This Week in Matrix 2020-09-11

11.09.2020 18:33 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Ben Parsons

Open Tech Will Save Us #6

From the schedule:

  • Ag3m, from La Quadrature du Net joins to present "Some thoughts on moderation and censorship in a decentralised world".
  • Sean DuBois (Sean-Der), WebRTC-knower and author of WebRTC for the Curious discusses his recent work in the space. https://webrtcforthecurious.com
  • Damir JeliΔ‡ presents the latest news on the Matrix Rust SDK

Open Tech Will Save Us is also available in audio form as a podcast in all the usual places!

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌑️

GSOC project reports

We had a bumper summer this year, with SIX students successfully completing their projects. So far three project reports have been published:

Expect to see the next three reports next week.

LinkΓΆping University

Alexander Olofsson announced:

Since we suddenly have multiple projects that've separately gone on to trial our new and shiny Matrix-on-location for multiple respective use-cases, from conferences to anonymous - encrypted - support chats, we've had to end our soft-launch period very quickly.

Oh dear.

For minutes, confusion reigned in the chat about just what this meant! Fortunately, clarity arrived:

To clarify; Ending the soft-launch period means that we've now gone on to a full launch, with public announcements and everything else that includes

\o/

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

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://matrix.org/docs/spec/proposals.

MSC Status

Closed MSCs:

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, the widgets spec and related MSCs are still being completed, however is formally removed from the focus list for this week. In its place we've put something in a very similar vein: MSC1960 (OpenID Connect exchange for widgets).

We had another long overdue Spec Core Team retro this week. On the whole it felt very productive, and we've hopefully helped identify some key issues and actions going forward to help internally organise the way the team spends time on MSCs (read: unblocking review progress from the team).

We're still working out our exact strategy asynchronously at the moment, so expect more details to follow soon.

2020-09-11-yd96P-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

Neil reported:

This week we put out a new release candidate for Synapse 1.20.0, highlights include shadow ban support, more async/awaiting and unread message counts being added to sync responses to support upcoming notifications work.

Aside from that Erik has been continuing to get event persistence sharding ready for shipping. He already has a working version, but currently all workers will run at the speed for the slowest instance. Once that is fixed we will put it on matrix.org to see how it performs.

Patrick has finished up on asyncing all the things, and is now studying flame graphs to figure out where all the cycles on the main process are going.

Andrew has been taking a look at the knocking MSC, expecting concrete progress in the next few weeks.

Brendan has been working notifications support and is currently in VoIP land helping Dave on trying to level up our VoIP support.

Finally Oliver has dusted off his TURN tester from last Summer to get it working before he returns to university. The idea is that it will act a bit like the federation tester for but for TURN configuration.

Conduit

Conduit is a Matrix homeserver written in Rust https://conduit.rs

timo announced:

Hi everyone, Devin R and I are working on state resolution, hopefully we have something exciting to show you next week. I also worked on the remaining key backup endpoints, so for example deleting backups works as expected now. Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Dendrite

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

kegan told us:

This week we have been continuing work on the beta task list:

  • The current state server has been removed.

  • Joining rooms over federation is now more reliable as a single faulty event will no longer fail the request.

  • Support for database migrations has been added.

  • Various bug fixes to reduce the number of database is locked errors on SQLite.

  • Experimental support for peeking has been added - See MSC2753

  • DENDRITE_TRACE_SQL will now additionally trace unsafe goroutine writes that do not use ExclusiveWriter.

  • The README has been updated with hardware requirements.

Spec compliance remains the same this week:

  • Client-Server APIs: 56%, same as last week.

  • Server-Server APIs: 71%, same as last week.

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Hydrogen

It's been a big week for Bruno:

Released 0.0.36 with end-to-end encryption enabled! πŸŽ‰
Most of this week was spent on performance improvements for IE11, where asm.js runs quite slow. Decryption is run in parallel on 4 workers in that browser, giving a massive speed-up and added responsiveness (the UI would freeze for 7 seconds when opening a room prior to this). There is still some polishing to do on sharing room keys, which I will get to next week, but all in all, it should work well. Next week I also want to get started on supporting key backup, so you can also read your encrypted history from before you logged in.

Get the latest: https://github.com/vector-im/hydrogen-web/

Element Web

Neil (same fellow from earlier) reported:

Element 1.7.6-rc.1 is now available at https://staging.element.io:

  • Redesigned right panel where top right actions are now revealed via the i icon
  • Widgets can now be opened in the right panel
  • Widgets won't be visible in the Apps Drawer (top of timeline) by default (except Jitsi) - you need to pin them from the right panel
  • Widgets can now be resized

Coming up:

  • Continue work on deferred cross-signing setup
  • Our new Matrix.to should get it’s first release
  • General bug fixes around threepid invites

Element for Nextcloud

Gary Kim said:

Element for Nextcloud (formerly Riot Chat for Nextcloud) has released v0.6.5 and v0.6.6. In this update, Element Web was updated to v1.7.5 and support for adding a custom integration server in the config through the settings UI and support for Nextcloud 20 was added.

