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locked NVDA Con Apology to the Community from your List Owner #adminnotice


Nimer Jaber
 

Hello NVDA Community:

I am forwarding this message that I sent to the NVDA Con email list to the community at large. As a result of what has transpired, if the community wishes me to step down from continuing to administrate this group, I will happily do so. Please send your comments and thoughts to me individually, or the owner address. I will lock this thread from discussion, and wish anyone wishing to comment to do so privately or to the owner email address.

Hello Robert and NVDA Con team:

First, thank you for all your efforts in putting together NVDA Con. NVDA Con went about as well as it could have. I am thankful to all of your efforts.

For my part in the chaos of the opening forum, I would like to apologize.
• I attempted to come on opening forum, and explain why I believed that Teamtalk is not an ideal platform. Moderation is not as powerful as it is on other platforms, users find TeamTalk fiddly with audio particularly when or if they unplug and plug in devices, etc, TeamTalk doesn't really have echo cancellation, NVDA Con is an international conference and should not be pleased with 60 participants, particularly when more than half were organizers, moderators, and NVAccess staff, and so on. I feel very strongly that TeamTalk is a very poor choice of platform for an international conference, and I have brought this up repeatedly over the years.
• Instead of being given the opportunity to speak, I was interrupted, and organizers defended TeamTalk as being a great platform.
• I was unprofessional in my attempts to illustrate, during a small part of the opening forum, why it is a bad idea to use TeamTalk as a platform at this point. I used various nicknames, and adjusted my gain level pretty high, and caused echo while others were attempting to speak, particularly for those individuals who were attempting to interrupt me from speaking. This is not good for an international forum, and I apologize for this. I did not repeat this for the remainder of the conference, and will not do so again.

Even in this thread exchange, I am seeing organizers still say that TeamTalk is a good choice for hosting a conference. Even with all that happened during opening forum, even with the keynote running into the issues that it ran into, we still see people defending TeamTalk as a platform. I was unable to enjoy the keynote live as I kept being kicked out and needed to rejoin a number of times. Each time, because of the number of users, there was a noticeable lag, and at one point, NVDA crashed. This is on a quite powerful modern machin with 16 GB of ram and a gigabit Internet connection.

If the cost of running a Zoom room for the conference is as stated in this thread, for ten moderators, and if it then allows for streaming things like the keynote to Youtube, and if it allows greater flexibility and ability of users, developers, and interested parties all around the world to join, and if it can better enable NVDA con to reach many more users, thus being more representative of the NVDA community, then that cost is a small one to pay. If NVAccess cannot get a lower rate by working with Zoom, I am happy to donate the cost for this for next year's con. Recording would be simpler, many of the audio issues would be sorted, moderators have substantially more control, and audio quality for certain events can be enhanced with minimal jitter issues, disconnects, drop-outs, and issues with the time it takes to reconnect. Presenters and participants can easily connect by phone call, mobile app, on the web, using desktop apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and so on. I don't really frankly understand why there is still a question of whether this is or is not a good idea.

Again, I hope the organizers will accept my apologies for contributing to the issues with the opening forum. Thank you all for your hard work into this year's con.

--
Best,

Nimer Jaber

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Edited

Hello All,

In the time since this administrative notice was sent out there have been a number of responses. A brief summary of those responses follows.  I am unlocking this topic only to post this summary, and locking it again after having done so.

First, and unsurprisingly, all who sent responses support Nimer Jaber’s continuing on as Group Owner of the NVDA Group.

Second, there was unanimous support for replacing Team Talk as the virtual meeting mechanism for the NVDACon, which was a surprise.  Here are some brief quotations from the comments on the preferred virtual meeting mechanism:

I did not join NVDACon because of the fiddliness of setting up Teams and how inconsistent the experience sounded even when everything was done right. I also wasn't able to get the streaming link to work but that was likely in part to logging on at the wrong times—perhaps . . . I, for one, would have thoroughly enjoyed NVDACon on Zoom . . . I . . . hope that this may prompt a broader discussion . . .

I wasn't even aware of this event before a couple weeks ago. That was only one of the reasons I didn't attend, but the fact that it used Team Talk rather than Zoom was another one. Especially since everyone has Zoom now given everything that's happened this year, it would seem like a no-brainer to have the con on Zoom.

I also think that zoom would be a better option for NVDA con for next year.

I attended the conference and found it easier to join using the simulcast link provided by a member in the NVDA list rather than deal with team talk.

As an aside, but I believe it to be an important one, someone said, “As this is the first time I have been on the NVDA list at this time of the year, I wasn't even aware of this event before a couple weeks ago.”  Given the number of NVDA users worldwide, and the attendance numbers for the NVDACon, the need for serious consideration about how to promote the NVDACon more widely and aggressively is indicated.

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Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

If you think that you can think about a thing, inextricably attached to something else, without thinking of the thing it is attached to, then you have a legal mind.

        ~ Thomas Reed Powell