51

Actually many Window-Eyes users would claim that about WinEyes, that it is and always was a screen reader for the advanced user who wishes to take command, much as NVDA is today in many ways. In fact this is still reflected in the Window-Eyes to JAWS training material.

Basically, JAWS is well-known for hand-holding. It was ever thus. I don't mind luxury product--in fact I'll even grant that such refinement and a commitment to a plush and convenient experience is a worthwhile value add. But there's always been a contingent of users who care enough to have that extra control and lack of hand-holding, and really NVDA is now the only option for that. NVDA, of course, was created for and by blind people who have used other products in the past, and is a respectable alternative.

Just myself, as usual.

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52

I think another part of the problem is when people look at something and think, "I think this could or should be easier." They then proceed to write software that holds the user's hand, and then everyone forgets how everything works without said software.

Research It in JAWS is a prime example of this. I do love the feature myself, but I also know how to look things up without it. If someone is going to be taught to use Research It first, they may not learn how to do the same task without the feature. Using the feature is just faster, so naturally people are going to flock to it for laziness/productivity reasons.

Another good example in my opinion is HTML editors. They hold your hand throughout the creation of a website. The person using the software doesn't need to know a thing about HTML. However, if something goes wrong, and things will eventually go wrong, they won't know what to do because they can't read the HTML of their pages. But when you're working on a rather large site and have a deadline to meet, would you really want to have to type it all out by hand? I think not.

So, I say people should learn both ways. Teach them the concepts of doing things on their own first, then teach them about the software that can do it for them afterward.

Thumbs up

53 (edited by Phil 2017-05-24 14:41:03)

Chris Hofstader
just posted a blog about this issue.
http://chrishofstader.com/nvda-now-more-than-ever/
NVDA: Now More Than Ever!

May 23, 2017 by
Chris Hofstader
3 Comments

Epigram

“All the power is in the hands,
Of the people rich enough to buy it,
While we walk the streets,
Too chicken to even try it,” The Clash.

Introduction

Regular readers of this blog and of
BlindConfidential
(its predecessor) already know that when it comes to Windows screen readers, I am an enthusiastic supporter of
NVDA
and
NVAccess .
Recent events in the news of the blind world have moved NVDA from being an excellent screen reader used by more than 20% of the blind people who run Windows
into the single most important piece of technology used by our community.

This article will explore the
VFO
acquisition of
The Paciello Group
(TPG) as well as its decision to end the life of its
Window-Eyes
product. It will also explain why Free, Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) is the only way we as blind people can control our own destinies, ensure our
privacy and be certain that we have a screen reader that will not disappear overnight.

If you’re unfamiliar with the word “FLOSS” (spelled in all caps), it stands for Free Libre Open Source Software. When
Richard Stallman
started this movement he used the term “free software” which some people find confusing as “free” in the English language can mean either “at no cost to
the consumer” as in “free beer” or it could mean “at liberty” as in “Lincoln freed the slaves.” Others started calling this type of software “open source”
but that ignores the other aspects of the philosophy so another set of people started using the word “libre” instead of “free” or “open source.” I started
using FLOSS as it’s a compromise position and generates fewer questions about what I mean. If you’re interested in learning more about the philosophy behind
this movement, I recommend taking a look at the “
Free Software Foundation
web site as that’s where it all began.

Privacy

One of the best kept secrets in the blindness world and an issue people have pressured me to not report for many years now is that a screen reader is a
highly effective piece of spyware. In brief, a screen reader monitors all activities on a computer and reports the information back to the user in speech
and/or braille. Any software engineer with access to the source code can tweak it a little and also report everything the user does on their computer back
to the company that made the screen reader or to any other data gathering system of their choice. Thus, the VFO people can add a spyware function to JAWS,
MAGic or ZoomText and there’s no way a user can know if their information, usage habits or anything else they do with a VFO product is being collected
by them and potentially sold or shared with others. In the era of data mining, do you trust
Vector Capital,
the company who owns the notorious MP3 patent trolls to not also take unethical actions against users of the other products made by companies in their
portfolio?

