Important request for add-on authors and users: please focus on stability and Python 3 compatibility (no new features) until NVDA 2019.3 stable version is released


 

Dear NVDA development and add-ons community,

 

Note: a companion note will be sent out to users shortly, along with that companion being sent out to translators for circulation in various languages.

 

On December 9, 2019, NVDA 2019.3 beta 1 was released for testing. This means Python 3 NVDA is one step closer to general availability.

 

As you may all know by now (or almost all of you should be aware), NVDA 2019.3 is not an evolutionary release – it is a revolutionary release. Thus, for the last few months, I and other NVDA core developers (including NV Access people) were giving you essential advisories about it, including a need to update (and in some cases, rewrite) add-ons. For the last few weeks, one of the central topics across the NVDA community has been add-ons and their compatibility with future NVDA releases, along with adopting Python 3 concepts and skills.

 

While 2019.3 was in alpha phase (and it is still going through that phase somewhat), authors were advised to work on making sure their add-ons are ready, and compatibility certification was voluntary i.e. up to authors to declare their add-ons as compatible. Now that 2019.3 beta is out, I would like to request that authors focus on stability and Python 3 compatibility (for real this time); along with this, starting on December 15, 2019, any add-on that fails to even install on NVDA 2019.3 beta, even though their code is Python 3 ready, will result in those add-ons becoming “incompatible” i.e. manifest checks will become mandatory. Also, starting from that date, even though the add-on does install on 2019.3 beta, if it fails to start in 2019.3 beta will result in “incompatible” label.

 

To make sure add-ons are compatible with NVDA 2019.3 from day 1, I advise the following to be done by the NVDA community as a whole:

 

  1. No feature requests: until NVDA 2019.3 stable version comes out, please DO NOT request new features for add-ons. The only exceptions should be localization and documentation edits.
  2. Focus on stability: this includes making sure add-ons are compatible with 2019.3, and if needed, older releases.
  3. Timely feedback to the right people: just because I tend to be seen as the leader of this effort should not be a reason to contact me for all sorts of issues with add-ons; please take a look at add-on compatibility list located at community add-ons page (under Announcements section), as that page contains contact information for authors of add-ons that are giving you issues (for ones developed by me, you are more than welcome to provide feedback anytime). Regarding the compatibility list itself, I’ll continue to monitor and update it based on feedback from authors and the community.

 

Thank you.

Cheers,

Joseph

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