This Week in Matrix 2021-01-29

2021-01-29 — This Week in Matrix — Ben Parsons

Matrix Live 🎙

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌡️

Christian Bruchatz created this map of currently live Matrix instances at German-ish universities!

The map is growing... after being published, more and more universities signal they also use Matrix... https://doc.matrix.tu-dresden.de/images/federation_map.svg within https://doc.matrix.tu-dresden.de/en/why/

2021-01-29-YevH--image.png

Dept of Spec 📜

Spec

anoa reported:

Here's your weekly spec update! The heart of Matrix is the specification - and this is modified by Matrix Spec Change (MSC) proposals. Learn more about how the process works at https://matrix.org/docs/spec/proposals.

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

New MSCs:

  • There were no new MSCs this week.

Spec Core Team

As announced last week, we're now using the Spec Core Team Backlog board to communicate progress. Check it out if you haven't seen it yet, and ask questions in #matrix-spec:matrix.org if you have any 🙂

2021-01-29-QpAp6-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse

Synapse is a popular homeserver written in Python.

callahad announced:

One week 'til FOSDEM!

In addition to several talks specifically about Matrix, Synapse's own Brendan Abolivier will be speaking in the Community devroom on Mental health and free software: What I wish I’d been told before I got into free software, and more. Check it out!

We're also excited to announce Synapse 1.26.0's release! As mentioned last week, the two biggest new features are a faster algorithm for state resolution and initial support for enabling multiple OpenID Connect providers. Additionally, we've sped up redaction in large rooms and made it possible to run more APIs on workers. See the full changelog for details.

We expect to publish a release candidate for 1.27.0 early next week, but we're trying to be conservative about large changes ahead of FOSDEM, so knocking — which is coming! — will have to wait until 1.28.0... 🚪

Dendrite 0.3.8

Dendrite 0.3.8 was released this week! Simple changelog this time:

A well-known lookup regression in version 0.3.7 has been fixed

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Kubernetes

Ananace announced:

Just released the 1.26.0 version of the K8s-optimized image and chart.

(Not sure how this message will do though, been down the last few days for a database upgrade)

Success: the message did great!

Dept of Bridges 🌉

matrix-appservice-bridge arrives at 2.5.0-rc1

Half-Shot announced:

Hey folks! It's been a while since we've had an update but things are always manic at bridge HQ. This release is a bit of a whopper containing quite a few bugfixes (including improvements to the experimental encrypted bridge support). We've also updated to Typescript 4.1 which is a bit stricter on those promise return types. Finally, you can now create intents on the bridge and use it's components without starting the HTTP listener which has been a longstanding issue for as long as I've been maintaining.

So go out there and test this release, all going well we should 🚢 early next week!

If only you knew what else this guy was working on. More to be shared soon-ish. I hope!

Dept of Clients 📱

FluffyChat

FluffyChat is a cute cross-platform matrix client. It is available for Andorid, iOS, Web and Desktop.

krille said:

FluffyChat 0.26.1 has been released today with updated translations, support for Unified Push (https://github.com/UnifiedPush/) and some bug fixes. The Linux Desktop version is fully functional again and the app is much more stable than ever now. We are working hard to bring FluffyChat to the official iOS AppStore next week! :-)

I reinstalled Fluffychat this week as I attempted to support some less-technically-minded friends, and was VERY impressed. If you've tried FluffyChat in the past but missed recent versions I suggest you have another go.

Nheko

Nheko is a desktop client using Qt, Boost.Asio and C++17. It supports E2EE (with the notable exception being device verification for now) and intends to be full featured and nice to look at

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) said:

On Wednesday we released version 0.8.1 of Nheko! It's mostly a bugfix release of 0.8.0, but it does bring some new features here and there:

[0.8.1] -- 2021-01-27

Features

  • /plain and /md commands to override the current markdown setting. (contributed by lorendb)

  • Allow persistent hiding of rooms with a specific tag (or from a community) via a context menu.