Join the development Matrix room at #elementfornextcloud-general:garykim.dev.

Check out the source code here.

Element Android 1.0.6

benoit told us:

We have released Element Android 1.0.6. Now we are working on sync mode for F-Droid version of the application (i.e. without FCM). We are also improving the experience with 1-1 calls.

SchildiChat for Android

SpiritCroc said:

Element v1.0.6 has been merged into SchildiChat.

Furthermore, following Schildi-specific fixes and improvements are included in the latest update:

  • Fixed message bubbles clipping italic text

  • Less wasted bubble space in some scenarios

  • Deleted messages are now hidden by default in the chat overview

  • Display the year in the chat list for old chats

  • The inclusion of chats without notification in the overview's unread counter, which I added last week, is now optional

To be clear, Element v1.0.6 has been upstreamed into SchildiChat, the projects have not merged.

Element-iOS

Manu told us:

This week, we released 1.0.10 which provides PIN protection and the return of the incoming native call screen. Then, we started to update room creation flows with new icons and behaviors for creation buttons and a new screen for room creation.

Maunium sticker picker

This isn't strictly a client, but it's in the clients section.

Tulir announced:

Getting stuff into the spec or even implemented in Elements is very slow, so while we wait for proper native sticker packs and pickers (i.e. not in an iframe/webview), I decided to make a better sticker picker widget: https://github.com/maunium/stickerpicker

The goal is to be as fast and simple as possible. The picker and sticker packs are just some static files that can be served anywhere (no compilation required). It doesn't require self-hosting anything except said static files, and it has been confirmed to work on all three Elements.

There's a Telegram import script that's used to reupload stickers to Matrix and generate the static sticker pack files that the picker widget uses. It's technically also possible to make the sticker pack files yourself, but there's no easy way to do that yet.

Due to the simplicity of the picker there's no authentication, which also means everyone sees the same sticker packs. One way to get around that limitation is to have a unique URL for each user. I'll probably write a bot to manage copies of the picker for multiple users in the future.

Other future improvements include remembering frequently used stickers (surprisingly, all three Elements keep localStorage for widgets), importing Telegram animated stickers and searching for stickers by emoji/name

later more words appeared from Tulir:

Since the initial announcement, my sticker picker has received some more features:

  • Added a slider to configure the number of stickers shown per row

  • Frequently used stickers now show up at the top

  • Imported all the packs from Scalar (the default integration manager)

A model of productivity, Tulir also announced:

my sticker picker has dark theme support too now

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Ruby

Ananace said:

Just bumped the Matrix Ruby SDK to version 2.1.2, fixing another bug with server discovery as well as the fact that state events haven't been provided for the application using the SDK. Oops.

matrix-appservice-rs

Lieuwe announced:

matrix-appservice-rs got some love!

Though still a long way to go before it is comparable to the likes of matrix-appservice-node and matrix-appservice-bridge, I did improve some little things.

  • Updated to the latest (git) version of Ruma, and only depend on ruma instead of all subcrates.

  • Small memory improvements: using references in MappingId and shrinking the MappingDict when initializing.

  • Some more documentation.

  • Cleaned up the code a bit.

There is also now a specific room for this crate: #matrix-appservice-rs:lieuwe.xyz, feel free to ask for support or tell if you've suggestions.

quotient

kitsune said:

libQuotient 0.6.1 is out, with fixes for bugs found during the work on the next Quaternion release and also an optimisation in the way profiles of all the users are managed - noticeable when opening large rooms (like our lovely HQ). Quaternion 0.0.9.5 beta is coming real soon now (TM), with some big features being coded in and merged as I write this.

...and the release notes are here: https://github.com/quotient-im/libQuotient/releases/tag/0.6.1

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

mnotify

stefan said:

I created mnotify which is a CLI based matrix client for automation tasks in shell scripts. Currently it supports login (via password), logout, sending messages, simple syncing, "get"ting the synapse admin api, creating a room, inviting users to a room, and joining a room.

Dept of Services πŸš€

publiclist.anchel.nl

Mr. Wimpy offered:

https://publiclist.anchel.nl has been updated. The publiclist contains several public homeservers who can be used freely. Also listed some communities and roomdirectories which can be found at homeservers, last but not least public useable bridges can be found. The homeserver list contains now also uptime percentage and ip info. There is also a json that can be used by client builders.

