This Week in Matrix 2021-11-05

05.11.2021 20:02 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Thib
Last update: 05.11.2021 18:48

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

This week we have demos from andybalaam, showcasing high contrast in Element Web/Desktop, Bruno walking us through device dehydration in Hydrogen and Kegan giving us a glimpse of Sync v3! A lot of exciting work going on here!

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

anoa reports

Here's your weekly spec update! The heart of Matrix is the specification - and this is modified by Matrix Spec Change (MSC) proposals. Learn more about how the process works at https://spec.matrix.org/unstable/proposals.

MSC Status

New MSCs:

MSCs with proposed Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs entered proposed FCP state this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

Merged MSCs:

Spec Updates

The spec release mentioned last week is happening on Tuesday - look out for a long blog post explaining all the changes, and check out the new platform (as it stands in its current, unstable state) before it goes live. Exciting stuff!

Random Spec of the Week

The random spec of the week is... MSC3217: Soft kicks!

Other than this sounding like something out of a workout routine, soft kicks are proposed as a hint to clients that the user has been kicked from the room, but that it was not out of moderation, but for a technical reason (the example given disconnection from an IRC network). The client can then present a different UX as opposed to a normal, "hard" kick.

Give it a read and provide feedback if the topic interests you!

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse β†—

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

callahad announces

This week we released Synapse 1.46! This release includes a fix for the performance regression from 1.44 which could cause smaller hosts to lock up when clients reconnected after some time offline.

Synapse 1.46 also includes experimental support for MSC3440: Threading via m.thread relation, a big step toward threaded messaging in Matrix. It's otherwise mainly a bugfix release, as we've spent much of our time reviewing infrastructure and making plans to improve our resilience should we experience hardware failures similar to what took out matrix.org two weeks ago.

We continue working toward a prototype implementation of MSC2775: Lazy loading over federation, starting with setting up automated infrastructure to repeatedly measure the join speeds of assorted large, public rooms. Our goal is to have a rough proof of concept for lazy room joins by the end of the year.

We also released Sydent 2.5.0! In addition to fixing bugs, this release passes mypy --strict, uses Jinja2 for templates, and supports the room_type field from MSC3288 to better differentiate between invitations to rooms and invitations to Spaces.

Threads! Awesome! And lazy loading over the federation looks really promising, I can't wait for it.

Homeserver Deployment πŸ“₯️

Helm Chart β†—

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace announces

As is routine at this point; My Helm Charts have seen updates, with matrix-synapse bumping to 1.46.0

Keep your infra up to date, folks!

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

mx-puppet-*

Sorunome [m] announces

Soru has not found any time to work on the mx-puppet-* project in very long. At this point, it makes sense to look for someone / multiple people to inherit the project to. So, if you are willing to pick it up, or part of it (like a single bridge, only the library, etc.), then please look by #mx-puppet-bridge:sorunome.de. Thanks!

It's always sad when maintainers don't have time for former projects, but you can take over!

mautrix-whatsapp β†—

A Matrix-WhatsApp puppeting bridge

tulir says

mautrix-whatsapp v0.2.0 was released. The main change is switching to the new WhatsApp multidevice API, which means the phone doesn't need to be connected 24/7 anymore. The release also includes a new backfilling system using MSC2716, and making the relaybot mode less special-cased and more like what mautrix-signal does.

Heisenbridge β†—

Heisenbridge is a bouncer-style Matrix IRC bridge.

hifi reports

Release v1.5.0 πŸ₯³

  • Allow opening multiple simultaneous connections to the same network
  • New STOP/STAHP ROOM command to end a long paste flood
  • Clear channel send queue if the user gets kicked to prevent continuing flood on rejoin
  • New KB ROOM command to do a proper kick & ban (contributed by GitHub user @blastrock, thanks!)

The most useful feature this week is having the ability to open multiple connections to the same network. This can be used to plumb channels with a secondary connection while using the bridge as yourself with the main one. You can also STAHP long pastes from being actually sent out completely to a channel if you weren't careful enough on Matrix side.

Upgrading from previous version to v1.5.0 will cause a small migration for every channel/pm that is open so it might take a little longer for the first startup to complete. If no multiple network connections are opened it is safe to downgrade but if someone uses the feature it will cause shenanigans for the duplicate networks in the older version.

Inject your fix from GitHub, PyPI or matrix-docker-ansible-deploy!

Thanks!

As always, Heisenbridge being thoughtful towards our IRC peers.

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Nheko β†—

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

Nico reports

We are preparing for a release! That means, if you are translator, we could use your help to get our translations updated and if you want to have a bug fixed before release, now is the time to report it or complain about it! Please come and see us in #nheko:nheko.im for complaints and questions!

We saw a lot of translation updates by Linerly, Priit and Thulinma already. The click ghosting issue in the room list should be fixed as well as the crash when accepting an invite from your browser. You can now register on matrix.org again, after fighting with some... reality deforming wording in the spec. Notifications on macOS now use the "modern" API for notifications, including grouping notifications by room. (Expect more fancy improvements there in the future!) The warning about mentioning the whole room now vanishes properly, hiding space children from the roomlist now doesn't hide them from the space itself anymore, the loading spinner shouldn't show in a fully loaded room again, the room directory search bar is now focused by default and a few smaller fixes.

We also completed the bootstrapping UI now. This means you get prompted for unverified devices, when your device isn't verified or when cross-signing isn't configured for your account yet and you are given ways to remedy that.

We have a few more bug fixes we want to land before the release, so don't expect it tomorrow, but we have the featureset down now. And if you thought the changes listed in this snippet are long, wait for the full release changelog. It will probably take a few days for me to tidy that up and I think this will be our biggest release yet! Happy testing, everyone!

Hydrogen β†—

Hydrogen is a lightweight matrix client with legacy and mobile browser support

Bruno reports

Device dehydration support got released this week in 0.2.20 (see matrix live demo!), allowing you to decrypt messages sent to you while not logged in on any device. Expect another release this evening (0.2.21) with support for multiple lines in the composer and some other bug fixes.

Fractal β†—

Matrix messaging app for GNOME written in Rust.

Alexandre Franke says

To adapt to changes in libadwaita, Marco Melorio removed a deprecated class. In the meantime, enterprisey fixed the build by updating the Matrix Rust SDK dependency and improved Secret Service error handling.

After being away for a few month, KΓ©vin Commaille came back with a blast. No less than three MR already, and I have a feeling he’s only getting started:

As usual, Julian reviewed and merged all the above work, and did some of his own:

We'll refrain from asking when Fractal-Next is due! It's starting to take shape!

Element β†—

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

Thib reports

  • We’re continuing to flesh out space creation screens on iOS, improving the invite flows post creation for private and public spaces.
  • We’re continuing to iterate on the overall app layout on Web, to fix fundamental usability issues.
    • Expect to see some changes on develop soon, rearranging the top left corner of the app (user avatar, space names, context menu).
    • Expect to see larger experiments landing on develop soon too. We’ll share more info on these when they’re live, and everything will be opt out to not break existing workflows while we’re testing and experimenting.

Element Web/Desktop β†—

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

kittykat says

  • Released Element Web 1.9.4RC
  • Community testing session ran successfully on RC with a focus on voice messages and VoIP calls. We found significantly fewer issues and regressions than in the previous sessions. It was great to see 9 newcomers - thank you to all of our testers who helped out!
  • Improved our sentry analytics data to provide more useful detail.
  • Redesigned the device management section in the user settings. The new view makes it clearer how to rename devices and lets you verify them.
  • This week in labs (features in labs can be accessed at develop.element.io and nightly desktop builds):
    • Threads now has a more polished UI and users can now link to events in a thread. Notifications for threads messages are being worked on and should land very soon.

Element iOS β†—

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

Thib reports

  • We worked on stabilization in order to fix a couple of bugs and crashes found in last releases.
  • We started to work on poll feature.
  • We started to work on threading feature.

Element Android β†—

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

Thib says

  • Release 1.3.6 is finally live on the PlayStore! Release 1.3.7 is expected for the beginning of next week.
  • We have started to implement threading of messages.
  • Draft for voice message has been delayed, we want to ensure that it’s working well before releasing it.
  • We are doing lots of internal migrations: Dagger to Hild, MvRx to Mavericks2, Rx to coroutines Flow.
  • And as always, we are trying to keep the app as stable as possible, and as reliable as possible
  • It’s also worth noting that the SDK 1.3.6 has some improvements in the login API, not needed for Element Android, but requested by other users of the SDK.

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Godot-Matrix

houkime reports

Godot-Matrix is a C++ module for connecting to Matrix from the Godot Game Engine. I refurbished it and the changes made it upstream now ^_^, thx vurpo! :
https://www.matrix.org/docs/projects/sdk/godot-matrix/

Changes:

  • Fixed compilation for 3.x Godot branch
  • Support plain http too for local tests with Conduit
  • Respect port numbers (as per Matrix spec)
  • Substantial rewrite of the example so it works

Refurbishment made with love for the participants of FediJam 4, a weeklong gamedev competition with the focus on fediverse and federated multiplayer (via Matrix or any other means ^_^). It starts this Sunday at 18:00 UTC. Chat

Matrix-Rust-SDK-Bot-Framework-Helper β†—

A toolkit for writing commandbots more efficient in rust for matrix.

MTRNord announces

MRSBFH is now available on crates.io.

Unlike other "overlay" style crates it does not follow the sdk versions using its own version number or using features. So please make sure you use the right version of the SDK with it.

Also it now has support for rusttls, the ! at the start of a command now gets correctly checked and is updated to the latest sdk.

You can check it out at https://crates.io/crates/mrsbfh and https://github.com/MTRNord/mrsbfh

Halcyon β†—

Halcyon is an easy to use matrix library inspired by discord.py

gen3 announces

This release brings some new non-breaking features and a small fix:

  • Added
    • on_ready, called once the bot has logged in and online
    • send_typing, allowing the bot to signal it has received your message with the client typing event
    • improved documentation (including how to set the poll interval)
  • Fixed
    • A sync failure when Homeservers sometimes reject or return a non json response

More info at on the project at https://github.com/WesR/Halcyon . Come by and chat with us over in https://matrix.to/#/#halcyon:blackline.xyz

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

Mother Miounne β†—

The backoffice of etke.cc service

Aine announces

Mother Miounne v2.1.0

New release of the Commander of etke.cc backoffice is coming here! New version brings new neat features and extends arsenal of the antispam tricks:

  • buymeacoffee listings integration - pretty basic, but that's just a first step! So now you can list subscribers, supporters and extras purchases directly in matrix room (spolier: next releases will bring notifications about new subscribers, supporters and purchases)
  • rate limiter for http forms - no one can bother you if you don't want that! So now you can configure specific rate limits per form
  • enhanced email validation (mostly used in the forms module) - you had spam hosts and emails list before, but now you have MX records checks, regular expressions check and some other useful tricks to hold the door stop spammers
  • ... and some small changes, like doc updates and auto-shrink of long messages to fit into matrix payload limits

Check out the source code, releases, docker images and say hello in #miounne:etke.cc

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

matrix-vacation-responder

Sumner Evans says

I created a Vacation Responder for Matrix. While running, it responds to any DMs that come in to your account with a preset message. It can be configured to only respond once in a given period of time (defaults to 24 hours) so that the person contacting you can queue up questions for you when you return. Other ways to use the bot include responding to DMs to previously active accounts (for example if you move homeservers). Join the discussion about this bot at #matrix-vacation-responder:nevarro.space.