NVDA is free, libre open source software (FLOSS) and anyone with the skills required to read and evaluate the source code can independently verify that
the NVDA screen reader is not also spying on them. Admittedly, few people have these skills but any number of blindness agencies or a collection thereof
can grab the NVDA source code from GitHub, pay security specialists to review the code and independently verify that it is not doing anything malicious,
a freedom we do not have with the VFO products under the proprietary, closed source model under which they sell
JAWS,
ZoomText
and
MAGic.
The verified version of NVDA can be digitally signed and have a checksum one can test to further ensure that they are running code certified to be safe.

Is it illegal to turn JAWS into a piece of spyware? The answer is a loud “No!” Google and Amazon are notorious data miners and their privacy policy permits
them to gather information about their users, including which apps they use and, in the case of blind users, if they run a screen reader or not. In essence,
this means that a company or organization can buy information about screen readers and know that you’re blind before you even apply for a job and could
lead to SPAM discrimination as we blind people are believed (erroneously) to be more expensive to employ than are our sighted peers.

Nobody can stop VFO from spying on its users; our entire community can work with NVAccess to ensure that our private information is being kept private.

Two Guys In A Garage?

Recently, I was told by more than one person who had a private meeting with VFO salespeople at
CSUN 2017
that the guys trying to sell JAWS are telling those who buy enterprise site licenses that “NVDA is just two guys working in a garage, if they’re hit by
a bus, the whole thing disappears.” This is a bald faced lie, NVDA is more than the amazing Mick Curren and Jamie Teh, it’s an entire community made up
of hundreds of people who contribute to its source code, write plug-ins like
NVDA Remote Access
and
DictationBridge,
write documentation, help with testing, create tutorials and participate in making it the only Windows screen reader that has witnessed marketshare growth
over each of the past six years. If something bizarre and tragic happens to Mick and Jamie, the rest of the community can pick it up where they left off.

Now, contrast the value of a community of hundreds to the half dozen or so people currently writing JAWS code at VFO and we can only conclude that JAWS
is in a far more fragile state than is the very healthy community of NVDA developers.

Window-Eyes Disappears

Now, let’s explore the abject hypocrisy in what the VFO salespeople are saying behind closed doors at CSUN. Last week, they announced that their Window-Eyes
product had been discontinued (something I predicted in my
annual end of year article
last December). Window-Eyes users with a valid software maintenance agreement (SMA) can get a gratis upgrade to JAWS; those without such either need to
buy JAWS,
a Dolphin product
or, as most to whom I’ve spoken seem to be doing switch to NVDA.

While the Window-Eyes marketshare was in single digits, many of its users cannot afford to buy the upgrade and have no choice but to use NVDA, something
I would recommend but the transition will not be easy for the less technically minded sorts.. More insidious, though, is that Window-Eyes, NVDA and JAWS
all have different user interfaces and the people now using Window-Eyes, their employers, educational institutions and so on need to pick up the tab in
terms of time and money to learn a new screen reader. Training is expensive both in time and in terms of dollars, Euros, rupees, pounds sterling, yen or
the currency of your choice.

If, like NVDA, Window-Eyes was a FLOSS package, the community could have collectively taken over its management and development and its users would have
their screen reader of choice into the future.

We have the FLOSS model NVDA where its future is ensured by the hundreds of people contributing to it that will be available even if its originators choose
to do something different with their lives. We have the proprietary model Window-Eyes over which the community has no control. VFO made a decision, Window-Eyes
users got screwed and there’s nothing we can do to change this.

A FLOSS package can last forever; users of a proprietary solution are subject to the whims of VFO or Dolphin management. NVDA users needn’t fear their favorite
screen reader will go away overnight; VFO has demonstrated that they will force users to go through a retraining process, spend more money to use a different
screen reader and allow JAWS to deteriorate as they see fit. You are free to make your own choices, I highly recommend taking the FLOSS route and using,
contributing in some way and promoting NVDA to the best of your abilities. We simply cannot trust VFO with our future.

