and if not can a blind user change this setting and regain use of function keys that way?  I’ve deleted more of the HP stuff on this machine and can’tcompletely get rid of inaccessible mcafee antivirus. Boy why do blind people have to fight these battles in 2021? 

 

Sent from Mail for Windows

 

 


Re: Here we go again!

Jackie
 

Carlos, if you're going to be using alpha builds, it's wise to use
that as a portable version. When you use an alpha, it means you're
agreeing to using a version which, by the very nature of the name,
says it's not nearly ready for primetime.

I don't care if it's NVDA, Jaws, Windows, or whatever--backward
compatibility can only be maintained for so long. But in the case of
alpha builds, the situation is very much one of use at your own risk,
caveat emptor, etc, to whit, you shouldn't expect addons, especially
those not written by NVDA developers, to work, and if they do, take it
as a gift. In other words, use for testing, but certainly not for your
everyday work.

On 10/20/21, Joseph Lee <joseph.lee22590@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi,

To summarize Brian's points, if you are using alpha builds, you are on your
own and are responsible for providing timely feedback. In anticipation of
follow-up questions about delaying backward breaking changes like this, I
can tell you that these changes were planned in advance - it happens that
our move to Python 3 is helping us realize this plan in a more effective
way. Regarding add-ons, all I can say at this time is that authors are aware
of changes and they are looking into it (I expect authors will make
statements about their add-ons once 2022.1 beta is released).

Cheers,

Joseph





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Re: NVDA and OCR software

Gene
 

You say which needs to be esigned.  Does that mean scanned?  If you are printing it as an alternative, try opening the document and printing it in a browser such as Chrome, Edhge, Brave or Firefox.  I don’t know what is causing the problem but that may allow you to print it.
 
Gene

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 5:38 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] NVDA and OCR software
 

Good Afternoon:  I can open other PDF files with Adobe with no problem.  It's just this file, which needs to be esigned, that is causing a problem.  That's what seemed to be questionable.

Dave

 

On 10/18/2021 3:33 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
On Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 04:48 PM, Dave Grossoehme wrote:

When I open the pdf, I was told that it didn't load completely.  So, I tried again.  Then I tried printing it and all I received was blank pages, checked by a sighted person.  . . . Yet I sent this email with attachment to my sighted son, who isn't running any screen reading equipment and he could open it with no problems.

Dave

-
Then we are back to there is something wrong that is virtually certain to be limited to your computer, and I'd say most likely with your PDF reading software.

So, just as there is the consistent advice to "try another browser," when there are issues with a webpage, the same applies to PDF readers:  try another alternative.  Under Windows 10 the Edge browser itself does a bang-up job of opening PDFs, so I'd try opening that same document in Edge rather than Adobe Reader DC to see if the result is different.  If it is, then uninstall and reinstall Adobe Reader DC.  If it's not, then start doing the repair steps for Windows.


Re: NVDA and OCR software

Dave Grossoehme
 

Good Afternoon:  I can open other PDF files with Adobe with no problem.  It's just this file, which needs to be esigned, that is causing a problem.  That's what seemed to be questionable.

Dave


On 10/18/2021 3:33 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
On Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 04:48 PM, Dave Grossoehme wrote:

 When I open the pdf, I was told that it didn't load completely.  So, I tried again.  Then I tried printing it and all I received was blank pages, checked by a sighted person.  . . . Yet I sent this email with attachment to my sighted son, who isn't running any screen reading equipment and he could open it with no problems.

Dave

-
Then we are back to there is something wrong that is virtually certain to be limited to your computer, and I'd say most likely with your PDF reading software.

So, just as there is the consistent advice to "try another browser," when there are issues with a webpage, the same applies to PDF readers:  try another alternative.  Under Windows 10 the Edge browser itself does a bang-up job of opening PDFs, so I'd try opening that same document in Edge rather than Adobe Reader DC to see if the result is different.  If it is, then uninstall and reinstall Adobe Reader DC.  If it's not, then start doing the repair steps for Windows.


Re: Here we go again!

 

Hi,

To summarize Brian's points, if you are using alpha builds, you are on your own and are responsible for providing timely feedback. In anticipation of follow-up questions about delaying backward breaking changes like this, I can tell you that these changes were planned in advance - it happens that our move to Python 3 is helping us realize this plan in a more effective way. Regarding add-ons, all I can say at this time is that authors are aware of changes and they are looking into it (I expect authors will make statements about their add-ons once 2022.1 beta is released).

Cheers,

Joseph


Re: Here we go again!

