Category – This Week in Matrix
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This Week in Matrix 2022-07-08

2022-07-08 — This Week in Matrix — Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

Rick and I talk about the the brand new Chatterbox. Is it Riot Embedded rebranded? Did the world need yet another embedded chat solution? Can I host mine? Can I make it clever? Let's find out!

Dept of Spec 📜

Andrew Morgan (anoa) says

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 Core Team

The Spec Core Team did some shuffling of our backlog board this week in order to ensure that all in-flight and in-focus items are reflected on it.

Outside of that was the usual rounds of MSC review by team members.

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC2199: Canonical DMs!

While the name may not make much sense to the layperson, the idea of a "canonical" Direct Messaging room (DM) is one that would always be referenced whenever a DM between two people is requested. That is, instead of potentially having a few different DM rooms with someone, both you and the other person would always know which room to use when DM'ing each other.

We don't really have this today. DM rooms are just group rooms with only you and someone else in them. If you attempt to DM another user, your client will try to guess the best room to use for this through some clever heuristics. What's lacking is a defined way to always arrive at the same room for this action.

This MSC attempts to define one, and would allow other functionality to be built on top of it, such as definitively knowing which room to send user-to-user data into, and to read from.

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

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

Brendan Abolivier says

This week the Synapse team released Synapse 1.62! It features a lot of changes, including a fairly big update of spam checker callbacks, performance improvements around syncing and device management, improved customisation of .well-known client files, and much more. Read all about it on the Matrix.org blog: https://matrix.org/blog/2022/07/06/synapse-1-62-released

Apart from this, we've been working on refining and fine-tuning our processes as a team over the past few weeks, which, among other things, resulted in the creation of this documentation that gives contributors some insight on how we review pull requests on Synapse. Olivier has also landed his work on running Complement (our next-gen integration test suite) against instances of Synapse using workers, which is a massive improvement for our CI.

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Helm Chart (website)

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace announces

Hello again TWIM, updates to my Kubernetes charts have been rolling along as usual, though I've been a bit more silent about them. This week sees the addition of a synatainer chart though, for those who want it for maintaining their K8s Synapse. (And the Synapse chart was also updated to 1.62.0, and element-web to 1.11.0) If you have any questions, comments, requests for assistance, etc with them then #matrix-on-kubernetes:fiksel.info is where you want to go.

Dendrite Helm Chart (website)

Helm Chart to deploy Dendrite on Kubernetes

jonnobrow announces

The k8s-at-home dendrite helm chart now optionally configures ingress resources for dendrite in polylith mode. It has also had some bugs fixed and been updated to support the most recent version of dendrite.

Check out the chart here: https://github.com/k8s-at-home/charts/blob/master/charts/incubator/dendrite/README.md

Dept of Clients 📱

Quadrix (website)

A Minimal, simple, multi-platform chat client for the Matrix protocol.

JFA reports

Quadrix v1.2.0 has now been released. It's already available for Linux (https://snapcraft.io/quadrix, https://flathub.org/apps/details/chat.quadrix.Quadrix) and Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=chat.quadrix.android). The Windows, MacOS and iOS versions are awaiting approval from the respective stores.

New in this release:

  • Brand new icons from Remix Icons (https://github.com/Remix-Design/RemixIcon)
  • Messages can be redacted (for now only by the message owner)
  • Users with admin power can kick other users from rooms
  • Users can start a DM room directly from the member list in a group room

Please leave feedback/comments at #quadrix:matrix.org or in the issues at https://github.com/alariej/quadrix (stars welcome :-)

Note: The PR (https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix.org/pull/1348) to publish Quadrix on the matrix.org client list has been submitted more than a month ago, but still awaiting approval. Anyone here can help?

Nheko (website)

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

Nico says

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?).

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

Danielle announces

  • Our new release, v1.11.0 is live. This release includes;

    • Search leaving Beta! Thanks for all your support and feedback so far we’re excited that this is now the default experience for all.
    • Video rooms are officially in Beta! Previously this was a labs flag but we’re making good progress, keep your feedback coming!
  • We’re working on converting tests to Cypress. This week we focussed on lazy loading and we’re nearly at the finish line

  • Please note; As we make progress on improving our automated testing, we are asking for more tests to be provided alongside all PRs

  • Many more improvements to CSS are continuing to land thanks to community contributions

  • Fixed issues with URL previews

  • Removed obsolete code from the left panel filtering

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

  • More bug fixes have gone in to live location sharing

Element iOS (website)

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

Danielle says

  • We’ve had lots of updates with our latest iOS release, check out the full list but here’s our favourites:

    • You can now mark a room as read from the room list. Open the context menu to see the new option
    • We updated the way reactions look on the timeline
    • There’s now an accessibility label and hint when you send voice messages
    • User pills now use the latest data when you’re mentioned

Chatterbox (website)

Chatterbox lets you securely embed Hydrogen on any website!

Thib says

You have probably seen it, this week Element released Chatterbox, an embedded chat client you can use to build chat assistants, chatbots… or probably other use cases we didn't even think of. It's OSS and really just a lightweight Matrix client. Rick talks about it in greater length with me in today's Matrix Live.

✍️ Release blog post: https://element.io/blog/element-launches-chatterbox/ ⌨️ Chatterbox source code: https://github.com/vector-im/chatterbox 🧰 Hydrogen SDK: https://github.com/vector-im/hydrogen-web/blob/master/doc/SDK.md 🤖 OpsDroid FOSDEM talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHs2eLp5nwE&list=PLl5dnxRMP1hW7HxlJiHSox02MK9_KluLH&index=3

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Cactus Comments (website)

Cactus Comments is a federated comment system for the web, based on the Matrix protocol.

Asbjørn announces

Cactus Comments is a federated comment system for the open web built on Matrix.

Just released a small update for the web client: cactus-client v0.13.0

  • Fix for missing end tokens in sync responses from Synapse >= v1.61.0 (Thanks to Tom Price for !20).
  • A prettier animation while loading comments.

/ipns/latest.cactus.chat is updated to point to the latest release, so sites linking there should already be using the new version.

Also, while we're here: we're surprised and delighted to so many people using Cactus Comments! We just crossed 300k guest users registered on cactus.chat (roughly equivalent to 300k unique anonymous users). 🎉

An unfortunate side-effect is that we're having to up our hosting game to keep up with you all - and it's getting a bit expensive on our student budgets. We set up a donations page on Open Collective, in case any of you would want to help out. ✨🫂

🌵 Thanks!

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

matrix-rust-sdk (website)

Matrix Client-Server SDK for Rust

ben reports

After a long hunt, we've eventually found a significant problem with napi-rs, the layer we use in between Rust and Node.js for the crypto-nodejs, in the way it manages the memory coming from async functions in rust. With that out of the way and the last remaining features implemented, we are on the final stretch into in putting out the first prerelease of crypto-nodejs-bindings—brace for it to come near your next npmjs.com early next week 🤞🤞.

While that has still occupied most of the teams' time, the community hasn't been idling either, and implement the API for permalinks to events, exposes the authentication service over FFI and an API to get invite details for Invited Rooms. Thanks everyone!

👉️ 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-room-element (website)

A custom html element, web component, to display the latest messages from a matrix room

@ugp:matrix.org says

matrix-room-element -> [email protected] (GPLv3)

<matrix-room-element/> is a web component (vanilla JS/HTML/CSS & distributed un-minified) that can be imported and inserted in any web page, to display the content of a (public, soon with authentication, and private room support) matrix room.

Development is continuing, some new web-components have now prototypes:

  • <matrix-login/>, <matrix-logout/>, <matrix-auth/>
  • <matrix-create-room/>, <matrix-edit-room/>, <matrix-join-room/>
  • <matrix-send-event/>
  • <matrix-event/>

It is still heavy in development, and still looking for the right patterns (web components, and matrix).

