In-Process 28th January 2021

We’re near the end of January and getting near release time for NVDA 2020.4. So let’s start there:

NVDA 2020.4

The milestone step this week is the announcement of the translation string freeze. The freeze date is the 4th February. That means, translators have one more week to get their translations up to date to include in 2020.4. After that, we will put out a release candidate. If no major issues are found, the final version will be out soon after that.

In the meantime, we’re still encouraging everyone to download NVDA 2020.4 Beta 4. Please, test the new features and fixes, and let us know as soon as possible if there are any issues.

What’s new in NVDA 2020.4

So what are the new features and fixes? I’m glad you asked! There are lots of new features in NVDA 2020.4. The NVDA 2020.4 Beta 4 release announcement includes a link to the What’s new file. One of the new features mentioned is that “Tab headers are now considered form fields with quick navigation f key”. The example in the issue is the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) sample page. As well as an example, it’s a useful reference on the feature, so here’s a link to the W3C’s tabs page

Tab headers change the information presented on a section of a page, depending on the header selected. On that sample page, look for the “Nils Frahm”, “Agnes Obel” and “Joke” form fields – they’re tab headers and change the paragraph underneath them. I can’t think of too many examples of this I’ve encountered in the wild yet. It’s great to know that when I do find one, I know NVDA will work with it. Have you found sites using these? The NVDA user email group has an NVDA chat subgroup, for conversation. I’d love to hear how you’ve found these tab headers on actual sites in the NVDA chat group!

The W3C is an international group of organisations, staff and the public. The consortium work together to develop web standards. If you’re interested in web development and accessibility, there is a lot of information on the W3C website.

Exploring NVDA with ACB

The American Council for the Blind have a free, weekly Zoom session called “Exploring NVDA”. The session is at 3pm ET, 12pm PT, 10am HT (all US times). From the ACB Weekly Community Events page:

Each week we will go through the ins and outs of NVDA, a free and open source screen reader for windows. as well as NVDA, we will take a deep dive into windows products such as the office suite and windows ecosystem.”

To join the call:

One tap mobile: +13126266799,,87909308783#

Phone: 312-626-6799

Meeting ID: 879 0930 8783

Passcode: 545453

Microsoft FOSS fund award

NV Access are very pleased to have been selected as a recipient of Microsoft’s Free and Open Source Software Fund (FOSS Fund) for 2021. From their site:

The Microsoft FOSS Fund provides a direct way for Microsoft engineers to participate in the nomination and selection process to help communities and projects they are passionate about.

A project of the Microsoft Open Source Programs Office, the FOSS Fund provides $10,000 sponsorships to open source projects as selected by Microsoft employees. To help drive an open contribution culture across Microsoft, employees are eligible to select projects for the fund when they participate in projects that are not governed by Microsoft.

Thank you so much to Microsoft, and especially to all the Microsoft Employees who voted for NVDA!

Another generous donation

While we are thanking people, we’ve got another group to thank. A very large shout out also to ISCB, the the German VI Computer Users Interest Group. They have made a very generous donation, and we are very grateful for their ongoing support of NVDA.

Learn more about ISCB from the ISCB website.

Contributors such as Microsoft and ISCB, as well as all our supporters, make a huge difference. They keep NVDA thriving, growing, and available for free to anyone, anywhere in the world who can use it.

NV Access is a registered not-for-profit charity in Australia. We appreciate every contribution, large and small. While we encourage those who can afford to Donate to us to consider it, please don’t feel any pressure at all to donate. If you would like to know more about the difference NVDA makes around the world, we have a video you may find useful. It highlights some of the users who have benefitted from a free, quality screen reader. Watch Changing Lives: The story behind the free NVDA Screen Reading software on YouTube.

That’s all for this week. Next week is translation freeze, then we’ll put out a release candidate. So, we should be well into the Release Candidate phase by the time In-Process comes out again. In the meantime, please do try out NVDA 2020.4 beta 4 and let us know how you find it.