Breaking news 26/09: What a busy time! Now also announcing NVDA 2018.3.2 for your downloading and enjoyment. As usual, being a “point” release, it only addresses one specific, but severe crash – this time, a crash in Google Chrome when navigating tweets on the Twitter website. Everything else below is still correct, and please download the update from the 2018.3 links below
What a busy couple of weeks! As promised, since our last edition, NVDA 2018.3 did indeed come out. Not only that, but NVDA 2018.3.1 hot on its heels. The big news to start though, is the answer to the question on everyone’s lips: NVDA Remote and NVDA 2018.3.1? So, let’s address that first (with its own heading and everything):
NVDA Remote and NVDA 2018.3.1
First, I’ll give a bit of background for those interested. If that’s TL;DR, then jump straight down to the NVDA Remote update below.
Ok, thanks for sticking around! Now, excuse me while I get technical for just a paragraph dons a lab coat, Bill Nye style. As you likely know, “Python” is the programming language that most of NVDA is written in. wxPython is the user interface toolkit that we use with Python. Essentially, it’s what gives NVDA things like a menu, dialog boxes and buttons. It means we don’t need to reinvent the wheel by defining what a “button” is and how it appears from scratch. We then use Python to tell the computer what to do when a user presses that button. With NVDA 2018.3, we moved to a newer version of wxPython, 4.0.3. While that enables us to do lots of new, improved things under the hood, it meant that older add-ons needed to be updated to work with the newer version of wxPython.
The NVDA Remote team tested an early beta of NVDA using wxPython 4.0.3, and implemented a fix for NVDA Remote well before NVDA 2018.3 was released. They made the code available as their “master” branch. While others could try it, they would initially have to build it themselves. They promised that they would package and release the new version as soon as NVDA 2018.3 came out. They did not want to release before then, because the update was not backwards compatible (so, it wouldn’t work with NVDA 2018.2.1).
NVDA Remote update
As the NVDA Remote team have not released a new version, we are very grateful to reliable, long-term contributor Joseph Lee. Joseph has kindly packaged and made the update available for the community. Download the NVDARemote update from Joseph Lee’ site. Thank-you Joseph!
This version works with NVDA 2018.3.1, so we do recommend updating both NVDA and NVDA Remote to the latest versions.
NVDA 2018.3 dropped on September 17 with all the new features we’d promised. We are very thankful to our incredibly helpful Alpha, Beta and “Release Candidate” testers who picked up numerous bugs that were able to be addressed before launch. Unfortunately, one slipped through, which caused the 32-bit version of Firefox to crash (users of the 64-bit version weren’t affected).
We are also hoping to encourage even more users to try out the release candidate builds in future. So, please look out for those later in the year, shortly before the next version of NVDA is released.
Finally, if you haven’t yet updated to NVDA 2018.3.1, one last plug for the new features to entice you. Highlights of this release include automatic detection of many Braille displays, support for new Windows 10 features including the Windows 10 Emoji input panel, and many other bug fixes. You can download NVDA from the usual place at https://www.nvaccess.org/download/
For those interested, here is a link to the complete and unabridged version of What’s new in NVDA 2018.3.1.
That’s all for this edition. Until next time, do let us know on Twitter what your favourite new feature of 2018.3 is!