We're trying to make composable components that can be inserted in any web page, and maybe help users use Matrix as a CMS, embedable anywhere (web). Our first use case is on https://libli.org (that now comes with a /login endpoint - alpha) (this event in libli, loading a matrix-room-element with correct room-id/event-id, https://libli.org/thisweekinmatrix:matrix.org/$KsbQ0JsqAXN9g-57M-aXyVohZYM3SZkKKkuUb9dW928).

Looking forward for use-cases, feedback, attribute naming discussion, simple patterns to make to code readable. (topics: #matrix-room-element:matrix.org #libli:matrix.org )

Dept of Ops 🛠

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy (website)

Matrix server setup using Ansible and Docker

Slavi says

Thanks to Julian Foad, matrix-docker-ansible-deploy now supports installing the ntfy push notifications server for you.

See our Setting up the ntfy push notifications server documentation to get started.

JulianF adds

To explain what it's for: Using the UnifiedPush standard, ntfy enables self-hosted (Google-free) push notifications from Matrix (and other) servers. Especially useful for users of Google-free Android (such as from f-droid).

If you try it, please report any feedback or problems or improvements in #matrix-docker-ansible-deploy:devture.com . Any updates to the scripts or docs may appear first on my branch before being merged into the playbook.

Dept of Bots 🤖

Who's In This Room Bot

Jake C says

Announce Matrix room members to Signal users in bridged chats with relay mode (as they can't see them), building on the excellent Signal bridge

Your favourite bot for social chats with Signal & Matrix friends just got better!

The bot will now:

  • Not show full Matrix usernames to Signal users (they can't use them). It will send their display name if it exists, otherwise their username prefix.
  • Send message on invite rather than join, as Signal users may not understand Matrix join vs invite semantics
  • Send read receipts so you know it's working

I don't currently have a public bot, but if anyone is interested please join #whos-in-this-room-bot-discussion:jakecopp.chat and say hello!

I'm getting great feedback in my local friend groups with it! PRs or issues very welcome.

https://github.com/jakecoppinger/whos-in-this-room-matrix-bot

Mjölnir (website)

The moderation bot for Matrix

Gnuxie reports

Hi everyone, we have released Mjolnir v1.5.0

which includes:

  • The option for reports to be polled via the synapse admin API (rather than configuring proxy pass-through)
  • The option to disable the displaying new reports in moderation room (so that you can use the TrustedReporters protection without the abuse reports features)
  • A !mjolnir rules matching <entity> command to search watched lists.
  • Glob support to the kick command.
  • A background queue for kicking (to reduce the load of large glob kicks)
  • A slight improvement to the performance of the redact command
  • An improvement to documentation (including dedicated setup documentation)
  • A new mute action for the since command !mjolnir since 1day mute 100

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
1neko.dev294
2envs.net433
3babel.sh447
4hs-bremerhaven.de495
5nognu.de510.5
6alemann.dev540.5
7keks.club551
8mail.at554
9shortestpath.dev583
10asra.gr992

#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
1matrix.org282
2babel.sh284
3sspaeth.de292.5
4dendrite.matrix.org350
5babel1.eu396
6conduit.grich.sk438
7rustybever.be493
8dendrite.babel.sh915
9grin.hu1774
10zemos.net7526

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2022-07-01

2022-07-01 — This Week in Matrix — Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

I had the chance to have Ryan with me for a special edition of Open Tech Will Save Us on Thunderbird to celebrate their 102 release, which includes Matrix support for the first time in a stable release.

We covered many interesting topics, such as the importance of specifying the expected behaviour of clients and servers in a protocol to deliver the best experience to end users (wink, wink, reminds you of something?), why Thunderbird was more dormant and is now vibrant as ever, what they plan for the future. I had good fun and I hope attendees did too! Next episode is going to be at the end of July, but you can already join the Open Tech Will Save Us room

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌡️

Matthew reports

Audrey Tang, Digital Minister for Taiwan is offering sponsorship for full localisation of Element and other leading Matrix clients into zh_Hant_TW - see https://twitter.com/audreyt/status/1542296087310258176. If you're interested in helping out, please get in touch with Thib and we'll coordinate.

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 with Proposed Final Comment Period:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

Spec Updates

Bits and pieces of review by both the Spec Core Team and the community peppered about different MSCs.

Various changes to the spec text itself, particularly from @aaronraimist, @DMRobertson and @Kloenk. Thank you all!

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC2974: Widgets: Capabilities re-exchange!

This MSC is a relatively simple it. Currently widgets are only allowed to specify their capabilities (what the widget is allowed to do, like reading the logged-in user's display name) when the widget is loaded. This MSC attempts to allow that model to be extended to let widgets ask for additional (or fewer) permissions over time.

I can't help but be reminded of the shift in permissions on iOS and Android here in how they shifted from "ask all permissions up front" to "ask for permission for each thing when it's used in the app" :)

Check it out if widgets are your thing!

Dept of Outreachy 🎓️

andybalaam announces

New Matrix Intern Usman has just started on his project to prototype Favourite messages in Element Web. He's written a blog post introducing himself and the project: https://yaya-usman.hashnode.dev/outreachy-blog-introducing-myself

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

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

Brendan Abolivier says

This week the Synapse team released Synapse 1.61.1! This is a security release which addresses a high severity vulnerability in URL preview feature. Server administrators are encouraged to update as soon as possible! We have published a blog post explaining the vulnerability and detailing a few workarounds that can be implemented on homeservers which can't be updated right away: https://matrix.org/blog/2022/06/28/security-release-synapse-1-61-1

Other than that we have published the first RC for Synapse 1.62.0 (which was followed today by a second bugfix RC). Synapse 1.62 will feature an improved spam checker API for modules, performance improvements around device lists, more customisation for .well-known client files and much more. Watch this space next week for the full rundown 🙂

Dendrite (website)

Second generation Matrix homeserver

neilalexander announces

This week we released Dendrite 0.8.9 which contains a number of improvements around backfilling room history, amongst other things.

Features

  • Incoming device list updates over federation are now queued in JetStream for processing so that they will no longer block incoming federation transactions and should never end up dropped, which will hopefully help E2EE reliability
  • The /context endpoint now returns "start" and "end" parameters to allow pagination from a context call
  • The /messages endpoint will no longer return "end" when there are no more messages remaining
  • Deactivated user accounts will now leave all rooms automatically
  • New admin endpoint /_dendrite/admin/evacuateUser/{userID} has been added for forcing a local user to leave all joined rooms
  • Dendrite will now automatically attempt to raise the file descriptor limit at startup if it is too low

Fixes

  • A rare crash when retrieving remote device lists has been fixed
  • Fixes a bug where events were not redacted properly over federation
  • The /invite endpoints will now return an error instead of silently proceeding if the user ID is obviously malformed

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

Dept of Clients 📱

Thunderbird (website)

Thunderbird is a free open-source email, calendar & chat app.

freaktechnik says

Thunderbird 102 with Matrix support is now available for download at https://thunderbird.net/. The Matrix implementation reflects what's been previously discussed in TWIM with some additional bug fixes. You can read more about what's new in our blog post. Ryan discussed the Thunderbird 102 release as well as the project in general in this week's Open Tech Will Save Us, give it a listen for the latest inside scoop.

Nheko (website)

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

Nico says

Have you ever noticed that some people are just plain @*%&!§%"+? Well, to quickly deal with what they wrote, Nheko now has a /redact @userid:server.name command, so you can redact everything they wrote (as long as it is in the currently cached section of the timeline). Note that you will run into rate limits when using that and Nheko is not yet applying an appropriate backoff in that case.

Similarly, q234rty fixed a lot of cases where icons in Nheko were either blurry or the wrong size. We fixed a few crashes, the room list should now not sometimes store the wrong order of rooms, brausepulver made large avatars cropped locally (since servers don't guarantee any size over 96x96 when cropped and synapse doesn't properly save the full image size in that case) and added a menu entry to copy a roomlink. You can also now define new powerlevels for users instead of using the existing levels in the room and Jason fixed some compiler warnings when a private member struct doesn't have an explicit constructor on some compilers. Nheko also now downloads the full online key backup when you explicitly toggle the switch.

