This Week in Matrix 2022-08-19

2022-08-19 — This Week in Matrix — Brendan Abolivier

Hey folks, welcome to a new edition of This Week In Matrix! Thib is offline this week and next so I'll be taking over while he's away.

Matrix Live 🎙

This week Thib (is he ever really away?) shows us how to host Synapse with Docker Compose.

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌡️

Matthew shared with us the Matrix Summer Special 2022! Come read all about what's happened in Matrix-land so far this year, and what's coming up next, right here: https://matrix.org/blog/2022/08/15/the-matrix-summer-special-2022

Dept of Spec 📜

Andrew Morgan (anoa) announces

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:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

Closed MSCs:

Spec Updates

This week the Spec Core Team focused on improvements to the spec source itself. richvdh opened a PR for edit events, and yours truly did a small PR to clarify the required state of the response to /_matrix/client/v3/login/.

There's a lot more open issues available for people to tackle however, so feel free to get involved and help out if you have some spare time!

Finally other than the usual rounds of review by the team, I've been working on a spec process document that aims to explain the practical portions of the text found at https://spec.matrix.org/proposals/, but in a easily scannable manner. Look out for a PR with that in the near future.

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC2871: Give widgets an indication of which capabilities they were approved for! What a mouthful!

Historically, widgets have laid outside of the spec and have only been implemented in a small subset of clients - mainly Element. As of recent weeks though, there's now a team at Element backing the feature. So exciting times ahead!

Regardless, let's highlight this MSC! It solves a crucial problem with a simple solution. Widgets can ask the client they're embedded in to do certain things (if granted certain capabilities), and the client, potentially after asking the user for permission, can allow or deny those actions. This MSC adds the machinery for a further step: the client will tell the widget what capabilities they requested were allowed, and which were denied.

I believe this spec is non-contentious, but is blocked on widgets entering the spec as a whole. Regardless, if this particular piece of the puzzle interests you, or you'd like to read all about widgets in general, the see either the MSC above or this widget spec tracking PR: https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix.org/pull/825.

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

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

Shay announces

It's the last days of summer here and we are toiling away at making Synapse faster and leaner! In addition to continued work on faster joins, we released Synapse v1.65.0, with new features such as support for stable prefixes for private read receipts and a new module API method for creating a room (plus some other features!), as well as a host of bugfixes and internal changes to make Synapse faster and more stable. Make sure to check it out!

Dendrite (website)

Second generation Matrix homeserver

neilalexander announces

This week we released Dendrite 0.9.4, containing primarily bug fixes:

  • A bug in the roomserver around handling rejected outliers has been fixed
  • Backfilled events will now use the correct history visibility where possible
  • The device list updater backoff has been fixed, which should reduce the number of outbound HTTP requests and Failed to query device keys for some users log entries for dead servers
  • The /sync endpoint will no longer incorrectly return room entries for retired invites which could cause some rooms to show up in the client "Historical" section
  • The /createRoom endpoint will now correctly populate is_direct in invite membership events, which may help clients to classify direct messages correctly
  • The create-account tool will now log an error if the shared secret is not set in the Dendrite config
  • A couple of minor bugs have been fixed in the membership lazy-loading
  • Queued EDUs in the federation API are now cached properly

As always, please feel free to join us in #dendrite:matrix.org for more Dendrite-related discussion.

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Helm Chart (website)

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace says

This week has seen a quite a few Helm Chart updates; element-web got updated to 1.11.3, matrix-media-repo got a Redis usage fix, and matrix-synapse got updated to 1.65.0

Dept of Clients 📱

Nheko (website)

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

Nico reports

Nheko now has some very dirty hack to render spoilers on desktop platforms. This does not show the reason and not work in mobile mode, doesn't hide it from notifications or from the sidebar. But it is at least something. Similarly we tightened what tags we allow when validating the incoming html again. Also, as a small fix, DMs should now also properly start with encryption enabled when started from a profile and there were a few crash fixes when searching for direct chat partners and closing the window too quickly or when a user uploads a device with invalid keys.

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

Danielle announces

  • Bug fixes and final polishing has been taking place for our “Start DM on first message” project. This is where the user receiving a new room invite as a DM will not get the notification until you’ve sent a message.
  • The team is testing embedding Element Call in Element Web, as well as working on other improvements to Video rooms.
  • The new user’s checklist is live in product. It’s our first version so let us know what you think!

In labs (you can enable labs features in settings on develop.element.io or on Nightly):

  • Notifications improvements to Threads are underway. The team has been testing the new MSC and related Proof of Concept (POC) which we think will solve most of the issues with Threads right now.

Element iOS (website)

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

Ștefan announces

  • We did the AppStore review dance and version 1.8.27 is now available. We even got better usage strings out of it.
  • We now have UI integration and performance tests in ElementX. Even more, they’re joined by some really nice Screenshot UI tests. Test all the things!
  • We’ve fixed some small bugs and some not so small ones, coming to an Element close to you early next week. The way things are laid out, you might even see a new feature land 😉
  • The new app layout testing session went well and we are looking for more iOS testers for future sessions. If you’d like to help out in future sessions, please join #element-community-testing:matrix.org

Element Android (website)

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

Danielle says

  • We had a very successful testing session with the all new app layout. If you’d like to take part in a future session, join us over at #element-community-testing:matrix.org
  • This week we’ve been working on fixing some FTUE crashes and covering some edge cases. Thanks to the community members submitting bugs and more info - keep it coming!
  • We’re investigating reports of missing messages, as well as a bug with the Threads beta where not all 'threaded messages' are showing up in the right place…

