Synapse 0.25 is out… as is Matrix Specification 0.3(!!!)

Hi all,

Today is a crazy release day here – not only do we have Synapse 0.25, but we’ve also made a formal release of the Matrix Specification (CS API) for the first time in 16 months!

Matrix CS API 0.3

Talking first about the spec update: the workflow of the Matrix spec is that new experimental features get added to an /unstable API prefix, and then whenever we release the Matrix spec, these get moved over to being part of the /r0 prefix (or whatever version we happen to be on).  We’ve been very constrained on manpower to work on the spec over the last ~18 months, but we’ve been keeping it up-to-date on a best effort basis, with a bit of help from the wider community.   As such, this latest release does not contain all the latest APIs (and certainly not experimental ones like Groups/Communities which are still evolving), but it does release all of the unstable ones which we’ve managed to document and which are considered stable enough to become part of the ‘r0’ prefix.  Going forwards, we’re hoping that the wider community will help us fill in the remaining gaps (i.e. propose PRs against the matrix-org/matrix-doc repository to formalise the various spec drafts flying around the place) – and we’re also hoping (if/when funding crisis is abated) to locate full-time folk to work on the spec.

The full changelog for 0.3 of the spec is:

  • Breaking changes:
    • Change the rule kind of .m.rule.contains_display_name from underride to override. This works with all known clients which support push rules, but any other clients implementing the push rules API should be aware of this change. This makes it simple to mute rooms correctly in the API (#373).
    • Remove /tokenrefresh from the API (#395).
    • Remove requirement that tokens used in token-based login be macaroons (#395).
  • Changes to the API which will be backwards-compatible for clients:
    • Add filename parameter to POST /_matrix/media/r0/upload (#364).
    • Document CAS-based client login and the use of m.login.token in /login (#367).
    • Make origin_server_ts a mandatory field of room events (#379).
    • Add top-level account_data key to the responses to GET /sync and GET /initialSync (#380).
    • Add is_direct flag to POST /createRoom and invite member event. Add ‘Direct Messaging’ module (#389).
    • Add contains_url option to RoomEventFilter (#390).
    • Add filter optional query param to /messages (#390).
    • Add ‘Send-to-Device messaging’ module (#386).
    • Add ‘Device management’ module (#402).
    • Require that User-Interactive auth fallback pages call window.postMessage to notify apps of completion (#398).
    • Add pagination and filter support to /publicRooms. Change response to omit fields rather than return null. Add estimate of total number of rooms in list. (#388).
    • Allow guest accounts to use a number of endpoints which are required for end-to-end encryption. (#751).
    • Add key distribution APIs, for use with end-to-end encryption. (#894).
    • Add m.room.pinned_events state event for rooms. (#1007).
    • Add mention of ability to send Access Token via an Authorization Header.
    • New endpoints:
      • GET /joined_rooms (#999).
      • GET /rooms/{roomId}/joined_members (#999).
      • GET /account/whoami (#1063).
      • GET /media/{version}/preview_url (#1064).
  • Spec clarifications:
    • Add endpoints and logic for invites and third-party invites to the federation spec and update the JSON of the request sent by the identity server upon 3PID binding (#997)
    • Fix “membership” property on third-party invite upgrade example (#995)
    • Fix response format and 404 example for room alias lookup (#960)
    • Fix examples of m.room.member event and room state change, and added a clarification on the membership event sent upon profile update (#950).
    • Spell out the way that state is handled by POST /createRoom (#362).
    • Clarify the fields which are applicable to different types of push rule (#365).
    • A number of clarifications to authentication (#371).
    • Correct references to user_id which should have been sender (#376).
    • Correct inconsistent specification of redacted_because fields and their values (#378).
    • Mark required fields in response objects as such (#394).
    • Make m.notice description a bit harder in its phrasing to try to dissuade the same issues that occurred with IRC (#750).
    • GET /user/{userId}/filter/{filterId} requires authentication (#1003).
    • Add some clarifying notes on the behaviour of rooms with no m.room.power_levels event (#1026).
    • Clarify the relationship between username and user_id in the /register API (#1032).
    • Clarify rate limiting and security for content repository. (#1064).