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

Bots galore

Alexander Olofsson reported:

And in completely unrelated news, I also just tagged version 1.0.0 of an invite bot for Matrix, which helps in doing bulk invites to communities and community-associated rooms.

A single bulk-invite (MXID or 3PID) to a main room will be propagated to invites into the community (if wanted), as well as invites to all rooms linked to the community, once the invited user joins the main room.

Dept of Events and Talks πŸ—£οΈ

Perth Linux user group Matrix presentation

PC-Admin offered:

I did a talk called 'Matrix in 2020' with the Perth Linux user group, parts of the video are missing but the audio is solid

I think we did a good job summarising how far Matrix has come, we also preview the idea our new Matrix hosting company!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTutFZzFizw

From the YouTube description:

Michael Collins talks about the Matrix, covering the new features, perthchat.org, and ChatOasis an upcoming FOSS Matrix hosting company.

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. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1fairydust.space325.5
2helderferreira.io614.5
3neko.dev661.5
4kif.rocks718.5
5matrix.vgorcum.com1785.5
6an-atom-in.space2034
7urech.ca2226.5
8ragon.xyz2436
9im.kabi.tk2478
10utzutzutz.net2588.5

That's all I know 🏁

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

GSOC report: Enabling E2EE in Opsdroid Matrix Connector

10.09.2020 14:50 β€” GSOC β€” Tyagraj Desigar

This is part of a series of reports on the six projects assigned to Matrix for Google Summer of Code 2020.

View project: Enabling E2EE in Opsdroid Matrix Connector


I'm Tyagraj Desigar and I worked on Opsdroid with Stuart Mumford and Drew Leonard. Opsdroid is a python framework for creating platform agnostic bots usable with multiple chat services including matrix.

The Plan

The project's focus was on the interaction layer (called a connector) between opsdroid and matrix. As it stood, the connector used the deprecated matrix-python-sdk and had no support for encryption. The aim was to change this by moving over to matrix-nio.

I had planned to work on some other features as well:

  • A database module for opsdroid using matrix state events
  • Support for unused matrix events
  • Homeserver lookup using .well-known API requests
  • Device verification process for the bot

Porting to nio and adding encryption support was the bulk of the project, and the minimum I wanted to accomplish by the end of the project. I wanted to have a connector that worked as it did already with support for encrypted rooms which needed minimal extra configuration.

The Process

The process began with This PR which gave us a head start with the migration to matrix-nio. Through helping to review the PR I got to understand how matrix-nio and opsdroid work.

The implementation of encryption support was a little tricky in that it was tough to figure out the process required to do that in the context of the connector. One problem we faced was the installation of dependencies. Installing libolm, a C library which nio uses for encryption was a less than smooth process. This spawned a couple side projects that dealt with the CI, testing and installation of opsdroid. In the end we found a solution and had a working connector on our hands.

Next we shifted focus to the database module. It was based on this project. I rewrote it with nio and added a few features. The idea was straightforward but the implementation had many catches since we were working under some constraints for the interfacing with opsdroid. It went through several iterations before we settled on the final product.

The encryption and database took longer than I had initially expected which meant we didn't get to work on adding support for more events and homeserver lookups. I had a go at adding device verification steps while working on the encryption support but that turned out to be quite complicated and would introduce some breaking changes, besides cross-signing had just been introduced so we decided to drop that till nio implemented some way to leverage cross-signing.

Along the way some issues cropped up with the testing frameworks and CI that were hard to pinpoint and caused further delays but were solved eventually.

The Conclusion

I am extremely happy with what I've accomplished and hope that I have been able to achieve the standards set by the matrix community. It was a challenging and exhilarating experience. I have learned more in this project than I could've imagined and gained a ton of invaluable experience with software development thanks to my mentors who pushed me forward and guided me throughout. This journey was beyond amazing and I will be sure to contribute to matrix moving forward.

You can find complete details of everything I worked on during GSoC here.

GSOC report: Adding Features in End-to-End encryption for Nheko-Reborn

09.09.2020 00:00 β€” GSOC β€” CH Chethan Reddy

This is part of a series of reports on the six projects assigned to Matrix for Google Summer of Code 2020.

View project: Adding Features in End-to-End encryption for Nheko-Reborn

This is a re-publishing of Chetan's original blog post.


whoami?

I'm CH Chethan Reddy. I'm currently pursuing Bachelors in Electronics and Communication Engineering at the National Institute of Technology, Trichy in India. In my free time I like to swim, work on projects I find interesting, watch movies and do a lot of other "interesting" stuff. This summer I have interned in Matrix.org for around 3-4 months under GSoC and in this blog I'll be sharing my experience.

Why Matrix.org?

