Category – Spec
6 posts tagged with "Spec" (See all categories)

Matrix v1.4 release

2022-09-29 — Releases, Spec — Travis Ralston

Hey all,

It’s finally here: threads, edits, and private read receipts. v1.4 has been a little later than usual in the quarter because we wanted to make sure we nailed down all the core MSCs for threads before publishing the spec itself, but we’ve done that now and we’re excited about it.

Matrix 1.3 was just over 3 months ago, though with the relatively large features there and the colossal implementation effort of v1.4 we’re not expecting everyone to have implementations on day 1. Instead, as with all spec releases, we encourage implementations to gradually update over the next few months. We’re additionally planning to make v1.5 (Q4 2022) more of a maintenance update to help make the backlog a bit easier on everyone, though we might prioritize a couple cool features in there too :)

Matrix 1.4 sees 14 MSCs get merged, but we can’t possibly go into detail on them all here. We’ve instead focused on the 3 major features we’re excited about - check out the changelog at the end for the full picture.

🧵 Threads

Threads, a critical feature in terms of parity with other chat systems, have landed thanks to a whopping 6 MSCs: MSC3440, MSC3816, MSC3856, MSC3715, MSC3771, and MSC3773. It’s been a lot of iteration on the reference implementations to get threads this far, and we’re excited to see how the client implementations evolve to provide more structured and less noisy communication for everyone - keep us updated with TWIM posts, please!

Threads have involved changes to event relationships (which were fixed in v1.3), read receipts, and notification counts, resulting in several different models and ways of solving the problem. We think we’ve reached a point that works for conversational threads, though there’s work on the horizon for threads-only rooms, Twitter-style free-form threads, etc to cover more needs of users.

Currently, the demonstration implementation of threads in Synapse and Element is working its way out of the proof-of-concept and beta stages (which were sufficient to validate the MSCs) and are on their way to exiting beta. Keep an eye on the respective blogs for news about production-ready threads!

📝 Edits

Similar to reactions, err, aggregations, MSC2676 and its predecessors have been around for a long while. Edits have existed in the Element clients seemingly forever, and other clients have had troubles trying to implement the same feature: with it now in the spec, it should be a lot easier to bring edits into clients.

For edits, we’ve taken the route of making the MSC match reality, for better or worse. MSCs which improve or add functionality to the system are very much welcome - writing an MSC is relatively easy and helps the whole community.

👥 Private read receipts

Not everyone wants to broadcast that they’ve read a message, but also with read receipts tied into notifications those same people also probably don’t want stuck notifications. To address the problem, we’ve added a new receipt type which behaves exactly like, but is only visible to you.

We still have a rework of the notifications system in our long-term plan, but this should hopefully cover the privacy concerns for the time being :)

The full changelog

MSCs are how the spec changes in the way it does - adding, fixing, and maintaining features for the whole ecosystem to use. The blog post can’t cover them all, but that doesn’t make them any less important! Check out the full changelog below, and the Spec Change Proposals page for more information on how these MSCs got merged (hint: they submitted a proposal, which anyone can do - take a look at the Matrix Live episode where Matthew covers the proposal process).

Client-Server API

Removed Endpoints
  • Remove unused policy room sharing mechanism, as per MSC3844. (#1196)
Backwards Compatible Changes
  • Add a push rule to match events, as per MSC3786. (#1190, #1201)
  • Add Cross-Origin-Resource-Policy (CORP) headers to media repository, as per MSC3828. (#1197)
  • Copy a room's type when upgrading it, as per MSC3818. (#1198)
  • Add room_types filter and room_type response to /publicRooms, as per MSC3827. (#1199)
  • Add m.replace relations (event edits), as per MSC2676. (#1211)
  • Add receipts, as per MSC2285. (#1216)
  • Make m.fully_read optional on /read_markers, as per MSC2285. (#1216)
  • Allow m.fully_read markers to be set from /receipts, as per MSC2285. (#1216)
  • Add threading via m.thread relations, as per MSC3440, MSC3816, MSC3856, and MSC3715. (#1254)
  • Add per-thread notifications and read receipts, as per MSC3771 and MSC3773. (#1255)
Spec Clarifications
  • Mention that the /rooms/{roomId}/invite endpoint will return a 200 response if the user is already invited to the room. (#1084)
  • Fix various typos throughout the specification. (#1135, #1161, #1164, #1170, #1180, #1215, #1238, #1243)
  • Describe return codes for account data endpoints, and clarify that per-room data does not inherit from the global data. (#1155)
  • Clarify that policy rule globs work like ACL globs. Contributed by Nico. (#1165)
  • Clarify the format of some structures in the End-to-end encryption module. (#1166)
  • Add HTML anchors for object definitions in the formatted specification. (#1174)
  • Tweak the styling of <code> snippets in tables rendered from OpenAPI definitions. (#1179)
  • Update "API Standards" section to clarify how JSON is used. (#1185)
  • Clarify that the "device_id", "user_id" and "access_token" fields are required in the response body of POST /_matrix/client/v3/login. (#1210)
  • Reinforce the relationship of refreshed access tokens to transaction IDs. (#1236)
  • Clarify enum values by separating possible values with commas. (#1240)