Dept of Events and Talks πŸ—£οΈ

SeaGL (the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference)

Salt announces

SeaGL (the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference) is being held on Matrix Friday and Saturday, November 5th and 6th, from 9am-5pm Pacific Time. The conference is running on a customized version of element-web and a regional Matrix homeserver, found at https://attend.seagl.org

Founded in 2013, this is the conference's ninth year overall and second virtual event. Last year, the all-volunteer team built their portal on-top of KiwiIRC and Jitsi for attendees, and BigBlueButton for speakers. This year they have been relying heavily on Spaces, Subspaces, and the built-in features that have been rapidly developing within the Matrix protocol.

From their website:

SeaGL (the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference) is a freeβ€”as in freedom and teaβ€”grassroots technical summit dedicated to spreading awareness and knowledge about free / libre / open source software, hardware, and culture.

SeaGL strives to be welcoming, enjoyable, and informative for professional technologists, newcomers, enthusiasts, and all other users of free software, regardless of their background knowledge; providing a space to bridge these experiences and strengthen the free software movement through mentorship, collaboration, and community.

FrOSCon

Oleg announces

The recording of the talk at the FrOSCon this year (in πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ) about Opsdroid with AI/ML (Rasa NLU) πŸ˜‰

Dept of Guides 🧭

Cadair reports

Following a question from someone about getting started with Matrix bots, I wrote a super quick getting started guide to writing a simple bot with opsdroid. I will probably integrate this into the opsdroid docs, or somewhere more accessible in the future, but for now here it is: https://gist.github.com/Cadair/2c64cb46fdce7499ff1c0bbb116ce29e

Being an innocent child, I asked:

are you aware of projects relying on opsdroid to make a Matrix bot? Other than half of the very famous TWIM bot πŸ˜‡

Cadair answered

I have written a few (https://github.com/Cadair/skill-motw, https://github.com/Cadair/skill-intersphinx, https://github.com/Cadair/skill-jitsi) I know that Oleg has also written a number, including many which interact with homeassistant.

I can also go and ask for examples in #opsdroid-general:matrix.org if you like?

I didn't know what I had started! We almost became This Week in Opsdroid! Fortunately the Matrix community is very active and helped us keeping sovereignty over the blog. Phew!

There are too many to list here, but I strongly encourage you to blend in with the opsdroid community. Not only are these kind people, they are also very active and develop fancy and useful bots!

Matrix in the News πŸ“°

Pascal brought to our attention a nice guide from the Fedora Magazine on how to have multiple matrix sessions with Element on Fedora.

Dept of Ping πŸ“

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
1boba.best529
2heitkoetter.net765
3maescool.be873
4envs.net886
5aria-net.org926
6matrix.markshorten.co.uk1201
7mailstation.de3555.5
8trygve.me3853.5
9jauriarts.org4394.5
10matrix.liamgooch.com4445

#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
1ma.0x.no424
2jae.su448
3weasy-is-my.name453
4dendrite.neilalexander.dev1179
5matrix.awesomesheep48.me1318
60x1a8510f2.space1818.5
7dendrite01.fiksel.info2218
8dendrite.matrix.org9999

That's all I know 🏁

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

Synapse 1.46.0 released

02.11.2021 00:00 β€” Releases β€” Dan Callahan

Synapse 1.46.0 is out now and includes support for Ubuntu 21.10: Impish Indri.

This release includes a fix for a performance regression that surfaced in Synapse 1.44.

Progress on Threading

While still disabled by default, we're beginning to land code in Synapse to support threaded discussions in Matrix. In particular, the m.thread event relationship defined in MSC3440 is now implemented behind a configuration flag.

There are still many open questions here, and MSC3440 has not yet been approved to merge into the Matrix spec, but it's a start. Threading is essential to Matrix's continued growth and adoption, and we're excited to provide server-side support to this effort.

Bug Fixes and Refactors

This release is mostly comprised of bug fixes and improvements to static typing. Of note:

  • The export-data admin command now works and is tested in CI. This command helps server administrators respond to GDPR Subject Access Requests.
  • A weeks-long effort to refactor how Synapse validates the auth_events field of incoming PDUs has concluded, resolving a few corner cases which could incorrectly allow events into the room state which should instead be rejected.
  • Further static type hints have been added to Synapse, improving our precise type coverage to 85% of all lines. Currently, 13% of the Python files in synapse/ are skipped during mypy runs. We'd like to cut this in half by the end of the year, as well as increasing overall precise coverage in the codebase.

Sydent 2.5.0

This week also saw the release of Sydent 2.5.0, the reference implementation of a Matrix Identity Server. In addition to fixing bugs, Sydent 2.5.0 passes mypy --strict, uses Jinja2 for templates, and supports the room_type field from MSC3288 to better differentiate between invitations to rooms and invitations to Spaces.

Everything Else

  • The Admin API to create or modify accounts now accepts a user_type field, allowing for accounts to be set as belonging to bots or support staff.
  • Password auth providers can now be implemented using the new pluggable extension module APIs.

Please see the Synapse Release Notes for a complete list of changes in this release.

Synapse is a Free and Open Source Software project, and we'd like to extend our thanks to everyone who contributed to this release, including aaronraimist, AndrewFerr, dklimpel, and Legogris.

This Week in Matrix 2021-10-29

29.10.2021 18:56 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Thib

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

This week my guest is Element's Kat who conducted various Community Testing Sessions. If you want to learn more about it, why Kat is conducting them, and how you can help, have a look at it!

Dept of Social Good πŸ™†

Denise reports

TL;DR: Europe is close to officially regulating big corporations and forcing them to open their silos via the Digital Markets Act. Element joined forces with other companies to make sure that the members of the European Commission about to vote on the regulation knew how important it is.

Matrix was created to break the silos, as an interoperable layer for all communications. We wanted to ensure people had the ability to choose where their data is stored, and had the choice of interface to access them. This was also a good way to enable better competition and innovation in the communication space, forcing the players to compete on value add. But whilst Matrix is already a 39M users open network in itself, it could be even better if the bigger silos decided to open up and participate into it.

In December last year, as part of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), the European Commission proposed to update the competition law for digital markets with rules mandating β€˜gatekeeping’ platforms to open up, in order to enable innovation and data sovereignty.

This move is so aligned with Matrix and Element’s mission, that Element joined over twenty other organisations to launch the Coalition for Competitive Digital Markets on Tuesday the 26th. The coalition supports stronger rules for large online platforms in the DMA, calling for amendments to it to make sure that major services offer a public API to interact with their core services and to ban the pre-installation and default setting of core platform apps.

Matrix is a perfect example of how technology can thrive through openness and collaboration. We will bring our experiences of using federated and decentralised technologies to MEPs and Council members, in the hope for a regulatory framework which supports European innovation, competition and interoperability.

For more information and to sign our open letter, check out our website: competitivedigitalmarkets.eu

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

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://spec.matrix.org/unstable/proposals.

MSC Status

New MSCs:

  • There were no new MSCs created this week.

MSCs with proposed Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs entered proposed FCP state this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

Merged MSCs:

Spec Updates

Matrix 1.1 is just around the corner! The team continues to work hard on getting the infrastructure surrounding the new release process set up, as well as reviewing MSCs, including the ones you can see above!

The current speculative release date is in about a week or two. Keep your eyes peeled!

Random Spec of the Week

The random spec of the week is... MSC3192: Batch state endpoint!

This is one of those MSCs that will likely be sorely needed at some point in time, but currently hasn't gotten a lot of attention. I can think of all sorts of usecases for this (on top of the many that the MSC puts forwards). Go ahead and give it a read!

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse β†—

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

callahad says

Over the weekend, one of the servers backing matrix.org suffered a hardware failure, leading to around half an hour of downtime as we failed over to another system. Remediating and monitoring that has been the focus of much of the Synapse team over the past week.

We also shipped a release candidate for Synapse 1.46, due for formal release next week. Notably, we believe this solves a performance regression which was introduced in Synapse 1.44. If you've been experiencing long hangs or other periods of unresponsiveness, please try upgrading to 1.46.0rc1 and let us know if it resolves your issues.

The Synapse team has also decided to aim for building a rough prototype of MSC2775: Lazy loading over federation by the end of the year, in hopes that this will pave the way to extremely fast joins of large rooms.

We're also continuing to work on static type checking in our projects: As of today, Sydent passes mypy --strict! We hope to write about what we've learned in the near future.

dmr says

Here's an addendum about Sydent. We can see the results of our efforts visually, thanks to mypy's reporting options. Two different metrics show increasing coverage since our typing efforts began in the summer. The grey strip shows the last fortnight's sprint in particular.

Homeserver Deployment πŸ“₯️

Helm Chart β†—

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace says

And as always, this week brings with it updates to my Helm Charts - with element-web being updated to 1.9.3

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

MAM support for BifrΓΆst

uhoreg reports

One of the shortfalls facing XMPP users of the BifrΓΆst Matrix bridge is the lack of support for Message Archive Management (MAM), which allows XMPP users to retrieve messages sent when they are offline, when they come online next time. Sunday Nkwuda and Olatunji Ajayi, with help from Pirate Praveen, are planning on writing support for MAM in XMPP.js (the XMPP library that Bifrost uses), and then adding MAM support to BifrΓΆst. Since this requires some dedicated full-time effort, they are fundraising to support this project at https://opencollective.com/mam-plugin-for-xmppjs. Many thanks to the XMPP Standards Foundation for serving as fiscal host for the fundraising.

Heisenbridge β†—

Heisenbridge is a bouncer-style Matrix IRC bridge.

hifi reports

Release v1.4.0 πŸ₯³

  • Free form AUTOCMD after joining a channel, per channel
  • Automatic rejoin on invite or kick (invite enabled by default)
  • AVATAR network room command to set avatars for IRC users (admin only)
  • WHOIS room command for PMs, PART for channels
  • Add ROOM command in network room to run channel room commands safely
  • Move PLUMBCFG stuff under ROOM command

A smaller release this time around which consists mostly of QoL stuff to make things a little easier. IdleRPG users can now rejoice and login to your character automatically with channel AUTOCMD when joining on reconnect as what's more important: running a bridge to engage in deep conversations or sit in a channel doing nothing?

Plumb users need to use the new generic ROOM command in network rooms to configure plumbs now that PLUMBCFG has been removed.

Go grab your fix from GitHub, PyPI or matrix-docker-ansible-deploy!

Thanks!

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Hydrogen β†—

Hydrogen is a lightweight matrix client with legacy and mobile browser support

Bruno reports

Several bug fix releases this week, and hope to get out another release tonight with support for dehydrated devices, which should prevent you from missing any messages while you are logged out of all your devices.

Element Web/Desktop β†—

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

kittykat announces

Our next community testing session on Web will be at 16:30 - 18:00 BST on Wednesday, 3rd November. We will be focusing on voice messages and calls. Join us in #element-community-testing:matrix.org to find out more and help out.