  • Allow open media messages in an external program immediately. (contributed by rnhmjoj)

Improvements

  • Use async dbus connection for notifications. (contributed by lorendb)

  • Update Hungarian translations. (contributed by maxigaz)

  • Update Finnish translations. (contributed by Priit)

  • Update Malayalam translations. (contributed by vachan-maker)

  • Update Dutch translations. (contributed by Glael)

  • Store splitter size across restarts.

  • Add a border around the completer. (contributed by lorendb)

  • Request keys for messages with unknown message indices (once per restart, when they are shown).

  • Move the database location to XDG_DATA_DIR. (contributed by rnhmjoj)

  • Reload the timeline after key backup import.

  • Autoclose completer on space, when there are no matches.

  • Make completer only react, when the mouse cursor is moved.

Bugfixes

  • Fix unhandled exception, when a device has no keys.

  • Fix some cmake warnings regarding GNUInstallDirs.

  • Fix tags being broken. If you have no tags showing up, you may want to logout and login again.

  • Fix versionOk being called on the wrong thread. (contributed by Jedi18)

  • Fix font tags showing up in media message filenames.

  • Fix user profile in dark themes showing the wrong colors. (contributed by lorendb)

  • Fix emoji category switching on old Qt versions. (contributed by lorendb)

  • Fix old messages being replayed after a limited timeline.

  • Fix empty secrets being returned from the wallet breaking verification.

  • Make matrix link chat invites create a direct chat.

  • Fix focus handling on room change or reply button clicks.

  • Fix username completion deleting the character before it.

Flathub and other repo updates may take a bit, but in the mean time you can try building it yourself or one of our provided stable downloads. Thank you for all the feedback so far and I'm glad a lot of people seem to be enjoying it so far! All the feedback, bugfixes and issues you provided certainly will help improving Nheko for everyone!

Then, later...

Apart from the current releases, we have a few things cooking right now:

Edits

Yes, I have tried to avoid them for long, but I am finally working on it. It's a bit different to how Element and others do it, but it also generates a fallback to be compatible with the current MSCs where possible. I've grown a bit tired of having to explain myself everytime, why I did not want to support edits (yet), so I'm experimenting with a few solutions now. Expect a blog post summarizing those experiments in the future and maybe an MSC.

Polish

Jedi18 and LorenDB are both busy polishing up the rough corners in Nheko, like finally being able to set your username and avatar in the UI as well as being able to copy text via right click, jdenticons and other fancy stuff. We also had a few contributions in the last release, which should improve the UX a lot.

GSoC

Furthermore we will be participating in GSoC (if matrix.org gets accepted) and will probably mentor a student, that implements a few of the smaller features, which users may be missing after using Element for long.

I think that is all I wanted to share. I hope you enjoy the release and if you have any issues or feature requests, tell us in #nheko:nheko.im or open an issue on Github!

Quaternion

kitsune announced:

Since the project is already fairly rich in features, I decided that it's timely (some would say - way overdue) to bump up the version a bit. In that light, the next Quaternion beta is numbered 0.0.95 beta 3 (no four-number version any more) and it's out now! Release notes list notable changes since (0.0.9.5) beta 2, with two most significant being ability to enter messages in Markdown and the overhauled timeline that allows you to easily discern between already read and yet unread messages and also quickly scroll to the read marker.

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Element

Neil reported on behalf of the teams:

Delight

  • Social Login

    • Final polishing and bug hunting across all platforms. We are targetting 5 options to begin with (Gitlab, Github, Facebook, Google and Apple) and will hopefully be ready to start setting these up on homeservers next week.
  • Spaces

    • Lots of polishing on Element web, you can get all the latest in the matrix live demo session next week!

VoIP

  • Added some debugging to web to help debug call connectivity failures

  • Fixed a compatibility regression in web with voip v0 clients (ie. element android / ios) - d’oh!