NVDACon

As far as I can tell, the annual NVDACon online conference is the only forum in which the community can interact directly with the authors of their favorite
screen reader. Try to contact Glen Gordon (the person at the top of JAWS at VFO) and see if you get a response to a technical question.

NVDACon started when community member and DictationBridge contributor Joseph Lee saw the need for such an event and took it upon himself to coordinate an
international meeting of NVDA developers, users, documentation specialists and anyone else who had an interest in attending. It is now run by our friend
and another DictationBridge contributor, Derek Reamer. This year it had its biggest attendance so far and we expect to see it grow into the future.

Standards Rule

The Paciello Group (TPG) is not the largest of the accessibility contract shops (
Deque Systems
has more people and the company formerly known as
SSB-BART
just got a $40 million investment). TPG is, however, by far the most prestigious brand name in the field. Mike Paciello, its founder, has been one of the
most important and influential people in the world of accessibility standards. Other TPG people like Steve Faulkner, Karl Groves, Billy Gregory, etc. participate
in writing and promoting standards like
WCAG 2.0,
Aria
and other generally accepted practices for ensuring the accessibility of technology, web sites, documents and all of the other things we blind and otherwise
disabled people need to fully participate in modern society.

It’s Accessible If It Works With JAWS

One of the big lies I told as a Freedom Scientific executive that I still hear whispered around the VFO crowd is that JAWS is a benchmark for accessibility
testing. This could not be further from the truth, JAWS is (of the Windows screen readers I know of) the least standards compliant. Our rationale for telling
this lie was that JAWS had an overwhelming lead in the marketshare battles and, therefore, testing against JAWS meant ensuring that most screen reader
users would find a web site or application to be accessible. When I was telling that lie, NVDA didn’t exist and now it’s the most standards compliant of
the Windows screen readers and may be the most compliant screen reader on any platform.

I will also add that testing one’s technology with NVDA is much simpler than with JAWS. One only needs to download the NVDA image from the NVAccess web
site, run its installation routine and jump right in. There are no hassles with license servers, copy protection or other barriers to an efficient testing
experience. And, like the people from TPG, the NVAccess guys participate in a lot of the discussions surrounding the writing of the standards, something
VFO employees are only rarely seen doing.

It’s Not Just About Vision Disabilities

If a company elects to test their technology against JAWS as the benchmark, they will find that entirely standards compliant web sites and applications
will not work properly. If they then change their web sites or applications to work nicely with JAWS, they will need to violate the standards. If they
do so, their technology will indeed work well with JAWS but it will not with any other AT.

While I am blind and I write about and work on projects related to vision impairments, I also understand that a lot of people with other disabilities need
access to web sites and applications. If the technology is actually accessible it is compliant with the standards and should work properly with any AT
required for all disabilities. Coding to ensure access to JAWS may mean that Stephen Hawking cannot use your technology, a message I used to start
my talk at the LibrePlanet free software conference
in March.

Will VFO force the universal design based TPG people away from standards and onto the “if it works with JAWS it’s accessible” bandwagon or will they allow
them to continue working using generally accepted practices and not on JAWS inability to implement such correctly? Exploring this a little further, it’s
in VFO’s best interest to destroy the standards based model because web sites and applications coded specifically to work with JAWS, will not work properly
with NVDA or Dolphin products, a clear market advantage for JAWS. Meanwhile, making things compatible with JAWS will likely break all of the AT used by
people with other disabilities. A JAWS first testing strategy should be avoided by everyone as it’s the outlier, not the standard.

TPG As An Educator

Historically, a number of TPG employees have spent a lot of time working on podcasts, writing blogs and sending out useful accessibility tips on social
media. Steve Faulkner and Leonie Watson have terrific and very educational Twitter personalities and many of us in the accessibility business find our
way to important information via the links they post on social media.