A more noticeable topic might be, that Nheko now requires servers which support the v1.1 API or later and will not allow you to login or register otherwise. At the same time we also enabled support for the shiny and new knock_restricted rule and all remaining groups code was removed (you know, the feature from before spaces were cool).

I also updated Nheko on my work laptop now and since I was quite surprised by how fast it starts now (while my room count is over 900 !), I attached a video of that below for your pleasure.

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

kittykat says

This week is an exciting time in Element land! We have one feature coming out of beta and another going in: the new search experience is going live with the next release, while video rooms will become available for testing. You can already preview them in the release candidate!

Threads

  • After investigating ranged read receipts, we are looking at per thread read receipts again as a more practical approach.

Community testing

  • RC testing done:

    • Web - MD/HTML support in Space/Room topics
    • iOS - regression testing of messages, reactions and rooms
  • Next week:

    • Create DM only on first message
  • For more info on our next testing sessions (sync or async), you can join us at #element-community-testing:matrix.org!

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

kittykat announces

  • The new search experience is coming out of labs with the next release! Including much UI polish and ordering improvements.
  • Video rooms are going to be available for everyone to try out in beta!
  • Work on improving our testing continues with more crypto tests being migrated to Cypress and improvements to test reliability
  • Fixed Jitsi video and audio defaults, and improved default layout when video is minimised
  • We have had many more CSS changes to polish layout, including this change to fix tile bubbles!
  • And finished converting matrix-react-sdk to TypeScript
  • In labs (you can enable labs features in settings on develop.element.io or on Nightly):
    • Made improvements to live location sharing

Nico says

Because sometimes you just have to do something else and it might be interesting to some people:

Sometimes fixing something that annoys you isn't even that hard, and since it annoys you, you have some motivation to fix it. I call this Anger Driven Development (ADD). If you have some things that annoy you, I encourage to try fixing them for a bit. It might help out some other people too. If that makes you want to contribute to Nheko, don't hesitate to join #nheko:nheko.im and ask me to help you out with whatever fix you are trying to contribute.

This time I just decided to clean out some issues, that came up in the Conduit development channel and that weren't fixed yet. Turns out it was just a few lines to change and it hopefully makes the Matrix experience better for everyone in the long run. The changes were also quickly reviewed and are merged now. Do you have any such little fixes that no one hears about, but you are proud of them? Please post about them, I'd love to see them!

Element iOS (website)

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

Ștefan announces

Are you enjoying Location Sharing but have tired thumbs from tapping every time you need to update your location? Then fret no more! Element 1.8.20 features our new Live Location Sharing feature, now available in Labs.

  • Live Location Sharing: Now in Labs, we’ve added the ability to send your location in real time to the people and rooms of your choice!
  • Mark as Read: Quickly mark a single room as read by long-pressing it on the home screen.
  • Annoying bugs fixed: It’s much easier to tap the names and avatars of room members, voice messages now work better with VoiceOver enabled and it is significantly faster to create a new room.

Element Android (website)

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

kittykat announces

  • The fix for the bug around accepting invites to DMs has landed in the Google Playstore with version 1.4.25
  • We also made improvements to registration, password reset, and other first user experiences
  • Room list loading has had a revamp with more intuitive loading indicators
  • Location sharing has had many improvements (live location sharing is available in labs if you’d like to take it for a spin)

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

matrix-rust-sdk (website)

Matrix Client-Server SDK for Rust

ben says

Over the last few weeks, a significant push on rust-crypto-support for Nodejs has taken place, e.g. this PR. Major parts are available, the infrastructure to create releases ready, however, a pretty rare huge memory allocation that causes a crash in Nodejs on the CI has blocked progress of the team recently. Debugging this costs a lot of time and it is yet unclear, how much of a problem this really is (as the cause stays mysterious), however it has also been seen in the wild on Windows now-- a concerning development.

But that doesn't mean, there isn't any development going on. Thanks to the active community around the project, we now have a fix to prevent us from processing the same transaction twice, a method to create permalinks, you can now verify sessions through FFI as well as use the Client Builder via FFI. Thanks everyone!

👉️ 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 Dart SDK (website)

Matrix SDK written in pure Dart and maintained by Famedly.

Henri Carnot says

Dart Matrix SDK: Version 0.10.2

This week, the team released version 0.10.2. In this version, we added experimental support for native group call signaling MSC3401. We have been playing with it in our internal clients, and we have to say that we are pretty happy with the result! There are still some bugs, as sometimes a new call is creating instead of joining the existing one. But it's looking great!

We also took the opportunity to fix some bugs in call handling. Now the ringtone is properly properly when rejecting a call. Also, when opening the client, we don't trigger a call event anymore if the call end event is in the sync response.

We also did some refactoring for the sync handler, reducing the usage of JSON objects and adding some try catch to handle issues when handling event room updates. We switched to custom CachedStreamController so even if the stream has already been listened to, you can still access the last sent value.

Finally, when sending messages when under unreliable connection, messages could be sent out of order. This is now fixed thanks to the implementation of a message sending queue.

See you next time ;)

Dept of Instance Managers

axon.sh (website)

An interactive command-line administration tool for Synapse written in Bash.

joe says

This week's release completed support for resolving, creating, and deleting room aliases. Get the code and contribute at https://git.thisisjoes.site/joe/axon.sh (supports GitHub and GitLab login) and join #axon:matrix.thisisjoes.site for discussion and updates!

synadm (website)

Command line admin tool for Synapse (Matrix reference homeserver)

jojo reports

Two is better than one! Ascurius joined the synadm team and helps maintain the github repo, code new features and support users on github and #synadm:peek-a-boo.at.

Thanks to all synadm users, feature requesters and contributors, issue submitters and #synadm:peek-a-boo.at members. It's fun to maintain a project and see its community grow each day!

Some features from the latest releases we'd like to highlight:

  • The local part of an MXID can now be used as the \<user_id> argument in various synadm commands. Of course, there is still the possibility to use the full MXID if desired.
  • We have added a shadow-ban command so that admins now can more easily deal with abusive users: synadm room shadow-ban
  • The room state API is now supported, try synadm room state
  • And with the help of that API we created a command to easily generate a list of rooms and corresponding admins and mods: synadm room power-levels
  • The synadm room search command was adapted to make better use of current Synapse versions possibilities.
  • Documentation chapter around using synadm together with Synapse instances deployed with matrix-docker-ansible-deploy.
  • The magic around "retrieval of the own homeserver name" got a massive overhaul. This affects several user and media subcommands.
  • Have a look at the releases list for more details: https://github.com/JOJ0/synadm/releases

Dept of Events and Talks 🗣️

Matrix Summit Conference Berlin calls for your participation.

Yan announces

The will be a 2 days conference about matrix.

26th to 27th august 2022 @c-base in Berlin.

With the first Matrix Summit Conference we try to showcase the matrix-eco-system in its whole width and depth.

We are looking for talks and workshops around matrix-related projects and products. We are interested in all aspects of those: 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. We try 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.

You can enter proposals until 2022-07-22 22:22 (Europe/Berlin), 3 weeks from now in our pretalx

Matrix-summit-berlin-2022 matrix summit space

The #matrix-summit-berlin-2022 space will contain all rooms and subspaces related to the event. For the organization of the summit we have orga-room. Just come by if you like to know something or help with the summit. There is a gitlab organisation which contains our codebase and issuetrackers.

Sponsors?

We try to make everything low cost. But we need some money for food, drinks, merch, travel, accommodation. Please contact Yan or write mail, when you can sponsor the event.

matrix summit

Note this is a community event that is not organised by the Matrix.org Foundation.