Thib says

  • Released element Web 1.9.3
  • Added sourcemap support to the sentry telemetry sent with rageshakes, and added support for opt-in automatic sentry reporting when errors occur as a labs flag
  • We’ve been working on making notifications and matrix.to work correctly with threads in Element Web. Our MSC continues to progress, receiving feedback from the Spec Core Team this week, and we’ve started to plan how to test the feature.
  • We’re also exploring more intuitive ways to lay out and customise Spaces on the web.

Element iOS β†—

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

Thib says

  • Fix memory management issues
  • Rewrite text composer
  • Depreciate MatrixKit
  • Implement PostHog analytics
  • Improve media sizing in the share extension
  • Improve the crypto store
  • We’re continuing to flesh out creating & managing Spaces on iOS.

Element Android β†—

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

Thib reports

  • Element Android 1.3.6 is on its way to the PlayStore but Google is taking looooong time to review. Release candidate 1.3.7 is scheduled to next Wednesday
  • Replacing Rx by coroutines Flow is nearly there, and will be merged on develop after the release 1.3.7.
  • Besides that we have started to work on Threads and on Polls.
  • Some changes have been made on the SDK API to suit SDK users regarding the AuthenticationService. They will be available in SDK 1.3.7 (next Wednesday).
  • And as always, we work to improve the performance of the application and of the SDK, as well as fixing bugs here and there.
  • We added two (opt-in) lab options:
    • Automatic bug report
    • Structured login / open telemetry (offline)
  • On the crypto side, we're making progress on Android Rust SDK, room shields and key backups

kittykat announces

Last week we had a successful and productive community testing session on Android where we found many issues, including 21 defects, which are already being addressed by product, designers and developers.

Cinny β†—

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

Lozenge says

Features

  • Add support for SSO login
  • Implement Profile Viewer
  • Add search in People drawer
  • Add option to filter People in People Drawer

Bugs

  • Fix make both user admin on DM create
  • Fix unable to send msg in DM from IRC users
  • Fixed inconsistent search in emojiboard
  • Fix profile picture inconsistency
  • Fix wildcard matching in emoji search
  • Fix message menu placement on large screen
  • Fix autofocus in msg input upon clicking emojis in emojiboard.

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 SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

AIOMatrix β†—

AIOMatrix is a simple Matrix bot library for creating bots.

forden says

Today has been released aiomatrix 0.2.0

Supported features:

  • almost full support of client-server API r0.6.1
  • handlers for any event
  • sending messages
  • editing messages
  • support for multiple accounts
  • extendable filters system

Check out examples in Github repo and join us in #aiomatrix:matrix.org (or in #aiomatrix-ru:matrix.org for russian-speaking folks)

Halcyon β†—

Halcyon is an easy to use matrix library inspired by discord.py

gen3 says

Hello again! Halcyon is a Matrix bot library created with the intention of being easy to install and use. This release brought some new non-breaking features:

  • Added markdown package as a dependency, used in formatted messages
  • Added support for the following message types: TEXT, EMOTE, NOTICE, IMAGE, FILE, AUDIO, VIDEO
  • Added support for downloading and uploading MXCs (matrix media)
  • Fixed a reported import issue when trying to use the CLI (Thanks @Josh)
  • Added more documentation and a new example in usage.md

More info at on the project at https://github.com/WesR/Halcyon Chat with us over in #halcyon:blackline.xyz

Dept of Events and Talks πŸ—£οΈ

Qt World Summit '21

kitsune says

Tobias Fella and I are going to give an introductory-level talk at Qt World Summit '21 next Wednesday (3-Nov) about data encryption in Qt applications, with me giving my usual general bla-bla high-level overview and then Tobias talking about really specific stuff like Base64 using std::variant and a bunch of Qt classes to make your encryption-using code less of spaghetti and more of good-looking modern C++. The talk will be at 15:30 CET/CDT (once for EMEA/APAC and once for Americas), Platform track. Advance registration is necessary. In fact, the talks are pre-recorded but both of us will be online during the session and shortly after so please come around to make sure The Qt Company gets the message and considers adding Quotient as another module to Qt (ok, that's just a dream for now but who knows...)

Berlin Meetup

jaller94 reports

Heads up for those in Berlin. You're welcome to join us Tuesday, 2nd Nov at 7:00 PM chatting about Matrix development and hosting. We're going to meet in person at c-base. In compliance with the hackerspace's house rules this is a strict 2G event.

If possible, join our #matrix-berlin:matrix.org room.

Dept of Interesting Projects πŸ›°οΈ

Collabs β†—

mweidner says

I work on Collabs, a library for making decentralized collaborative apps, and we have some demos that run on Matrix! E.g., in a widget-capable client like Element, send the message:

/addwidget https://compoventuals-tests.herokuapp.com/host.html?network=matrix&container=demos/rich-text/dist/rich_text.html

to add a collaborative text editor widget. (Fair warning: loading and saving is flaky, so don't type anything you can't afford to lose.)

All collaboration happens using messages sent to the Matrix room. So, you're not dependent on any external service provider, and the document is end-to-end encrypted if your room is.

We have more demos here, with instructions on how to use them in a widget. You can follow those same instructions to run your own Collabs apps (Getting Started Guide), without needing to host any servers yourself!

If you want to learn more about Collabs and see an app running on Matrix, check out my Strange Loop talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Exr0iY_D-vw&t=3s. The library is in an alpha state and not yet ready for production use, but we'll be improving it steadily over the next year.

Dept of Built on Matrix πŸ—οΈ

houkime says

In FediJam feedback we were asked to explore federated gaming. So, for my third FediJam I made a dead-simple prototype of a game using Matrix not for chat, but for multiplayer.

Behold, the Federated Triangle of Doom. Game creates a chat. Any message with 'boom' posted into there spawns the Red Triangle of malice. Yes, literally just it.

Behind the scenes, it uses Godot Engine, with godot-python to make it python-capable. To connect via Matrix, it leverages matrix-nio python module.
As a server, any Matrix server without captcha/email for registration will do!
For simple local tests, I included conduit with the Linux release.

Source Code (/blog/img/MIT)

Dept of Jobs πŸ’°οΈ

Matthew reports

Element is on the hunt for more VoIP and VR developers to help us build next-gen native Matrix video conferencing and VR/metaverse experiences on top of Matrix! If you believe the future of the metaverse should be free/libre, standards-based, open and equitable, come join the resistance! https://apply.workable.com/elementio/j/25BB112FBD/

Dept of Ping πŸ“

RankHostnameMedian MS
1envs.net569
2boba.best610
3neko.dev652.5
4ma.0x.no781.5
5matrix.markshorten.co.uk971
6aria-net.org999.5
7trygve.me1085
8fluse.duckdns.org1235
9one.ems.host1265
10matrix.farted.net1363

#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
1sspaeth.de387
2jae.su606
3matrix.awesomesheep48.me1717

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 2021-10-22

22.10.2021 00:00 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Alexandre Franke

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

Julian Sparber from the Fractal team was here with us this week, to tell us about the Fractal Next initiative: a rewrite of the app that leverages new technology. You can talk to the Fractal community by joining their room at #fractal:gnome.org.

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌑️

Sync v3

kegan shared very exciting news:

I've been working on a brand new /sync mechanism, dubbed sync v3, for the past few months. This is a complete overhaul of how clients live-stream sync data from homeservers, and fixes numerous pain points with /sync including:

  • Syncs taking minutes to complete.
  • Syncs sending back vast quantities of data (e.g read receipts for every room you're in).

Currently, this new API is designed around the idea of having dynamic sliding windows around a sorted room list for a user's account. The room list can be sorted in different ways and only rooms in the window are returned to the client. The room list can also be filtered down based on various criteria (e.g only rooms in these spaces, with events newer than this timestamp, etc) and a subset of current room state can be requested with each returned room.


         All joined rooms on user's account
Q W E R T Y U I O P L K J H G F D S A Z X C V B N M

\                                                 /
 \                                               /

  \      Subset of rooms matched by filters     /
   Q W E R T Y U I O P L K J H G F D S A Z X C V

                       |
   A C D E F G H I J K L O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z     Rooms sorted by_name (or by_recency, etc)

   |_______|
       |

   A C D E F                                         first 5 rooms requested

This list is kept sorted on the server and deltas are communicated to the client as a series of delta operations (e.g INSERT,DELETE,UPDATE). Multiple non-overlapping windows can be requested and the windows can also change their size dynamically.

This work is still currently in the pre-MSC stage as it's a huge undertaking, but an early, runnable, implementation lives at the sync-v3 repo. This works by setting up a proxy sync server which will make /sync requests to a target homeserver, and storing the data in a useful form for sync v3 queries. It then exposes the sync v3 API which can then actually show you real data from your account.

 +---------+                     +--------------+                                 +----------------+

 | sync v3 | <-- sync v3 API --> |   sync v3    | <--- normal /sync requests ---> | Any Homeserver |
 | client  |                     | proxy server |                                 |      Impl      |

 +---------+                     +--------------+                                 +----------------+

The proxy server also hosts a barebones web client which talks sync v3 at http://localhost:8008/client/ - to get started just point the proxy server to any HS and then paste in your access token to the web client. The web client is just a test jig so only has a read-only view of your account and lacks any scrollback, only showing live data. IMPORTANT: generate a new access token before using this client. Do NOT use the token from an existing client (e.g Element web) or else you risk being unable to decrypt E2EE messages.

Intrepid people are encouraged to run a server and see how fast sync on their own account could possibly be in the future. Note that the first sync will be slow as it has to fetch all the user's data via v2 /sync.

I know it’s going to be a while before this finally gets into our hands as users, but I’m looking forward to it!

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

Spec

anoa offered:

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

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

FCP is currently paused while everything that isn't currently implemented in the wild is removed for a future MSC.

New MSCs:

  • There were no new MSCs this week.

Spec Updates

This week the Spec Core Team has been marching ahead with getting the matrix-doc repository ready to start building new spec releases. Big props to Rich, Travis, Alexandre and others for charging ahead with it!

Otherwise, the Spec Core Team has been busy reviewing MSCs as can be seen from the above list of MSCs that have entered FCP this week. Particularly exciting is to see MSC2674 (event relationships, aka the stuff that powers message edits and reactions) coming close to merging! It's been a long time coming. Thanks to Bruno and everyone else who's reviewed it so far.

Random Spec of the Week

The random spec of the week is... MSC3214: Allow overriding m.room.power_levels using initial_state.

MSC3214 looks like an MSC that's been somewhat abandoned by everyone involved... But since there are already implementations out in the wild, it may be a simple one to get through!

2021-10-22-y3wpB-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of P2P πŸ‘₯

P2P Matrix

Neil Alexander told us:

This week we have spent some time optimising the Pinecone overlay routing protocol. We have added cryptographic signatures to the bootstrap and path setup process for stronger verification and have also reduced the amount of protocol maintenance traffic.

We are also finally starting to document how Pinecone works β€” you can find these living documents on the Pinecone repository wiki and many new comments have been added throughout the source code too.

We have also released build 88 of the P2P demo today for iOS and Android. These demos are forks of the Element app with an embedded Dendrite homeserver and Pinecone-based federation. Users can communicate with each other locally on the same Wi-Fi network, direct between devices in close proximity using Bluetooth Low Energy and globally by using internet peers!

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

Synapse is a popular homeserver written in Python.

callahad announced:

We released Synapse 1.45 this week!

This is the first release to support oEmbed autodiscovery, leading to richer link previews for many sites. See the release announcement for an example.