Being passionate about privacy, I wanted to select an organization that actively works on that, and clearly, Matrix.org topped my list. For anyone who doesn't know what Matrix is, in simple words, It is a decentralized communication protocol that supports many awesome features like messaging, end-to-end encryption, voip/video calls support, etc. It uses simple RESTful http APIs which keeps things very simple. The best part of the protocol is, it is decentralized, so if you have a custom domain name, you can setup a synapse server in a jiffy. Knowing all these who wouldn't choose Matrix?

My Work

I worked on Desktop Client called Nheko. It is a light-weight Desktop Client that uses Qt Framework in the frontend and also uses a mtxclient library that implements Matrix-client server API written in C++. The scope of my project involved implementing Device-Verification and Cross-Signing in Nheko.

For people who have not used Matrix before, it is important to note that every device of a particular user is considered as a separate unit rather than user itself. For end-to-end encrypted chat to be viewable from a device, that particular device should be trusted by the sender's device. Device-verification and Cross-Signing are methods used for verifying.

Coming to the work I have implemented, Device-verification is completely implemented in Nheko. As of now, SAS verification with to-device and room message verification is supported in Nheko. As far as Cross-Signing is concerned, verifying signatures of Cross-Signing keys and showing the verified status of devices have been implemented. The only remaining unfinished parts are SSSS and signing the keys after verification. After that Cross-signing should be feature-complete.

I wished to implement SSSS during my GSoC period, but I couldn't because I did not anticipate the additional things which came with verification while making my proposal. The additional works included : implementing the UI, changes to the userprofile dialog, working on the caching of verified users, and user keys. Moreover, due to the current pandemic, there were a few sudden changes in my academic schedule, which interrupted my work to some extent. While contributing at times I was stuck on some bugs like verifying the signatures, some random crashes in UserProfile and setting up relations in Room-Verification. However, with the help of my mentors, I was able to fix these bugs.

I'm really happy about the work I have done. I am hoping to further work on Nheko in the future, complete Cross-Signing and work on additional features for Nheko.

Community and Mentors

The best part of my experience this summer was the the Matrix community and the learning I had. I am really lucky to be part of the Matrix community which has many passionate people collectively working on really cool projects with clients, bridges, servers, bots and the spec. A special thanks to Uhoreg and Sorunome who have helped me in navigating through the spec.

Last but not the least, a big shout-out to both my mentors, Nico and red_sky, who were always there to help me with any issue in the project in spite of their personal commitments and dealt with my stupid questions with utmost patience and kindness. Without their active help and guidance this experience definitely would not have been so fun and great, they have clearly surpassed the expectations I had from mentors.

GSOC report: E2E encryption for go-neb

08.09.2020 17:37 β€” GSOC β€” Nikolaos Filippakis

This is part of a series of reports on the six projects assigned to Matrix for Google Summer of Code 2020.

View project: E2E encryption for go-neb


Hello! I am Nikos, an MSc student in Computer Security. My original goal for this GSoC was to implement the basics of end-to-end encryption for Go-NEB, which is a popular and easily extendable bot for the Matrix protocol. I chose this project because it ticked off a lot of the boxes that I look for in a project: The Matrix protocol is very interesting and the e2e specification is fascinating, Go-NEB is written in Go which I wanted to learn better, plus I believe personally that crypto should be easy for everyone to use and adopted more.

My initial plan was to first create bindings in gomatrix for libolm, the C library that implements most of the necessary algorithms for Olm/Megolm, the protocols used in Matrix' end-to-end encryption. Then, I was going to write some nice APIs around those bindings so that most of the work done is hidden from the client that uses the library, and finally I would call these APIs from Go-NEB when needed to set up the encrypted sessions between devices in a room and use them to encrypt/decrypt messages as necessary. What we found out soon after GSoC started was that another library called mautrix-go that was based on gomatrix already did most of these things. My task then became to change the uses of gomatrix in Go-NEB for mautrix-go and make some slight changes to the latter if there were some incompatibilities. A month later, that task was done.

With two months to go in GSoC, my mentors came up with a new task: to implement a service for Go-NEB that allows other client developers to test their e2ee implementations easily. That resulted in a service called "cryptotest" which allows other clients in a specified room to execute some Neb commands which would trigger functions like the forwarding of keys between clients, another feature that had to be implemented in mautrix. Something else that I wanted to add and grabbed my interest was SAS device verification, a multi-step process that involves users comparing a string of numbers or emojis out-of-band to configure they are indeed talking to each other and not to a MITM. These were my main tasks during the second month and I was happy to have achieved them and made a decent verification API for clients to use. They were soon merged into mautrix and Go-NEB.