Matrix User Meetup Berlin

saces announces

Next Matrix user meetup 6.7.2022, 8 pm @ c-base

Meet other matrix users, chat about Matrix, the rest, and everything else, discuss your Matrix ideas, sign each other in persona, and maybe spice the evening with a good mate or beer.

Also when the bbq is lit you may wish you brougth your favorite item :)

Every first Wednesday of the month in the c-base at 8pm ('til the next pandemic).

Matrix room: #mumb:c-base.org

Dept of Interesting Projects 🛰️

livematrix (website)

An oversimplified, easy to implement, embedded live chat widget that allows your website's visitors to send messages seamlessly to your Matrix account.

osousa announces

The widget is Built using Svelte, so everything goes in one nice bundle, its fast and awesome to embed. No need for external libraries or big framework.js files. Just import into your website's structure one JS and one CSS files. The server uses Golang, the Binary is only 3.2MB in size. Make sure you configure the .env file.

A demo and more information about livematrix can be found here: https://github.com/osousa/livematrix

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
1nognu.de809
2isaffine.name818
3alemann.dev829
4quyo.de983
5norrland.xyz1033.5
6mindlesstux.com1036
7vern.cc1100.5
8kanp.ai1535
9utzutzutz.net1747.5
10roeckx.be1754

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1dendrite.matrix.org290.5
2sspaeth.de321
3kernel-error.com360
4matrix.org538.5
5dendrite.s3cr3t.me556
6rustybever.be811.5
7xethos.net1046.5
8zemos.net20859

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2022-06-24

2022-06-24 — This Week in Matrix — Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

This week was very busy and we unfortunately didn't have the time to record a Matrix Live. Everything will be back to normal next week!

Dept of Spec 📜

Andrew Morgan (anoa) says

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.

Spec Updates

The big news from the spec this last week is the release of Matrix v1.3 🎉 (read the blog post if you haven't already)! Roughly three months since the release of Matrix v1.2, this release brings improvements such as knocking on rooms, room version 10, reduced metadata in encrypted messages and the first pieces of aggregations finally landing in the spec proper. And more! See the blog post for the full changelog.

Most of the Spec Core Team has been away this week, thus there has not been much moving forwards. But we do have two new MSCs from @duxovni and @Johennes, which you can view above.

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC3077: Support for multi-stream VoIP by @SimonBrandner!

This MSC allows for differentiating between different incoming streams of media coming from a single user by adding a sdp_stream_metadata dictionary to Voice over IP (VoIP)-related events. This is a relatively simply addition with useful functionality, such as allowing a single user to share both their camera feed and screen share at the same time!

Check it out if that kind of stuff interests you!

Dept of Servers 🏢

Conduit (website)

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

Timo ⚡️ reports

Conduit v0.4.0 just came out and fixes all the problems you were having* and more! Read the changelog on https://conduit.rs/changelog

Dept of Clients 📱

Element iOS (website)

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

Doug says

  • Live Location Sharing will be available in Labs in the next release.
  • There has been a focus on bug fixes for Element iOS this week. Some highlights include:
    • Making sender avatars tappable again when using Message Bubbles layout.
    • Opened images are no longer cropped when multitasking on iPad.
    • It is now much easier to tap the first message below a sender’s name when using the plain timeline layout.
  • And on the ElementX side:
    • Message Bubbles were added as the default timeline style.
    • The Settings screen is now starting to take shape.
    • Theming applied to most of the other screens using our colour palette.

Element Android (website)

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

adam announces

  • 1.4.24 released to beta testers which includes support for UnifiedPush and fixes for voice recordings and duplicated messages in the timeline
  • We're making it easier to opt in to Live Location Sharing by displaying the labs setting within the location sharing flow, no need to hunt down the setting anymore!
  • We have also fixed some outstanding crashes around opening large images in the timeline and signing out

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Populus Viewer (website)

A Social Annotation Tool Powered by Matrix

gleachkr announces

Over the last few weeks we've:

  • improved interactions around file uploads
  • improved the look of file messages
  • reworked the login design
  • added topic configuration to room settings
  • added previews of room name and topic in tooltips for room icons
  • added handling for an eventId component of annotation URLs

Along with a number of other minor bugfixes and UX improvements. And, we've added one neat new user-facing feature: inline previews of video and audio annotations. This one is a little hard to explain, but a video is worth ten thousand words:

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Ruma (website)

A set of Rust library crates for working with the Matrix protocol. Ruma’s approach to Matrix emphasizes correctness, security, stability and performance.

Jonas Platte announces

Over the last month since the last update, we

matrix-rust-sdk (website)

Matrix Client-Server SDK for Rust

Jonas Platte says

This week, we

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
1supersandro.de495
2krutonium.ca502
3jeroenhd.nl717.5
4mindlesstux.com913.5
5anter.io1010
6quyo.de1191
7mailstation.de1328
8nognu.de1925
9matrix.org2257.5
10matrix.nicfab.it2347

#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
1kernel-error.com263.5
2dendrite.matrix.org357
3rustybever.be692.5
4evulid.cc877
5zemos.net3064.5

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2022-06-17

2022-06-17 — This Week in Matrix — Brendan Abolivier

Hey everyone! Thib is away today so I'm taking over TWIM for this week (but don't worry, he should be back next week!)

Let's see what the Matrix community has shared with us this week.

Matrix Live 🎙

In this week's Matrix Live, Thib talks to Ivan from the Matrix Rust SDK development team to ask him about the SDK's bindings for Node.JS and WASM.

Dept of GSoC 🎓️

Marco Melorio says

Hi there! I'm Marco Melorio and I'm participating in this year's Google Summer of Code, under the GNOME Foundation. I'm working on Fractal, the GNOME matrix client, with the help of my mentor Julian Sparber. More specifically I'm working on implementing a media history viewer to the app.

To follow my progress on the project you can check out my blog here. I've already published a small introduction post about me and a first update post which includes a mockup and milestones about the project.

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

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

Brendan says

This week the team released Synapse 1.61, which main new feature is media retention. That's right, you can now control how long Synapse keeps media files around, which should help server admins manage Synapse's disk space usage more efficiently. On a different note, this release of Synapse removes support for groups/communities (which was deprecated back in Synapse 1.56), as it has now been replaced by Spaces. Farewell groups, you have served your users well.

See the full Synapse 1.61 release announcement on the matrix.org blog here: https://matrix.org/blog/2022/06/17/synapse-1-61-released

Aside from this, the team is as always hard at work on making Synapse better and more efficient.

Dept of Clients 📱

Quadrix (website)

JFA says

New version of Quadrix (1.0.6) available on desktops and mobiles. Mainly bug fixes, plus the addition of a button to deactivate the account on the server (this apparently will be soon mandatory for iOS and MacOS messaging apps). The new desktop version should offer better support for Wayland (tested on Fedora 36, Ubuntu 22.04 and Mobian/Phosh). Repo at https://github.com/alariej/quadrix, project room at #quadrix:matrix.org :-)

Nheko (website)

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

Nico announces

Since I skipped the last update, this one is a bit longer :3

First of all there have been lots and lots of updates to the translations! Finnish is now at 100% thanks to the tireless work of Aminda and Lurkki.

Nheko now also shows a nice badge on Unity compatible desktops (like KDE) for unread messages (although that doesn't work properly for multiple profiles being open at the same time due to limitations in that desktop protocol. Thank you d42 for contributing this, may you role a natural 42 every dice throw!

Syldra fixed up the paste behaviour (which didn't properly tie into undo in some edge cases), cleaned up how we find some of our dependencies and made cusor movement more consistent across systems.

Finally we fixed our glare resolution when verifying other sessions, which will be especially noticeable when verifying Cinny, since that responds to verification requests in a different way than I tested before! This should get rid of a whole range of verification issues people might have experienced. As part of our stabilization for the next release, we also fixed a crash on logout because I fatfingered and deleted a return statement, we now send an Element Android compatible height attribute on emotes, properly compile when the C++ version is set to 20, we once again support the current version of the hidden read receipts MSC (so that others can't tell what you read), edits now properly update in replies again, you can close the image overlay again by clicking outside, cancelled uploads properly get removed again, logging out and back in now doesn't mess up your configuration anymore and pinned messages now properly refresh once the events are loaded.