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Trixnity (website)

Multiplatform Kotlin SDK for Matrix

Benedict reports

Trixnity got some minor updates with bugfixes and iOS ARM64 Simulator support.

ruby-matrix-sdk (website)

Ruby SDK for the Matrix communication protocol

Ananace reports

Just pushed another version (2.8.0) of the Ruby Matrix SDK, which drops support for the EoL Ruby 2.6 (and drops a bunch of workarounds for it) in order to support much improved caching of room state data, along with more helper methods and a fix for a floating accessor that didn't get hooked up correctly.

matrix-rust-sdk (website)

Matrix Client-Server SDK for Rust

ben says

The Matrix Rust SDK team has been busy this week, too. Progress has been made on Siding Sync in particular, the types have been finalised and merged into mainline ruma, and more API has been made accessible via FFI. The new reactive Timeline API has been progressed, it, too, has some FFI definitions now, allowing mobile client to start playing with it. Crypto-JS, too, has progressed, adding support for de/encrypting attachments in an memory efficient fashion. On the crypto-side, the longer on-going refactor and improvements have yielded another few PRs, too, that have successfully merged, while others are still pending reviews. Other than that, we've seen quite a few smaller fixes and improvements, around logging, docs and the examples.

👉️ Wanna hack on matrix rust? Go check out our help wanted tagged issues and join our matrix channel at Matrix Rust SDK.

Matrix Dart SDK (website)

Matrix SDK written in pure Dart.

Nico announces

This week in the dart SDK we mostly fixed bugs. Many of those are related to call negotiations where streams were closed in the wrong order, not closed at all or in group calls the call never learned about new members or the call_ids would not match. There were also a few fixes to the background thumbnailing support added in 0.11.1, helper methods were added to easily send the right message corresponding to the mimetype of some media and fetching a timeline for some event id should work properly again.

We have some support to mark a room as either a dm or a group using slashcommands now, you have more flexibility when implementing the SSSS Bootstrap now (using the extra Bootstrap parameter in onUpdate() and to round it all off, we now have nice coverage numbers as well as coverage display on merge request diffs.

For more info, check the release notes for 0.11.2, 0.12.0, 0.12.1 and 0.12.2: https://pub.dev/packages/matrix/changelog ;-)

Dept of Events and Talks 🗣️

ChristianP says

Six days until Matrix Community Summit Berlin 2022

In less than a week the Matrix Community Summit Berlin is taking place at c-base. Join us early on Thursday (25th August) for a Barcamp where we will brainstorm, draft and prototype new ideas. The main conference days are Friday and Saturday (26th and 27th August). We have a schedule all about Matrix hosting, clients and development. With three simultaneous tracks there sure is something for you to listen to. It's also the perfect place to get to know other community members. Look forward to talks, workshops, a signing party, a Matrix P2P live test, dinner and barbecue!

We're not planing to stream or record the event. Our focus lies on providing a great in-person activities. If attendees want to blog or toot/tweet about it, please use the hashtag #MatrixCommunitySummit. Also, German-speaking folks can look forward to more coverage from the event on my podcast. https://chrpaul.de/podcast/

Because we've heard about some confusion: The event is NOT organised by the Matrix Foundation. To minimize the misconception, we've renamed it to the Matrix Community Summit Berlin. This is an event initiated by Yan, jaller94 and other Matrix enthusiasts. We also organise the Matrix Meetup Berlin.

Matrix Space: #matrix-summit-berlin-2022:c-base.org

Schedule: https://cfp.summit2022.matrixmeetup.de/matrix-summit-conference-2022/schedule/

cel says

One week until DWeb Camp

Next week (August 24-28), people will meet outdoors in California to learn and share about decentralized web technologies.

Some attendees and organizers are using Matrix internally for camp chat.

Public chat: https://matrix.to/#/#decentralizedweb-general:matrix.org

Site: https://dwebcamp.org/

Schedule (in progress): https://dwebcamp2022.sched.com

More info: https://gitlab.com/getdweb/dweb-camp-2022/#dweb-camp-2022

Previously announced: https://matrix.org/blog/2022/04/14/this-week-in-matrix-2022-04-14#dweb-camp

Room of the Week 📆

ssorbom ⚡️ announces

Have you ever felt lost in the Matrix world? Too many rooms and spaces to manage? Well, back by popular demand (with Timo's blessing), I present, The Room of the Week! Every week we strive to highlight a room or a space that we believe deserves attention for discussing interesting going on across the Matrix Network.

Last week, we were serving coffee, this week, it's tea! Specifically, tea at

#tea:matrix.org

Do you prefer sheng or shu puerh? Maybe bit more into lapsang, liuan or perhaps cliff oolongs? Greens or whites? Sencha? Having mood to discuss impact of varios clays and pot shapes? Is it better warm up water in bofura, tetsubin or electric kettle? Simply everything about the tea.

Come join us while the kettle is whistling.

If you have a room you wish to see highlighted, join us at: https://matrix.to/#/!bIyiUUnriVoHtYzuPS:fachschaften.org?via=chat.shawnsorbom.net&via=matrix.org&via=fachschaften.org To get your favorite room of the week highlighted.

Dept of Ping 🏓

No ping stats while Thib is away, but you can always join the fun at #ping:maunium.net and #ping-no-synapse:maunium.net!

That's all I know 🏁

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