Server-Server API

Backwards Compatible ChangesSpec Clarifications
  • Add HTML anchors for object definitions in the formatted specification. (#1174)
  • Tweak the styling of <code> snippets in tables rendered from OpenAPI definitions. (#1179)
  • Update "API Standards" section to clarify how JSON is used. (#1185)

Application Service API

Breaking Changes
  • Replace homeserver authorization approach with an Authorization header instead of access_token when talking to the application service, as per MSC2832. (#1200)
Spec Clarifications
  • Add HTML anchors for object definitions in the formatted specification. (#1174)

Identity Service API

Spec Clarifications
  • Add HTML anchors for object definitions in the formatted specification. (#1174)
  • Update "API Standards" section to clarify how JSON is used. (#1185)

Push Gateway API

Spec Clarifications
  • Add HTML anchors for object definitions in the formatted specification. (#1174)

Room Versions

Spec Clarifications
  • For room versions 1 through 10, clarify that events with rejected auth_events must be rejected. (#1137)
  • For room versions 2–10: correct a mistaken clarification to the state resolution algorithm. (#1158)
  • For room versions 7 through 10: Clarify that invite->knock is actually a legal transition. (#1175)


No significant changes.

Internal Changes/Tooling

Backwards Compatible Changes
  • Add internal changes changelog section. (#1194)
Spec Clarifications
  • Render HTML anchors for object definition tables. (#1191)
  • Give rendered-data sections a background and some padding. (#1195)
  • Fix rendering of shortcodes within the client-server API. (#1205)
  • Fix the spacing of mapping types generated from the OpenAPI spec. (#1230)

Matrix v1.3 release

2022-06-16 — Releases, Spec — Travis Ralston

Hey all,

It’s another quarter and therefore another spec release! Matrix 1.2 was released back in February, and while a bit late in the quarter this time around we’ve still got some exciting additions coming to you in this release.

Like last time, the speed of these releases might feel a bit quick for developers: fret not if you’re still working on v1.1 or v1.2 implementations. We’re not expecting that implementations update as soon as a new spec release is published, but rather that the ecosystem gradually update over the course of the next few months. Implementations should be aiming for as close to realtime as they can get though, particularly considering v1.4 is expected to have some large features (more on that later on).

Matrix 1.3 sees 14 MSCs get merged, but we can’t possibly go into detail on them all here. We’ve picked some notable highlights and recommend the full changelog at the bottom for a complete idea of what’s been going on.

Aggregations and the relationships made along the way

It’s no secret that MSC1849-style server-side aggregation of related messages have been in the review backlog for a while. We ended up splitting MSC1849 down into more reviewable chunks like MSC2675, allowing us to finally land the first pieces into Matrix 1.3 today.

In the spec there aren’t currently any defined relationships which make use of aggregations or even the rel_type described by MSC2674, but we do expect that v1.4 of the spec will have support for at least threads (MSC3440) and edits (MSC2676), filling the gap. For now, we’ve decided that holding aggregations back until v1.4 doesn’t make a lot of sense, so we have launched them into the world as-is for custom relations or for clients & servers to prepare for what’s expected to be coming in v1.4 of the spec.

To further prepare for threads, we’ve also removed some restrictions of rich replies through MSC3676, thus allowing replies to be constructed with non-text messages like images. Check out the new rich replies module for more information.

Join if you can, or just knock

When we launched restricted rooms in Matrix 1.2 we noted that we forgot to handle a case where someone might want to support both knocking and restricted rooms at the same time. We’ve fixed that with a stop-gap join rule from MSC3787 in room version 10.

The new knock_restricted join rule allows the room to keep its desire to be restricted whilst also allowing members who do not meet the criteria to knock on the room instead. We’ll likely expand on this sort of mixing of join rules in proposals like MSC3386 down the line, however for now this should cover the gap in support. Next up: figuring out how to make encrypted room history available to these new joiners in a safe way.

A thread for next time

Originally planned for this release, MSC3440-style threads are anticipated to be ready for v1.4 (next quarter) with support for notifications and, of course, a whole new way to communicate in a room.

Threads are one of the more complicated features we’ve tried to land in recent history as it has a large impact on a wide variety of the spec: everything from event relationships (fixed in this release) to read receipts to push notifications needs to be worked out to build a system that not only users can understand, but also the developers trying to build it. With this massive surface area we just weren’t comfortable with adding threads to v1.3 as-is, given problems like notifications aren’t yet fully solved.

Alongside threads, we also anticipate that MSC2676-style message editing will be landing in v1.4, finally specifying how to update an event’s contents without having to redact & re-send. Although message editing has been supported for a long time in some clients, we're excited that it will finally become part of the official specification, meaning it can be implemented more widely. Messaging clients are encouraged to give the proposal an early read and possibly even attempt implementation if not already done to help us ensure the system is in a reasonable state for inclusion in the spec, though we do note that feature requests for edits will likely be deferred to a future MSC.

