This Week in Matrix 2022-07-15

2022-07-15 — This Week in Matrix — Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

This week Matthew gives us a general update on everything Matrix and Element. What is going on with Sliding Sync, OpenID Connect or P2P Matrix? Let's find out!

We're also pleased to announce the next episode of Open Tech Will Save Us has been scheduled. We will be talking live and interacting with you on July 27, 16:00 UTC (18:00 CEST) on the subject of platforms with people from GNOME, KDE and Element.

Dept of Spec 📜

Andrew Morgan (anoa) reports

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:

Accepted MSCs:

  • No MSCs were accepted this week.

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

Spec Updates

The Spec Core Team took a concentrated effort to work through our priority backlog of MSCs, resulting in the decent amount of MSCs hitting FCP this week!

Thankfully the community has nearly matched this number by adding quite a few more MSCs into the fray. But we're still up by 1!

Perhaps one of the most exciting MSCs to move forwards is MSC2676: Message editing, which allows users to edit events (including messages) that they've previously sent. Part of the aggregations work, this functionality has been used extensively throughout the ecosystem. But only now is it making its way into the spec proper. I'm also personally excited about MSC2285: Private read receipts, which allows users to read a room's contents without advertising it.

Of course the above MSCs are still in Final Comment Period; a 5 day period where anyone can raise their concerns about an MSC before it is accepted. So if you have any last-minute comments, be sure to get them in now!

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC2666: Get rooms in common with another user!

Another MSC I'm personally excited about! This MSC provides an endpoint on the homeserver to request the rooms (or spaces) you have in common with another user. I would find this useful for incoming DMs from users I may or may not know. Note that the client may not already have this information if it is making use of lazy loading room members, so it needs a way to ask the server for this information.

Looks like the MSC is currently sitting in the Spec Core Team's review backlog. We'll get to it soon!

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

Synapse is a Matrix homeserver implementation developed by the matrix.org core team

Shay reports

The Synapse team has been hard at work! This week we published Synapse 1.63.0rc1. Among the notable features are support for MSC3827: filtering /publicRooms by room type, allowing for better discovery of Spaces. You can read more about that here. In addition, the release contains a number of bugfixes, updates to the documentation, and internal changes focused on reducing memory usage and increasing performance, as well as supporting the long-standing goal of faster room joins. More on these next week in the official release announcement!

Conduit (website)

Conduit is a simple, fast and reliable chat server powered by Matrix

Timo on Conduit ⚡️ says

Good news, as you might have noticed, conduit.rs is back online and better than ever! Matrix.org is so kind and donates this Linux server to me. I already host a discord appservice and handle 23k messages per day and, most importantly, now I'm at the top of both #ping rooms ;)

On the development side, I'm currently working on a big refactor, see https://gitlab.com/famedly/conduit/-/merge_requests/365 and please give feedback if you have experience this is your chance to have a lasting impact.

Dept of Clients 📱

LordMZTE ⚡️ reports

rofi is a application launcher and dmenu replacement. https://github.com/davatorium/rofi. I made a little plugin for it to switch channels on the nheko matrix client https://mzte.de/git/LordMZTE/rofi-nheko

Nheko (website)

Desktop client for Matrix using Qt and C++17.

Nico reports

You can now edit aliases in Nheko! This means you can publish your own aliases in the room directory as well as in the room. If an alias can't be used by people (because it isn't listed in the room directory), that alias is highlighted in red with an easy option to fix it (if you have permissions to do so). You can also easily switch the primary (canonical) alias of the room.

With this the feature set I wanted to have for the next release is complete. I wanted to focus on improving moderation and room management capabilities in Nheko and it does now have a very basic sets of capabilities to do so. I do already have plans to expand on them though!

So instead of working on new features, I will be focusing on bug fixes. For a start if someone has the username room, Nheko will now omit the reply fallback to prevent pinging the whole room. The verification window now also should always be big enough to show its contents and we now properly explain to users, why emojis might look different on different devices fixing an issue reported via Twitter... There is also a new icon for the room directory (it is now a building, very punny, huh?).