Historically, the VFO leadership has been notorious for silencing its employees from saying anything whatsoever about accessibility that hasn’t been pre-approved
by VFO, whether in their spare time using their personal gear or while at work using VFO PCs. VFO now wants the TPG employees to sign the same highly restrictive
non-disclosure, non-compete and non-disparagement agreements that prevent its other employees from engaging with the rest of the community.

As much of what the TPG people write on social media, in their blogs and discuss on their podcasts is about standards and we know standards are not in the
best interest of JAWS, will our community lose these people as the valued assets they are today? Just as an example, listen to an episode of “
The Viking and The Lumberjack
” and then listen to one of Jonathan Mosen’s nearly content free
FSCast
episodes and you will understand that V&L promotes standards; FSCast promotes VFO.

The VFO Patent Portfolio

Another hazard created by the company formerly known as Freedom Scientific (FS) are the many patents they have related to access technologies. When I was
still working there, Lee Hamilton (then CEO) readily admitted to we executives that our patent strategy had little to nothing to do with the novelty of
something we “invented” but, rather, was to “drop boulders in the roadmap of our competitors.” Shamefully, I participated in this deceit and authored many
early drafts of what would become actual patents. Hamilton and the FS lawyers then started filing patent suits against
GW Micro,
KESI
and perhaps other access technology companies. Almost every patent prosecuted by FS was found to be invalid but only after those FS had sued had spent
a tremendous amount of time and money defending themselves. This disruption in the competitor’s business model did nothing but stifle competition and help
JAWS reach its monopoly level marketshare. It wasn’t until NVDA came along that JAWS had any real challenger.

What If VFO Sues NVAccess Over Patent Infringement?

Because NVDA is a FLOSS package, NVAccess qualifies as a member of the
Software Freedom Law Center
(SFLC) based at Columbia University in New York. If history serves as a predictor of the future, it is very likely that the patent VFO might use to attack
NVDA would be found invalid if challenged. SFLC knows how to fight this kind of suit and, in the event they are needed, they will provide pro bono representation
to NVAccess and any other developer of FLOSS access technology attacked by a patent troll like VFO.

All Of The Power?

Looping back to the epigram that I’ve heard
Joe Strummer
sing a million times both live and in recordings, we need to ask ourselves if, indeed, VFO with a monopoly position in proprietary Windows screen readers
and magnifiers actually has all of the power. While I like opening this article with that quote, I actually believe that we, the community of blind technology
users and our friends, can seize the day and take back control of our own destinies. The most obvious first step is doing whatever you can to help NVAccess
improve and promote NVDA.

What Can You Do To Help?

Every screen reader user can help NVDA in their own way. A number of things you and I can do to advance NVDA and our freedoms include:

list of 10 items
• If you have programming skills, you can do something to improve NVDA itself. You could help the core team fix bugs and add features, you can write a new
plug-in providing more functionality to NVDA users and participate in various other ways as well.
• If you have good writing skills, you can help create documentation and training materials for NVDA.
• If you are multi-lingual, you can help translate NVDA documentation and training materials into languages other than English.
• If you use NVDA and find a bug, you can report it through their tracking system to ensure the programmers know about the defect so they can then find
a remedy.
• If you have a social media account, you can help promote NVDA with tweets, FaceBook posts and such.
• Instead of paying for a JAWS SMA, you can send the money to NVAccess to help the people working on the software.
• If you’re a solid NVDA user, you can help other users with tips and tricks and other helpful information on mailing lists and the like.
• If you have a blog, you can write about why you like NVDA and relatively high profile people like me will help you promote your stories on social media.
• If you’re a TPG person and haven’t signed the restrictive covenants with VFO yet, continue to refuse to do so. You’re all capable of finding another job
in a real hurry. so VFO needs you more than you need them.
• I ask that you please promote this article on social media or on your blog or podcast.
list end

An Endowment For FLOSS Access Technology

When I heard that the VFO salespeople were trying to tell the world that NVDA could disappear overnight and then demonstrated their own willingness to kill
a product without warning, I started noodling around with an idea. When I was doing an on stage interview at
San Francisco Lighthouse Labs
meeting earlier this month with Erin Lauridsen, their new and outstanding director of access technology, my friend and one of the sharpest minds this community
has ever known, Josh Miele asked a question about how we could ensure the future of FLOSS packages in the disability community. While NVDA has a terrific
and thriving community supporting it, other less well known packages do disappear when the people maintaining such move on to something else. So, I decided
to work on a long term strategy for ensuring the futures of important FLOSS access technology projects.