For my third month I proposed to implement a new Matrix feature called cross-signing, which was similar to SAS verification but dealt with verifying other users instead of their devices who would in turn verify their own devices, creating a graph of trust between users and devices. This functionality was strongly coupled with SSSS, another new feature that allows clients to store their encrypted secrets (in this case the multiple necessary signing keys) on the server, as well as in-room verification which allows verification between users. This task was more challenging as it uses multiple algorithms (some of which not in libolm) for deriving the keys, using them to encrypt other keys which in turn sign other keys. It was also more satisfying when I finally managed to generate the keys, store and retrieve them and then use them to sign another user and when I was done I felt like my understanding of cryptography levelled up.

All in all, I'm very satisfied with the overall experience. The spec was very clear in most cases and when it wasn't the community was always helpful and responsive. They were also happy to discuss the spec with me and explain the more intricate details. For that reason I wasn't asking questions directly to my mentors (besides for defining my tasks) but to the overall community. I'm also very grateful to my mentors, @uhoreg and @Kegan for picking me for this project and helping me with the planning aspect and reviewing my PRs. I'd lastly like to thank the maintainer of mautrix, @tulir, for reviewing and merging a lot of my work into his library.

This Week in Matrix 2020-09-04

04.09.2020 20:24 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Ben Parsons
Last update: 04.09.2020 19:22

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

  • Kegan discusses Complement, testing suite for Homeservers
  • Steve from iOS: FaceID and PIN protection
  • ChristianP shows "Easy bridge creation with matrix-appservice-bridge"
  • Bruno demos Hydrogen e2ee features

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌑️

Next step in world domination

Alexander Olofsson reported:

The Matrix service at LinkΓΆping University has now passed its soft launch state and headed straight into full and proper deployment territory. (Though we're still not being overly vocal about it, don't want to crash our deployment on day one after all.)

They're simply announcing it on TWIM, perhaps the most high-profile place in the world!

We're doing a little bit of advertising of it to computer clubs and the like though, to slowly build up the users.

But then:

And just to add another slight update: already we have at least one conference planning on trying out the new Matrix server as well, so the user count might just end up exploding soon anyway.

\o/

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

sorunome asks for attention on MSC2545:

As a lot of people in TWIM were originally interested in it, soru just wanted to say that MSC2545 (emotes) is no longer WIP, it is ready for review

Spec

anoa reported:

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:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, we're sticking with the widget theme, but also adding something new. Travis is writing up a mahoosive widgets PR in addition to some widget MSCs. We're also adding on MSC2753 (peeking /sync), MSC2444 (peeking federation), which will both unlock some very exciting upcoming features (such as x-as-rooms)!

2020-09-04-gKF3z-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

anoa said:

Erik has made an initial, naive implementation of a sharded Event Persister worker - the non-sharded version currently being one of the biggest bottlenecks on matrix.org right now. It still needs a bit of polish to be production ready, and Sytest will need some updating to support testing it, but otherwise progress is looking good!

Brendan is polishing his unread counts implementations, while Rich is writing up the push rules replacement tech in an MSC. Rich has also been optimizing the device code in Synapse to both simplify the code, as well as cut down on unnecessary device data being sent over federation.

Patrick has finished converting Synapse's database code to be fully async! This has the benefit of making profiling the matrix.org Synapse process much more sane, and we're already starting to find a few little places where Synapse is burning CPU unnecessarily! Now, Synapse won't be fully async'd until Twisted itself is, and we drop support for older Twisted versions that aren't, which is not soon. However the majority of the code that developers touch and that is executed being async has massive benefits either way πŸ™‚

Andrew has been working on having a confirmation pop up after users click the link in their email, to help prevent phishing scams. He's also trying to finally make Synapse spec-compliant in accepting identifier dictionaries during user-interactive authentication.

Olivier has been continuing to help Synapse recover missed messages better after it has been offline for an extended period of time, as well as various fixes to push.

Expect a fresh release with all these changes soon!

As someone who had my own server outage this week I'm looking forward to seeing this!

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

Neil Alexander said:

This week we have been continuing on our bug-hunt mission and have been working on refactoring some significant parts of the codebase to simplify the API surfaces and avoid race conditions.

Changes this week include:

  • The current state server is in the process of being deprecated, with this functionality being folded into the roomserver

  • Support for rate limiting on certain CS API endpoints has been added

  • Support for password changes has been added, allowing users to change their own password

  • /sync no longer incorrectly lists some rooms in the leave section, which caused problems with Element Web and other clients

  • Roomserver input events are now handled in FIFO order with per-room workers

  • Roomserver input, query and perform packages are now split up nicely

  • The federation sender and keyserver now delay some startup tasks to allow the HTTP listeners to start more quickly

  • The federation sender is now used for backfilling and getting missing events

  • Some more SQLite writer bugs have been fixed

  • Room information in the roomserver is now handled in a common structure

  • The public rooms API now correctly searches remote servers (thanks rohitmohan96)

  • Initial support for Peeking (MSC2753) and Peeking over Federation (MSC2444) is in progress

Spec compliance is improving:

  • Client-Server APIs: 56%, up from 55% last week

  • Server-Server APIs: 71%, same as last week

Last week, we updated some of our documentation and created a whole new set of easy first issues and medium to hard issues for contributors.