…and you can read the spec itself of course over at https://matrix.org/docs/spec.  It’s worth noting that we have slightly bent the rules by including three very minor ‘breaking changes’ in 0.3, but all for features which to our knowledge nobody is depending on in the wild.  Technically this should mean bumping the major version prefix (i.e. moving to r1), but given how minor and nonimpacting these are we’re turning a blind eye this time.

Meanwhile, Synapse 0.25 is out!

This is a medium-sized release; the main thing being to support configurable room visibility within groups (so that whenever you add a room to a group, you’re not forced into sharing their existence with the general public, but can choose to just tell group members about them).  There’s also a bunch of useful bug fixes and some performance improvements, including lots of contributions from the community this release (thank you!).  Full release notes are:

Changes in synapse v0.25.0 (2017-11-15)

Bug fixes:

  • Fix port script (PR #2673)
Changes in synapse v0.25.0-rc1 (2017-11-14)

Features:

Changes:

  • Ignore tags when generating URL preview descriptions (PR #2576)
    Thanks to @maximevaillancourt!
  • Register some /unstable endpoints in /r0 as well (PR #2579) Thanks to
    @krombel!
  • Support /keys/upload on /r0 as well as /unstable (PR #2585)
  • Front-end proxy: pass through auth header (PR #2586)
  • Allow ASes to deactivate their own users (PR #2589)
  • Remove refresh tokens (PR #2613)
  • Automatically set default displayname on register (PR #2617)
  • Log login requests (PR #2618)
  • Always return is_public in the /groups/:group_id/rooms API (PR #2630)
  • Avoid no-op media deletes (PR #2637) Thanks to @spantaleev!
  • Fix various embarrassing typos around user_directory and add some doc. (PR
    #2643)
  • Return whether a user is an admin within a group (PR #2647)
  • Namespace visibility options for groups (PR #2657)
  • Downcase UserIDs on registration (PR #2662)
  • Cache failures when fetching URL previews (PR #2669)

Bug fixes:

  • Fix port script (PR #2577)
  • Fix error when running synapse with no logfile (PR #2581)
  • Fix UI auth when deleting devices (PR #2591)
  • Fix typo when checking if user is invited to group (PR #2599)
  • Fix the port script to drop NUL values in all tables (PR #2611)
  • Fix appservices being backlogged and not receiving new events due to a bug in
    notify_interested_services (PR #2631) Thanks to @xyzz!
  • Fix updating rooms avatar/display name when modified by admin (PR #2636)
    Thanks to @farialima!
  • Fix bug in state group storage (PR #2649)
  • Fix 500 on invalid utf-8 in request (PR #2663)

Finally…

If you haven’t noticed already, Riot/Web 0.13 is out today, as is Riot/iOS 0.6.2 and Riot/Android 0.7.4.  These contain massive improvements across the board – particularly mainstream Communities support at last on Riot/Web; CallKit/PushKit on Riot/iOS thanks to Denis Morozov (GSoC 2017 student for Matrix) and Share Extension on iOS thanks to Aram Sargsyan (also GSoC 2017 student!); and End-to-end Key Sharing on Riot/Android and a full rewrite of the VoIP calling subsystem on Android.

Rather than going on about it here, though, there’s a full write-up over on the Riot Blog.

 

And so there you go – new releases for eeeeeeeeveryone!  Enjoy! :)

–Matthew, Amandine & the team.

Synapse 0.24 is here!

Hi folks,

Synapse 0.24 is out (currently at 0.24.1)! This is a pretty big release as it includes initial support for Groups, also known as Communities (UI for which is landing currently on Riot/Web and later Riot/Mobile). Groups let you associate together a set of users and rooms, letting you define a community – e.g. +matrix:matrix.org is the community of the core Matrix project itself (whose users are the core Matrix.org team, and whose public rooms are the rooms we officially manage/moderate as Matrix.org).  We’ll yell more about Groups once the UI is ready for action in the near future, but the good news is that Synapse should be ready to go (although the API is still fairly experimental and very much evolving).