Phew, that was a mouthful. And we are not even done yet!

I spent some time on making Nheko compilation a bit faster again as well as improve startup speed. This might order your room list a bit weirdly for a few days after updating, but should normalize when receiving a few messages in some rooms. With this we now don't need to load the last message in all rooms on startup. This makes Nheko startup now only take 7 seconds on my old laptop (when not doing something CPU heavy at the same time). The remaining startup time is 40% building up the font database and 40% loading the powerlevels for each room. So we do have the chance to speedup startup by probably another 60%. It is unlikely that is necessary though.

When I discovered Matrix, Element was still called Riot. At the time some of the big design changes started happening to make it the Element you know today. One of the sideeffects was that the roomlist was consistently taking up 20% of my CPU on my Laptop, which I used at the time (and am forced to use now again, since I broke my newer laptop). It also used a lot more RAM than it does today. So for that reason I started shopping around for what other clients there are and I found Nheko. Clearly because it isn't a webclient, it had to be faster and use less RAM. Well, it did maybe a bit, but frankly the difference wasn't that much. Especially since at the time it loaded and rendered ALL your messages on startup (kinda). It never removed messages from memory, so it would just continuously render more and more parts of your timeline, which clearly increased RAM usage. It did however never resort the full roomlist, which made it not use a lot of CPU.

Since I didn't know any web development at the time, but I knew some C++, I started contributing to Nheko. At some point I made the roomlist constantly resort, which used quite some amount of CPU, but I quickly fixed that. At the time the most noticeable difference was that my fans didn't spin when using Nheko, but Element did (because of the roomlist sorting, iirc). RAM usage was pretty bad though. So that was one of the next projects, removing all events from RAM and only pulling them from the database as needed. While this means some additional load when switching rooms, it did decrease RAM requirements by quite a bit. Some new features made us still require loading data for every room from the database on startup, which causes quite some noticeable startup delay. The latest changes however got rid of most of that. We now don't need to load the messages from the database anymore. The only thing we still load is a small info object with roomname, notification and member count as well as the power levels of the room.

Since I recently broke my new and fast laptop, I decided to checkout how things changed on my old and slow laptop. Nowadays I am not in 15 rooms anymore, but I am in 900 rooms, but Matrix, servers as well as clients, has also gotten a lot more performant. So in the end I decided to do a little benchmark of where things stand. DISCLAIMER: This is completely unscientific and unfair, so please take those numbers with a grain of salt. Almost no one runs such a slow laptop as I do, so likely your measurements will completely different. Even more, I was video recording the benchmark, which makes both clients a lot slower. Nonetheless it does somewhat mirror my personal experience.

I came to the conclusion that with 900 rooms, Nheko takes about 10-20 seconds to load and be ready for use on my system, while Element takes about 3 to 4 minutes. So basically Element handles 60 times as many rooms about 2x slower than it did back in the day, while Nheko got a bit faster or about the same speed on the same hardware (but still 60x as many rooms). I've attached a sped up video to this post, so that you can compare it for yourself. But since a lot of people ask, I guess the reason is that I wanted to see how fast you can make a Matrix client. I think I somewhat achieved that in the startup time department, but switching rooms still has a loooooong way to go. Also it is just fun to implement whatever you want in a client, since you are the maintainer and none can tell you how bad of an idea it is. That's probably the reason a lot of people start their own clients? (Although I didn't start Nheko, I just wrote too much code and people didn't want to review it anymore.)

That's it, I hope your eyes didn't glaze over with me babbling on about things. See you next time! :3

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

Danielle reports

  • We converted even more end-to-end tests to Cypress and remove Piwik support
  • The issue around permissions to redact reactions has been resolved
  • Added option to hide image previews
  • There have been many improvements to clickable texts in various parts of the application (e.g. when you see “Show more” in the UI) and many other UI tweaks (thank you luixxiul!). As well as UI improvements to colours and layouts in the settings dialog
  • And! Waveforms for voice messages are back! 💃

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

  • Many updates to the new search experience have been merged in preparation for release out of labs!

Element iOS (website)

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

Ștefan says

  • The new first time user experience has now entered internal testing and parts of it were even brought over to ElementX
  • A simplified version of session verification for ElementX is almost ready
  • Redacted messages now show up in the timeline like on the other platforms
  • Message bubbles have finally moved out of labs
  • And, as always, we’re continuing to fix bugs and improve the application overall

Element Android (website)

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

benoit reports

  • Fixing a pagination regression because of a synapse update to conform the matrix spec. The fix will be included in the coming release 1.4.22.
  • Merged a selection of FTUE improvements, including simplifying login if you specify your server as part of your username. This work is not visible yet in the UI.
  • UnifiedPush is coming! Will be available in Element Android 1.4.22. In the meantime, you can test the feature using a nightly build . This technology will let F-Droid version of the app be able to receive Push and Element Android can stop polling your homeserver in the background, which was consuming lots of battery.
  • When you send a rageshake, screenshots will not be included by default any more
  • We also have set up Flipper in the app, to help developers to debug the application. Inspecting the Realm databases, or the network traffic will help a lot when developing new features or fixing issues.

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

Danielle reports

Threads

  • This week on Threads we continued our investigation into ranged read receipts as a solution to some of the notification issues
  • We also fixed a UI issue around the rendering of the thread summary in the timeline on iOS

Community testing

  • We found 20 issues this week, testing on Android and web. Thank you to everyone that took part!
  • No testing sessions next week, back as usual week after
  • For more info on our next testing sessions (sync or async), you can join us at #element-community-testing:matrix.org!

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Matrix Wrench (website)

Matrix Wrench is a web client to tweak Matrix rooms.

ChristianP says

Happy birthday, Matrix Wrench! 🔧

As you can guess by the title, I've started Matrix Wrench one year ago. Here are the most notable changes of today's birthday release v0.8.0 (2022-06-13):

  • Added: All pages have URLs to quickly navigate to.
  • Added: Bulk actions to invite and kick users
  • Added: The About page now shines some light on the application's features and security.

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

matrix-rust-sdk (website)

Matrix Client-Server SDK for Rust

ben announces

Over the last two weeks we've seen major development on the NodeJS support side. After basic nodejs bindings for the crypto-crate have landed, we have been working on getting it ready for shipping: fixing bugs, tests and documentation and working on the prebuild-download-on-postinstall for user convenience.

On other major news, the first UniFFI macro PR, submitted by our very own Jonas, was merged by Mozilla earlier this week 🎉. This is an important milestone as this PR is the opening gate for getting more and more macro-support into UniFFI, eventually replacing the enitre UDL-in-between-action. Congrats for this major step forward

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

Dept of Ops 🛠

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy (website)

Matrix server setup using Ansible and Docker

Slavi reports

Thanks to CyberShadow, matrix-docker-ansible-deploy can now install the go-skype-bridge bridge for bridging Matrix to Skype.

See our Setting up Go Skype Bridge documentation to get started.

The playbook has supported mx-puppet-skype bridging since 2020-04-09, but mx-puppet-skype is reportedly broken.

Dept of Bots 🤖

Matrix Registration Bot

moanos [he/him] reports

The there is a new release that avoids crashing of the bug when the synapse admin is not correctly exposed. For technical reasons (on layer 8) the bug fix is made in two releases. The latest version is now v1.1.7

You can install the new version via matrix-docker-ansible-deploy, directly from dockerhub and of course via pip

Dept of Events and Talks 🗣️

Matrix Summit Berlin 2022

ChristianP says

Four days of Barcamp sessions, presentations, meeting others and Berlin culture! The Matrix Summit 2022 brings people together who work with Matrix. Thu, 25th to Sun, 28th August at the iconic hacker space c-base in Berlin. This event is organised by the local Matrix Meetup community. While people of every skill level are welcome on all days, we're going to highlight real world use cases of Matrix on Sunday. We're inviting newcomers and other communities to learn about decentralised communication software. In return we're learning how Matrix is already used by the German education and health sectors.