If contributing to Dendrite sounds like something you would be interested in, please take a look at these issues and join us in #dendrite-dev:matrix.org! There's also #dendrite:matrix.org for general Dendrite chat and updates.

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

YunoHost

Pierre announced:

YunoHost is an operating system aiming for the simplest administration of a server, and therefore democratize self-hosting.

Synapse integration had been updated to 1.18.0 (1.19.1 available in branch testing)

Element Web integration had been updated to 1.7.4 (1.7.5 available in branch testing)

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

tomsg-matrix

Lieuwe told us:

Introducing a new bridge to the family, tomsg-matrix!

A friend of mine preferred using his own chat protocol, but having a chat protocol is useless without having people to talk to. Since I prefer using Matrix I thought it would be a fun exercise to try and create a bridge using Rust.

The bridge uses the newly created (still very WIP) matrix-appservice-rs. A Rust library that builds on top of the Ruma suite, the goal is for it to be comparable to matrix-appservice-node and matrix-appservice-bridge.

The code for tomsg-matrix is open source, but be prepared, I hastily pushed it to GitHub without cleaning it up.

Come chat to us over at #tomsg:lieuwe.xyz, hoping that it doesn't break. :P

Making your own chat protocol in a world of well established options seems, frankly- oh right.

matrix-sms-bridge

Benedict told us:

We are currently working on an Android-App to use an old smartphone as SMS-Gateway for matrix-sms-bridge, because using gammu in production (>50 SMS/day) seems not to be very reliable with our USB-modem.

im_sender_service, for zabbix bridging and more

progserega said:

I create service for sending corporate information: some service (for example zabbix) can send message to this service (over http-api) and service will create room (if needed), invite user and send message to this room. Service will change status of message in his database to readed when user will read this message. Also service can send any changes statuses of this message by callback url. Editing old messages also supported: for example zabbix can send UID problem to this service and it is will edit old "problem message" to "problem resolved".

Url: https://github.com/progserega/im_sender_service

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Ditto

Ditto is a Matrix client for iOS & Android

Annie offered:

Ditto development is back from hiatus!

I'm currently in the process of rebuilding Ditto - partly to incorporate rn-matrix, and partly to support a WEB VERSION

The new repo can be found here (https://gitlab.com/ditto-chat/ditto) (there's a new repo mostly because getting react-native-web to play nicely with the rest of the app was a challenge, to say the least)

As a sneak peek, enjoy this rough version (https://ditto-test.netlify.app) of Ditto for web :)

Expect to see what I'm calling Ditto's 2.0.0 drop on TestFlight and Google Play in a few weeks.

Links:

Matrix Room

Big exciting things happening!

Hydrogen

Bruno offered:

Good progress this week, I just got end-to-end encryption working. The code still needs some cleanup and polishing to be able to release it in the wild, but expect a release somewhere next week with E2EE enabled.

YESSSS - see Matrix Live for a demo.

2020-09-04-t4hyh-image.png

gomuks

gomuks is a terminal based Matrix client written in Go. Source on GitHub

Tulir said:

gomuks now supports importing and exporting message decryption keys. It even supports exporting the keys for a specific room, e.g. for sharing them with someone else. To help with sharing exported key files with someone else, gomuks also got support for uploading media.

Next I'll try to figure out how nikofil's cross-signing/SSSS PR for mautrix-go works and use that in gomuks.

v0.2.0 was just released with these features!

NovaChat

eric told us:

NovaChat is a new Matrix-based desktop client that aggregates all your chat networks into one app. We now have integrated bridges for Whatsapp, Twitter, Telegram, Hangouts, Slack, Messenger, Android Messages (SMS), Skype, Discord, Instagram and IRC.

Sept 4 Updates:

  • Continuous UI improvements. Everything is much denser now. See screenshot below.

  • New bridge alert: tulir just completed an Android Messages SMS bridge (which is a total hack but it works!) for NovaChat.

  • Added Discord Bridge. Thanks for building this Sorunome!

In the works...

  • Still working on our iMessage bridge, using jailbroken iPhone 4s

  • Marking messages as 'unread'

Sign up for the NovaChat beta. Or send me a DM @eric:nova.chat!