I’ve been mulling over a number of ideas to allow this to happen while also permitting the package maintainers the freedom to move onto new projects when
they want to. The best idea I’ve had so far is to establish an endowment to finance maintenance of existing and creation of new FLOSS packages related
to accessibility for all people with disabilities. I have set a goal for myself to raise $5 million in the coming year to establish this endowment. If
you work for a disability related organization with a bunch of money in the bank and you think this is a good idea, please write to me via the
contact form
on this site and we can discuss how your organization can join this important movement. I’ve already done a number of meetings with big agencies discussing
this notion and I’m feeling hopeful that we’ll make our goal.

This community has made
tdsr
($5000),
NVDA Remote Access
($10,000) and
DictationBridge
($20,000) for less money than VFO would spend on the salaries of the people in the meetings just to decide if these were good ideas or not. We can, therefore,
take less money from the community for each project and, for the same number of dollars, do much more work than can VFO. With an endowment, we can ensure
the future of these packages and many more already available as well as develop new and exciting features for them and start new projects too. The economics
are pointing to the FLOSS model and away from VFO.

Conclusions

NVDA is the only screen reader we can trust to protect our privacy, to survive a decision by its founders to move onto other things in their lives and to
be compatible with standards. There are a few reasons to continue using JAWS (some job sites who have custom JAWS scripts for in house software for instance)
but there is no reason whatsoever to either avoid NVDA for your enterprise, your personal computing, at an educational institution or in virtually any
other situation. I urge all of you to stop buying JAWS SMAs and put the money to learning and/or supporting NVDA as it is the only one that will protect
your freedoms moving forward.

We can accept the VFO domination of the technology we need or we can throw as many virtual bricks at their roadmap as possible. We can topple the proprietary
screen reader model if we’re willing to work together to the common goal of controlling our own destiny, securing our own privacy and collectively taking
responsibility for our own future. I’m not saying this will be easy but I believe it is possible and that it is the road we need to pave for ourselves.

Thumbs up +1

54 (edited by Chris 2017-05-24 18:46:32)

I completely agree with the linked article. The days of commercial proprietary screen readers are numbered. Did someone from VFO really say "two guys in a garage"? [wow]!

Grab my Adventure at C: stages Right here.

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55

congrads to the two guys in the garage!  We love you!

I do not know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.

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56

Didn't Microsoft start in a garage? Lol.

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57

You're thinking of Apple, Draq. That I know for sure started in a garage. Microsoft? Maybe. The ironic thing is that starting up in the garage is starting to become the norm for pretty successful new companies, so it's funny how Fs thinks that that's a demeaning term, because it's really not if you think about it. Still, Fs is notorious for bashing nv access and that needs to stop. Nv Access doesn't bash, so Fw shouldn't either, commercial market or not. Starting to remind me of the arguments you see between phone carrier ceo's online.

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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58

NV Access may not bash, but a small group of users of their products certainly do.

And thus the beast grew powerful, and fire and thunder swept the land. But Mammon stirred in their hearts, and the beast Foundered, and its Corpse arose, and commanded "thou shalt not fly in my name." And the blazes shall freeze cold, and the souls of the followers of Mammon shall learn to tremble in the
face of ice as they did before the fire.
from The Book of Ice, 10:13

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59

that comment by FS in my opinion just shows how not proffessional they are. NVDA is translated in over 50 languages and how many does jaws have? That's just one advantage of open source there. Yes, two guys in a garage, we love you!