Our Call for Presentations starts next week. The event is going to be bilingual: English and German.

See the schedule: https://summit2022.matrixmeetup.de/

Dept of Interesting Projects 🛰️

UnifiedPush (website)

S1m says

UnifiedPush is an open protocol for push notifications on Android, independent from Google Services. It is currently supported by FluffyChat, SchildiChat, and now nightly builds of Element.

If you are new to UnifiedPush:

Installing the ntfy app (F-Droid, Play Store) is the easiest way to start receiving notifications for your matrix messages without Google Services. And if you want to go one step further and self-host a ntfy server, the latest release makes it simpler than ever to set it up on your own server!

For persons already self-hosting ntfy:

The brand new version v1.26 of ntfy server includes a built-in matrix gateway: your homeserver can talk directly to ntfy. If you were self-hosting ntfy with a personal matrix gateway (common-proxies or with a Nginx setup), you can remove the gateway after upgrading to v1.26.

MessageHub (website)

gdlol announces

A P2P Matrix home server created using libp2p.

An early-stage home server prototype that communicates in a fully decentralized manner: every user runs their own server locally!

This is achieved with the libp2p library which provides decentralized node discovery, NAT traversal and gossip-based communication capabilities.

The server implements the Matrix API specifications (with many advanced features still missing, like client-side end-to-end encryption), but did little modification on federation side so that it doesn't rely on the centralized domain name system to setup and authenticate other nodes. On the other hand, this means it cannot federate with existing home servers yet, because of the different trust model (domain name/HTTPS vs self-owned cryptographic keys).

Try out the latest Webview client on windows, or on other OSs with Docker&Browser!

Final Thoughts 💭

Matthew shared

anarc.at published a long and thoughtful critique of Matrix over at https://anarc.at/blog/2022-06-17-matrix-notes/ - interesting reading, even if we don't agree with all the points.

Dept of Ping 🏓

No Thib means no ping this week :(

You can still go check out the ping stats yourself in #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!

This Week in Matrix 2022-06-10

2022-06-10 — This Week in Matrix — Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

Dept of Spec 📜

Andrew Morgan (anoa) says

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:

  • There were no new MSCs this week.

MSCs with Proposed Final Comment Period:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

Accepted MSCs:

Spec Updates

The release date for Matrix v1.3 has been set in stone for Thursday, June 16th 2022! Expect a blog post on the day detailing all of the new additions.

The bot that posts MSC updates in #matrix-spec:matrix.org and elsewhere has been switched from @mscbot:amorgan.xyz to @mscbot:matrix.org. The backend of the bot uses https://github.com/Informo/specs-bot/.

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC2000: Server-side password policies!

This is a proposal that adds a mechanism for homeserver administrators to define a password policy for users. This policy can decide rules such as a minimum password length, whether a digit is required, etc. This policy can be enforced by the homeserver when a user registers an account or changes their account password and is communicated to the client so that it can also be enforced locally.

Astute readers will possibly note that authentication in Matrix will eventually be replaced by OAuth2 (MSC2964). This will move operations like password policy enforcement from the homeserver to a separate authentication service, essentially removing the need to reinvent-the-wheel in a homeserver.

Registration, login and managing passwords and connected third-party IDs is often a complex part of a Matrix homeserver. Moving these out to a separate authentication service will both unlock new features (log in with Matrix!) as well as reduce the resources required to implement a Matrix homeserver.

Dept of GSoC 🎓️

r._.hit announces

Hey there, I am Rohit. I'll be participating in GSoC this summer, under the Matrix organization.

For my project, I'll be working on the desktop client, Nheko. Specifically, I aim to work on its VoIP Library and also on implementing and updating some of the features to concur to specification changes to the Matrix protocol, which include

  • Improved VoIP Signalling
  • VoIP Call Transfers
  • Muting Calls

I plan on starting a blog and hopefully will do so soon. In the meanwhile, if you want to know more about the project you can visit here and join the #nheko:nheko.im to participate in discussions.

Looking forward to learning and interacting with the community.

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

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

Shay says

Work continues on speeding up federated room joins, improving testing, and reducing database i/o. In addition, some lovely features have been added:

  • Add new media_retention options to the homeserver config for routinely cleaning up non-recently accessed media.

  • Experimental support for MSC3772: Push rule for mutually related events.

  • Update to the check_event_for_spam module callback: Deprecate the current callback signature, replace it with a new signature that is both less ambiguous (replacing booleans with explicit allow/block) and more powerful (ability to return explicit error codes).

  • Add storage and module API methods to get monthly active users (and their corresponding appservices) within an optionally specified time range.

  • Support the new error code ORG.MATRIX.MSC3823.USER_ACCOUNT_SUSPENDED from MSC3823.

  • Add a configurable background job to delete stale devices.

  • Improve URL previews for pages with empty elements.

  • Allow updating a user's password using the admin API without logging out their devices. Contributed by @jcgruenhage.

This is in addition to quite a number of bugfixes!

Dendrite (website)

Second generation Matrix homeserver

neilalexander says

This week we released Dendrite 0.8.8, which contains the following improvements:

  • The performance of state resolution has been increased significantly for larger rooms
  • A number of changes have been made to rate limiting:
    • Logged in users will now be rate-limited on a per-session basis rather than by remote IP
    • Rate limiting no longer applies to admin or appservice users
    • It is now possible to configure additional users that are exempt from rate limiting using the exempt_user_ids option in the rate_limiting section of the Dendrite config
  • Setting state is now idempotent via the client API state endpoints
  • Room upgrades now properly propagate tombstone events to remote servers
  • Room upgrades will no longer send tombstone events if creating the upgraded room fails
  • A crash has been fixed when evaluating restricted room joins

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

Dept of Bridges 🌉

MandM-bridge

karl says

For all Mumble users out there, there is a new matrix bridge which works with ZeroC ICE interface to communicate with newer versions of Murmur.

Currently, the most interesting features are:

  • Bridging text messages of specific channels or a whole Murmur to a Matrix room
  • Bridging images posted in the Matrix room to Murmur
  • Representing Murmur clients with puppets in the Matrix room

You can find the bridge here: https://github.com/karlpip/MandM-bridge Also feel free to join #mandm-bridge:og.lushkush.nl for questions or suggestions!

matrix-hookshot (website)

A multi purpose multi platform bridge, formerly known as matrix-github

Half-Shot says

Security Release

Hello friends. This week we bring you a security release for matrix-hookshot. Please ensure you have upgraded to at least 1.7.2, and have read the security advisory. Thanks!

The changes are as follows:

  • Add support for GitHub enterprise. You can now specify the URL via enterpriseUrl in the config file. (#364)
  • Add ability for bridge admins to remove GitHub connections using the admin room. (#367)

Dept of Clients 📱

FluffyChat (website)

Krille Fear says

FluffyChat 1.5.0 goes Material You

FluffyChat 1.5.0 has been released and will soon be in all stores. This release comes with a bunch of bugfixes and introduces the first iteration of a Material You based design. We also try to support Android 12 accent colors (while this does not seem to work yet). On other platforms, our own purple shape will stay the default.

I like the new Material You design while we needed to tweak it at some points. Also the dropdown menu misses some elevation but this is a known issue in the Flutter repo which will be fixed soon.

This is also the first build with Flutter 3 which should improve the performance a little bit. Unfortunately it brings some regressions. We are forced to ship a little bug with it: Sharing on iPads seems to be broken. I'm very unhappy with this situation but otherwise we would have ended up in different releases for different platforms. As there afaik are not that many iPad users out there, we decided to live with this compromise and ship a bugfix release asap.

