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Add-on Updater 19.07.1 (experimental): a new way to be notified about add-on updates via Windows 10 toasts #addonrelease

 

Hi all,

 

For the last few days I’ve been researching a way to utilize Windows 10 toasts to notify you of NVDA add-on updates, and today, it will make its debut via Add-on Updater 19.07.1. Note that this is an experimental feature and is disabled by default, and if this experiment is a success (with refinements), it’ll show up enabled in the next add-on release, scheduled the day after NVDA 2019.2 stable is released.

 

How does it work: until now when Add-on Updater detects new add-on updates, it’ll present a dialog box, sometimes interrupting your tasks. Instead of this approach, the new experimental feature will present a toast message when updates are available, directing you to open NVDA menu/Tools/Check for add-on updates to review add-on updates. When toasts appear, depending on which Windows 10 release you are using, press Windows+V on Version 1803 and earlier and Windows+Shift+V in Version 1809 and later. In case you miss this, the notification will show up in Action Center.

 

To configure this behavior, go to NVDA menu/Preferences/Settings/Add-on Updater. You may see an experiment checkbox about toasts. Checking this means toasts will be used, otherwise current behavior (displaying the update results dialog) will be used.

 

Things to note:

 

  1. This feature is exclusive to Windows 10. Consequently, the experiment checkbox will not show up if you are NOT using Windows 10.
  2. By default, the toast experiment checkbox is unchecked; to see the new behavior, you must enable this checkbox.
  3. Toasts will show up if automatic add-on update check is turned on.
  4. Due to limitations with current wxPython toolkit in use by NVDA, toasts are not actionable – that is, toasts will only show that add-on updates are available. wxPython 4.1.0 (in development), powered by wxWidgets 3.1.x, does allow events to be bound to toast actions i.e. allowing you to review add-on updates on the spot.
  5. Because some add-on update files are stored on cloud data centers, there is a time limit – if you take action more than five minutes after appearance of add-on update toast, some add-on updates won’t download.
  6. If you do miss add-on update toasts, they will show up in Action Center (Windows+A).
  7. As noted above, if the experiment is a success, toasts will be enabled permanently starting with the next Add-on Updater release.

 

Cheers,

Joseph