This Week in Matrix 2021-08-13

2021-08-13 — This Week in Matrix — Ben Parsons

Matrix Live 🎙

Dept of Spec 📜

Spec

anoa offered:

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

New MSCs:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

Merged MSCs:

Closed MSCs:

Spec Updates

Work on Spaces continues with MSC2946 (Space Summary API), specifically revolving around how to paginate the summary. This has called into question how pagination across Matrix works in general, which is a prime target for refactoring - perhaps an upcoming consistent pagination MSC? :)

Otherwise, as listed above, MSC3289 (room v8) has merged! It brings with it the ability to grant the ability to join a room based on one's membership in another room. While the was originally conceived for allowing users that are part of one Space to be allowed to join rooms, it has been built upon in other creative ways. Such as in MSC3325, where it could be used to make room upgrades more seamless!

And finally, a special thanks to Lukas Lihotzki for all of their spec PRs this week. They're been stellar!

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Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse

Synapse is a popular homeserver written in Python.

callahad reported:

Big news! Synapse 1.40 is out and it comes with support for Room Version 8! Version 8 includes "restricted rooms" which are only visible and joinable by members of a specific Space (or via direct invitation). This finally makes it useful to use Spaces as containers for private rooms, like you might with a company, guild, or open source community. Once invited to the parent Space, members can join and discover the otherwise private rooms within. No more /invite spam every time you bring someone on board!

Also: If you've received any push notifications in Element Android or Element iOS this week, they've come via our shiny new stateless release of Sygnal! If you haven't received expected push notifications on those platforms this week... please alert us immediately. 😉

Lastly, Element is overjoyed to welcome David Robertson to the Synapse team. Welcome aboard, David!

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Kubernetes

Ananace reported:

And this week too keeps on going with the regular Kubernetes Helm Chart updates, this time bumping matrix-synapse to 1.40.0.

Dept of Bridges 🌉

Gitter

Eric Eastwood reported:

Exciting update this week on the MSC2716 front for backfilling historical messages into existing rooms! All of the big pieces are now merged for full-fat federated historical messages in Synapse 💪

MSC2716 was also consolidated and updated to propose the /batch_send implementation we're using in Synapse. There is also a plan for how this can be backwards compatible with existing room versions so no need for those pesky room upgrades. This will help us be able to jump in early and use this for Gitter as soon as the new event types become stable. Go jump in on MSC2716 to give feedback and read up on the details 😀

Dept of Clients 📱

Cinny v1.1.0

ajbura said:

It has been almost two weeks since we have launched Cinny and here is what we have done in these days:

Features

  • You can now decrypt message history by importing encryption keys.

  • We now support few commands along with emoji autofill and our unique go-to commands.

  • You can send messages with markdown. (This message is sent from Cinny)

  • It now supports replying messages and message deletion.

  • It now shows MXID on hover over display name.

  • You can now see who reacted on message by hovering over reaction.

  • Channels/rooms can be joined by alias.

Bugs

  • Fixed login issue on servers that don't support delegation.

  • Fixed login issue related to non-compliant localpart. (Thanks to phildenhoff)

  • Fixed invalid password issue. (Thanks to Troplo)

You can find more about Cinny at https://cinny.in

Join our channel at: #cinny:matrix.org Github: https://github.com/ajbura/cinny

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@cinnyapp

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Ement.el

alphapapa offered:

Ement.el, a Matrix client for Emacs, continues to improve. Some of the changes in the past week:

Additions

  • Messages may now be written in Org-mode syntax (a format similar to but more powerful than Markdown). Internally, it's automatically converted to HTML and sent as the message's formatted body. This supports nearly any HTML feature that Org-mode can export to, including rich text, bulleted and numbered lists, and even tables (this message is being written directly in Org syntax; see a table of new bindings at the end of this list).

  • An optional pop-out compose buffer makes writing and editing long messages easier (also being used for this message).

  • Read/fully-read marker lines are now displayed after the last read message, and these are synced with the server and other clients. These lines can also be placed with a command, making it easy to return to a certain event later, even on other clients.

  • Usernames at the beginning of messages may optionally be colored to match the addressee's username. This especially helps following conversations in busy rooms.

  • Ement.el is confirmed to work with Pantalaimon, the E2EE-aware reverse proxy, making encrypted rooms work transparently. Once Pantalaimon is installed and configured, connecting through it with Ement.el is trivial, and this step is documented in the readme.

Improvements

  • Per-user displayname and message colors have improved (and configurable) contrast ratio with the background color.

  • Reactions are sorted by the number of users who have sent each one.

  • Unread rooms are displayed more prominently in the room list.

  • New default bindings make it quick to jump to the mentions and notifications buffers.

  • Sync timeouts are handled more gracefully and Ement.el re-syncs automatically.

  • Various minor fixes and enhancements.

And here's the new-bindings table, written directly in Org syntax and sent automatically as HTML:

BindingCommand
S-SPCScroll up
M-SPCMove to last-read marker
C-kDelete message
M-g M-lSwitch to room list buffer
M-g M-mSwitch to mentions buffer
M-g M-nSwitch to notifications buffer

Come join us in #ement.el:matrix.org!

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Fractal

Alexandre Franke announced:

Fractal updates two weeks in a row? 😱

In our fractal-next branch, Julian tweaked the style of the ugly “this is an early development version, here be dragons” warning, while GSoC intern Kai did a couple maintenance tasks: he updated some documentation and fixed clippy warnings.