Keep an eye on This Week In Matrix for updates on what v1.4 is expected to include, and how things are progressing.

The full changelog

MSCs are how the spec changes in the way it does - adding, fixing, and maintaining features for the whole ecosystem to use. The blog post can’t cover them all, but that doesn’t make them any less important! Check out the full changelog below, and the Spec Change Proposals page for more information on how these MSCs got merged (hint: they submitted a proposal, which anyone can do - take a look at the Matrix Live episode where Matthew covers the proposal process).

Client-Server API

  • Deprecate the sender_key and device_id on m.megolm.v1.aes-sha2 events, and the sender_key on m.room_key_request to-device messages, as per MSC3700. (#1101)
Backwards Compatible Changes
  • Make from optional on GET /_matrix/client/v3/messages to allow requesting events from the start or end of the room history, as per MSC3567. (#1002)
  • Add refresh tokens, per MSC2918. (#1056, #1113)
  • Relax the restrictions on Rich Replies, as per MSC3676. (#1062)
  • Describe a structured system for event relationships, as per MSC2674. (#1062)
  • Describe how relationships between events can be "aggregated", as per MSC2675 and MSC3666. (#1062)
  • Add support for a new knock_restricted join rule in supported room versions, as per MSC3787. (#1099)
Spec Clarifications
  • Clarify that the url field in events is not required. (#987)
  • Clarify that the type in user-interactive authentication can be omitted. (#989)
  • Adjust the OpenAPI specification so that the type Flow information is explicitly defined when the client-server API is rendered. (#1003)
  • Correct the default value for invite where it is not specified in an event. (#1021)
  • Update various links which pointed to the old matrix-doc github repository. (#1032)
  • Removed per MSC3582. (#1035)
  • Fix various typos throughout the specification. (#1051, #1054, #1059, #1081, #1097, #1110, #1115, #1126, #1127, #1128, #1129, #3681, #3708)
  • Clarify that state keys starting with @ are in fact reserved. Regressed from #3658. (#1100)
  • Remove unenforced size limit on the name field of events. (#3669)
  • Remove erroneous room_id field from examples of, m.typing in /sync and m.fully_read in room account data. (#3679)
  • Clarify the behaviour of event_match in push rule conditions. (#3690)
  • Fix incorrectly referenced m.login.appservice login identifier, instead using m.login.application_service. (#3711)
  • Fix membership state transitions to denote that invite->knock and external->leave are valid transitions. (#3730)

Server-Server API

Backwards Compatible Changes
  • Add a destination property to the Authorization header, as per MSC3383. (#1067)
Spec Clarifications
  • Remove largely unused origin field from PDUs. (#998)
  • Update various links which pointed to the old matrix-doc github repository. (#1032)
  • Clarify the format for the Authorization header. (#1038, #1067)
  • Clarify what a "valid event" means when performing checks on a received PDU. (#1045)
  • Clarify that valid_until_ts is in milliseconds, like other timestamps used in Matrix. (#1055)
  • Clarify that checks on PDUs should refer to the state before an event. (#1070)
  • Clarify the historical handling of non-integer power levels. (#1099)
  • Fix various typos throughout the specification. (#1110)
  • Correct misleading text for /send_join response. (#3703)
  • Clarify that the content for X-Matrix signature validation is the parsed JSON body. (#3727)

Application Service API

Backwards Compatible Changes

Identity Service API

No significant changes.

Push Gateway API

No significant changes.

Room Versions

Backwards Compatible Changes
  • Add room version 10 as per MSC3604. (#1099)
  • Enforce integer power levels in room version 10 as per MSC3667. (#1099)
  • Add a knock_restricted join rule supported by room version 10 as per MSC3787. (#1099)
  • Update the default room version to 9 as per MSC3589. (#3739)
Spec Clarifications
  • Improve readability and understanding of the state resolution algorithms. (#1037, #1042, #1043, #1120)
  • Improve readability of the authorization rules. (#1050)
  • For room versions 8, 9, and 10: clarify which homeserver is required to sign the join event. (#1093)
  • Clarify that room versions 1 through 9 accept stringy power levels, as noted by MSC3667. (#1099)
  • For all room versions: Add m.federate to the authorization rules, as originally intended. (#1103)
  • For room versions 2 through 10: More explicitly define the mainline of a power event and the mainline ordering of other events. (#1107)
  • For room versions 7, 8, 9, and 10: fix join membership authorization rules when join_rule is knock. (#3737)


No significant changes.

Matrix v1.2 release

2022-02-02 — Releases, Spec — Travis Ralston

Hey all,

Welcome to the second installment of our quarterly spec releases. If it feels like it hasn’t been long since our last release, you’re not alone! Our last release was just 3 months ago, introducing the new platform and world we build within.

This improvement in speed might seem too fast, but fret not: implementations are not expected to update as soon as the new spec is published. Rather, it is more realistic to expect that the ecosystem gradually update over the course of the following few months/year. Particularly after the massive release that was v1.1.