Other stuff worth calling out in this release includes: massive performance improvements on receiving federation traffic (we now process federation traffic for different rooms in parallel); fixing a major cause of performance issues (caused when processing spurious events for rooms you’ve actually left); modularising and improving the the spamchecker; @room notification support; backup media repository support; and finally the ability to autojoin new users to a set of rooms on the server!

You can get the latest release from Github as usual; have fun – and thanks for flying Matrix :)

Changes in synapse v0.24.1 (2017-10-24)

Bug fixes:

  • Fix updating group profiles over federation (PR #2567)

Changes in synapse v0.24.0 (2017-10-23)

No changes since v0.24.0-rc1

Changes in synapse v0.24.0-rc1 (2017-10-19)

Features:

Changes:

  • Make the spam checker a module (PR #2474)
  • Delete expired url cache data (PR #2478)
  • Ignore incoming events for rooms that we have left (PR #2490)
  • Allow spam checker to reject invites too (PR #2492)
  • Add room creation checks to spam checker (PR #2495)
  • Spam checking: add the invitee to user_may_invite (PR #2502)
  • Process events from federation for different rooms in parallel (PR #2520)
  • Allow error strings from spam checker (PR #2531)
  • Improve error handling for missing files in config (PR #2551)

Bug fixes:

  • Fix handling SERVFAILs when doing AAAA lookups for federation (PR #2477)
  • Fix incompatibility with newer versions of ujson (PR #2483) Thanks to
    @jeremycline!
  • Fix notification keywords that start/end with non-word chars (PR #2500)
  • Fix stack overflow and logcontexts from linearizer (PR #2532)
  • Fix 500 error when fields missing from power_levels event (PR #2552)
  • Fix 500 error when we get an error handling a PDU (PR #2553)

Announcing Matrix meetup in Berlin – Thursday October 19th!!

Hi folks,

On October 19th (next Thursday, as of the time of writing) we’re going to be back in Berlin for various meetings – and we’re incredibly excited that BlueYard have offered to host the world’s first ever official Matrix and Decentralised Communications Meetup at their offices in Kreuzberg!  Matthew, Amandine and maybe others will be attending and speaking from the core team, and giving a VIP tour of the long-long-long-awaited Groups/Communities features in Matrix and Riot as well as some of the other good stuff in the pipeline – and we’re also excited to have Exul joining us from the community to talk about his recent Matrix<->Rocket.Chat bridging adventures.  We’re also expecting some exciting folks to join us from the Ethereum community to talk about decentralised realtime comms in their ecosystem – plus if anyone wants to talk about other Matrix/XMPP/Tox/Briar/Richochet or similar projects please ping us and let us know asap!

Update: we’re excited to announce that Jack Fransham from Polkadot (who are very active Riot/Matrix users – and just raised >$130M in their token generation event yesterday) will also be joining us to tell us all about how Polkadot bridges together different blockchains!. (The original speaker was Marek Kotewicz, but availability didn’t work out).

Update 2: and our final speaker is confirmed as Maximilian Möhring, CEO of Keyp, who’s going to talk about their self-sovereign decentralised identity system.

Update 3: …and we have a last minute addition for a lightning talk from Secushare (Psyc + GNUnet, fully decentralised p2p encrypted comms)!!

Space is limited to 70 attendees, so please register on Eventbrite asap if you’d like to come!

As a taster: the official video of our massive talk from the ETHLDN meetup a few weeks ago was just released (see below).  The meetup in Berlin will have different content and be more free-form, letting folks ask their own questions and steer the conversation and discussion as you see fit: so please come hang out in person, grab pizza and beer courtesy of BlueYard, and find the answers to all the deepest Matrix questions you never knew you even had…!

