The release candidate for the 2nd major update for NVDA of 2017 has been posted and includes a laundry list of changes.
This version includes improved web support for a variety of browsers including Microsoft Edge. Also, support is included for aria-current, one of the new semantic markup tags that is available to website developers to mark the current page on a website.
Also included is support for more types of Unicode fractions, fixes for some selection issues while in browse mode, and the return of audio ducking for the Windows 10 Creators Update.
You can download this release candidate now or look at the complete list of changes below.
What's New in NVDA 2017.2
Highlights of this release include full support for audio ducking in the Windows 10 Creators Update; fixes for several selection issues in browse mode, including problems with select all; significant improvements in Microsoft Edge support; and improvements on the web such as indication of elements marked as current (using aria-current).
Cell border information can now be reported in Microsoft Excel by using NVDA+f. (#3044) In web browsers, NVDA now indicates when an element has been marked as current (specifically, using the aria-current attribute). (#6358) Automatic language switching is now supported in Microsoft Edge. (#6852) Added support for Windows Calculator on Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB (Long-Term Servicing Branch) and Server. (#6914) Performing the read current line command three times quickly spells the line with character descriptions. (#6893) New language: Burmese. Unicode up and down arrows and fraction symbols are now spoken appropriately. (#3805)
When navigating with simple review in applications using UI Automation, more extraneous objects are now ignored, making navigation easier. (#6948, #6950)
Web page menu items can now be activated while in browse mode. (#6735) Pressing escape while the configuration profile "Confirm Deletion" dialog is active now dismisses the dialog. (#6851) Fixed some crashes in Mozilla Firefox and other Gecko applications where the multi-process feature is enabled. (#6885) Reporting of background color in screen review is now more accurate when text was drawn with a transparent background. (#6467) Improved support for control descriptions provided on web pages in Internet Explorer 11 (specifically, support for aria-describedby within iframes and when multiple IDs are provided). (#5784) In the Windows 10 Creators Update, NVDA's audio ducking again works as in previous Windows releases; i.e. Duck with speech and sounds, always duck and no ducking are all available. (#6933) NVDA will no longer fail to navigate to or report certain (UIA) controls where a keyboard shortcut is not defined. (#6779) Two empty spaces are no longer added in keyboard shortcut information for certain (UIA) controls. (#6790) Certain combinations of keys on HIMS displays (e.g. space+dot4) no longer fail intermittently. (#3157) Fixed an issue when opening a serial port on systems using certain languages other than English which caused connecting to braille displays to fail in some cases. (#6845) Reduced the chance of the configuration file being corrupted when Windows shuts down. Configuration files are now written to a temporary file before replacing the actual configuration file. (#3165) When performing the read current line command twice quickly to spell the line, the appropriate language is now used for the spelled characters. (#6726) Navigating by line in Microsoft Edge is now up to three times faster in the Windows 10 Creators Update. (#6994) NVDA no longer announces "Web Runtime grouping" when focusing Microsoft Edge documents in the Windows 10 Creators Update. (#6948) All existing versions of SecureCRT are now supported. (#6302) Adobe Acrobat Reader no longer crashes in certain PDF documents (specifically, those containing empty ActualText attributes). (#7021, #7034) In browse mode in Microsoft Edge, interactive tables (ARIA grids) are no longer skipped when navigating to tables with t and shift+t. (#6977) In browse mode, pressing shift+home after selecting forward now unselects to the beginning of the line as expected. (#5746) In browse mode, select all (control+a) no longer fails to select all text if the caret is not at the start of the text. (#6909) Fixed some other rare selection problems in browse mode. (#7131)
Changes for Developers
Commandline arguments are now processed with Python's argparse module, rather than optparse. This allows certain options such as -r and -q to be handled exclusively. (#6865) core.callLater now queues the callback to NVDA's main queue after the given delay, rather than waking the core and executing it directly. This stops possible freezes due to the core accidentally going to sleep after processing a callback, in the midle of a modal call such as the desplaying of a message box. (#6797) The InputGesture.identifiers property has been changed so that it is no longer normalized. (#6945) Subclasses no longer need to normalize identifiers before returning them from this property. If you want normalized identifiers, there is now an InputGesture.normalizedIdentifiers property which normalizes the identifiers returned by the identifiers property . The InputGesture.logIdentifier property is now deprecated. Callers should use InputGesture.identifiers instead. (#6945) Removed some deprecated code: `speech.REASON_*` constants: `controlTypes.REASON_*` should be used instead. (#6846) `i18nName` for synth settings: `displayName` and `displayNameWithAccelerator` should be used instead. (#6846, #5185) `config.validateConfig`. (#6846, #667) `config.save`: `config.conf.save` should be used instead. (#6846, #667) The list of completions in the autocomplete context menu of the PythonConsole no longer shows any objec path leading up to the final symbol being completed. (#7023) There is now a unit testing framework for NVDA. (#7026) Unit tests and infrastructure are located in the tests/unit directory. See the docstring in the tests\unit\init.py file for details. You can run tests using "scons tests". See the "Running Tests" section of readme.md for details. If you are submitting a pull request for NVDA, you should first run the tests and ensure they pass.
Unfortunately, despite the release notes to the contrary, the problems with HIMS displays still persist. Not only do the dot combinations still intermittently fail on both my Braille Edge and Smart Beetle, but the Edge scroll keys still get randomly misidentified and the Beetle's scroll keys still register as a blank key and thus cannot be made to perform any action consistently. There was talk not to long ago about a new HIMS dll being provided, but they reverted that patch for some reason.
darknexus Tuesday, 30-May-2017 10:26 AM ET:
Further to my comment above, while the Smart Beetle's scroll keys were not fixed in the RC, they do appear to be fixed in the official release. The official release also appears to fix the Braille Edge scroll key randomizing as well. I, for one, have waited for this fix for a good while. Nice job, NVAccess, and a sincere thanks.
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.