We also believe that we've finally fixed stuck messages! A race condition would occasionally prevent your sent events from syncing back down to all of your clients. This caused messages to look like they were stuck at the bottom of the room, waiting to finish sending, even though other users would receive and see them normally.

Please shout loudly in this GitHub issue if you see a stuck message on a server running 1.45 or later. πŸ˜‰

We've merged a further 9 pull requests to Sydent, making even more modules pass mypy --strict. We're not quite all the way there, but we're close! Most of the "leaf" modules are done, with the bulk of the remaining work to be done is on sydent.http. This is trickier because it's more exposed to the machinery of Twisted, but we'll get there.

We're already much more confident working in Sydent, and hope to apply these lessons to Synapse soon.

(Well, one lesson that won't apply is that type hints are especially valuable in codebases you don't touch as often... but we have no intention of slowing down on Synapse any time soon!)

Yes please, don’t slow down!

Homeserver Deployment πŸ“₯️

Kubernetes

Ananace offered:

This week too sees some Helm Chart updates, taking matrix-synapse first to 1.45.0 and then to .1 - as well as improving support for using existing secrets in a new deploy.

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

Heisenbridge

hifi announced:

Heisenbridge roundup!

Heisenbridge is a bouncer-style Matrix IRC bridge.

Release v1.3.0 πŸ₯³

  • SOCKS proxy support

  • CertFP authentication support

  • WHOIS command and reply formatting

  • Basic CTCP support (optional, default off)

  • Compatibility/workaround for Dendrite and Conduit registration configuration

  • README has been improved

Big ticket items this time around for privacy concerned users are connectivity improvements when using Tor/VPN with built-in SOCKS proxy support and CertFP authentication. Some WHOIS and CTCP has also been thrown in the mix for good measure!

Lately there has been quite a lot of people who are testing Dendrite or Conduit which has led to recurring support issues around some limitations they currently have with appservices. Heisenbridge now supports using and generating a "compatible" registration file (--generate-compat) for them that shouldn't be needed in the long run. I hope to drop this feature as soon as possible! 🍻

While Heisenbridge somewhat intentionally has very little documentation due to not having a refined UX yet the README has been updated with some frequently asked questions about installing and configuring it to the point you can talk with the appservice bot. A self-contained docker-compose setup has also been added to the repository to help testing it without installing anything on your system.

Go grab your fix from GitHub, PyPI or matrix-docker-ansible-deploy!

Thanks!

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

NeoChat

Carl Schwan offered:

Last Saturday we had an improvised NeoChat mini development sprint in a small hotel room in Berlin in the occasion of the 25th anniversary of KDE. In a good KDE tradition, Carl spent this time on improving NeoChat settings. He ported both the NeoChat general settings and the specific room settings to the new Kirigami.CategorizedSetting component. Tobias fixed a lot of papercuts and now the power level should be fetched correctly, we show the number of joined users instead of joined+invited users in the room information pane, the user search is now case insensitive. Nicolas focused on fixing our Android build by making the spellchecking feature compile on Android.

Aside from the mini-sprint, we also made a few more improvements during the week. Tobias fixed the flicking of the timeline on mobile and Carl made it possible for the user to resize the room information drawer.

2021-10-22-Jmghv-image.png

2021-10-22-NnIDk-image.png

2021-10-22-DQ-Cx-IMG_20211016_231939.jpg

Nheko

Nheko is a desktop client using Qt and C++17. It supports E2EE and intends to be full featured and nice to look at

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) said:

Thulinma added device management to Nheko. You can now also view your devices, that don't support encryption, delete devices, rename them and see their ip address. Additionally there were a few refactorings and code improvements. Most notably blurhashes should now decode twice as fast. Additionally there were a few small fixes to displaying hidden space rooms (we were checking the wrong power level, so in some cases fewer rooms got shown in a space, if they only had a parent set). That's all, was a busy week with lots of lasers!

Element

Updates from the teams:

Web

  • Finalised our team goals of reducing prioritised defects, shipping threads MVP, better release automation and getting posthog analytics live!
  • Working on clarifying the threads MSC in response to feedback
  • Working on user prompts for analytics
  • Fixed bugs in RTL text and code block rendering
  • Released Element Web 1.9.3RC

Spaces

  • On iOS, we’ve been implementing support for creating Spaces, implementing the screens using SwiftUI.
  • We’re also making good progress on iterating on the info architecture of the app, to make Spaces more intuitive. Expect more things soon!

iOS

  • Publish release 1.6.6 containing matrix.to display behavior improvements on timeline and other improvements made this week.
  • Improve matrix.to redirection in timeline, pushing views instead of replacing current ones
  • Improve settings UI
  • Allow images to be pasted from Safari rather than their URL
  • Implement message forwarding
  • Improve wellKnown parsing
  • Fix bugs and crashes

Android

  • Release candidate 1.3.4 has been prepared Wednesday and tested by the community during a testing session in the afternoon. It adds presence support for DM, and Android Auto support has been restored. You can find out more about the next testing session at #element-community-testing:matrix.org
  • We are preparing a version 1.3.5 which fixes small regressions and a bug in the Room settings.
  • Migration to Hilt (Dependency Injection library) is nearly there, PR is in review.
  • Notifications management has been rework, a bunch of issues has been fixed, this will be for release 1.3.6
  • We have started to work on Threads

Crypto Team:

  • UISI Hunting: Investigations and Auto UISIs reports lab option, UI improvement work started
  • Web: Device Trust view improvement
  • Next gen
    • Corroded-Android: Backup support
    • Messaging Layer Security

Fractal

Not only is Fractal’s Julian featured in this week’s Matrix Live, he also has been very active in the month since our previous report. I won’t list here the very long list of merged merge requests, but the most noteworthy changes he brought are:

Contributions from others include enterprisey fixing the backtrace setup and simplyfying some error management code, Marco Melorio adding a separator in the UI to adapt to a change in libadwaita, Rachit Keerti Das fixing an incorrect link to install from Flathub, and Maximiliano cleaning up our dependencies and application name in code.

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

time-to-matrix

Aine announced:

a small, weird tool that just works.

Hey, TWIM. Did you ever face a situation where you need to run any command prefixed with time command-name and get a ping in matrix room when it's done? No? Well, doesn't matter, now you can do that with one small command!

That thing called time-to-matrix (binary name: ttm) it works like time command-name and sends results to matrix room. Yes, pretty simple. Now you can use it πŸ˜€

Source code, Releases for all major OSes and architectures

Dept of Services πŸš€

Element One

Rick reported:

Element One is here! We’re giving TWIM a sneak preview of the new Matrix hosting service from Element in advance of the official launch next week. Element One* is a consumer-focused hosting option which gives you an individual Matrix account on our shiny new one.ems.host homeserver (with a matching Element Web at one.element.io). However, in addition to being a fast, snappy Matrix account, it also comes with unlimited personal bridging to Whatsapp, Signal and Telegram thanks to mautrix-whatsapp/signal/telegram!

Hopefully this is good news for those of you who have chats with friends and family on these other platforms, as you can now chat with them in one place from Element without having to mess around having to run your own bridge - and accounts cost just $5 per month.

Right now this is a (relatively) private / limited beta intended for the TWIM and EMS inner circle, and we'll be announcing more generally in the next few days / weeks. So, if you are interested, please check it out and sign up at https://ems.element.io/element-one :)

*not to be confused with Hydrogen

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

matrix-review-bot

valere reported:

Hello! What about having your Android & iOS customer reviews posted in a Matrix room as soon they happen?

I just released matrix-review-bot

Get your latest AppStore & Playstore review directly in your fav matrix room.

Mother Miounne

Aine offered:

Mother Miounne v1.1.0 v2.0.0

Good news - Miounne got new release with a lot of small neat changes (and even some features, yes-yes) and binary releases for major platforms and architectures

Good/bad news - e2e integration was removed, because I failed to implement to "well, usable" state 😭

So, go check out releases, changelog and don't forget to pull new docker images.

You asking what's that about? Mother Miounne is "backoffice" of etke.cc service.

I'm too sad to add good jokes and brief descriptions, so just join the #miounne:etke.cc room to find more

Dept of Events and Talks πŸ—£οΈ

SeaGL

Ben Cotton (he/him/his) told us:

SeaGL (Seattle GNU/Linux Conference) will be held online November 5–6, powered by Matrix. Join our freeβ€”as in freedom and teaβ€”grassroots technical summit. No registration required! This year's theme is "on cloud nine", in recognition of our ninth year.

Keynote speakers are:

  • Marie Nordin

  • Christine and Morgan Lemmer-Webber

  • Elana Hashman

  • Cory Doctorow

We have over three dozen other great talks on free and open source software, hardware, and culture. Plus some fun social activities. Volunteers are still needed if you want to lend a wing!

FOSDEM

Matthew reported:

FOSDEM says https://twitter.com/fosdem/status/1451475324684980241

Final Thoughts πŸ’­

Room of the week

timokoesters announced:

Hi everyone! Did you ever feel lost in the Matrix world? The room directory is big, but it's still hard to find something you like. Or are you a room moderator, but there is not much activity in your room because it doesn't have enough users?

This is why I want to share rooms (or spaces) I find interesting.


This week's room is: #weiqi:matrix.org

"The ancient board game known as Go."


If you want to suggest a room for this section, tell me in #roomoftheweek:fachschaften.org

Dept of Ping πŸ“

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
1eightballde.luxe524
2trolla.us592
3envs.net646
4synapse.yarnoush.be893.5
5matrix.markshorten.co.uk1008
6etke.cc1022
7wallace.sh1414
8mchus.pro2476
9matrix.liamgooch.com2843
10jeroenhd.nl3032

#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
1bwitch.me379
2sspaeth.de455
3grin.hu665.5
4matrix.awesomesheep48.me1079
50x1a8510f2.space1099

That's all I know 🏁

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

Synapse 1.45.1 released

20.10.2021 00:00 β€” Releases β€” Dan Callahan

Synapse 1.45.1 is out now! Python 3.10 and PostgreSQL 14 are now tested and supported by Synapse. Support for Python 3.6 and PostgreSQL 9.6 will be removed by the end of the year.

Note: This release may require changes to how media storage providers access your homeserver's configuration. See the Upgrade Notes for more information.

Note: Synapse 1.45.0 was released yesterday and changed how Synapse's monthly active user limits were calculated. Today's release of 1.45.1 reverts that change, but is otherwise identical to 1.45.0.

Support for oEmbed Autodiscovery

Synapse can now automatically discover rich metadata when generating previews of links to sites which support oEmbed.

Before:

synapse-1.44-link-preview

After:

synapse-1.45-link-preview

Note that URL previews are generated server-side, and thus generally disabled in encrypted rooms to avoid leaking information about message content to your homeserver. You may need to adjust the room's settings to see the new oEmbed previews.

Fixing Stuck Messages

This release of Synapse fixes a race condition which would occasionally prevent your sent events from syncing back down to all of your clients. This caused messages to look like they were stuck at the bottom of the room, waiting to finish sending, even though other users would receive and see them normally.

Improved Privacy for Per-Room Nicknames

Matrix allows users to set their display names to be different things in different rooms. For example, you might use an alias in public rooms, but your real name in rooms shared with friends and family.

