Question about NVDA core functionality


Louise Pfau
 

Hi.  I know that add-on updater and some parts of Windows 10 app essentials will be added to NVDA core functionality in a future release.  Is it possible, or feasible to treat add-ons like clipspeak in the same way?  When I'm using NVDA on someone else's computer, I only use the core functionality because I'm using an installed copy rather than a portable one.

Thanks,

Louise.


 

Hi,

I think several factors can play a part in answering this question:

  1. Community discussion and need: I understand that there is huge demand from the NVDA community to have some add-ons (or parts of them) integrated into NVDA.
  2. Willingness from add-on authors to collaborate: will add-on authors show willingness to collaborate with users and NV Access to bring their add-ons to NVDA, or ask someone to look into it? Ideally add-on authors are best positioned to address demands.
  3. Getting add-on source code ready for NVDA integration: the add-ons community uses same coding guidelines as NVDA screen reader itself (one of them is using tabs instead of spaces to denote indentation levels). The issue has to do with preparing the add-on source code to keep up with ever changing nature of screen reading, namely changes to NVDA that sometimes can break compatibility. Folks who read source code for my add-ons (including Windows 10 app Essentials) may notice that I follow NVDA coding guidelines very closely to prepare for a day when add-ons are integrated into NVDA, and in some cases, I prepare to support post-integration process. Although details are discussed in NVDA add-ons and development lists, suffice to say that I keep up with NVDA changes almost in real-time (i.e. Git commits).
  4. Testing and feedback: it isn’t enough to get add-ons or parts of them into NVDA. People must show willingness to test and provide timely feedback. This is one reason why I encourage people to provide feedback on add-ons so bugs can be resolved quickly; at least “quickly” because add-ons are almost standalone piece of software; imagine add-ons being integrated into NVDA and you can see why testing becomes more important.

In short, anyone willing to ask for an add-on or parts of it to be integrated into NVDA must have a visionary mindset and ability to plan with precision. The first step to doing that is not asking which add-on you wish to see in NVDA itself, but asking yourself, “what will NVDA look like in at least five years from now”. The second step is learning to build patience – integrating an add-on into NVDA takes time because NV Access must balance user requests, standards, and market trends (Windows 10 Calculator support, for example, lived in Windows 10 App Essentials for more than five years before making its appearance as part of NVDA 2020.4). The third step is willingness to think like NVDA core developers- moving from writing add-ons to actually contributing code to NVDA screen reader is similar to stepping into a new culture and will require you to practice rigor.

So what can users do? Keep the conversation going and ask add-on authors if they are willing to collaborate with you on at least thinking about bringing their add-ons to NVDA provided that there is community request. If authors says “yes”, that’s great. If not, at least try justifying it, and if authors still says “no”, then that’s all folks can do for now (at least users tried their thing). Ideally you should ask the original author of a given add-on, but if you can’t contact them, at least ask the person who have maintained it until recently unless that person told the community they are not willing to maintain it (I’ll provide responses for my add-ons upon request).

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Joseph

 

 

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Louise Pfau
Sent: Monday, March 1, 2021 10:40 AM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: [nvda] Question about NVDA core functionality

 

Hi.  I know that add-on updater and some parts of Windows 10 app essentials will be added to NVDA core functionality in a future release.  Is it possible, or feasible to treat add-ons like clipspeak in the same way?  When I'm using NVDA on someone else's computer, I only use the core functionality because I'm using an installed copy rather than a portable one.

Thanks,

Louise.