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60

Those kinds of tactics seem to come straight from a corporate playbook, kind of tiresome at this point. I'm not sure how I feel about a slush fund to maintain and create open source projects though, then again there's Ubuntu. What sort of packages have disappeared when their maintainers left though? Was/is the source for those packages available anywhere?

-BrushTone v1.3.1: Accessible Paint Tool
-AudiMesh3D v1.0.0: Accessible 3D Model Viewer

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61

Definitely from the corporate playbook. It's why accessibility and litigiousness should never be a thing that coexists. If you look at some of the fights between companies actively using twitter mostly phone carriers, they can get pretty brutal. It's all for dominance.

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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62

if someone made addons that let NVDA do hand holding and network installs over a lan, this may be then able to put VFO out of business with jaws. also ability to do grade2 input, skim reading and skim reading rules along with other powerful jaws features which could be useful if duplicated into NVDA.

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63

really? in what ways has FS bashed nv-access? examples?

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64

Well, if I remember correctly, since NVDA Remote was the big thing, there was a comment by Dan Clark from Freedom Scientific, that read, "Copycats, not leaders. That's all I've got to say".

Hello. He-he-he-he-have some respect and don't spoil the game. It's impossible to have mysteries nowadays, because of nosy people like you. Please keep all of this between us. If you post it online, I won't make any more secrets. No one will be impressed. It will be your fault! He-he-he-he-ha-he-he-ha-he-he.
- abc_123_a.ogg, Undertale v1.000 -

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65

Yes, well, about that ... I'm struggling to see how NVDA Remote can seriously compare at all well to a solution like the one FS provides, which hooks the RDP functionality in the OS or in Citrix. As things stand JAWS includes all the docs and tools for admins to set up both sides (server and client) of that exchange, and do it securely, too.

Then again, it's NVDA that's making it to the cloud, and not JAWS. So really ubiquity of FLOSS is its own compelling argument. It's the same with Linux, as a whole--why do you think it rules the cloud, and not Windows?

Just myself, as usual.

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66

@FamilyMario, He may have made that comment, or it may have been somebody that had the same name or was impersonating him. At this point, though, the safest thought is to just assume that whoever made that comment was a troll.

And thus the beast grew powerful, and fire and thunder swept the land. But Mammon stirred in their hearts, and the beast Foundered, and its Corpse arose, and commanded "thou shalt not fly in my name." And the blazes shall freeze cold, and the souls of the followers of Mammon shall learn to tremble in the
face of ice as they did before the fire.
from The Book of Ice, 10:13

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67

My hope is that he didn't say that, since they themselves have coppied a few features from NVDA; soundcard switching, for instance.

I do not know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.

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68

Also the talking mouse. I was told that NVDA had that years before FS put it in JAWS.

I'm curious about how NVDA's handling things related to Windows 10 that FS says they're having to work with Microsoft to get to work in JAWS though.

Thumbs up

69 (edited by paddy 2017-05-27 11:26:53)

Personally, I am also a great fan of NVDA. I still use JAWS more frequently, however, because I don't really like the way NVDA is displaying things on the braille display. In my opinion, they display a little too much. For a beginner, it might be a good idea to display a little more to actually get started, but if there's a way to change the way things are displayed by NVDA on the braille display, I would highly appreciate it.

I considered updating my current JAWS license from 13 to the latest version, but before I start complaining about things old JAWS versions are not capable of, I first try it with NVDA, which usually works just fine.

And "two guys in a garage"??? Gosh, they should first think about what they're saying! big_smile Well, I'll keep my fingers crossed for those "two guys in the garage", there is a huge community standing behind them; maybe VFO should keep that in mind before talking about a broken-down garage!

For more randomness, follow me on Audioboom at Sanostro!
Aut enim do tibi, ut des, aut do, ut facias, aut facio, ut des, aut facio, ut facias.