So, what’s new in v1.2? With 18 MSCs merged there’s a lot to cover - we’ve picked some notable highlights and recommend the full changelog at the bottom for a complete idea of what’s been going on.

Rearchitecting with Spaces

Spaces launched into beta last May, redefining how we can use rooms on Matrix to represent different data structures. Described mostly as MSC1772, Spaces are simply rooms with a specific type in their event. With state events being used to define which other rooms (meaning Spaces too) are part of that Space, the possibilities for tree-like structured data become endless.

There’s still quite a lot of work to do in the Spaces space (hah), though we’re excited to see it all land. For instance, MSC3216 and MSC2962 target power level syncing, MSC3219 aims for flair, and MSC3089 looks at file structures using Spaces. We might even be able to replace the public room directory with a server-wide space, making writing clients a little bit easier.

Public, but not too public, join rules

Restricted rooms are new in this release from MSC3083. In these rooms (and therefore Spaces too!), the join rules can be configured such that a member of another room can join without needing an invite. In a typical setup, this means that a Space could be set as invite-only, but all the rooms and Spaces underneath that Space could allow joins for members of the parent Space. When someone wishes to explore the universe you’ve laid out in your Space they can simply join the interesting rooms without having to ask for invites constantly.

This feature changes how membership events are authorized, so is only available in room versions 8 and 9 (both introduced in this release). Room version 9 fixes a relatively rare bug from version 8, so we’d recommend using v9 if you’re planning an upgrade for this functionality.

Further work in this area involves figuring out how to keep membership lists perfectly in sync between the rooms, which is currently done by external tooling. For example, evicting someone from the parent Space could (optionally) evict the user from all the subsequent rooms and Spaces too.

We also need to figure out how to support both knocking and restricted rooms at the same time (oops). MSC3613 and MSC3386 both tackle this problem in different ways and timescales.

Matrix: A URI

A massive shoutout goes to kitsune and the whole community for working on MSC2312, giving us a URI we can pass around outside of Matrix to bring us back in. The early work on this dates all the way back to 2014, the very beginning of Matrix’s development, and has since been marked Provisional by the IANA.

The full spec is available here - feel free to discuss it at matrix:r/ ;)

The full changelog

MSCs are how the spec changes in the way it does - adding, fixing, and maintaining features for the whole ecosystem to use. The blog post can’t cover them all, but that doesn’t make them any less important! Check out the full changelog below, and the Spec Change Proposals page for more information on how these MSCs got merged (hint: they submitted a proposal, which anyone can do - take a look at the Matrix Live episode where Matthew covers the proposal process).

Client-Server API

Breaking Changes
  • The prev_content field is now returned inside the unsigned property of events, rather than at the top level, as per MSC3442. (#3524)
  • The aliases property from the chunks returned by /publicRooms, as per MSC2432. (#3624)
New Endpoints
  • Add the Space Hierarchy API (GET /_matrix/client/v1/rooms/{roomId}/hierarchy) as per MSC2946. (#3610)
  • Add /_matrix/client/v1/register/m.login.registration_token/validity as per MSC3231. (#3616)
Backwards Compatible Changes
  • Extend /_matrix/client/r0/login to accept a m.login.appservice, as per MSC2778. (#3324)
  • Add support for restricted rooms as per MSC3083, MSC3289, and MSC3375. (#3387)
  • Add is_guest to /account/whoami as per MSC3069. (#3605)
  • Expand guest access to sending any room event and state event as per MSC3419. (#3605)
  • Add Spaces and room types as per MSC1772 and MSC2946. (#3610)
  • Add new m.set_displayname, m.set_avatar_url, and m.3pid_changes capabilities as per MSC3283. (#3614)
  • Add support for fallback keys (optional keys used once one-time keys run out), as per MSC2732. (#3615)
  • Add token-authenticated registration support as per MSC3231. (#3616)
Spec Clarifications
  • Make AesHmacSha2KeyDescription consistent with KeyDescription in marking name as optional. (#3481)
  • Fix various typos throughout the specification. (#3482, #3495, #3509, #3535, #3591, #3601, #3611, #3671, #3680)
  • Explicitly mention RFC5870 in the definition of m.location events (#3492)
  • Add 403 M_FORBIDDEN error code to /profile/{userId} as per MSC3550. (#3530)
  • Clarify the description of the /sync API, including a fix to an ASCII art diagram. (#3543)
  • Clarify that base_url in client well_known may or may not include trailing slash. (#3562)
  • Clarify which signature to check when decrypting m.olm.v1.curve25519-aes-sha2 messages. (#3573)
  • Clarify what "Stripped State" is and what purpose it serves, as per MSC3173. (#3606)
  • Clarify how to interpret missing one-time key counts. (#3636)
  • Correct the schema for the responses for various API endpoints. (#3650)
  • Clarify that group mentions are no longer in the specification. (#3652)
  • Distinguish between "federation" event format as exchanged by the Federation API, and the "client" event formats as used in the client-server and AS APIs. (#3658)
  • Fix the rendering of the responses for various API endpoints. (#3674)