 

On Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 06:13 PM, Joseph Lee wrote:
Do not be afraid - add-ons community is aware of your concerns and authors are working on updating their add-ons.
-
Joseph,

Which I really would have assumed.   But this does not change the fact that it is absolutely unrealistic for those choosing to use alpha builds, months out, will not have issues such as those initially identified.

It very simply goes with the territory of being in the avant-garde and using alpha builds.  That needs to be understood, and I don't think it is appreciated.  And when you encounter issues in alpha, beta, or release candidate software, part of the implied contract is that you report them.  And many don't.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.

         ~ John F. Kennedy

 


Re: Here we go again!

 

Hi Carlos,

Do not be afraid - add-ons community is aware of your concerns and authors are working on updating their add-ons.

So here is what's going on: remember back in July I explained that a major change is being planned by NV Access and contributors that will require add-ons to change? That just happened, except NV Access put preparations in place. Any old code that was scheduled to be removed in NVDA 2022.1 (alpha phase at the moment) were marked for deprecation and will not be made available to add-ons and to the rest of NVDA source code if the year specified in the NVDA version tag is "2022". For example, NVDA 2021.3 will make older control types attributes available for add-ons (import is possible); with version now set to 2022 in alpha builds, the old code is no longer imported. This breaks add-ons that solely relied on older code simply because they are "gone" - that's why back in September I did say that version 21.10 of my add-ons will require NVDA 2021.2 or later precisely because of what you just saw in recent alpha builds.

A few hours ago there was a thread on add-ons list about maintaining compatibility with NVDA 2021.x, and at least two solutions were proposed which requires editing add-on source code (manifest will not work here once 2022.1 beta 1 is released). NV Access put in the deprecation mechanism in NVDA 2021.2, which was them saying, "all right add-on authors, you are warned about deprecation and removal, and as soon as 2022.1 development cycle begins, deprecated code will be gone". I have advised add-ons community to prepare their add-ons accordingly so that by the time 2022.1 beta 1 ships, all that is left is updating manifests and compatibility statements.

P.S. I can assure the NVDA community that all my add-ons (including ones that will be leaving my nest next year) are compatible with NVDA 2022.1 code and assumptions; I'm willing to release the final version of most of my add-ons around the time NVDA 2022.1 beta 1 is released provided that I get a chance to do so in the midst of spring semester schoolwork.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Joseph


Re: Different focus from say all and arrowing through

Gene
 

The command you are talking about does exactly the opposite.  It means that the review position will change as the cursor changes in a word processor document where there is a cursor or in a list and perhaps elsewhere.  It doesn’t cause the system focus to change when you use screen review.  That’s one of the points of screen review and object navigation.  You can review things and keep your position unchanged where you are working as your review position changes.
 
Gene
-----Original Message-----

Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 4:54 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Different focus from say all and arrowing through
 
Are you using browse mode or working directly in the program?  That may be what is causing the problem.  If you are using browse mode in a word processor, try reading when not in browse mode and see if tracking is correct. 

If my suggestion doesn’t solve the probloem, I have another one but I’ll wait to see what you say about this one.
 
Gene
-----Origihnal Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 3:49 PM
Subject: [nvda] Different focus from say all and arrowing through
 
While proofreading a long document using say-all, I'd find a place for editing, and hit control to stop speech, but then when I'd arrow through the document, I'd be in a different place.  I have focus follows caret set in review, so I figured the focus would, well, follow the system caret.  I thought the system caret would travel with the say'all cursor.
I'm a little rusty on NVDA concepts, since for a long time, I did most of my work on a Chromebook, but now I'm using my win 10 machine a lot more again, and MS Office.
 
Christopher Bartlett
 
 
--
Christopher Bartlett


Re: what next

 

Also, anyone considering the HP BIOS Configuration Utility should take a look at its User Guide to determine if they even want to "go there."
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.

         ~ John F. Kennedy

 


Re: what next

 

On Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 02:45 PM, Mohamed wrote:
HP actually has a BIOS configuration utility that can be used to edit BIOS settings from within Windows. https://ftp.ext.hp.com/pub/caps-softpaq/cmit/HP_BCU.html. this is a command line app that allows you to configure BIOS settings by editing a text file.
-
And unless you happen to know exactly what you're doing, I would never recommend that an end user go this route unless they are already intimately familiar with updating UEFI/BIOS, and very few are.

You can very easily brick a machine by very small changes in just the wrong spots in BIOS settings.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.

         ~ John F. Kennedy

 


Re: Here we go again!

 

On Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 05:40 PM, Governor staten wrote:
You know that this is alpha software.
-
Amen!  Anyone who elects to use alpha software should, routinely, expect all sorts of issues, including lack of backward compatibility.