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70

If screen magnification should be intregrated in NVDA, and more options regardless of any level of discapacity should be integrated, it will compite with SuperNovaAccess Suite (I don't know but it was the previous name of it), thoes it will be the first free, open source access suite (as I call) for anybody.

Today, is better, than yesterdday!
God bless you, a lot of mersy.
Gracias, thank you, your welcome, thumbs up, what ever, Luis Carlos. Have an awesome day!

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71

If I"m not mistaken, both Nv Access guys are completely blind. That's not to say that some low vision and sighted folks in the community couldn't help with something like that, though.

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

Thumbs up

72 (edited by flackers 2017-05-29 00:23:31)

Interesting thread. I'd love to ditch the ludicrously over-priced jaws in favour of NVDA, especially as Jaws has been going downhill lately in terms of releasing versions that add nothing useful to the previous one, and are just released to make money. Since version 14, Jaws has been a hell of a lot buggier than it ever was before. My trouble is I understand the jaws scripting language, but can't even get started with the one NVDA uses. And I've made my favourite music VST plugins accessible using jaws scripts, and really couldn't face rewriting all those tens of thousands of lines in NVDA, so I'm tied to jaws.
I have to say the Jaws' basics of scripting manual is a genius little piece of tutorial writing. I knew nothing at all about scripting before reading it, but afterwards, I could make software almost completely accessible, even stuff that was all just images jaws couldn't read in any way. People champion NVDA on it being for the power user, but if it ever truly wants to knock jaws out of the ring, it has to appeal more to the simple user because that's what most people are. And for me at least, it has to find a simpler way of reading stuff where the pc focus can't go. The jaws cursor: you just turn it on and arrow around, what could be easier than that? Those NVDA numpad commands seem insanely over-complex to me.

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73

Flackers, we may be able to solve the numpad problem by downloading the objpad nvda addon. This, in my opinion at least, is more powerful than even Jaws arrowing around. Ctrl=nvda+tab changes the behavior of the arrow keys. It's like quicknav on the mac in a sense. What we have is object nav mode, which basically just makes the arrow keys do the numpad commands, aka, down arrow to go inside an object, up to get out of it, left and right to move, you name it. Then there's scan mode, which basically scans the entire windows with the arrow keys. Then we have web mode which works like the roter on ios or mac. Up and down arrows change navigation granularity, and right and left arrows move by the navigation setting.

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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Obj Pad really is a great innovation. I think that if more people tried it, they would see that object nav doesn't have to be so hard. Then again, when I began using NVDA, Obj Pad didn't exist, so I endured the process of learning object nav, and I agree that it is a bit clunky and unintuitive, especially for the novice user.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. What NVDA may lack in out of the box functionality, it makes up for in its sense of community. People who see a need for access to an application, or a feature that should be added, will basically work for free, only receiving recognition for the fruits of their labor, and they're content with that. I would be willing to bet that there are also a lot more developers out there who make add-ons for their own personal use, or for their friends. We never know about them, though, because some are put off by the process of submitting an add-on, from everything I've read on the NVDA mailing list. It could also be that they don't have the best internet access, either, since many people in developing countries use NVDA because it's free. So, we really shouldn't discount the power of what can be done with add-ons, considering that Python is a well-known programming language which has many, many other uses besides extending the functionality of NVDA. If anything, I honestly don't understand why JAWS scripts are considered the holy grail, while NVDA gets crapped on for being open source, while its main functionality is built upon a language that every programmer has heard of. But that's beside the point. I don't discount the fact that JAWS scripts do have their own powerful uses, although, as I'm thinking about this, I understand that businesses are known for using proprietary software in all aspects of their operations, so I guess it actually makes sense that JAWS scripts provide a sense of comfort to them.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

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Well, to be fair, not everyone likes Python either. NVDA is a great community project, but I think the curve for mere mortals is still pretty steep if you actually want to improve it yourself. Ultimately, I think this is where GW got it absolutely right first time, by using COM as the interface, for which any programming language could be used to script it.

Just myself, as usual.

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