Yeah... Flutter has a lot of pros but also a lot of cons. Every new release of this framework leads to the fear of new regressions. Shipping a new major release where basic stuff like "Sharing" is just broken, is totally stupid... but that's the decision of Google. :-P

We didn't want to wait to ship the new design and also we needed a new release to come back to F-Droid where FluffyChat wasn't available in the last weeks because of a ProGuard problem, which should be fixed now.

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

Danielle announces

Happy Friday! 🚀

Threads

  • Threads is in Beta and progressing. We’re working hard setting up the foundational work needed to improve read receipts and notifications cross-platform.
  • Keep sending feedback and rageshakes as we’re also continuing to improve the UI and fix any bugs that are raised.

Community testing

  • We’re moving closer to getting the new search experience out of beta, thanks for all your help on testing so far.
  • Next up: Big regression testing session on Android, after the removal of communities/groups (Wednesday or Thursday TBC)
  • For more info on our next testing sessions (sync or async), you can join us at #element-community-testing:matrix.org!

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

Danielle reports

Element iOS (website)

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

Ștefan announces

  • We’re continuing our bug fixing spree and the latest release has fixed some of the more significant problems we had
  • We’re working towards adopting a new notification filtering entitlement and we will soon be able to silence those pesky empty notifications
  • Our “Edit Home Screen Layout” experiment is running well and we hope to be sharing the results of the diary study and prototypes soon.
  • The new first time user experience is continuing to make good progress and is quickly approaching finalisation
  • We are now allowing account deactivation for users that signed up through SSO
  • On ElementX we have merged the new crash reporting service and we are starting to see reports come in. We’ve also successfully integrated an initial version of the DesignKit and added room filtering

Element Android (website)

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

Danielle says

  • 1.4.19 is available and fixes some small bugs, including a fix for the regression surrounding space switching performance.
  • Our prototype study is nearly at a close - we’ve received a lot of great feedback on our suggested changes to the home screen and space switching interactions.
  • We’ve been working on integrating UnifiedPush for both Google Play and FDroid versions of our app.
  • The team is finalising the updates to the create account flow. It will be ready for testing soon.

Dept of VoIP 🤙

Element Call (website)

Native Decentralised End-to-end Encrypted Group Calls in Matrix, as a standalone web app

Florian Heese reports

Element Call Beta 2

This week we landed Element Call beta 2 (https://call.element.io) including a bunch of nice updates. First of all, everything is now end-to-end encrypted by default: not only the WebRTC streams but also the matrix signaling (It was consciously disabled in beta 1 for debugging purposes). Moreover, we have experimental support for spatial audio rendering. Give it a try — you can find it in the settings section. It's a lot of fun to play with and really supports immersion during a video call. This release also introduces a whole new experimental way of communicating: Walkie-talkie mode. In that mode, videos are disabled, and everyone is muted by default. To speak, press the ‘push-to-talk’ (PTT) button — takes me back to my childhood 🙂

For further details follow this blog post: https://element.io/blog/element-call-beta-2-encryption-spatial-audio-walkie-talkie-mode-and-more/

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Matrix Dart SDK (website)

Matrix SDK written in pure Dart and maintained by Famedly.

Henri Carnot announces

Version 0.9.12

This week, the team released version 0.9.12. In this version, we updated our Matrix API Lite package, in which we fixed the issue with the room hierarchy endpoint with some improper parsing and wrong type coming from the generation of the spec Open API documentation.

We also did some housekeeping and renamed some methods and getter to make them explicit. For example, the futureSender getter is now an asynchronous method called fetchEventSender() to make it clear that calling this function may trigger an API call.

Possibility to override the supported Matrix spec version but we don't really recommend using it for production.

See you next time ;)

Dept of Internet of Things 💡

cvwright reports

Here's a fun Matrix-based project for you, sponsored by yours truly and my employer FUTO.

The "Golden Tiger" senior capstone project team at Portland State University just delivered the results of two quarters's design and implementation work on a secure/private, self-hostable, end-to-end encrypted cloud security camera using Raspberry Pi's and Matrix. The idea of this prototype project was to provide similar functionality to commercial services like Ring or Nest, but without letting any nosy third party see inside (or around) your home.

The students' code is available on Github in two repos:

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
1samlord.me335.5
2neko.dev386
3maescool.be403
4plocki.org491
5krutonium.ca516
6synapse1.arsrobotics.org705
7quyo.de986
8ewsandor.com1063
9shortestpath.dev1294.5
10alemann.dev1333

#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
1flatturtle.xyz325.5
2rcp.tf334
3dendrite.matrix.org349.5
4dendrite.neilalexander.dev384
5kszczot.pl482
6rustybever.be601
7sspaeth.de656

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2022-06-03

2022-06-03 — This Week in Matrix — Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

Dept of Spec 📜

TravisR reports

Hey all, it's been a holiday for much of the team this week, so from the plane of Maple trees I present to you the 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://spec.matrix.org/unstable/proposals

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, we've been working on getting Matrix 1.3 out the door and generally working towards a better process for handling releases alongside critical proposals for the protocol. The goal is to be able to ship these major features while reducing the risk of a release falling behind. Watch this space for more details as this should result in MSCs getting through the process a little bit quicker.

For Matrix 1.3, we're targeting Thursday, June 16th, 2022 as our release date, though this comes with a small asterisk: we're looking to land quite a lot of stuff so might have to adjust the date once more as needed. We do feel reasonably confident in the date though - watch for blog posts titled Matrix 1.3 in the coming weeks.

Random MSC of the week

The script has chosen MSC2846 - Decentralizing media through CIDs as your random MSC this week. The MSC raises an interesting question about how to make media more akin to events in Matrix. If you're interested in this area, take a read of it and the related MSCs.

Dept of GSoC 🎓️

Encrypted Search for Matrix

burgers says

Hey there, I'm Aditya Rajput (aka BURG3R5), a sophomore at IIT Roorkee, India. This summer I'll be working on implementing encrypted Search in Matrix rooms. More details about this project can be found here. Once a week, I'll be blogging about my progress (plus some neat stuff I find during research) in this blog. Technical discussion and more frequent updates can be found in the public room #encrypted-search:matrix.org.

While writing my GSoC proposal, I'd already made some progress w.r.t. the actual code required for this project, and my preliminary implementation can be found here.

Looking forward to working in this ecosystem with you all!

Kazv Project

nannanko announces

Hello everyone, my name is nannanko. From today, I will officially participate in GSoC to contribute code to the Kazv Project. I hope I can get along well with you all.

3rd Party Authorised Room Membership

kuries says

Hey there! I'm Binesh Munukurthi, a Computer Science student from India. I'll be working on the 3rd Party Authorised Room Membership project for this year's GSoC.

This project aims to develop an application that has the ability to delegate membership of a room based on a user’s interaction with other third party services. For more details on what I'll be implementing, please refer to the link

I'll be posting my weekly updates here If you are interested in knowing more about the project's progress, feel free to join the public room #matrix-cerberus:cadair.com.

I look forward to spending a wonderful summer with you all! Thanks!

NeoChat

flyingcakes announces

Hi! I'm Snehit Sah. I will be contributing to KDE's Matrix client, NeoChat, during GSoC. I will add Spaces support to the application. My progress can be followed at my blog. Hoping for a fun stay!

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

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

Shay says

This week was a short one, but work continues on fast room joins, testing Synapse with workers on Complement, and increasing the efficiency of Synapse with regard to database i/o. In addition, we released v1.60.0 (https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/releases), which includes

  • work to reduce the possibility of database corruption
  • a fix to a bug introduced in Synapse 1.60.0rc1 that would break some imports from synapse.module_api

Dendrite (website)

Second generation Matrix homeserver

Till reports

This week we released Dendrite 0.8.7! This is a highly recommended update since it fixes some fairly large bugs:

  • Support added for room version 10
  • A number of state handling bugs have been fixed, which previously resulted in missing state events, unexpected state deletions, reverted memberships and unexpectedly rejected/soft-failed events in some specific cases
  • Fixed destination queue performance issues as a result of missing indexes, which speeds up outbound federation considerably
  • A bug which could cause the /register endpoint to return HTTP 500 has been fixed

As always, please feel free to join us in the #dendrite:matrix.org room for more discussion!