It is completely, utterly unrealistic to expect alpha software, which is well in advance of the production version, to necessarily have backward compatibility with add-ons compatible with the current production version.

Alpha software is "bleeding edge" and not just for folks to "get a quick peek at what may be coming."  It's also expected to be issue-filled, far more so than beta software.  And even beta and release candidate software can occasionally have issues pop up as the testing periods progress.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.

         ~ John F. Kennedy

 


Re: Different focus from say all and arrowing through

Gene
 

Are you using browse mode or working directly in the program?  That may be what is causing the problem.  If you are using browse mode in a word processor, try reading when not in browse mode and see if tracking is correct. 

If my suggestion doesn’t solve the probloem, I have another one but I’ll wait to see what you say about this one.
 
Gene
-----Origihnal Message-----

Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 3:49 PM
Subject: [nvda] Different focus from say all and arrowing through
 
While proofreading a long document using say-all, I'd find a place for editing, and hit control to stop speech, but then when I'd arrow through the document, I'd be in a different place.  I have focus follows caret set in review, so I figured the focus would, well, follow the system caret.  I thought the system caret would travel with the say'all cursor.
I'm a little rusty on NVDA concepts, since for a long time, I did most of my work on a Chromebook, but now I'm using my win 10 machine a lot more again, and MS Office.
 
Christopher Bartlett
 
 
--
Christopher Bartlett


Re: Here we go again!

 

Well the same drama hit audiogames forum.

No one will be leaving nvda, I mean brousers get updates, windows gets updates to get in line with things.

Python is a versatile language and still good for what it is.

But yeah something does need to be handled where older addons could just work unless they really need updating.



On 21/10/2021 10:44 am, Jujube wrote:
I 100% agree. There is no reason to get paranoid this quickly, 2022.1 is still months away and I'm sure addons will be compatible by the time 2022.1 is released. I also commend the developers for doing the absolute best they can. 

On Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 2:40 PM Governor staten <govsta@...> wrote:

Such is life with software, especially that of the alpha kind. In order to move forward, things are changed. This, unfortunately, breaks backwards compatibility.


I will commend the devs herein. They quickly resolve these issues. You know that this is alpha software. They let you know that things can, and do, break.








On 10/20/2021 5:23 PM, Carlos wrote:
Today I downloaded the alpha version of nvda 2022.1. And, once again add-ons will need to be updated to work with nvda 2022.1.

Someone really needs to come up with some kind of add-ons patch that will make "All!" add-ons work with current/future versions of nvda! Otherwise, the use of add-ons will become very impractical!

I wonder if at some point breaking add-ons compatibility will have an effect on the usability of nvda as a usable screen reader?

NVDA is taking a very big risk in annoying users by constantly breaking add-ons compatibility! At some point nvda users will grow tired of all this nonsense. And, will just walk away from nvda. And, those who depend on nvda for their daily use will be without a free open source screen reader!

Maybe its time for nvda to be taken over by developers that will know how to better handle upgrading nvda while keeping add-ons compatible for all users!

And, maybe its time to move away from python as it is the cause of all these add-ons breaking their compatibility?








Re: Here we go again!

Jujube
 

I 100% agree. There is no reason to get paranoid this quickly, 2022.1 is still months away and I'm sure addons will be compatible by the time 2022.1 is released. I also commend the developers for doing the absolute best they can. 


On Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 2:40 PM Governor staten <govsta@...> wrote:

Such is life with software, especially that of the alpha kind. In order to move forward, things are changed. This, unfortunately, breaks backwards compatibility.


I will commend the devs herein. They quickly resolve these issues. You know that this is alpha software. They let you know that things can, and do, break.








On 10/20/2021 5:23 PM, Carlos wrote:
Today I downloaded the alpha version of nvda 2022.1. And, once again add-ons will need to be updated to work with nvda 2022.1.

Someone really needs to come up with some kind of add-ons patch that will make "All!" add-ons work with current/future versions of nvda! Otherwise, the use of add-ons will become very impractical!

I wonder if at some point breaking add-ons compatibility will have an effect on the usability of nvda as a usable screen reader?

NVDA is taking a very big risk in annoying users by constantly breaking add-ons compatibility! At some point nvda users will grow tired of all this nonsense. And, will just walk away from nvda. And, those who depend on nvda for their daily use will be without a free open source screen reader!

Maybe its time for nvda to be taken over by developers that will know how to better handle upgrading nvda while keeping add-ons compatible for all users!

And, maybe its time to move away from python as it is the cause of all these add-ons breaking their compatibility?








Re: Here we go again!

 

Such is life with software, especially that of the alpha kind. In order to move forward, things are changed. This, unfortunately, breaks backwards compatibility.