To make it easy to initiate conversations with people, each homeserver maintains a user directory with the Matrix ID, display name, and avatar of the users it sees. Previously, this directory would be updated with the most recent profile metadata that Synapse had seen for a user, even if it was only changed in a single room.

As of 1.45, Synapse only uses includes the default display name of local users in its user directory, ignoring room-specific nicknames or avatars. (#5677).

Internals

This release includes numerous fixes and improvements to Synapse's internals.

  • We've added countless static type annotations to Synapse (and related projects like Sydent), giving us greater confidence in its correctness and reducing maintenance costs. Several modules newly have all of their definitions typed, allowing us to require and enforce complete type coverage for all future edits therein.

  • This release includes meaningful fixes and improvements to our OpenTracing and logging machinery, helping us better catch and eliminate bugs in Synapse. This work ultimately reduced matrix.org's Sentry event volume by an order of magnitude.

  • Magic accessor methods have been removed from Synapse's Config class. Previously, Synapse would interpret references like config.send_federation by attempting to guess a reasonable full path, like config.worker.send_federation. As of Synapse 1.45, the full path must be specified directly. This prevents errors where values could be drawn from unexpected or incorrect sections of the server's configuration.

Everything Else

We'd like to extend a special thanks to Fizzadar from Beeper for improving Synapse's update_synapse_database script (#10954) to allow schema changes to occur while Synapse is running. This is a great step toward reducing the downtime associated with upgrades.

These are just the highlights; please see the Upgrade Notes and Release Notes for a complete list of changes in this release.

Synapse is a Free and Open Source Software project, and we'd like to extend our thanks to everyone who contributed to this release, including AndrewFerr, dklimpel, Fizzadar, lukaslihotzki, and maxkratz.

This Week in Matrix 2021-10-15

15.10.2021 20:03 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Alexandre Franke
Last update: 15.10.2021 18:57

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

Demo time! Threads and SwiftUI on the agenda this week!

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

Spec

anoa told us:

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://spec.matrix.org/unstable/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

The actual spec changes for MSC2844: Global version number for the whole spec have now been merged [one, two]. You can take a look at this section of the unstable spec to now see an explanation of the Matrix spec version numbering scheme.

Additionally, take a look at the Client-Server API, where all current APIs have been bumped from /r0/... to /v3/.... See this bit of MSC2844 for the rationale behind this change.

The pieces are starting to fall into place for the upcoming Matrix 1.1 spec release!

Random Spec of the Week

The random spec of the week is... MSC1840: Typed rooms!

This is a concept that was used in the Spaces MSCs to allow servers and clients to denote a room as a Space vs. a typical Matrix room (and set up their UI appropriately). Only the type for a Space has been specified so far, but there are many different applications room types could serve; for example profile rooms!

This MSC aims to create a general concept for a typed room, whereas future MSCs would identify those types and their meaning.

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

callahad told us:

Happy Friday! The Synapse team has been sorting out what we hope to accomplish before the end of the year, and it's looking like our main focus will remain research and experimentation towards making large room joins go very fast. We don't yet see an incremental path from where we are now to where we want to end up, so progress will likely come as a few discrete milestones, rather than a gradual acceleration over time.

Aside from room joins, we expect to spend a good bit of time time on bug fixes and preventative maintenance. For example, we hope to get Sydent passing mypy --strict by this time next week. Doing so would have prevented recent production issues, including one which caused phone number verification to silently fail.

Preparations for releasing 1.45.0 continue apace; I'm loking forward to telling you about it next week!

Homeserver Deployment πŸ“₯️

Kubernetes

Ananace told us:

And as has come to be routine for TWIM, this week too has seen an update of my Helm Charts - with element-web being updated to 1.9.2

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

matrix-appservice-pstn

chandi reported:

let's bridge everything! Have you ever wished you could make and receive phone calls with matrix?

The beginnings of a matrix <-> SIP bridge are done :) If you can imagine to live with bugs or even help with the development yourself, feel free to give it a try! :) https://github.com/alangecker/matrix-appservice-pstn

Discussions: #matrix-voip-bridging:kb1rd.net

2021-10-15-4j7h3-screencast.gif

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

FluffyChat 0.42.0 has been released

FluffyChat is the cutest cross-platform matrix client. It is available for Android, iOS, Web and Desktop.

krille said:

This release fixes several bugs and makes E2EE enabled by default.

  • feat: Enable E2EE by default for new rooms

  • feat: Display all private rooms without encryption as red

  • feat: New design for bootstrap

  • feat: New design for emoji verification

  • feat: Display own MXID in the settings

  • feat: More finetuning for font sizes

  • chore: Updated translations (Thanks to all translators!)

  • fix: App crash on logout

  • fix: Temporary disable sign-up for matrix.org (Currently gives "500: Internal Server Error" while FluffyChat should send the same requests like Element)

  • fix: Implement Roboto font to fix font issues on Linux Desktop and mobile

  • fix: QR Code scanning

2021-10-15-Ss6Yj-screenshot_20211014-173752.png

Nheko

Nheko is a desktop client using Qt and C++17. It supports E2EE and intends to be full featured and nice to look at

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) offered:

Making steps towards stable E2EE, we have now implemented bootstrapping cross-signing on a new account. This allowed me to finally enable cross-signing on my Nico (nheko.im) account (which I intended to only use with Nheko). Thulinma also added a way to refresh the current device list as well as highlighting your current device in the device list, which should make it easier to recover, if a misscommunitcation with the server lead to an outdated device list. Meanwhile LorenDB has been plugging away on converting more dialogs to Qml and we merged like 3 converted dialogs!

2021-10-15-Exgkj-bootstrap.png

Element

Web

  • Released Element Web 1.9.2 featuring chat export, Spaces and E2EE improvements, updates to Electron 13.5.1
  • More progress on the client side of threads, published an MSC and started work on Synapse support
  • Fixed some bugs in registration, Windows icons, phone number confirmation

Delight team

  • On iOS, we’ve been implementing support for pagination of the Space Summary API, to support larger spaces, as well as improving performance. We’ve also started implementing support for creating Spaces.
  • We’re also exploring larger changes to make to the layouts of Element on all platforms to surface simpler and more intuitive navigation all round and tackle some of the feedback we couldn’t get to during the Spaces beta. Watch this space!

iOS

  • We failed to publish the app on the app store this week because of observed crashes. RC 1.6.5 is available on TestFlight. We should be able to release on the App Store on Monday
  • User auto completion has landed on develop
  • Message forward is in the horizon
  • Settings got lipstick by reviewing headers and footers
  • It is now possible to copy and paste an image

Dept of Widgets 🧩

New Widgets: Spanners!

Can you believe we didn’t have a dept. of Widgets yet? We do now!

Half-Shot told us:

Hi folks! This week I took a bit of time out of my day to create a new widget for Matrix. We have the concept of "Spanners" at Matrix where one person wants to take control of a resource, and they will say "I am taking the spanner". This prevents other people (verbally at least) from trying to use the resource at the same time.

For years we have been getting by with sending messages into Matrix, but no more! For now anyone can use the Spanner widget to set up a similar system in their room.

You can try this out now with /addwidget https://half-shot.uk/spanner?spannerName=YourSpannerName (although no promises about the uptime of half-shot.uk)

The repo can be found https://github.com/Half-Shot/matrix-spanner-widget.

You will need to ensure that all users who plan to use it must be able to send state events of type uk.half-shot.spanner. Otherwise, it should be ready to go!

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

Rager

I heard CLI tools are all the rage, so here is one!

janshai reported:

Rager is a CLI tool for matrix client developers to easily view and parse rageshake logs. It handles syncing (with many parameters to sync only the logs you want), searching through downloaded logs, and paging through any log on your device (with peudo-syntax highlighting to make it easier to understand), right from the comfort of your terminal. It has been in development for a few months (being used/tested by devs at beeper.com) but I feel like it's now in a good enough state to release for everyone else to use. If it's something that may help you, try it out and let me know if it works for you!

Get it here

Dept of Services πŸš€

Hingst

Andreas told us:

Hi everyone!

We believe that having your own homeserver should be easy and require little technical knowledge. That's why we launched Hingst, a privacy focused Matrix hosting service which takes care of (almost) everything for you.

Our goal is that our users spend no time whatsoever on maintaining the actual server so they can focus on what matters - chatting with friends and colleagues.

All servers are located in Sweden and of course they run entirely on renewable energy!

That's all for now. Thanks for reading :)

If getting your own homeserver was hinging on the availability of such a service, you don’t have an excuse anymore!

Dept of Events and Talks πŸ—£οΈ

Finnish Community Meetup

Cos offered:

First annual Finnish Matrix community meet is to be held 20.11 in Tampere, Finland. Infos and registration at https://mobilizon.be/events/5c9ce49d-83de-41d1-b824-8950293d3fd1

Berlin Meetup

Christian told us:

Heads up for those in Berlin πŸ»πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ. You're welcome to join us Tuesday evening at 7:00 PM chatting about Matrix development and hosting. We're going to meet in person at c-base. In compliance with the hackerspace's house rules this is a strict 2G event.

If possible, join our #matrix-berlin:matrix.org room.

Dept of Guides 🧭

French User Guide

Henri Carnot announced:

Matrix user guide [French]

Hi !! I'm building a matrix user guide for my school. It is not finished yet, but feel free modify/repurpose it !

Preview : https://minitel.emse.fr/move-to-matrix/emse

source : https://gitlab.com/henri2h/move-to-matrix

The goal is to build an easy user guide which could be easily adapted to other matrix instances.

Final Thoughts πŸ’­

Room of the week

timokoesters offered:

Hi everyone! Did you ever feel lost in the Matrix world? The room directory is big, but it's still hard to find something you like. Or are you a room moderator, but there is not much activity in your room because it doesn't have enough users?

This is why I want to share rooms (or spaces) I find interesting.


This week's room is: #chess2:matrix.org

"Everything related to chess."


If you want to suggest a room for this section, tell me in #roomoftheweek:fachschaften.org

Dept of Ping πŸ“

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
1maescool.be517
2boba.best530
3envs.net552.5
4trolla.us934
5almum.de1236
6spooks.cyou1319.5
7halogen.city1864
8matrix.markshorten.co.uk1970
9ewsandor.com2018.5
10diasp.in2408

#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
1conduittestfigyel.gq312.5
2sspaeth.de323
3envs.net421
4dendrite.thomcat.rocks701
5grin.hu744
6spooks.cyou790
70x1a8510f2.space869
8jae.su878
9matrix.awesomesheep48.me1533
10weber.world3921

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 2021-10-08

08.10.2021 00:00 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Alexandre Franke

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

This week, I had the great pleasure of chatting with a lovely bunch from Element about Spaces. This feature just got out of beta and they tell us all about it.

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

The Spec

TravisR offered:

Hello TWIM, it's me, not-anoa, again with your weekly spec update. I unfortunately didn't get a chance to figure out how to run the tooling which generates fancy graphs, but it looks like you'll have a more qualified person next week πŸ˜‡

This week we saw a couple new MSCs:

  • MSC3419 - Letting guests do more things (which is needed for things like full mesh conference calling)

  • MSC3429 - A room preview API. Turns out this is more or less a duplicate of another MSC, but has a different approach. Be sure to check both out πŸ™‚

We've also been making progress on trying to get the spec release out by formally specifying all the new global version numbering and new endpoint versioning (see this and this), and have been experimenting with how room versions are represented by the spec.