The stable branch also saw some activity, with new contributor 🎉 Amanda fixing two bugs (#392, #803) with a single merge request, sorting out our handling of <p> tag trimming.

Element Clients

With updates from the teams!

Delight team

  • The tool for migrating communities to spaces in Element Web has been completed
  • Lots of accessibility support for Spaces in Element Web
  • Preparing Element Web to take Spaces out of Labs
  • Pagination of the spaces summary now works for local rooms, we're continuing work on fetching data over federation.
  • On iOS, we’re working on exploring rooms and browsing users in a space

Web

  • v1.8.0-rc1 is available on https://staging.element.io/
  • Work on threads continues - we are narrowing down on a first prototype based on treating chained replies as threads
  • We’ve spiked support for Sentry which will give us more insights into how the app is working in the wild
  • Support for hot module reloading for React components, following last week’s work on CSS hot reloading
  • Improved the look and feel of image blur hashing by adding some animations

iOS

  • The release candidate 1.5.1 is available for testing on TestFlight. Voice messages are enabled by default
  • Towncrier is now enabled on all of our 3 repositories
  • Reaction count got a fix. Please rageshake if you see unexpected count
  • Notifications content has been fixed or improved
  • Element alpha is almost finished. This is a new app that we will use for internal testing. There will be a QR code on every PR like this one to install the build on a device. This device must be part of our ad-hoc device list
  • On the performance side, the incremental sync has been improved and merged on develop. Next is lazy loading room messages

Android

  • We made 2 releases this week: 1.1.16 to fix a regression that prevented sending messages in e2ee rooms and 1.2.0 with voice messages enabled by default
  • Voice messages have been improved before the release
  • We continued to update the call UI with call tiles in the timeline

Sailtrix

hengyedev said:

Sailtrix is a matrix client for SailfishOS.

Here's a summary of Sailtrix development this week:

  • Added notifications support

  • Changed the layout to use tabs

  • Added display of timestamps to messages

  • Display names are shown for direct messages.

  • Messages sent by the same user in succession are grouped

Join us in #sailtrix:matrix.org . GitLab: https://gitlab.com/HengYeDev/harbour-sailtrix

Download at OpenRepos: https://openrepos.net/content/hengyedev/sailtrix

Nheko

Nheko is a desktop client using Qt and C++17. It supports E2EE and intends to be full featured and nice to look at

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) reported:

You now get notified, if someone reuses a megolm session index, because that in theory could be used by an attacker to send seemingly verified messages. We also now render decryption errors more nicely and users can now explicitly request decryption keys (in addition to the automatic key requests in the background that already existed). We also fixed an issue, that could corrupt the database when using the flatpak and if you lost your network connection, Nheko should now reconnect faster instead of potentially waiting 17 minutes for a TCP timeout. The storage for cross-signing secrets should now be more reliable, you can close image popups with the "Escape" key, close the current room by double clicking it and a few more miscellaneous bugfixes.

You can track the remaining E2EE bits, before we declare our E2EE support as stable, in this comment now: https://github.com/Nheko-Reborn/nheko/issues/23#issuecomment-894689158

Dept of Bots 🤖

Hebbot

Felix reported:

I released Hebbot v2.0 (the matrix bot which generates the thisweek.gnome.org blog posts)

https://github.com/haecker-felix/hebbot/releases/tag/v2.0

It has learned how to handle images / videos, and can now insert them directly into the rendered markdown. Creating new posts has been significantly simplified and now makes even less work for the author. For example, Hebbot now automatically generates a command to quickly download all images/videos at once.

Maybe other communities are interested in creating a "This Week in X" blog as well👀?

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Maubot-Pocket

jaywink offered:

I find "read it later" services like Pocket extremely useful, but fail hard at actually keeping my read it later list at a sane level. For me it's hard to maintain the list and actually read through things as choosing which one to process feels overwhelming due to the amount of items.

Randomization to the rescue! I made a Pocket plugin for Maubot which gives me a random article from my list and allows me to easily archive it. Now I don't need to decide which article to pick, the computer does that for me!

Source code and info: https://github.com/jaywink/maubot-pocket

Ps. Maubot is truly awesome as a bot system, well documented and easy to develop on 😻

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Dept of Events and Talks 🗣️

Matrix @ Bornhack 2021 ⛺

carl reported:

Bornhack is a 7 day outdoor tent camp where hackers, makers and people with an interest in technology or security come together to celebrate technology, socialise, learn and have fun.

This year, Asbjørn and I are hosting a couple of events related to Matrix:

If you attend Bornhack, please come by and say hi! If you are thinking about attending, don't hesitate to reach out and ask us anything 🌵⛺

Final Thoughts 💭

Room of the week

timokoesters reported:

Hi everyone! Did you ever feel lost in the Matrix world? The room directory is big, but it's still hard to find something you like. Or are you a room moderator, but there is not much activity in your room because it doesn't have enough users?

This is why I want to share rooms (or spaces) I find interesting.


This week's room is: #gamedev:matrix.org

"game development"


If you want to suggest a room for this section, tell me in #roomoftheweek:fachschaften.org

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.

#ping:maunium.net

Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1envs.net452
2boba.best501
3trolla.us656
4mindlesstux.com947
5matrix.sp-codes.de1040
6cyberdi.sk1598
7shortestpath.dev1846
8ziroh.be1972.5
9catvibers.me2392
10casavant.org2617

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

Join #ping-no-synapse:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1dendrite.nordgedanken.dev402
2dendrite.s3cr3t.me1333.5
3dendrite01.fiksel.info1577
4weber.world4128

That's all I know 🏁

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