2020-09-04-iEKfJ-Screenshot-20200904072010-980x1069.png

Nheko

Nheko is a desktop client using Qt, Boost.Asio and C++17. It supports E2EE (with the notable exception being device verification for now) and intends to be full featured and nice to look at

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) announced:

  • Lurkki added an emoji completer to the message area! This was a super requested feature and it is pretty awesome, that someone picked this up and implemented it! This means you can finally write :fire: and have it expand to πŸ”₯! Seems like this will also lead to a few more improvements to our other completers down the line (user, room, etc completions), so thank you very much Lurkki!

  • I've been mostly reviewing PRs this week (and trying to get some other work in line, like MSCs, synapse stuff, etc). With this hopefully Chethans work on cross-signing will be merged soon, which will give us most of the building blocks to have cross-signing in Nheko (his work is basically only missing Secure Secret Storage and Sharing). We hope to fix the few remaining build issues in the next week or so.

  • On the side I have been cleaning some UI stuff to simplify our room settings dialog and allow advanced users to hide/show certain event types in the timeline. This will probably take a bit more time to be finished though.

2020-09-04-KUPpB-clipboard.png

Fluffychat

sorunome offered:

Fluffychat 0.17.0 is released!

IMPORTANT: Due to legal reasons (USA cryptography export), end-to-end encryption has been disabled in the google play and ios builds for now. They will be re-enabled once we got all that figured out.

The F-Droid builds still have e2ee. As the play store and fdroid builds use the same build signature, you can simply install the fdroid version over the other one. More information on that here: https://fluffychat.im/en/fdroid.html

Features

  • Pin and unpin chats

  • Implement event aggregations

  • Implement message edits

  • Render reactions

  • Add / Remove reactions by tapping on existing reactions

Fixes:

  • Don't re-render the room list nearly as often, increasing performance

  • Various fixes for sending messages on bad networks

  • Design tweeks and fixes

  • Various performance fixes and improvements

Definitely hoping to see these issues resolved.

SchildiChat for Android

SpiritCroc offered:

I removed SchildiChat from the Google Play for now, due to the complications of providing encryption-capable software from US servers. Huge thanks to the FluffyChat team for providing insight into their investigations concerning the US export regulations!

On the positive side, SchildiChat is now finally available on F-Droid from the official repos.

Furthermore, I have set up my own F-Droid repository, where you can get updates that are compatible with the Google Play Store variant and which support push notifications.

On the implementation side, I can report the following:

  • Element 1.0.5 has been merged

  • The "low priority" category now remembers its expand/collapse-state across restarts

  • New setting to hide member state changes and reactions from the chat overview

  • The category unread counter badge now also displays the number of chats with new messages in case none of these has notifications enabled

Element-iOS

Manu announced:

This week, we should have fixed the background crash that was happening in TestFlight 1.0.7. TestFlight 1.0.9 has been submitted yesterday.

In parallel, we started to modernise the AppDelegate class, the entry point of the app. This is the very first step of several improvements we want to do (this is not only to rewrite it in Swift).

Element Android

benoit reported:

We have just merged a few big PRs to develop: add emails and phone numbers to Matrix account, rework of upload attachment management, and other stuff related to 1-1 calls. It will live on develop for the week-end and we will prepare the release v1.0.6 at the beginning of next week.

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

rn-matrix

rn-matrix is a React Native SDK for matrix

Annie offered:

Built on the matrix-js-sdk, this NPM package will help any React Native developer drop matrix into their app.

Been working on this since the beginning of the summer - this package is split into two, one for the data and one with default UI components for those who want to drop chat into their app quickly (not required).

Would love feedback on docs, installation, and usage, so try it out and drop me a line!

Links: Docs (start here!) | Matrix Room

NB, this update should be read together with the Ditto update above

Ruma

iinuwa said:

Over the past couple of weeks, jplatte has been hard at work making sure we can introduce new fields to request and response types as non-breaking updates. Thanks to @nicholaswyoung, consumers can opt-in to breaking changes to ensure compliance with the spec on each update.

Besides that, we implemented another endpoint for the Federation API, bringing us up to 20/31 endpoints implemented.

New Contributors

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy

This Ansible playbook is meant to easily let you run your own Matrix homeserver.

Slavi reported:

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy can now help you set up matrix-registration - an application that lets you keep your Matrix server's registration private, but still allow certain users (those having a unique registration link) to register by themselves.

See our Setting up matrix-registration documentation page to get started.

Dept of Events and Talks πŸ—£οΈ

Matrix talk @ FrOSCon 2020 (in German)

Oleg reported:

I did a talk on Matrix bridges at the annual Free Open Source Conference.