Server-Server API

New Endpoints
  • Add the Space Hierarchy API (GET /_matrix/federation/v1/hierarchy/{roomId}) as per MSC2946. (#3610, #3660)
Backwards Compatible ChangesSpec Clarifications
  • Fix various typos throughout the specification. (#3527)
  • Clarify that GET /_matrix/federation/v1/event_auth/{roomId}/{eventId} does not return the auth chain for the full state of the room. (#3583)
  • Fix the rendering of the responses for various API endpoints. (#3674)

Application Service API

Spec Clarifications
  • Distinguish between "federation" event format as exchanged by the Federation API, and the "client" event formats as used in the client-server and AS APIs. (#3658)
  • Fix the rendering of the responses for various API endpoints. (#3674)
  • Correct the documentation for the response value for GET /_matrix/app/v1/thirdparty/protocol/{protocol}. (#3675)

Identity Service API

Backwards Compatible ChangesSpec Clarifications
  • Fix the rendering of the responses for various API endpoints. (#3674)

Push Gateway API

Spec Clarifications
  • Fix the rendering of the responses for various API endpoints. (#3674)

Room Versions

Backwards Compatible ChangesSpec Clarifications
  • Fully specify room versions to indicate what exactly is carried over from parent versions. (#3432, #3661)
  • Clarifications to sections on event IDs and event formats. (#3501)
  • Remove a number of fields which were incorrectly shown to form part of the unsigned data of a Federation PDU. (#3522)
  • Fix heading order of room version specifications to be consistent. (#3683)
  • Add missing "Signing key validity period" section to room version 6. (#3683)
  • Fix auth rules to allow membership of knock -> leave in v7, v8, and v9. (#3694)


Backwards Compatible Changes
  • Describe "Common Namespaced Identifier Grammar" as per MSC2758. (#3171)
  • Describe the matrix: URI scheme as per MSC2312. (#3608)

Matrix v1.1 release

2021-11-09 — Releases, Spec — Travis Ralston

Hey all,

Once again it's been a little while since we've done a spec release (sorry; we're aiming for quarterly releases from here on out), but this time we have some pretty big news: we've got an all-new spec platform and a new versioning scheme. The new spec platform has been needed for a long time to make better sense of what Matrix is, and as part of getting that out the door we reduced the number of "Matrix versions" to just one.

Huge thanks to Will Bamberg for building it out for us, anoa for working out the deployment details, and everyone for testing it all. They talk at length about what this specification even is and about the platform itself on Matrix Live S6E19. It's the single greatest improvement to the spec we've seen to date.

The new versioning scheme presents the whole specification as a single document, making it easier to check compatibility between implementations and the spec itself. Previously, a grid would have to be drawn to show whether Server-Server r0.1.4 is compatible with Client-Server r0.6.1 - while obvious at release time, the historical context gets lost quite easily. Now, with a single version number, the entire specification is compatible across a single version number: servers implementing Matrix 1.1 will be compatible with clients implementing v1.1, and vice versa. For the specification itself, this means we no longer have to carefully point and update links between the APIs, as they'll instead be versioned together.

Changing the versioning of the specification does have an impact on the Client-Server API in particular, however. You may have noticed that Client-Server APIs are currently versioned at "r0". By removing rX.Y.Z versioning, all of the endpoints suddenly don't have a version to reference. All endpoints across the specification are now versioned individually to allow for breaking changes at the endpoint level. They no longer require the whole specification to be listed as a breaking change: a v1 endpoint can get additions/changes which are backwards compatible, but if we need to change format (for example) then it'll get bumped up to v2, leaving v1 in its last known state.

For the Client-Server API, a slight complication is that v1 and v2 (alpha) are already versions familiar to those that have been around for a while - to avoid confusing those people, existing Client-Server API endpoints will start at v3. New endpoints introduced after v1.1 will start at v1 instead.

It's been well over a year since the last release, which means there's a whole lot of features and changes to cover. Here we'll try to cover the things most clients/servers will have to worry about, but we do still recommend reading through the changelog included below. Overall, 28 MSCs have been merged through this release, but some have had to be excluded in the interest of getting the spec release out there. Many of them are expected to be in the next anticipated release (which should hopefully be next quarter).

Clients: There's a lot of stuff

In Matrix 1.1, client developers get all sorts of new features to play with. Clients which support end-to-end encryption should explore key backups, cross-signing, SSSS, and breaking changes to verification. Quite a lot of this stuff has existed for a while, but has made it into the specification formally now. As an added bonus, the emoji for SAS verification have been translated (contribute here).

Knocking has also landed in the spec (thanks Sorunome for leading the charge on this!), opening up the ability for rooms to optionally allow people to request invites to join. This can be helpful for semi-private rooms where it can be easier to approve/deny requests compared to finding someone's MXID and manually inviting them. This does require a v7 room to work, however.

