It appears the Build 1166 automatic update to JAWS 8.0 may have been pulled this afternoon by Freedom Scientific. I’ve encountered some quirks with the virtual buffer in Internet Explorer 7.0 and Outlook Express since applying this update. Here’s hoping that Freedom Scientific will make some sort of official statement concerning this situation and, further, that they may be able to help us roll back by way of an automatic downgrade.
It has been reported by a reliable source that Freedom Scientific did not intend to release any JAWS updates till at least Tuesday next week. If you are offered this automatic update through the Help > Check for Updates dialogue, you are strongly encouraged not to accept the update at this time.
It seems that Freedom Scientific has quietly released a third automatic update to JAWS 8.0. Labeled as Build 1171 in the auto update dialogue, its Help > About information indicates Build 1166. After running this new build for approximately 10 minutes now, I have not noticed any significant changes. We are all looking forward to the posting of official information concerning this update.
Update: Subsequent checks for updates in the JAWS Help > Check for Updates dialogue continue to offer Build 1171, while actually downloading and installing Build 1166. Caution is urged at this time until Freedom Scientific makes an official announcement concerning this automatic update.
After running the new updated JAWS 8 build 1163 since last Wednesday, I am forced to conclude that issues persist with blank virtual buffers in Adobe Reader 8, Internet Explorer 7 and Outlook Express 6. The issue is encountered more and more frequently the longer JAWS runs. They disappear for a time once JAWS is restarted, only to begin recurring after several hours to a day or so of frequent use. I do observe the problem seems to be presenting itself with significantly less frequency than it did in build 423. It is my hope that Freedom Scientific will be able to find and fix this bug in the next JAWS update. Karen is still running JAWS 7.1 with Internet Explorer 6 due to the existence of this bug. For most blind technology users, I continue to recommend sticking with JAWS 7.1 for the present time.
According to a source I just spoke with in Freedom Scientific’s technical support department, the public beta of JAWS 8.0 supporting Windows Vista is to be released by the end of today, February 28. This public beta will not start automatically when running on Vista. That’s in accordance with the demonstration in Episode #2 of the FSCast podcast.
Mike Paciello is calling on expert JAWS script writers to help with some important AJAX related work. If you are a top flight scripter, please get in touch with him right away.
We’re doing some testing and work on AJAX applications with screen readers. We think we’ve discovered some interesting solutions via JAWS scripts. We’d like to talk to one or two expert scripters, if possible. Please contact me if you are available or have a referral.