New community and activities of NVDA in Japan

At the end of April, I became one of the members of NVDA translations.
At the same time, I started the new group, NVDA Japanese Team, in Japan.
Official site is http://en.sourceforge.jp/projects/nvdajp/devel/.
Localized beta version of NVDA is available.
We also release Java Access Bridge 2.0.2 installer and older versions of LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org with the accessibility option enabled.
Source code of nvdajp is also available at launchpad.net/nvdajp.

Our goal is to contribute our efforts to the main stream of NVDA.
Toward Windows 8, it is important to consider security model or digital signatures.
Japanese Team is planning to make executables with digital signatures by ourselves, however, it is not desired solution in the long run.

Besides the translation of documents, messages and character tables, Japanese Team is working for the issues as follows:

  • Japanese Text to Speech engine. eSpeak is difficult to support Japanese. We have added JTalk, which can be used as the installer’s default voice. It depends on morphological analysys engine MeCab with the dictionary of one hundred megabytes.
  • Japanese input method support. We use Python and C++ code. To announce the change of IME status, low-level keyboard hook is used. To announce the content of composition window, Text service framework (TSF) must be supported. Note that some Windows XP users disable TSF because of the compatibility issues. For x64 applications, remote procedure call (RPC) is also required, because NVDA itself is 32bit process. Candidate window is accessible using MSAA. Our implementation should be re-written to complete the application support, to improve stability, and to support other East Asian languages.
  • Japanese Braille support. It consists of (1) extending translation engine and (2) supporting domestic devices. Braille translation of NVDA is relying on liblouis library, however, it is not enough for supporting Japanese language. To reduce the development effort, it is desireble for us to reuse morphological analysys engine for TTS as the basis of Japanese braille translation.
    As the domestic device support, we added a new KGS Braille Memo driver for 2012.2jp-beta release.
    Because of the limitation of vendor’s library and testers’ demand, serial port selection can’t be ignored. So we both implemented automatic port scanning and COM port selector of the braille setting dialog.
    Although Japanese braille translation is far from perfect, Japanese NVDA users are highly interested in our work.
  • Supporting domestic applications and use cases. AppModules and global plugins can be used.

It is a new challenge to make our contributions into NVDA-addons, which will be available for NVDA 2012.2 and later versions, as much as possible.

As a first step, we are making the JTalk Japanese TTS as the add-on, which runs on NVDA 2012.2 beta versions.
If you are interested in Japanese speech engine, please evaluate the current version as follows:
Release Note
Download
Note that JTalk2 is experimental multi-lingual engine which uses both eSpeak and JTalk internally.
It is tested on Windows XP Japanese, however, I am not sure how this package is depending on locale.
(note: JTalk addon is updated on May 28 19:10 JST. Moved from dropbox to sourceforge.jp on June 13.)

NVDA Japanese Team started discussions with Taiwanese NVDA developers.
We welcome intenational collaborations, to make the NVDA project more active and attractive.