Dept of Clients 📱

Quadrix

JFA announces

Quadrix is a single-codebase, multi-platform project, using the meanwhile deprecated ReactXP framework (Microsoft's answer to Flutter), which compiles to iOS, Android, and web/Electron. The Quadrix apps are available in the main app stores for mobiles and desktops (including Snapcraft and Flathub). Repo is at https://github.com/alariej/quadrix. Would be great to have a few people test the apps and leave feedback in the repo or in the (still empty) #quadrix:matrix.org room!

Important: Quadrix doesn't support E2EE yet, but it's on the TODO.

Element iOS (website)

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

Ștefan says

  • Our prototypes for a new app layout are going well. Just a few people have early access in order to give us feedback to ensure we’re building a new layout that works for everyone. Watch this space!
  • We’ve been working on improving our onboarding flow so that users signing up for Matrix and Element find it much easier. This work is making great progress.
  • Live location sharing is also making great progress and is quickly approaching the beta phase
  • On the ElementX front we’ve been busy adopting async/await, introducing state machines, a new design kit component and hooking up crash reporting and sentry.io

Element Android (website)

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

Manu reports

  • We are a bit late on the release candidate. We want to fix a performance regression when switching spaces. It will be available early next week.
  • We have merged the UnifiedPush PR from P1gP1g. We are doing some adjustments but users will be able to choose their push distributor soon.
  • The prototypes that are with a small group of early access tester are going down a storm - we’re getting lots of great feedback that will help to build a new app layout that works for all.
  • Our improvements to the first time user experience are nearly ready for testing and shipping! We’re hoping to make our onboarding experience a lot simpler for folks that are creating an account.

Cinny (website)

Cinny is a Matrix client focused on simplicity, elegance and security

Lozenge reports

Cinny v2.0.4

What's changed

  • Fix emoji autocomplete in some cases
  • Hide verify button if Cross-Signing is not enabled
  • Add support for building docker image for linux/arm64
  • Fix drag-n-drop not working in desktop app
  • Add dev-tools to production builds of desktop app
  • Fix copy-paste not working on macOS in desktop app
  • Flatpak package for the desktop app

Find more about Cinny at https://cinny.in/ · Join our channel at: #cinny:matrix.org · Github: https://github.com/ajbura/cinny · Twitter: https://twitter.com/@cinnyapp

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Populus Viewer (website)

A Social Annotation Tool Powered by Matrix

gleachkr says

The last two weeks have been focused mainly on nuts-and bolts improvements to user experience, rather than any big new pieces of functionality. We've:

  1. Added upload previews for PDFs and audiovisual media, so you can confirm you're uploading the right thing before creating a discussion.
  2. Added a method to precompute PCM data for more accurate waveforms in audiovisual-media-based discussions.
  3. Allowed for join rules and annotation visibility to be modified separately in settings
  4. Added support for URLs linking directly to particular events

As always, if you're interested in social annotation on matrix, come join us at #opentower:matrix.org!

Dept of VoIP 🤙

Element Call (website)

Native Decentralised End-to-end Encrypted Group Calls in Matrix, as a standalone web app

Matthew reports

We've had breakthroughs this week on implementing a native Matrix SFU (selective forwarding unit) which speaks MSC3401, thanks to Sean DuBois - all round WebRTC superstar, project lead for the Pion WebRTC implementation for Go, and author of WebRTC for the curious.

Sean generously contributed an initial proof of concept to show how you'd build an MSC3401 SFU using Pion at https://github.com/matrix-org/sfu-to-sfu - which (I think?) is the first time that the first implementation of a major core MSC has been contributed from outside the core team. Huge thanks to Sean to setting the ball going on this - the current PoC demonstrates not just SFU capability but also the decentralised cascading architecture which makes MSC3401 unique. The initial PoC speaks a 'test jig' version of MSC3401 hooked up to a simple web client for experimentation, but Matthew's now experimenting with adding genuine Matrix support to it via mautrix-go, and hooking up Element Call to speak to it.

Adding SFU support to Element Call will mean that we can support more than ~7 simultaneous calls - and with MSC3401-style decentralised cascading, we should be able to support hundreds or even thousands. There's lots of work remaining here, but the ball is now rolling. For more info about SFUs and MSC3401, check out Matthew's CommCon 2021 talk (which was what prompted Sean's implementation work here!)

Separately, we've been running Element Call on staging with E2EE enabled for the last few weeks, and should be releasing the first major Element Call update next week. And once SFUs land, then Element Call can exit beta - watch out Zoom!

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

libolm (website)

uhoreg announces

libolm 3.2.12 has been released. The main update in this release is that the olm_sas_calculate_mac_fixed_base64 is now exposed in all the official bindings, so that MSC3783 can be implemented. Aside from that, there have been some minor fixes and improvements. See the changelog for more information.

matrix-rust-sdk (website)

Matrix Client-Server SDK for Rust

ben says

While most of the work in the background continues (Sliding-Sync PoC, Wasm+NodeJS support, UniFFI macros), the first few parts surface through the cracks and show themselves in new PRs: basic wasm web-js and nodejs support has landed with more APIs, tests and documentation on the way; the Sliding Sync PoC has been upgraded to the latest JSON layout and now provides a first set of reactive API via FFI, too. Furthermore this week has seen a bunch of cleanups, simplifications and clarifications around the OlmMachine and crypto types, and we're fixing a bug in the state store, where not all data has been properly encrypted in the past.

👉️ 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 Dart SDK (website)

Matrix SDK written in pure Dart and maintained by Famedly

Henri Carnot announces

Dart Matrix SDK : Version 0.9.9

This week, the team released version 0.9.9. In this new version, we added a search function to allow searching for an event in database and on server through several requests to the /messages endpoint.

There was also some work on updating the image size when generating thumbnail, which allow saving a bit of calculation when sending events. If using a custom resizer make sure to update the resize response as here.

We also did some refactor with the event sender getter. The getter result is now a future to allow requesting the member event to the server if we cannot find it in memory, to help fix the issue when the user was not found in memory.

Finally, a quick helper function (client.waitForSync) was added. It allows you to wait for a room to appear in (left, join, invited) section of the sync response.

See you next time ;)

Dept of Bots 🤖

Matrix Community Manager (website)

The highly configurable message aggregation and filtering bot for matrix!

Sleuth announces

Only a small update this week. One new feature and some much needed Ansible improvements.

Pipes move messages from one room to an other. Useful if you are in important rooms but only want to monitor a single room. The Ansible role can now manage more aspects of MCM. Mainly in the post setup phase. The major one being if you run into encryption errors for any reason you can run the playbook with the fix tag and it will generate you a new device ID and encryption store.

  • Pipes move all messages from one room to an other.
  • Adding a filter now uses the room the command was sent from by default if the roomid is not specified.
  • Ansible role now has tags for start, stop, configs, fix and all.
  • Ansible role backs up the configuration.toml file to prevent the possibility of data loss.

Gitlab releases Come chat on Matrix

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
1the-apothecary.club450
2envs.net462
3polarbear.army473
4alemann.dev504
5aria-net.org530.5
6conduit.rs618
7tilduke.org643.5
8almum.de662
9keks.club731
10quyo.de879

#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
1conduit.rs294.5
2dendrite.matrix.org305
3dendrite.neilalexander.dev387
4conduit.grich.sk433
5foxo.me465
6rustybever.be512
7cry.is521
8kszczot.pl527

That's all I know 🏁

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

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