See you next week! :D

Synapse 0.23 is out!

We’ve just released Synapse 0.23 – which contains a bunch of significant performance improvements, bug and stability fixes – as well as a few new features: basic spam checking (the ability to configure your homeserver to reject events which match arbitrary rules, both from users and other servers) – and long-awaited support for privacy-preserving (‘event_id_only’) push notifications.  This means that apps can choose to register themselves to receive push notifications which do *not* contain any information about the actual push, but instead act as a simple “wake up!” event, which triggers the app to then sync via the client-server API in order to display the actual push notification details.  This is particularly useful for push notifications for E2E encrypted rooms, as it means the client has a chance of decrypting the message in order to display the push notification details in the UI (if the user wants that).  matrix-ios-sdk and matrix-android-sdk are in the process of being moved over to use the new ‘event_id_only’ push format.

Long-awaited Communities/Groups will land in Synapse 0.24, which should come quite soon (we’re almost ready to merge it to develop, but it’s a major update so we wanted to get 0.23 out the door first).

As always, you can get your latest Synapse from https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse or a OS repository of your choice (we’ve just released the official Debian packages).

Full details of Synapse 0.23:

Features:

  • Add a frontend proxy worker (PR #2344)
  • Add support for event_id_only push format (PR #2450)
  • Add a PoC for filtering spammy events (PR #2456)
  • Add a config option to block all room invites (PR #2457)

Changes:

  • Use bcrypt module instead of py-bcrypt (PR #2288) Thanks to @kyrias!
  • Improve performance of generating push notifications (PR #2343#2357#2365,
    #2366#2371)
  • Improve DB performance for device list handling in sync (PR #2362)
  • Include a sample prometheus config (PR #2416)
  • Document known to work postgres version (PR #2433) Thanks to @ptman!

Bug fixes:

  • Fix caching error in the push evaluator (PR #2332)
  • Fix bug where pusherpool didn’t start and broke some rooms (PR #2342)
  • Fix port script for user directory tables (PR #2375)
  • Fix device lists notifications when user rejoins a room (PR #2443#2449)
  • Fix sync to always send down current state events in timeline (PR #2451)
  • Fix bug where guest users were incorrectly kicked (PR #2453)
  • Fix bug talking to IPv6 only servers using SRV records (PR #2462)
  • Fix regression in performance of syncs (PR #2470)

Matrix “Live”!

Occasionally folks ask why we don’t update the blog more often – we’re infamous in only doing big formal updates once every 3 months, unless there’s something very specific to yell about.  However, it’s possible that some readers don’t realise that we have been publishing a weekly status update blog since July – albeit a video blog: Matrix Live!  The episodes are published on YouTube (for now, although in future we’re going to use Matrix to distribute them), and are first made available to Quadratic ($5+) Patreon supporters.  After a week we make them public to everyone though and add them to the YouTube Playlist.  The videos also have very brief bullet-point summaries of the contents in the description for those who don’t have time to watch and just want to skim for interesting stuff.

We appreciate that video blogs are unusual for a FOSS project relative to written blogs – but we’ve chosen to go down this path because counterintuitively it takes much less time to just speak about what’s going on than write it down; for whatever reason my blogposts always seem to take hours to write as I get sucked into the details and try to be as comprehensive and accurate as possible.  Whereas just chatting about it with Amandine is much easier, and given that we do it anyway; why not film it for everyone’s benefit?  We always film the show in one continuous take (hence the “live”), so it’s literally only eating 10-15 mins out of our week.

Eitherway, just wanted to remind anyone who reads this blog that the video blog exists, and to gently encourage folks to donate at Patreon or Liberapay if they want to get access to the videos on the day they air, rather than having to wait for a week!  Finally, we’d suggest that folks subscribe to the playlist itself on YouTube even if they don’t donate, so they can be reminded about new eps.

So, without further ado, here’s an alarming montage of Matthew & Amandine geeking about Matrix, in case you’ve missed the show so far!