Neochat (website)

A client for matrix, the decentralized communication protocol

Tobias Fella says

  • Tobias has done some internal refactoring, which will allow us to create more automated tests and prepare for the eventual Qt6 migration
  • Nvrwhere has improved NeoChat's Timeline layout: On a wide window, the bubbles will now be centered in the window, in order to better use the space while not stretching the timeline out too far
  • He's also fixed several papercut issues around the UI, for example editing and replying using the keyboard shortcuts
  • The browser will now properly open when clicking on a link when using wayland
  • The first part of Snehit's GSoC project is almost ready to land: The room list is gaining a list of spaces, which can be used to filter for the rooms included in that space
  • We're also moving forward on the E2EE support, with NeoChat now allowing a user to send an encrypted message into a matrix room - provided libQuotient supports it 🙂
  • Tobias is also working on improved Reaction & Emoji pickers, which will allow users to select different variants like skin tones and which will behave better on mobile devices

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

kittykat says

Community testing

  • After some successful testing on current registration flows, we are running testing sessions on the new and improved registration flows over the next week.
  • Join us at #element-community-testing:matrix.org to give it a go!
  • We are also moving away from spreadsheets over to TestRail, a test case management tool which will help us track regressions and issues. We’ll be offering our community testers a change to try it out over the next few weeks.

Element Web/Desktop (website)

Secure and independent communication, connected via Matrix. Come talk with us in #element-web:matrix.org!

kittykat reports

  • Started experimenting with matrix-react-sdk for an improved crypto(graphy) experience
  • The share screen button in video rooms on desktop has been temporarily removed until the underlying issues can be resolved
  • We have removed most of unused code in the Element Web repositories and are working on setting up tools to avoid forgetting to remove unused code in the future
  • The new search experience and DM flow have received some bug fixes and polish in addition to more polish to CSS
  • For community contributors:
    • We have added a checklist for PRs
    • We are nearing completion on our first code style guide
    • We’ve been tackling our process around reviewing PRs to reduce review time, taking a two pronged approach at focusing on reviewing new PRs quickly and resolving our oldest non-draft PRs every week
    • Did you know that some of our issues in GitHub are labelled with “Help wanted” and “good first issue” if they’re especially suited for community contributions?
  • In the works (you can enable labs features in settings on develop.element.io or on Nightly):
    • Live location sharing has received some updates to permission handling and improvements to labels
    • The new user type screens which are part of registration have landed on develop.element.io and will be released around 2nd of August
    • Message pinning has also received a bug fix for edited messages

Element iOS (website)

Secure and independent communication for iOS, connected via Matrix. Come talk with us in #element-ios:matrix.org!

Doug reports

  • Version 1.8.22 RC was released to TestFlight and comes with the following changes:
    • In-app notifications are now available.
    • A shiny new offline indicator that's visible in more parts of the app.
    • A handful of fixes for issues when making calls.
  • Unfortunately this build was rejected following the latest requirements for account deletion in the App Store Review Guidelines. We’re looking into ways we can resolve this problem.
  • We have started to use Sentry to provide more insights into technical issues encountered whilst using the app.
  • Work continues on implementing the new app layout.

Element Android (website)

Secure and independent communication for Android, connected via Matrix. Come talk with us in #element-android:matrix.org!

adam says

1.4.28 is being prepared with the following changes:

  • Makes the build process compatible with F-Droid again!
  • Fixes for voice messages not playing and some characters showing in their escaped html form - such as quotes showing as "
  • Nightly builds are on the way, these builds will be under a separate Application ID allowing them to be installed alongside the production Element app. Expect more information to come soon.
  • We’re investigating general performance regressions across the app, with some improvements already in the pipeline.

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Populus Viewer (website)

A Social Annotation Tool Powered by Matrix

gleachkr announces

In the last two weeks or so, we've made some UX improvements:

  • unified SSO and ordinary login cards
  • unified media and regular file-uploads, and improved drag-and-drop support
  • improved feedback while validating login and registration input

We also added one feature that friends of mine were requesting 😃: annotations can now be equipped with a "motivation" (part of the w3c web annotation data model, mentioned in MSC3574), and filtered by motivation. This makes it easy to, for example, mark some discussions as "questions" about the text, which is pretty useful when managing a class.