I will commend the devs herein. They quickly resolve these issues. You know that this is alpha software. They let you know that things can, and do, break.








On 10/20/2021 5:23 PM, Carlos wrote:
Today I downloaded the alpha version of nvda 2022.1. And, once again add-ons will need to be updated to work with nvda 2022.1.

Someone really needs to come up with some kind of add-ons patch that will make "All!" add-ons work with current/future versions of nvda! Otherwise, the use of add-ons will become very impractical!

I wonder if at some point breaking add-ons compatibility will have an effect on the usability of nvda as a usable screen reader?

NVDA is taking a very big risk in annoying users by constantly breaking add-ons compatibility! At some point nvda users will grow tired of all this nonsense. And, will just walk away from nvda. And, those who depend on nvda for their daily use will be without a free open source screen reader!

Maybe its time for nvda to be taken over by developers that will know how to better handle upgrading nvda while keeping add-ons compatible for all users!

And, maybe its time to move away from python as it is the cause of all these add-ons breaking their compatibility?








Re: Here we go again!

Jujube
 

Hi Carlos, as far as I know they are striving to only break addons once a year at the .1 release. I suggest reading this thread as Joseph Lee's explanations in particular will hopefully give you a better handle on the developer's perspective.

NVDA addons are similar to browser extensions. You may not know this, but many browser extensions have died out due to lack of updates and NVDA addons are no different.

Although changing NVDA to another progrramming language is theoretically possible, I strongly susptect that such a move would require a massive rewrite of NVDA's code.

I hope something decent is worked out soon, but in the meantime, I just wanted to explain why this is happening.

On Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 2:23 PM Carlos <gmjc341961@...> wrote:
Today I downloaded the alpha version of nvda 2022.1. And, once again
add-ons will need to be updated to work with nvda 2022.1.

Someone really needs to come up with some kind of add-ons patch that
will make "All!" add-ons work with current/future versions of nvda!
Otherwise, the use of add-ons will become very impractical!

I wonder if at some point breaking add-ons compatibility will have an
effect on the usability of nvda as a usable screen reader?

NVDA is taking a very big risk in annoying users by constantly breaking
add-ons compatibility! At some point nvda users will grow tired of all
this nonsense. And, will just walk away from nvda. And, those who depend
on nvda for their daily use will be without a free open source screen
reader!

Maybe its time for nvda to be taken over by developers that will know
how to better handle upgrading nvda while keeping add-ons compatible for
all users!

And, maybe its time to move away from python as it is the cause of all
these add-ons breaking their compatibility?








Here we go again!

Carlos
 

Today I downloaded the alpha version of nvda 2022.1. And, once again add-ons will need to be updated to work with nvda 2022.1.

Someone really needs to come up with some kind of add-ons patch that will make "All!" add-ons work with current/future versions of nvda! Otherwise, the use of add-ons will become very impractical!

I wonder if at some point breaking add-ons compatibility will have an effect on the usability of nvda as a usable screen reader?

NVDA is taking a very big risk in annoying users by constantly breaking add-ons compatibility! At some point nvda users will grow tired of all this nonsense. And, will just walk away from nvda. And, those who depend on nvda for their daily use will be without a free open source screen reader!

Maybe its time for nvda to be taken over by developers that will know how to better handle upgrading nvda while keeping add-ons compatible for all users!

And, maybe its time to move away from python as it is the cause of all these add-ons breaking their compatibility?


Re: Different focus from say all and arrowing through

mike mcglashon
 

Block quote:
What are you pressing to start say all?
There are two of them. One starts from the system cursor, the other one starts from the review cursor. The one that starts from the review cursor doesn't move the system cursor.
End quote:

So, which keystroke invokes which "say all mode"?


Please advise as you like.

Mike M.

Mike mcglashon
Email: Michael.mcglashon@comcast.net
Ph: 618 783 9331

-----Original Message-----
From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tyler Spivey via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 4:54 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] Different focus from say all and arrowing through

What are you pressing to start say all?
There are two of them. One starts from the system cursor, the other one starts from the review cursor. The one that starts from the review cursor doesn't move the system cursor.

On 10/20/2021 1:49 PM, Christopher Bartlett wrote:
While proofreading a long document using say-all, I'd find a place for
editing, and hit control to stop speech, but then when I'd arrow
through the document, I'd be in a different place. I have focus
follows caret set in review, so I figured the focus would, well,
follow the system caret. I thought the system caret would travel with the say'all cursor.
I'm a little rusty on NVDA concepts, since for a long time, I did most
of my work on a Chromebook, but now I'm using my win 10 machine a lot
more again, and MS Office.

Christopher Bartlett


--
Christopher Bartlett

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