Thanks again to Sorunome, Message Spoilers have been officially included in Matrix. People can now safely discuss the ending to the latest movie without being banned for spoilers. Though, as a new feature, there's a chance that the spoiler text still gets included in the message: clients should update as soon as possible to avoid their users accidentally getting banned for spoiling the conclusion to the Spaces saga ;)

There's a few other smaller improvements/additions, and of course the regular "various clarifications and bug fixes" to take a look at. For a sample checklist, check out element-web's issue on the subject.

Servers: Knock knock, it's a new room version

Room version 7 has landed, bringing forth the ability for users to knock on rooms (requesting an invite to join). The changes are largely scoped to using the reserved keywords for join rules and membership, and are described through the auth rules. Thankfully, the changes over v6 are minimally invasive so should be quick to implement.

Additionally, the cross-signing bits have been included in the API responses and EDU definitions. Matthew's blog post from last year (it really has been that long...) describes cross-signing and the history of its implementation.

As per usual, there's also various specification errors corrected to aid understanding. Synapse has an exhaustive issue to detail what servers might need to do.

PS: Room versions 8 and 9 are also out there, but will be included in a future spec release.

The full changelog

We haven't mentioned identity servers, bridges, etc in this post but they have changes too! Below is the whole changelog, the entire year and a bit of it. Thank you to everyone who has submitted MSCs, and congratulations on getting them released. If we forgot yours, please mention it in so we can apologize and correct.

PS: The MSC process is how changes to Matrix are made, and you (yes, you) can propose those changes too. Check out the Matrix Live episode where Matthew talks about how this process works, and how we avoid blocking clients from implementing their proposals behind the relatively slow spec release cycles.

Client-Server API

Breaking Changes
  • Document curve25519-hkdf-sha256 key agreement method for SAS verification, and deprecate old method as per MSC2630. (#2687)
  • Add m.key.verification.ready and m.key.verification.done to key verification framework as per MSC2366. (#3139)
  • Deprecate starting verifications that don't start with m.key.verification.request as per MSC3122. (#3199)
New EndpointsRemoved Endpoints
  • Remove unimplemented m.login.oauth2 and m.login.token user-interactive authentication mechanisms as per MSC2610 and MSC2611. (#2609)
Backwards Compatible Changes
  • Document how clients can advise recipients that it is withholding decryption keys as per MSC2399. (#2399)
  • Add cross-signing properties to the response of POST /keys/query as per MSC1756. (#2536)
  • Document Secure Secret Storage and Sharing as per MSC1946 and MSC2472. (#2597)
  • Add a device_id parameter to login fallback as per MSC2604. (#2709)
  • Added a common set of translations for SAS Emoji. (#2728)
  • Added support for reason on all membership events and related endpoints as per MSC2367. (#2795)
  • Add a 404 M_NOT_FOUND error to push rule endpoints as per MSC2663. (#2796)
  • Make reason and score parameters optional in the content reporting API as per MSC2414. (#2807)
  • Allow guests to get the list of members for a room as per MSC2689. (#2808)
  • Add support for spoilers as per MSC2010 and MSC2557, and color attribute as per MSC2422. (#3098)
  • Add <details> and <summary> to the suggested HTML subset as per MSC2184. (#3100)
  • Add key verification using in-room messages as per MSC2241. (#3139, #3150)
  • Add information about using SSSS for cross-signing and key backup. (#3147)
  • Add key verification method using QR codes as per MSC1544. (#3149)
  • Document how clients can simplify usage of Secure Secret Storage as per MSC2874. (#3151)
  • Add support for knocking, as per MSC2403. (#3154, #3254)
  • Multiple SSO providers are possible through m.login.sso as per MSC2858. (#3163)
  • Add device_id to /account/whoami response as per MSC2033. (#3166)
  • Downgrade identity server discovery failures to FAIL_PROMPT as per MSC2284. (#3169)
  • Re-version all endpoints to be v3 as a starting point instead of r0 as per MSC2844. (#3421)
Spec Clarifications
  • Fix issues with age and unsigned being shown in the wrong places. (#2591)
  • Fix definitions for room version capabilities. (#2592)
  • Fix various typos throughout the specification. (#2594, #2599, #2809, #2878, #2885, #2888, #3116, #3339)
  • Clarify link to OpenID Connect specification. (#2605)
  • Clarify the behaviour of SSO login and UI-Auth. (#2608)
  • Remove spurious room_id from /sync examples. (#2629)
  • Reorganize information in Push Notifications module for clarity. (#2634)
  • Improve consistency and clarity of event schema titles. (#2647)
  • Fix schema issues in m.key.verification.accept and secret storage. (#2653)
  • Reword "UI Authorization" to "User-Interactive Authentication" to be more clear. (#2667)
  • Fix schemas for push rule actions to represent their alternative object form. (#2669)
  • Fix usage of highlight tweak for consistency. (#2670)
  • Clarify the behaviour of state for /sync with lazy-loading. (#2754)
  • Clarify description of event. (#2814)
  • Mark messages as a required JSON body field in PUT /_matrix/client/r0/sendToDevice/{eventType}/{txnId} calls. (#2928)
  • Correct examples of client_secret request body parameters so that they do not include invalid characters. (#2985)
  • Fix example MXC URI for m.presence. (#3091)
  • Clarify that event bodies are untrusted, as per MSC2801. (#3099)
  • Fix the maximum event size restriction (65535 bytes -> 65536). (#3127)
  • Update Access-Control-Allow-Headers recommendation to fit CORS specification. (#3225)
  • Explicitly state that replacement_room is a room ID in events. (#3233)
  • Clarify that all request bodies are required. (#3238, #3332)
  • Add missing titles to some scheams. (#3330)
  • Add User-Interactive Authentication fields to cross-signing APIs as per MSC1756. (#3331)
  • Mention that a canonical alias event should be added when a room is created with an alias. (#3337)
  • Add an 'API conventions' section to the Appendices. (#3350)
  • Clarify the documentation around the pagination tokens used by /sync, /rooms/{room_id}/messages, /initialSync, /rooms/{room_id}/initialSync, and /notifications. (#3353)
  • Remove the inaccurate 'Pagination' section. (#3366)
  • Clarify how redacted_because is meant to work. (#3411)
  • Remove extraneous mimetype from EncryptedFile examples, as per MSC2582. (#3412)
  • Describe how MSC2844 affects the /versions endpoint. (#3420)
  • Fix documentation errors around threepid_creds. (#3471)

