In-Process 4th April 2017

Hi everyone, welcome to a slightly late edition of In-Process. Rest assured, while not writing blog posts, we have still been busy working on lots of other great things for you.

First up this week, NVDACon planning is well underway. Be sure to bookmark the NVDACon page for updates as they come to hand.

Jamie has been tracking down and fixing some crashes in Adobe reader.

Reef has continued to improve Aria support.

Jamie has been busy working on our new unit testing framework.

So, what is unit testing? Unit testing is a way of testing a little part of the code to ensure it gives the expected result. One set of unit tests might check how NVDA behaves when selecting text in Browse mode. Let’s use the example of “select all”. When NVDA’s “Select all” code runs, everything in the current document should be selected. Unit tests can check the result with the caret at the start, in the middle and at the end of the text, or with all the text already selected. Currently, if NVDA is in Browse mode, and the caret is in the middle of the document, it only selects text from the start of the document to the caret. Unit tests could run this code and check the result against the expected behaviour. The unit test to select all from the middle of the document would fail because the entire text is not selected.

Someone might have changed the code when working on different functionality. “Select all” in Excel or File Explorer, for instance, works differently to how it works in Word or Notepad. If the way the code is written is correct, it might not give any errors when compiled. Compiling turns the code into a program that someone can run. Unit testing can help detect errors in the logic behind the code, rather than the syntax of the code. When a unit test fails, we know where to look, because it only tests a small section of code. Unit testing will ensure that the fix does not affect how the function works in other situations. If we did intend to change the behaviour, we could instead update the test to reflect the new output. Unit testing can save a lot of time in testing that behaviour is as expected, identifying the cause of an issue, and ensuring that new code is correct.

Now to an exciting announcement from last week. NV Access are very pleased to announce that NVDA Expert Certification is now available! The system has been in testing with some of our brave and loyal test users for a few weeks*. We are now very pleased to open it up to everyone!

*Note: No users were harmed in the testing of our certification system!

Quentin has been busy sending out certificates to the first excited NVDA Certified Experts.

The certification tests your knowledge of all aspects of the free NVDA screen reader. The exam is online and available now. Free for anyone to sit, the test is time limited and takes less than an hour. See our release announcement for full details of the new certification.

The exam and the list of certified users are now online at the official certification webpage

Finally, while we were all over at CSUN last month, we had the pleasure of chatting with J.J. from Blind Bargains. Hear the whole team talking about The Winding and Long Road for NV Access in this 37-minute interview, available on Blind Bargains.