  • Android: work on getting call audio routing correct on various different devices

  • Design coming up to speed to support on implementation and ongoing UI improvements

  • iOS on holiday

Web

  • Off cycle 1.7.18 release for VoIP compat bug

  • Various tweaks to prepare for FOSDEM

  • Element Web 1.7.19-rc.1 is now available at https://staging.element.io, including:

    • Allowed guest users to see widgets

    • Standardised security terminology to reduce confusion

    • Added ability to pin widgets for everyone in the room

iOS

  • We made several iterations since the last App Store release (1.1.3) but Element-iOS 1.1.6 is now in the store.

  • We made some improvements to use less RAM in the background sync module that manages push notifications.

  • We continued to improve performance in E2EE to speed up message sending using pre-sharing keys and re-sharing keys methods. Element-iOS now automatically rejects share requests from not verified devices. It does not send anymore such requests if it is not verified.

Android

  • We are working on improving the initial /sync management. The first objective is to reduce RAM usage. Then, we will improve the time to display the room list.

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Ruma

Ruma is a set of Rust library crates around Matrix

jplatte told us:

In the last two weeks,

Also, @jamtwister imported a bunch of endpoints from @florianjacob's synadminctl into synapse-admin-api.

State Resolution

It's been a really long time since an update on ruma/state-res but work has continued!

  • Thanks to a push from @gnieto the state-res crate no longer has its own PDU type, we are now using a trait.

Conduit continues its use of state-res, which has helped workout the kinks and buggy bits.

Dept of Interesting Projects 🛰️

Keymaker

MTRNord told us:

Just a small dev update on things that currently happen over at the Serverlist project "Keymaker" and its companion bot.

Follow it in detail at #serverlist:nordgedanken.dev or https://github.com/keymaker-mx/

  • The registration bot finally is starting to get its admin backend -> The registration probably happens in a few weeks from now

  • Keymaker has now a admin login page (using matrix as auth provider) to allow a web UI for admins to manage servers (WIP)

  • The bot successfully writes servers upon registration to the database. This is the main task of the bot besides the capability to administrate the page using the page

  • The bot now is able to be used by admins in an admin room which also gets notifications if a user registered a new server.

Matrix in the News 📰

Beeper has continued to make headlines, and is now being reported around the world:

Andy announced:

Beeper was mentioned in one of the two biggest argentinian newspapers! 😮🙌 https://www.lanacion.com.ar/tecnologia/todo-en-uno-este-es-beeper-el-chat-universal-que-promete-usar-whatsapp-signal-y-telegram-en-un-solo-nid22012021/

There was a pause, as we wondered how the other biggest Argentinian newspaper would react, and it was worth the wait! Andy soon announced:

And now the other biggest newspaper of Argentina wrote an article about Beeper (Matrix is mentioned about half-through the article)!

https://www.clarin.com/tecnologia/beeper-app-mensajeria-unifica-chats-whatsapp-telegram-signal-instagram_0_1bX5iXnxw.html

Anything that goes in Argentina is sure to make waves in Poland, and so it was that Polish media picked up on the story.

TR_SLimey reported:

Beeper has made it to Polish media too, guys :P

https://spidersweb.pl/2021/01/beeper-imessage-na-androidzie.html

The title: "A new multi-messaging platform has arrived. It's creators will send you an old iPhone so you can even use iMessage"

Final Thoughts 💭

Discussing the sharing of code and ideas with Tobias from NeoChat, Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) said:

There really is no stealing, it's more helping each other out and improving things for everyone, users and developers alike. We are not corporations competing, we are one free software community :3

Which I thought was very astute, and decided to include here.

Dept of Ping 🏓

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1imninja.net428
2envs.net437
3helderferreira.io557
4casavant.org605
5aria-net.org635.5
6chat.bobrtc.tel723.5
7feneas.org724
8nuclearlemons.uk805
9t2l.io855
10matrix.sp-codes.de885

That's all I know 🏁

It's FOSDEM next weekend, and we are manically preparing for it. Should be a good one!

See you next week, and be sure to stop by #twim:matrix.org with your updates!