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

ruby-matrix-sdk (website)

Ruby SDK for the Matrix communication protocol

Ananace says

And I've now finally managed to cut a long-overdue new 2.6.0 release of the Ruby SDK, which includes better support for concurrent multi-threaded usage as well as improvements on Ruby 3.0+. (The tests are currently green for Ruby 2.6 to 3.1)

matrix-rust-sdk (website)

Matrix Client-Server SDK for Rust

ben reports

The team is proud to announce the first release of @matrix-org/matrix-sdk-crypto-nodejs to npmjs.com (0.1.0-beta.1) for all the best npm user friendliness you can get. This marks the first release of the crypto ffi for nodejs from the rust team supreseeding the previously existing project. It is also the very first release for nodejs featuring the great new vodozemac core (replacement of libolm). We've marked this as a beta release while we work out any remaining minor hickups or problems, so if you see something, say something! However, the main point of contact to it for most people is probably TravisR |s Nodejs Bot SDK, which is already consuming that beta in its latest release.

👉️ Wanna hack on matrix rust? Go check out our help wanted tagged issues and join our matrix channel at #matrix-rust-sdk:matrix.org.

matrix-bot-sdk (website)

A TypeScript/JavaScript SDK for Matrix bots

TravisR reports

matrix-bot-sdk v0.6.0

After a year of working on different ways to support encryption, the bot-sdk has finally stabilized on the rust-sdk crypto crate for crypto bindings internally. Tutorials on how to get your bot/appservice set up and working with the new crypto code are here (note that for appservices you'll need to turn on EDUs and MSC3202 in Synapse). If you run into problems, please report bugs or pop by #matrix-bot-sdk:t2bot.io on Matrix for help.

Alongside support for encryption, v0.6.0 brings a whole lot of other functionality for appservices, Synapse Admin API users, and bots wanting to make use of real DMs. Check out the full changelog here.

Dept of Ops 🛠

axon.sh (website)

joe announces

axon.sh v0.17.0 has been released which adds support for managing per-user ratelimits, and includes a fix for a bug related to server discovery. Please try it out and report your experience in #axon:matrix.thisisjoes.site, I'd appreciate feedback!

Dept of Bots 🤖

Matrix Release Tracker (website)

A release tracker that posts updates into Matrix rooms

Ananace says

A whole heaping of work has landed for my release tracker project, with it now supporting tracking releases for projects (loose projects, all users stars, or all projects under a namespace) on both GitHub and GitLab (for .com as well as self-hosted instances). Documentation is currently still a bit lacking, but hoping to have more information both on setting it up as well as using it Soon™.

Dept of Events and Talks 🗣️

ACCU Talk

andybalaam announces

my conference talk at ACCU this year is now out on YouTube: Matrix is a Distributed Real-time Database. I explain what Matrix is, and show how to use curl to send and receive messages, and why it's "interesting" to write a server, and, as the title hints, I introduce the idea that Matrix can be for a lot more than messaging.

Matrix Summit Conference Berlin

/dev/saces announces

Reminder: Matrix Summit Conference Berlin call for participation ends next week

As announced earlier, there will be a conference all about matrix. (See TWIM 2022-07-01)

We encourage everyone with matrix-related projects, products and ideas to come around and give a talk: From the past to the future, from the moment of the idea, the story of the creation or the vision of the future. We’d like to understand the principles as well as the technology. The conference is from people for people, so if you’d like to talk about yourself, your community, your organization, please do. Showcase yourself and your relation to the Matrix world. Let's get to know each other! We aim to compile a versatile program. We are open to contributions of any length, from 5 minutes (lightning talks) to presentations and talks to workshops and hacksessions up to 5 hours. We’ll come together to discover, celebrate and enjoy the world of matrix. Also, if you have any arty, cultural or playful contribution in mind, please offer it.

➡️ Proposals for the Matrix Summit in Berlin can be submitted until next Friday (2022-07-22 22:22, TZ=Europe/Berlin) via pretalx. 📝

Related spaces and rooms 💬: #matrix-summit-berlin-2022 #matrix-summit-2022-orga

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
1maunium.net263
2matrix.org265
3neko.dev280
4conduit.rs336
5nognu.de422.5
6babel.sh596
7alemann.dev678
8pikaviestin.fi739.5
9shortestpath.dev765
10matrix.nicfab.it897

#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
1babel.sh192.5
2conduit.rs198
3maunium.net207
4matrix.sum7.eu234.5
5rustybever.be234.5
6sspaeth.de262
7neko.dev299
8dendrite.matrix.org331.5
9joeth.uk352
10babel1.eu378.5

That's all I know 🏁

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