From page 6 of the open MSCs there's MSC2723. The MSC is relatively small, but solves a fairly important problem with forwarded messages in Matrix: where were they forwarded from? From a glance, it has minor technical feedback and could do with an implementation (psst: client authors, this should be easy and fit well into a North American Long Weekend project πŸ˜‡).

That's all I have for you today, but if I've missed something: sorry, and you should be in capable hands next week.

Dept of P2P πŸ‘₯

P2P Matrix

Neil Alexander said:

This week I have completely rewritten the Pinecone router with the aim of improving code quality and boosting performance. It now uses significantly less resources, making it much easier to simulate larger networks and using less battery power on mobile devices.

While there is still some work to be done to ensure the Pinecone network gracefully handles large-scale mobility events, protocol development is slowly progressing and we will soon be looking at how Matrix federation can be made more efficient by using routing intelligence from the overlay network.

If you have a passion for routing protocols and/or peer-to-peer systems, we're looking to hire engineers to work in the P2P Matrix space β€” get in touch by emailing your resume to us!

We also have our very own P2P Matrix room where you can follow along with the latest discussions and also occasionally pick up experimental iOS and Android builds of Element with an embedded P2P-enabled Dendrite homeserver.

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

callahad told us:

We released Synapse 1.44 this week! The release was mainly focused on bug fixes and internal cleanups. In particular, we've made significant strides toward enforcing static type annotations across several more Synapse modules, we continue to remove "magic" code from our configuration handler, and we've landed significant refactors to both the user directory and federated event authentication. These changes pay off significant technical debt, reduce Synapse's maintenance cost, and ease future bug fixes.

But that's not all. This release also includes performance improvements around JSON serialization, new capabilities for extension modules, and better metrics around cache evictions. See the announcement for more details.

Homeserver Deployment πŸ“₯️

Kubernetes

Ananace said:

And for the regularly scheduled Helm Chart update this week; matrix-synapse has been updated to 1.44.0

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

Rocket.chat

Pascal reported:

Hi! Rocket.chat is working on a bridge with Matrix !!!! So nice 😊

https://youtu.be/jBtBiUXLqAk?t=1691

matrix-appservice-irc 0.32.0-rc1

Half-Shot told us:

Hello one and all! We've got a minor-yet-MAJOR release candidate of the IRC bridge up for grabs. https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-irc/releases/tag/0.32.0-rc1 is now based upon the 3.X matrix-appservice-bridge library, and so all the innards have been replaced with matrix-bot-sdk.

Please try it out, and the full release should be out next week.

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Element clients

Updates from the teams:

Web

  • Released Element Web RC 1.9.1 RC2, containing Spaces papercut fixes among other things
  • Threads is continuing to steadily progress
  • Cross signing bug fixes and usability improvements
  • Ran another community testing session, which has thrown up many suggestions for improvements to our onboarding experience

Delight team

  • Following the release of Spaces from Beta, we're fixing bugs and things which might have slipped through the cracks in the 1.0 release!

iOS

  • Released 1.6.1 with Spaces and URLs preview on the App Store.
  • RC1.6.2 is being built. This is mainly a maintenance release
  • Updated libs and tools dependencies
  • Improved Spaces performance

Android

  • Element Android 1.3.2 is getting released today. It adds support to Android Auto (thanks https://github.com/abaker !) and lots of other features and bug fixes. Full changelog will be here: https://github.com/vector-im/element-android/releases/tag/v1.3.2
  • The team is working on several tasks:
    • Cleanup the code managing the notifications. It should fix some related issues
    • Implement Presence support
    • Upgrade framework libraries, starting by Mavericks 2
    • Fix as many issues as possible

Quaternion

kitsune told us:

The first maintenance release of Quaternion 0.0.95 is here, plugging more HTML injections (quite limited this time), with tweaks in positioning of the timeline to really return to the message you last read before closing the room, colourful display names in the timeline and not just in the user list, and one particular crash fix for a case when you made a typo in your password but then did it right - only to see Quaternion falling down to pieces. The release notes, together with self-contained binaries, are in a usual place, the Flathub repo has a new Flatpak too - just go and update!

Cinny

ajbura said:

Cinny v1.3.2 got released this week. It fixes unwanted "Password don't match" error on register page along with small improvements in Public room modal and message input (Thanks to Empty2k12). We also released v1.3.1 last week which fixed unnecessary CPU usages on idle and infinite spinner after login.

Check it out at: https://cinny.in

Join the matrix room: #cinny:matrix.org

SchildiChat

qg said:

SchildiChat is a fork of Element that focuses on UI changes such as message bubbles and a unified chat list for both direct messages and groups, which is a more familiar approach to users of other popular instant messengers.

Both the Web/Desktop and the Android variant have received a couple of new features during the last weeks, so it's time again to share some of the highlights with you!

Web/Desktop

The Web/Desktop variant has received plenty of love for the last few weeks, so best to list some of the bigger changes:

  • Added a setting for the room list style: you can now choose between "roomy" with big avatars and two-line previews, "intermediate" for a smaller avatar and a single line preview, or "compact" to get a tiny avatar and the room preview in the same line of the room name

  • Added a setting how to color usernames in the chat: either uniform, based on the MXID, or based on the user's power level (Android has this feature for some time already, too!)

  • Added a setting to not open automatically the most recent chat when switching spaces

  • Improved theme settings: you can now choose custom themes independently for both light and dark mode

  • Workaround for switching between light and dark mode together with the system on Linux

  • macOS builds are now signed

  • ... and many more (read the release announcements on GitHub or join our announcement room (#schildichat-web-announcements:matrix.org) to stay informed)

The following screenshot showcases the compact room list and user name color mode based on PL:

Schildichat

So take that, IRC style lovers! 😁

Android

We added support for MSC2654 for server-reported unread counts. This means that we can now display the number of unread messages even for muted chats, if your homeserver supports it (synapse does)!

Feel free to join the SchildiChat space (#schildichat:matrix.org), and visit our discussion rooms!

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Halcyon

gen3 said:

Hello! Halcyon is a Matrix bot library created with the intention of being easy to install and use. My goal is to lower the barrier of entry currently required to write and maintain a bot. I do not intend you to need a database, or have to juggle encryption keys.

With the initial release of the library we currently have:

  • A CLI tool for creating and revoking tokens

  • Hooks for new messages, message edits

  • Hooks for room invites, and leaving rooms

  • Sending messages as text, markdown, and HTML

  • Sending replies to messages

  • Ever improving documentation Please check out the example in https://github.com/WesR/Halcyon and join us over in #halcyon:blackline.xyz

jOlm

brevilo said:

Hi! Just a quick one: this week saw the first stable release of jOlm - Olm bindings for Java

libQuotient

kitsune told us:

This week has seen two maintenance releases of libQuotient - just after 0.6.10 went out, fixing an issue with invites not showing up, another issue with URLs that have unescaped double-hashes (coincidentally, matrix.to URLs to some IRC channels are exactly those). Those URLs are not quite following the RFC but are accepted widely enough to warrant a fix, and a new release. Get 0.6.11 from here (or better, just checkout the respective Git tag).

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

Standupbot

Sumner said:

A few weeks ago, I posted about the standupbot that I wrote to help assist with creating and sending standup posts to a room. I'm excited to announce today that you can choose to interact with the standupbot using threads! Instead of asking you about each part of the standup post individually, it creates threads for each of the parts that you can fill in. Your replies get added to the standup post like before, but it's a bit more interactive of a process. Here's a picture of how it looks (ignore all the display bugs due to Element).

2021-10-08-HVxe0-thread-interaction.png

If you are interested in learning more, the source code is here: https://sr.ht/~sumner/standupbot and you can join the development matrix room #standupbot-dev:sumnerevans.com

Dept of Events and Talks πŸ—£οΈ

Running conferences on Matrix: A post-mortem of Ansible Contributor Summit

Gwmngilfen reported:

Following the Matrix-powered Ansible conference featured in TWIM-2, @gwmngilfen:ansible.im has written up some thoughts on how it was structured, how it went, and why he thinks it worked (spoiler! It worked quite well!).

2021-10-08-FLA8x-image.png

Dept of Interesting Projects πŸ›°οΈ

Newgrounds MVS (Matrix adVancement Server)

mr_johnson22 offered:

An (unofficial) Matrix server for the Newgrounds community.

Since I was pressed for time last week, I didn't go much in depth on how this server works. Here is a brief overview of its components:

  • https://app.ngmvs.one: A self-hosted Element Web with some theming tweaks, and the easiest way to visit the server.

  • https://matrix.ngmvs.one: the homeserver itself (Synapse). It has open registration, but only for Newgrounds Supporters (ie. patrons) via SSO logins with Newgrounds accounts. But Newgrounds doesn't have its own "Log in with Newgrounds" capability, so that leads me to the next component:

  • ng-saml-idp: middleware built on PySAML2 for using Newgrounds logins as a SAML2 Identity Provider. The code is tailored for my Synapse installation, but it can easily be tweaked to allow Newgrounds SSO logins to any SAML2-compatible service!

  • W-Bot: a Matrix appservice/bot built on mautrix-python that serves two purposes:

    1. Creates Matrix rooms for Newgrounds movie/game submission pages (ie. maps #portal_view_<ID>:ngmvs.one to https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/<ID>), and adds a widget containing the submission itself to these rooms (but only if it's a movie--widgets for games will only have a link)

    2. Restricts membership of any room it moderates to logged-in Newgrounds Supporters. Users without a :ngmvs.one account can authenticate to the bot via the "login" bot command, which lets them log into their Newgrounds account.

    Point 2 also means that anyone on the Matrix network can make a room that's restricted to Newgrounds Supporters. Just make sure the bot has a high enough power level to kick users!

    Public (and federation-accessible) instance is at @w-bot:ngmvs.one.

    (PS: The "W" stands for "double"--because of its job of "copying" rooms into Matrix.)

  • MVSX: a Firefox extension that, when visiting a Newgrounds movie/game submission page, puts a button in the URL bar that sends you to the Matrix room created for that submission by W-Bot.

This week's updates:

  • W-Bot now has the inviteme command to invite the issuing user to the invite-only space room for logged-in Newgrounds Supporters. (Users should be invited there automatically, but this command is for people who leave / reject invites to that space & want to re-join it later.)

  • The MVSX extension has been updated to allow joining rooms with Matrix clients other than app.ngmvs.one. Right-clicking the URL bar icon now shows a drop-down list of alternative clients, and lets you set which one to use by default (on left-clicks of the icon).

Discussion: #ngmvs-public-discussion:ngmvs.one

Final Thoughts πŸ’­

Room of the week

timokoesters offered:

Hi everyone! Did you ever feel lost in the Matrix world? The room directory is big, but it's still hard to find something you like. Or are you a room moderator, but there is not much activity in your room because it doesn't have enough users?

This is why I want to share rooms (or spaces) I find interesting.


This week's space is: #retro:nil.im

"Iβ€˜m in plenty of retro computing and gaming related Discords and got annoyed that there was no such thing on Matrix. So, I created a Matrix Space for all things retro computing and gaming, hoping there might be enough like-minded people on Matrix to build a community. There should hopefully be rooms for everything now, although a few are still missing room icons - that will come over the next days. Here’s to hoping that the retro computing community can also thrive outside of Discord 😁."