Server-Server API

New Endpoints
  • Add /make_knock and /send_knock endpoints as per MSC2403. (#3154)
Backwards Compatible Changes
  • Add cross-signing information to GET /user/keys and GET /user/devices/{userId}, m.device_list_update EDU, and a new m.signing_key_update EDU as per MSC1756. (#2536)
  • Add support for knocking, as per MSC2403. (#3154)
Spec Clarifications
  • Specify that GET /_matrix/federation/v1/make_join/{roomId}/{userId} can return a 404 if the room is unknown. (#2688)
  • Fix various typos throughout the specification. (#2888, #3116, #3128, #3207)
  • Correct the /_matrix/federation/v1/user/devices/{userId} response which actually returns "self_signing_key" instead of "self_signing_keys". (#3312)
  • Explain the reasons why <hostname> TLS certificate is needed rather than <delegated_hostname> for SRV delegation. (#3322)
  • Tweak the example PDU diagram to better demonstrate situations with multiple prev_events. (#3340)

Application Service API

Spec Clarifications
  • Fix various typos throughout the specification. (#2888)

Identity Service API

New Endpoints
  • Add GET /_matrix/identity/versions API as per MSC2320. (#3101)
Removed Endpoints
  • The v1 identity service API has been removed in favour of the v2 API, as per MSC2713. (#3170)
Spec Clarifications
  • Fix various typos throughout the specification. (#2888)
  • Clarify that some identifiers must be case folded prior to processing, as per MSC2265. (#3167, #3176)
  • Describe how MSC2844 affects the /versions endpoint. (#3459)

Push Gateway API

Spec Clarifications
  • Clarify where to get information about the various parameter values for the notify endpoint. (#2763)

Room Version 6, Client-Server r0.6.1, and Federation r0.1.4 spec releases

2020-05-27 — Releases, Spec — Travis Ralston

Room Version 6, Client-Server r0.6.1, and Federation r0.1.4 spec releases

Hey all,

It's been a little while since we've done a spec release, so here we are with Room Version 6, Client-Server r0.6.1, and Federation r0.1.4.

Room Version 6 (and the associated Federation r0.1.4 release) is largely something for implementations to worry about. It contains new event authorisation rules, changes to the redaction algorithm, and stricter compliance for JSON.

Client-Server r0.6.1 contains a number of clarifications as well as SSO support for authorisation, "soft logout" to avoid needlessly destroying e2e history, and new ways to publish aliases within rooms.

If you're wondering where all the E2E-by-default related MSCs are - we're doing final iterations based on the real-world feedback from the E2E-by-default launch a few weeks ago, and they are then expected to land in the upcoming Client-Server r0.7.

Here's all the MSCs that got merged since the last release:

  • MSC2240: Room version 6
  • MSC2457: Invalidating devices during password modification
  • MSC2454: Support UI auth for SSO
  • MSC2451: Remove query_auth federation endpoint
  • MSC2432: Updated semantics for publishing room aliases
  • MSC2324: Facilitating early releases of software dependent on spec
  • MSC2313: Moderation policies as rooms
  • MSC1466: Soft Logout
  • MSC2540: Stricter event validation: JSON compliance
  • MSC2209: Alter auth rules to check notifications in
  • MSC1802: Remove the '200' value from some federation responses

Client-Server r0.6.1 changelog

New Endpoints

  • Added /rooms/{roomId}/aliases for retrieving local aliases for a room. (#2562)

