Well we made it to the equinox I promised last time around! It’s now either Spring, or Autumn (or Fall), and hopefully the weather is nice where you are.
NVDA 2020.3 Beta 2
The first news this time around, is the release of a Beta Version of NVDA 2020.3, two, in fact. Last week we released NVDA 2020.3 beta 1, and this week we have released a second beta. NVDA 2020.3 includes several large improvements to stability and performance, particularly in Microsoft Office applications. There are new settings to toggle touchscreen support and graphics reporting. The existence of marked (highlighted) content can be reported in browsers. There are also new German braille tables.
We’ve been asked whether we recommend people install the beta. The answer depends on your own skill level and desire to test new features. Of course, every effort is made to ensure the beta works smoothly. The main reason for having a beta, however, is for people to test it before releasing the final version. If you do test it, please ensure you have a way of returning to your previous stable version if things don’t work. Most users can test features by using the beta as a temporary or portable copy. The temporary copy is the one which starts when you run the downloaded file. Choose “Continue” to keep running that copy and test what you’d like to check. If you “Create portable copy”, you can specify a folder (on your hard drive or a removeable USB) to setup a copy of NVDA on. This works like the temporary option, except changes to settings are saved in that copy. You will need to either create a shortcut or specifically run it from that folder each time. Either way, again it won’t interfere with your installed version.
Read the full what’s new, and download the beta from the NVDA 2020.3 Beta 2 Announcement.
This year’s NVDACon, the online conference for all things NVDA, is fast approaching. One of the great things about NVDACon, is that it is organised and run entirely by users!
This year’s NVDACon will be held the weekend of the 5th / 6th December, with the theme “Bridging the Distance”. The NVDACon organisers are currently calling for submissions. Options range from “Thunder clap tweets” to full length sessions and everything in-between. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your session ideas!
Software Engineer Sought
NV Access is seeking to appoint a Full-Time Software Engineer to join our small team. Your work will focus on improving our NVDA screen reading software and related online infrastructure, including feature implementation and bug fixing. You must be an Australian Resident (For Tax Purposes). For all the details, and to apply, please refer to our Full Time Software Engineer Job Advertisement for all the details and to apply.
How has NVDA benefitted you?
As this turbulent year continues, we want to hear your good news. Please Email Us and tell us, how has NVDA benefitted you during the pandemic? We’ve had excellent responses to this question so far from our Twitter and Facebook followers. We’d love to Hear From You also!
Google Summer of Code
This year’s Google Summer of Code has ended, and we’re pleased to share the final report from our student, Shubham. Shubham created proof of concept Image captioning and Object detection add-ons for NVDA. Note that these are proof of concepts which may provide the basis of future work in this area. They are not themselves finished and polished products. Read Shubham’s Full Report now.
NVDA in the charts
Finally, this week, an interesting use of NVDA, by a musician. Ádám Márton Horváth contacted us recently to ask about artistic use of NVDA. He has just released a new album, titled Missa Ultima. He describes it as “an experimental mass, with an apocalyptic topic and feeling, imagining the last day on Earth”. In creating the vocal part of the musical mass, Ádám used NVDA. He then transformed it, using effects and distorting it into the musical tracks. The final result evokes the feeling that these voices are singing in their own way.
Missa Ultima is now available on Ádám’s Bandcamp page.
Have you used NVDA in an interesting way? Or has NVDA benefitted you during the pandemic? Have you tried the latest Beta of NVDA 2020.3? Either way, please Let Us Know!