If you want to suggest a room for this section, tell me in #roomoftheweek:fachschaften.org

Dept of Ping πŸ“

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
1boba.best504
2trolla.us588
3maunium.net606
4aria-net.org716.5
5ziroh.be882
6maescool.be910
7fff.chat936
8thomcat.rocks1157
9envs.net1442
10wallace.sh2480.5

#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
1bwitch.me352
2sspaeth.de416.5
3spacedn.com588
40x1a8510f2.space887
5jae.su965
6pixelthefox.net1074.5
7matrix.awesomesheep48.me1145
8envs.net1930
9dendrite01.fiksel.info2305.5
10weber.world2993.5

That's all I know 🏁

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

Synapse 1.44.0 released

05.10.2021 23:44 β€” Releases β€” Dan Callahan

Synapse 1.44.0 is out now!

Loads of Bug Fixes

This release primarily includes fixes for over a dozen long-standing bugs. For example:

  • Messages containing null bytes are now properly indexed for search.
  • The Room Search Admin API now allows searching for rooms with non-ascii titles.
  • URL preview caches, which are meant to be ephemeral, are no longer mirrored from the local media store into other media providers.

Faster JSON Responses

We now stay within C code while generating large JSON objects for responses, which should be substantially faster than the previous technique, which fell back to Python for encoding.

New Extension Module APIs

Spam checker modules can now use a user_may_create_room_with_invites callback to inspect room creation events which include invitations to users via Matrix or other media (email, etc.).

Additionally, the ModuleApi can now inspect IP and User Agent data, as well as checking whether Rooms and MXIDs are local to the current homeserver.

Everything Else

We've also been busy refactoring. For example:

  • Prometheus stats now distinguish between cache evictions due to entries expiring, and cache evictions due to the cache being full.
  • The synapse.handlers, synapse.rest, and synapse.storage.databases.state modules are now fully type annotated and checked by mypy, among others.
  • The user directory search code was cleaned up in preparation for future fixes.
  • Another half dozen pull requests were merged with an aim toward clarifying federated event authentication code (and associated logging).

Lastly, this release has seen considerable work toward supporting MSC2716: Incrementally importing history into existing rooms, along with an update to match the current state of MSC3231: Token authenticated registration.

These are just the highlights; please see the Upgrade Notes and Release Notes for a complete list of changes in this release.

Synapse is a Free and Open Source Software project, and we'd like to extend our thanks to everyone who contributed to this release, including aaronraimist, cvwright, govynnus, Kokokokoka, and tulir.

This Week in Matrix 2021-10-01

01.10.2021 18:58 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Thib

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

This week in Matrix, William tells us about the State Compressor he wrote during his internship to reduce the size of Synapse's database, and so much more. William being a former intern of the backend team, who else than his mentor Brendan could lead the interview?

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

The Spec

TravisR told us:

Hello! It is not-anoa here with the spec update this week, which unfortunately means no pretty graph of MSCs (sorry). I do however have some curated updates to the spec for you:

This week we saw a couple new MSCs get opened:

Though WIP, both are exciting steps towards much larger goals - looking forward to see how they progress! We also saw FCP finish on MSC3231: Token authenticated registration, part of Callum's GSOC project this summer - congratulations! MSC2918: Refresh tokens also finished FCP this week, making it a good time for clients to consider that access tokens might expire or appear in a different format in upcoming versions of the spec. MSC2582: Remove mimetype from EncryptedFile object was also merged to the spec - thanks Sorunome for finding the duplicated field which was duplicated!

Behind the scenes, the Spec Core Team (SCT) has been thinking about how we can release the spec as we've been talking about doing so for months. We're declaring a bit of a freeze on new things entering the spec for the time being, but that doesn't stop MSCs from completing FCP or being opened - they just might miss the v1.1 cut (sorry). Most of the work needed to release is deployment stuff rather than Matrix stuff, so the hope is is we can get it all worked out soon.

I don't have the random MSC script on hand, but I do have access to the MSC list and found WIP: MSC3030: Jump to date API endpoint. It's listed as work in progress, but is one of the MSCs I personally look forward to being accepted in time!

That's all for spec this week. I'm not sure about next week, but you might be stuck with me again. Maybe I can find those fancy graph tools in time...

Thanks a lot not-anoa, that was a great spec update!

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

callahad reported:

Lots of work in preparation for Synapse 1.44 which is due out next week. Notably, we've found a few small regressions in rc1, so expect another release candidate on Monday followed by a formal release on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I look forward to telling you all about that, and our plans for Q4, next week. πŸ™‚

Now that's some teasing! I can't wait for next week!

Homeserver Deployment πŸ“₯️

Kubernetes

Ananace told us:

This week too sees some Helm Chart updating, with element-web having been bumped to 1.9.0

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

Heisenbridge

hifi told us:

Heisenbridge is a bouncer-style Matrix IRC bridge.

Release v1.2.1 πŸ₯³

  • Use read receipts to track messages

  • Don't prefix all lines in relaybot mode (regression)

  • Fix formatter recursion context un-pillify (regression)

Go grab your fix from PyPI or matrix-docker-ansible-deploy!

Thanks!

Slack bridge 1.9.0-rc1, with a PSA

Half-Shot said:

Hey folks, it's been a while since we released changes to the Slack bridge but here we are on our next RC. This one includes a few new things, most notably:

  • The bridge now automatically invites users to private rooms if there is a message and they are not joined. (#613)

  • Update bridge to matrix-appservice-bridge 3.1.0 (#614)

Also, a PSA: If you were struggling to bridge your rooms to matrix while using the matrix.org bridge, this should now be fixed. An update made to the Slack APIs silently broke the oauth flow, which has since been fixed. This was a misconfiguration-gone-unnoticed in our Slack app configuration, so self hosters don't need to upgrade. The details are in https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-slack/issues/617#issuecomment-932047990

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Nheko

Nheko is a desktop client using Qt and C++17. It supports E2EE and intends to be full featured and nice to look at

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) told us:

While I am a bit busy at the moment, Nheko is getting a lot of valuable smaller contributions:

  • Updated the emoji pickers to Unicode 14, so that you can properly troll people.

  • Pasting images should now work properly again on Windows and macOS, including pasting SVGs!

  • The help and version command line parameters now work properly, even if an instance of Nheko is already running.

There has also been a lot of progress on the translations! We just cracked 50% translated, but since that includes a lot of languages with only a few percent, this is actually much more than it sounds! We actually have 8 languages with over 90% translations now. If you speak one of the languages at 70% or so, any help translating the remaining bits is very much appreciated. You can easily translate without an account here: https://weblate.nheko.im/projects/nheko/nheko-master/#translations If you want to translate without having to rely on the upvote mechanism, feel free to ask for translation permissions directly in #nheko:nheko.im. That is also the right room to ask questions about the translation process or translations themselves.

Nheko is also participating at Hacktoberfest this year. Translations done using the webinterface won't get counted for that though, you would need to submit a pull request manually for that. If you always felt like contributing to Nheko would be fun, but you had no reason to, now you can do it to let someone plant a tree for you (or get a T-shirt)!

That's all, I need to get back on my train!

Hydrogen

A minimal Matrix chat client, focused on performance, offline functionality, and broad browser support. https://github.com/vector-im/hydrogen-web/

Bruno said:

Hydrogen saw a few bug fixes (0.2.14, 0.2.15 and 0.2.16) this week again, and also gained the possibility to recover from low-storage scenarios where the browser would clear indexedDB.

One of the bugs fixed might have caused a timeline corruption, so when you get the 0.2.16 update the history cache will be cleared and you'll notice a bit of delay as you do an initial sync again.

Aside from working on Hydrogen as a standalone app, I'm also making it easier to embedded in other projects. More info to come on that!

We've also had a priority planning this week, which spawned an updated backlog. Have a look if you're interested what can be expected next (although be aware that the backlog has proven volatile in the past πŸ™‚).

Hydrogen embedded! I'm looking forward to that. Great work Bruno!

Element Clients

Delight team

  • Released spaces out of Beta on Web and Android..!
  • Following through on the beta release of Spaces - fixing more bugs and polishing on all platforms.

Web

  • Released Element Web 1.9.0 with Spaces enabled
  • Threads
    • Working with the Synapse team to work out what backend support will be required for threads
    • Steadily improving the UI
  • Added the ability to expand truncated quotes in replies
  • Cross-signing bug fixes

iOS

  • We refrained from releasing 1.6.0 to the App Store because of regression issues reported by TestFlight users. Huge thanks for that!
  • 1.6.1 (Spaces and URLs preview) with all the bug fixes is being reviewed by Apple. It should be on the App Store on Monday
  • The implementation of user mentions in the composer has started (in SwiftUI!)
  • Last message types displayed in room lists have been aligned with other platforms
  • Tweaks to URL Previews and Contacts Access
  • New app navigation code architecture is coming. It will be possible soon to navigate through permalinks without losing rooms previously visited
  • RoomSummary storage in CoreData is still in progress

Android

  • Element Android is now in the 500k - 1M downloads category on the PlayStore!
  • Element Android 1.3.1 has been released on Thursday on the PlayStore
  • Now we are working on fixing issues, improving performance, and upgrading some important libraries.
  • The Presence support has made good progress too, it will maybe be merged for the next release.

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

matrix-email-bot

TravisR told us:

After 4 years, matrix-email-bot finally got an update. Now at v2, the bot has been rewritten using TypeScript and matrix-bot-sdk (farewell, js-sdk from 2017). It still requires manual setup and the behaviour overall should be the same as before, though the amount of testing is somewhat minimal - please complain in #email:t2bot.io if something goes wrong.

The bot also now supports encrypted rooms out of the box, including on the t2bot.io instance. Check out t2bot.io/emailbot for information on how to get the bot set up in your room.

The full changelog is available on the repo: https://github.com/t2bot/matrix-email-bot/releases/tag/v2.0.0

Useful to watch a security mailing-list from the comfort of a Matrix room!

Dept of Interesting Projects πŸ›°οΈ

Newgrounds MVS (Matrix adVancement Server)

mr_johnson22 announced:

An (unofficial) Matrix server by and for the Newgrounds community.

This is a Matrix server with membership restricted to Newgrounds Supporters. Newgrounds is an independent arts & entertainment site that has been around for over 20 years, and I felt that its spirit of independence is a perfect match with the openness of Matrix!

The most notable feature of the server is comment rooms for Newgrounds submissions. Unlike other content-sharing sites, Newgrounds submissions don't have comment sections, but review sections, which let you post a single comment (and optional rating) for a submission. This encourages reviews to be focused on providing constructive feedback instead of being a place for off-topic discussions. With that said, open comment systems are nice too, so this Matrix server provides it! Simply visit #portal_view_SUBMISSION_ID:ngmvs.one to view!

These comment rooms are world-visible, but (at least for the time being) only Newgrounds Supporters may join these rooms & post comments in them.

To help along with this, I made a Firefox extension to make joining these rooms a breeze: NG MVSX. Simply view a Newgrounds submission page, and click on the icon that appears in your URL bar!

Code for all components is open-sourced on GitLab.

This is all very new, so things might break! If they do, tell me in #ngmvs-public-discussion:ngmvs.one

Final Thoughts πŸ’­

LorenDB remembers us:

if you need an excuse to contribute to Matrix... It's Hacktoberfest! Get hacking!

