NVDA 2009.1 beta, what’s in it for Firefox users?

En route to their 2009.1 final release, the NV Access team has released 2009.1beta1. Here’s a run-down of new features since their 0.6p3 release, of which I did a similar post. This does not cover everything, just the bits that impact the use of NVDA with Firefox and other Mozilla-based products.

WAI-ARIA landmark support

When in virtual buffers, D and Shift+D can be used to skip between WAI-ARIA landmarks. Landmarks are also announced while reading a web page. The new Elements List also has a section for landmarks. Even the possible nesting of landmarks is announced.

WAI-ARIA Drag And Drop support

NVDA now supports WAI-ARIA Drag and Drop, with some help from Firefox 3.6 and later.

More features

  • Sounds can now indicate the switching on and off of Focus Mode. Sounds are the default setting, but you can switch back to using indication via speech.
  • N and Shift+N can be used to skip past blocks of links to the next/previous block of non-link text.
  • On pages that take longer than 1 second to load, you can interact with your system while the page is being rendered. NVDA will tell you that it is processing the page, and it will no longer block the system while doing so.

Also, the Flash and Java interaction model discussed in an earlier post are included in this beta.

For more new feature information, I suggest studying the What’s new document and try out the beta for yourself!

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for the article, Marco.

    Just one correction: You cannot interact with a document while it is being rendered; i.e. partial rendering is still not yet possible. You might be able to interact with the system to an extent (i.e. you might be able to alt+tab out of Firefox while it is rendering and use another application), and NVDA will tell you that it is rendering the document if it takes longer than a second (which is useful so the user knows what is going on), but interacting with the document isn’t possible until it is fully rendered.

What are your thoughts?