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?


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?








 

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?








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?








 

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?








 

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

 


 

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


 

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

 


 

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


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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Louise Pfau
 

Hi.  The existence of issues with Alpha and Beta builds is precisely why I now wait for stable versions of software.  I have used beta versions and release candidates of NVDA in the past, but I don't want to do that anymore because of the issues.

Louise


Quentin Christensen
 

We encourage most users to use release candidate builds - unless people point out issues, then basically the release candidate will be identical to the final stable build - it is easier, for various reasons, for us to try to fix something in a release candidate build, than two weeks later in the final stable build.  Beta versions we are happy for people to test if they are confident they can get back to their stable version.  Alpha versions are really not designed for most users to use.  As noted in the thread here, things can break (deliberately or inadvertently) and we don't guarantee stability in alpha builds - though of course we DO want to know about any issues you encounter with those builds :)

Kind regards

Quentin.

On Fri, Oct 22, 2021 at 5:27 AM Louise Pfau <louise.pfau@...> wrote:
Hi.  The existence of issues with Alpha and Beta builds is precisely why I now wait for stable versions of software.  I have used beta versions and release candidates of NVDA in the past, but I don't want to do that anymore because of the issues.

Louise



--
Quentin Christensen
Training and Support Manager


 

I just want to add to Quentin's observations that they do not apply exclusively to NVDA.   The general purposes of alpha, beta, release candidate, and stable releases of software are the same no matter what the software or who makes it.  Some makers do not use (for the public, anyway) alpha or release candidate steps.  The "public testing" version is the beta, and there can be several betas as different kinks get worked out.

The idea that either alpha or beta software are "sneak peeks for the curious" with no obligation on the part of those who elect to use them to report issues needs to die a very quick death.  Alphas are generally for the development community, almost exclusively, with betas being for the end user community that's willing to put up with instability and bugs, and report those, as part of getting an advance look at what's happening next.
--

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