In-Process 2nd December 2022

Can you believe it is December already?! (and where is that Interrobang from last time?!) We are still working away towards NVDA 2022.4, although we don’t have an update on it this week, rest assured it is still coming!

Salesforce FOSS grant

This week, we would like to extend our thanks to Salesforce and their employees. Salesforce employees contribute to, and use, open-source software. Each quarter, they nominate and vote for open-source projects they are passionate about. It is a no strings attached, one-time payment of $10,000. This grant is a thank you for a project that Salesforce engineers use and love. This quarter, Salesforce employees voted for NV Access. This contribution is greatly appreciated. it will help us continue to provide NVDA for free to anyone anywhere in the world!

Salesforce have a page with information on the FOSS giving fund. It covers how your project may be considered, AND how companies can setup their own FOSS giving fund.

NVDA API Breaking Changes

Recently, we announced some upcoming API breaking changes. In case any of our add-on developers aren’t yet aware, we have an NVDA API mailing list. This is a new, extremely low traffic, announce only list. So far it has only had a welcome message in August, and several messages this week outlining upcoming breaking changes. It is vital that add-on developers are on this mailing list to ensure you are up to date with proposed changes.

To sign up to the list, or to read the recently announced changes, please go to: https://groups.google.com/a/nvaccess.org/g/nvda-api.

Please note, the list is aimed at add-on developers, rather than end-users. The details posted are of a similar nature to the “Changes for developers” section of the what’s new file. There will be more information on how breaking changes may affect end-users in the lead up to the release of NVDA 2023.1.

For discussion of changes and other add-on questions and conversation, please continue to use the existing NVDA-Addon mailing list.

While we’re discussing API compatibility, it is worth outlining our process:

  • NVDA core developers will make their best effort not to break the API
  • The first release of the year (NVDA 2022.1, NVDA 2023.1, etc.) will include breaking changes that have been “pending”
  • Early feedback is required to prevent API changes that would be “unworkable” for add-on developers, this list . allows add-on developers to consider the changes as soon as they are made
  • The collated state of these changes can be found in the changes.t2t file for the release
  • Deprecations refer to parts of the API that may be removed in the future, typically an alternative way of doing things is introduced at the same time as a depreciation is announced. It’s recommended to update code to use the new approach
  • The first beta (NVDA 2023.1 beta 1, for instance) finalizes the API, after this point there will be more resistance to changing the API further
Be sure to refer to the NVDA Developer Guide for full details. Be aware that the most recent version is on GitHub in t2t format.

Ukraine telegram list

One of our Ukrainian translators recently advised us of a couple of new resources. These are Ukrainian-language resources, and we’d encourage anyone interested to check them out:

These are now also listed on our “Connect” page. You can find the Connect page on the NV Access website under “Get Help” then “Email support”. Most of the resources listed are email lists, but there are also other sites and groups.

If you know of any resources not listed there, please do let us know.

Making an impact in Botswana

Recently, Thabo Baseki from Vision in Word in Botswana invited us to speak about NVDA. It was great to chat about the importance of a free resource like NVDA in Africa. We also covered what we’ve been improving recently. You can listen to the interview on Anchor FM (from about 4 minutes in).

Using Mastodon

We recently announced that NV Access had joined Mastodon. While we are still active on Twitter and Facebook, a lot of users have made the move to Mastodon. We want to be able to support people wherever they are. Mastodon, the de-centralised social network has become immensely popular over the last couple of months. With this influx of new users, there is no shortage of articles discussing “What is Mastodon?” or beginner’s guides to Mastodon.

Welcome to Mastodon - a Mastodon, a type of ancient mammoth - approaching a group of Mastodon who are eagerly waiting, holding a 'Welcome' sign.

Welcome to Mastodon – a Mastodon, a type of ancient mammoth – approaching a group of Mastodon who are eagerly waiting, holding a ‘Welcome’ sign.

One I have found aimed at screen reader users is Changeling’s Guide to Using Mastodon for Screen Reader Users. This five-part resource was written in 2019, however, most of the information is still relevant.

It is worth highlighting a couple of things which might be of interest to NVDA users curious about Mastodon.

Not NVDA-specific, but one thing confuses prospective Mastodon users more than any other. Unlike other platforms, Mastodon is not run by one central authority on a single site (like, say twitter.com). There are many servers around the world all running instances of the software for Mastodon. You can call them either “Instances” or “Servers”, and they are often based on a regional area, or theme or interest. Don’t stress too much over the choice, but join whichever one of these sounds interesting. There are several ways to choose, such as instances. Social and fediverse.party. You can still follow people on other servers, and you can change later if you want. There are servers run by blind users and people with an interest can setup their own server. The NV Access Mastodon account is on fosstodon.org, a server dedicated to open-source software.

Mastodon has a good set of keyboard shortcuts. The good news is that most servers or instances are setup very similarly. While features can vary slightly (some servers let you post longer messages, for instance), navigating and most features should be quite similar. There is a “Keyboard shortcuts” link on your Mastodon page. On our instance, Fosstodon, you can find this page at: https://fosstodon.org/keyboard-shortcuts

And a shout out to Fedi.tips for sharing that tip.

Fedi.tips is an account and a website, which shares tips and tricks for new Mastodon users. Also, thanks to them for being supporters of NVDA and encouraging people to donate to us. We really appreciate it! Please do follow them or Fedi.tips“>check them out for more tips on getting the most out of Mastodon!

That’s all for this week. We haven’t forgotten NVDA 2022.4, and we’ll have more news on that very soon.