Backwards Compatible Changes

  • Added data structures for defining moderation policies in rooms per MSC2313. (#2434)
  • Optionally invalidate other access tokens during password modification per MSC2457. (#2523)
  • Add User-Interactive Authentication for SSO-backed homeserver per MSC2454. (#2532)
  • Add soft-logout support per MSC1466. (#2546)
  • Replaced legacy room alias handling with a more sustainable solution per MSC2432. (#2562)

Spec Clarifications

  • List available enum values for the room versions capability. (#2245)
  • Fix various spelling errors throughout the specification. (#2351, #2415, #2453, #2524, #2553, #2569)
  • Minor clarifications to token-based User-Interactive Authentication. (#2369)
  • Minor clarification for what the user directory searches. (#2381)
  • Fix key export format example to match the specification. (#2430)
  • Clarify the IV data type for encrypted files. (#2492)
  • Fix the .m.rule.contains_user_name default push rule to set the highlight tweak. (#2519)
  • Clarify that an event_id is returned when sending events. (#2525)
  • Fix some numbers in the specification to match their explanation text. (#2554)
  • Move redaction algorithm into the room version specifications. (#2563)
  • Clarify signature object structures for encryption. (#2566)
  • Clarify which events are created as part of /createRoom. (#2571)
  • Remove claims that the homeserver is exclusively responsible for profile information in membership events. (#2574)

Server-Server (Federation) r0.1.4 changelog

New Endpoints

  • Add new POST /publicRooms endpoint for filtering the room directory. (#2305)
  • Add new v2 /send_join and /send_leave endpoints per MSC1802. (#2547)

Removed Endpoints

Spec Clarifications

  • Move auth event selection to a more obvious location. (#2392)
  • Fix typo in Request Authentication python example. (#2510)
  • Clarify which fields are required on the key server endpoints. (#2527)
  • Clarify the limits of prev_events and auth_events for PDUs. (#2538)
  • Clarify which events are targeted by backfill. (#2559)
  • Fix the response format of the /send endpoint. (#2560)
  • Clarify signature object structures for encryption. (#2566)
  • Clarify the server names to use when signing requests. (#2570)
  • Clarify the state/auth chain requirements for /send_join. (#2575)
  • Fix various spelling errors throughout the specification. (#2577)

Client-server r0.6.0 and Identity Service r0.3.0 releases

2019-11-08 — Releases, Spec — Travis Ralston

Hey all,

For the last several months the team has been working on tightening up privacy in Matrix, and with the 1.4 release of Synapse and Riot quite a lot has been done in the area. One of the remaining pieces was to release all the specification changes to help other client/server implementations achieve the same goals, and now we've done that.

The Client-Server r0.6.0 and Identity Service r0.3.0 spec releases both cover the privacy improvements added through a number of MSCs in the last few months. Of particular note is that identity servers are now expected to support terms of service endpoints, which requires authentication that clients might need to worry about - check the spec changelogs for details.

The full changelog for the Client-Server r0.6.0 release is:

  • Breaking Changes

    • Add id_access_token as a required request parameter to a few endpoints which require an id_server parameter as part of MSC2140. (#2255)
  • New Endpoints

    • Add POST /account/3pid/unbind for removing a 3PID from an identity server. (#2282)
  • Backwards Compatible Changes

    • Add M_USER_DEACTIVATED error code. (#2234)
    • Remove bind_msisdn and bind_email from /register now that the identity server's bind endpoint requires authentication. (#2279)
    • Add m.identity_server account data for tracking the user's preferred identity server. (#2281)
    • Deprecate id_server and make it optional in several places. (#2310)
  • Spec Clarifications

    • Add missing format fields to$m.notice schema. (#2125)
    • Remove "required" designation from the url field of certain msgtypes. (#2129)
    • Fix various typos throughout the specification. (#2131, #2136, #2148, #2215)
    • Clarify the distinction between m.key.verification.start and its variant. (#2132)
    • Fix link to Olm signing specification. (#2133)
    • Clarify the conditions for the .m.rule.room_one_to_one push rule. (#2152)
    • Clarify the encryption algorithms supported by the device of the device keys example. (#2157)
    • Clarify that /rooms/:roomId/event/:eventId returns a Matrix error. (#2204)
    • Add a missing state_key check on .m.rule.tombstone. (#2223)
    • Fix the m.room_key_request action value, setting it from cancel_request to request_cancellation. (#2247)
    • Clarify that the submit_url field is without authentication. (#2341)
    • Clarify the expected phone number format. (#2342)
    • Clarify that clients should consider not requesting URL previews in encrypted rooms. (#2343)
    • Add missing information on how filters are meant to work with /context. (#2344)
    • Clarify what the keys are for rooms in /sync. (#2345)

The full changelog for the Identity Service r0.3.0 release is:

  • New Endpoints

    • Add /account, /account/register, and /account/logout to authenticate with the identity server. (#2255)
    • Add endpoints for accepting and handling terms of service. (#2258)
    • Add /hash_details and a new /lookup endpoint for performing hashed association lookups. (#2287)
  • Backwards Compatible Changes

    • Deprecate the v1 API in favour of an authenticated v2 API. (#2254)
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