Dept of Ping πŸ“

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
1envs.net424
2mangwiro.net508
3matrix.kalleeen.fi555
4trolla.us567.5
5maunium.net667.5
6maescool.be733.5
7rollyourown.xyz751.5
8smeken.nl816.5
9aria-net.org861.5
10conduit-test.searx.monster890

#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
1bwitch.me277
2pixelthefox.net619
3jae.su869
4matrix.awesomesheep48.me1858.5
50x1a8510f2.space2677

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 2021-09-24

24.09.2021 00:00 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Thib

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

The latest in appservice proposals: Synthetic events

Half-Shot told us:

Hi folks, I've been let loose on more spec things: This time I'm looking at synthetic events. The goal with this proposal is to give appservices more visibility over the innards and actions of a homeserver. When a user registers, we want an appservice to know (perhaps to send them a little greeting, or to provision some resources) or perhaps you want to clear up bridge resources when the user deactivates their account.

The hope with this proposal is that it's going to set the foundations for services to be able to hook into and provide richer functionality based upon user actions outside of rooms. It might sound a little dry right now, but eventually I'm hoping this can be extended in lots of ways and potentially do away with per-implementation modules, instead writing services that work with all homeservers.

Please give the proposal some love/feedback :)

When asked if that was a specification change he drafted because of limitations faced when trying to implement a bridge, he said:

Yeah, so it's something I've been plotting for a while, but internally we wanted the ability to "act" based upon signups to a homeserver i.e. sending a welcome. In the past this has been implemented client-side in Element, but that has obvious caveats.

The traditional response has usually been to write a Synapse module, but I wanted to do something that could be used on other homeserver implementations and also not have to have it co-located with the homeserver, so the natural home for this kind of logic was appservices.

There are other things there too like logouts / deactivations which are good for erasing data on a service too. Generally I'm hoping it can be extended further once it's stable, for other use cases too

Spec

anoa announced:

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://spec.matrix.org/unstable/proposals.

MSC Status

New MSCs:

MSCs with proposed Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs entered proposed FCP state this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

Spec Updates

MSC3401 (Native Group Voip Signalling) has been receiving positive feedback over the course of the week. The MSC spells out how one would go about implementing native, decentralised group voice and video calls over Matrix without the need for a third-party service. This is the next step forward after the full-mesh group signalling work, as demoed in previous editions of TWIM, lands. Quite exciting stuff!

Otherwise there was another Spec Core Team retro this week. Discussion focused mainly on how to handle event types that not every implementation using Matrix may need (think pinned messages and how that might not be very useful for IoT networks...). Watch this space!

Random Spec of the Week

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

This is actually already implemented and enabled by default in Synapse, believe it or not. But no clients have support for it yet (there is an outstanding matrix-react-sdk PR...).

This is a pretty cool feature in my opinion, any client want to be the first?

2021-09-24-spec.png

MSC3401 looks like there's a lot of work going on on the native VoIP side. I can't wait to see what the future holds!

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

callahad said:

This week we released Synapse 1.43! This mainly contains internal changes, including those in preparation for Spaces leaving beta, but it's worth calling out that this version of Synapse now uses the MSC3244: room version capabilities API to ask clients to prefer room version 9 when creating restricted rooms.

Support for room version 9 was introduced in Synapse 1.42, so we'd strongly encourage administrators to upgrade.

Perhaps more notably for Synapse developers, we've spent quite a lot of time over the past few weeks improving the SyTest suite of integration tests. Several of the tests had race conditions which would cause them to occasionally fail when testing a multi-worker deployment of Synapse. These flakey tests have plagued our continuous integration pipelines, and are finally being fixed.

The long term plan is still to transition to Complement (written in Go) and away from SyTest (written in Perl), but we still need to ensure that SyTest is reliable in the meantime.

Homeserver Deployment πŸ“₯️

Kubernetes

Ananace offered:

This week - like all weeks - brings some Helm Chart updates, with matrix-synapse being updated to 1.43.0.

The chart store has been redone to track multiple versions now too, so older versions of the charts will stick around for a while.

Ananace always answering the call on TWIMday!

etke.cc

Aine announced:

etke.cc now offers hosting options (and some more stuff)

Hi there, Didn't post updates about the etke.cc service for a while. If somebody not familiar - we setup and maintain matrix servers (based on awesome spantaleev/matrix-docker-ansible-deploy)... and setup VPN... and DNS recursive resolver, and... AND!!!! Provide hosting, yes. So, starting today that's available for everyone (we offer it for some time in "well, you know, we don't provide hosting, but if you want it so hard..." way and it works good)

Even with that update (literally the most requested thing, was in every third order we got), provided hosting considered as your own server, the only difference that you don't pay hosting provider directly, but through us. So, you get root access to the server and we treat it as any other customer's infrastructure

Join #announcements:etke.cc room and say hello in #discussion:etke.cc

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

Heisenbridge

hifi offered:

Heisenbridge roundup!

Heisenbridge is a bouncer-style Matrix IRC bridge.

Release v1.2.0 πŸ₯³

  • Message formatting (from HTML to text) has been drastically improved

  • CTCP replies are now shown correctly but still ignored

  • Mentions/pills always honor room nick

  • Plumb notices don't loop around anymore

  • Self replies don't prefix with own nick

  • Single line truncation works when max lines is 1

  • Multiple fixes to displaynames or messages containing control characters leaking to IRC

  • New dependency: mautrix-python

  • Minimum Python version requirement has been bumped to 3.7

I've also started releasing source archives as GitHub releases for distribution packagers and the project is published to PyPI to have more installation options.

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy has also been updated with the new release, thanks again Slavi 🍻!

Thanks!

What improvements did hifi bring to the formatting you may ask? I asked, and hifi answered:

the fallbacks are inconsistent and usually are markdown which is a lie πŸ˜… replies and mentions are completely all over the place in the fallback in addition to being markdown the unformatted html is now something in between and doesn't do code blocks at all because those ticks are just noise on irc it tries to look like more that you pasted long text rather than sending markdown

That's very considerate for IRC user, thanks hifi!

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

FluffyChat 0.41.0 has been released

FluffyChat is the cutest cross-platform matrix client. It is available for Android, iOS, Web and Desktop.

krille said:

This release features a lot of bug fixes and the new multi account feature which also include account bundles.

All changes:

  • feat: Multiple accounts

  • feat: New splash screen

  • fix: Password reset

  • fix: Dark text in cupertinodialogs

  • fix: Voice messages on iOS

  • fix: Emote settings

  • chore: update flutter_matrix_html, Matrix Dart SDK and other libraries

  • chore: Update to Flutter 2.5.1

  • chore: Updated translations

2021-09-24-7-coe-screenshot_20210919-165213_trebuchet.png

Multiple accounts and voice messages on iOS, in a single release, no less! Fluffychat is not only cute but also powerful.

Quaternion

kitsune announced:

After 2+ years of development, Quaternion makes a leap from 0.0.9.4 all the way to 0.0.95. The release notes list some key improvements: reactions, Markdown, revamped timeline, user profile dialog and a lot of other things. It’s the same small and fast client that blends nicely into your desktop environment, it just got much better. Go and get it!

Congrats on the release, kitsune!

Element Clients

Delight team

  • We’re testing & polishing Spaces, releasing them out of beta in the upcoming release cycle next week!
  • On iOS
    • We’re anticipating some performance issues on a very small number of accounts which participate in a very large number of rooms. After trying the next release, if this affects you, please let us know as it’ll help inform whether we cut an off-cycle hotfix or prep changes for the next release.
    • iOS doesn’t support pagination in the Space Summary API yet, so will only return the first 50 rooms in large Spaces when browsing. Support for this is planned for the following release.

Web

  • Released Element Web 1.8.6 RC2.
  • Fixing bugs and cosmetic issues with our Threads feature, currently in Labs.
  • Cross-signing bug fixes.
  • This week we Ran our first community testing session on 1.8.6 with members of the community. We were very pleased with how this went and intend to continue the sessions. You can help making Element even better by participating in our fortnightly testing sessions. Join #element-community-testing:matrix.org, and learn how to make the most useful feedback

iOS

  • The RC 1.6.0 with spaces is being reviewed by Apple
  • Element iOS requires now iOS 12.1 minimum
  • URL preview and voice message refinements
  • SwiftUI templates have been merged

Android

  • The RC 1.3.0, with Spaces, will be prepared today.
  • We have started to work on Presence
  • We are still working to improve the overall performance of the application and the SDK
  • Also we are doing lots of maintenance on the whole code base, and we are improving the CI.

Hydrogen

A minimal Matrix chat client, focused on performance, offline functionality, and broad browser support. https://github.com/vector-im/hydrogen-web/

Bruno told us:

Multiple (0.2.12 & 0.2.13) bugfix releases this week for timeline and sync issues, and also some minor UX issues. Get them while they are hot!

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

synadm is the Synapse admin CLI

jojo offered:

A little synadm release went out this week. Thanks a lot to @govynnus for contributing "Registration token management", it's available as a new subcommand regtok. Also some tiny improvements here and there were brought in to make admin experience even more convenient.

Have a look at the release notes: https://github.com/JOJ0/synadm/releases

PyPI: https://pypi.org/project/synadm/0.31/

Upgrade: https://github.com/JOJ0/synadm#update

Those are the same registration tokens GSoC intern Callum implemented and told us about in this Matrix Live episode.

Dept of Events and Talks πŸ—£οΈ

Ansible Contributor Summit 2021.09

cybette announced:

Ansible Contributor Summit 2021.09 is happening next week! It will be held over 2 days, on Tuesday September 28 and Friday October 1, from 13:00-21:00 UTC, and will be held on the Matrix platform.

The Ansible Community has recently adopted Matrix as an official chat platform and this is our first Matrix-powered conference. Feedback welcome! You will need a Matrix account to participate in the conversations. For more information, please see Communication - Real-time chat and the Ansible Community Matrix FAQ.

Join the Ansible Social Room anytime before or during the event and say hi! During the presentations, join the Main Conference Room to participate in the discussions. We will also have a session on How we are rolling out Matrix to the Ansible Community.

If you're interested, check out the details and register on Eventbrite. We look forward to seeing you on Matrix at the Ansible Contributor Summit!

Gwmngilfen added:

there's a mix of stuff going on to try out, we have hack sessions on Tues that may use the embedded Jitsi etc, and talks on Friday that will be more presenter/spectator

2021-09-24--BlOo-Contributor_summit_202109_banner.png

It's exciting to see an organisation holding an online conference on Matrix!

Gwmngilfen also promised:

I will blog about the setup as a post mortem

We count on that, others are interested in this kind of set-up too!

Dept of Ping πŸ“

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
1envs.net440.5
2trolla.us540
3boba.best551.5
4matrix.vilni.space580.5
5aria-net.org928
6yfe.re943
7wallace.sh1414
8here.in.ua1490
9tchncs.de1531
10nordgedanken.dev1768

#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
1here.in.ua295
2dendrite.nordgedanken.dev305
3sspaeth.de484
4weasy-is-my.name537
5spacedn.com684.5
6jae.su760
7kath-zollern.v6.rocks1028.5
8matrix.awesomesheep48.me2165
90x1a8510f2.space3030
10weber.world3885.5

That's all I know 🏁

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