Apparently

The interest was high. Some didn't know, that bridges exist in Matrix.

!!! Well thank you Oleg for letting them know.

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. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1fairydust.space376
2neko.dev444.5
3tchncs.de565.5
4autodie.be958
5matrix.vgorcum.com1124
6maescool.be1435
7lermer.nl1989
8utzutzutz.net2207
9bau-ha.us2965
10rollyourown.xyz3013

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 2020-08-28

28.08.2020 00:00 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Ben Parsons

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

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://matrix.org/docs/spec/proposals.

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, we're taking off MSC2674 and MSC1544 while the author works through feedback, and instead looking at getting widgets in line.

The spec for widgets has so far lived on a collaborative document that hasn't been updated in some time. As a result multiple, separate implementations have sprouted. We'd like to nail this down. So the focus for this week will be: MSC1960 (widget auth mechanics) and MSC1236 (general widgets).

2020-08-28-MSnEZ-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of GSoC πŸŽ“οΈ

The coding phase of Google Summer of Code is over! That said there is still a bunch of stuff to do, code is still appearing and we're now entering the time of many forms to fill in in order for people to get paid.

A little pre-emptive, but wow it's been a good summer! SIX students, all did well!

matrix-ircd - Call for Testing

jplatte announced:

GSoC coding is over and there's now an async/await ported matrix-ircd! Before merging that into master, it would be nice to have it tested a bit more. To install it, you first need Cargo, Rust's package manager (Installation). With that set up, just run

cargo install --git <https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-ircd> --branch async_await

Once matrix-ircd is installed, you can run it and connect to the locally spawned server with any IRC client.

HTML embeddable matrix chat

arnav-t said:

For the GSoC project HTML embeddable matrix chat this week -

  • Added an 'auto' option for the theme (read and set the theme from the device)-

  • Added a 'custom' highlight color (meant to be modified by users).

  • Restyled various components.

More news to come from this project - going to be used in a really exciting live event in the near future. Arnav has accidentally found a niche. :D

One more thing: This project needs a new name (riot-embedded I don't like.) If you have ideas you can fling them at arnav-t or post in #twim:matrix.org.

Dept of Servers 🏒

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

Neil Alexander told us:

This week has mostly been focused on beta milestone tasks and bug fixes. Changes this week include:

  • Joining rooms which the server already belongs to when invited by a user from another homeserver is now significantly faster

  • The client API no longer refers to the device DB directly, instead using the new user API

  • A number of locking issues have been fixed in the federation sender

  • The /join endpoint now accepts ?server_name=... query parameters

  • The device list updater now obeys the backoff period and blacklisted status from the federation sender

  • Uploaded media will no longer be truncated to 0 bytes when max_file_size_bytes option is set to 0 (for unlimited)

  • The media API now correctly cleans up temporary directories when errors occur

  • The media API now returns unique media IDs and metadata when multiple users upload the same file, whilst maintaining deduplication on disk

  • Rejecting invites over federation multiple times should now work properly

  • Redactions are now permanent and are committed to the database

  • Some caches have been added to the roomserver for room IDs, state key IDs and event type IDs to reduce pressure on the database

  • The redaction endpoint is now spec-compliant

  • Some places where global errors were overwritten have been fixed (thanks oliverpool!)

  • Some state key checks in the roomserver membership updaters have now been tidied up (thanks oliverpool!)

Spec compliance has improved slightly:

  • Client-Server APIs: 55%, up from 54% last week

  • Server-Server APIs: 70%, down from 71% last week due to a single flakey test

We've also updated some of our documentation and created a whole new set of easy first issues and medium to hard issues for contributors.

If contributing to Dendrite sounds like something you would be interested in, please take a look at these issues and join us in #dendrite-dev:matrix.org! There's also #dendrite:matrix.org for general Dendrite chat.

Conduit

Conduit is a Matrix homeserver written in Rust https://conduit.rs

timo said:

Some new features this week!

  • Handle transaction ids to avoid duplicate messages on bad connections

  • Redaction reasons

  • Add remaining key backup endpoints (e.g. deleting backups)

  • Send correct device list changes when leaving and joining e2ee rooms

Also check out our new website (https://conduit.rs) if you haven't already.

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Synapse

anoa offered:

This week Erik has been working on sharding the Event Persister worker as we aim further for horizontal scalability for Synapse. Some of the complication comes from ensuring that sysadmin's don't misconfigure things where multiple event persisters persist events in the same room.

2020-08-28-uUl-U-image.png

Patrick has been continuing on the async/await train and has just submitted the final PR which async's our runInteraction method - the one that most database calls go through. Synapse is nearly 100% async! He's also been submitting a flurry of shadow ban PRs, which will be another powerful tool for moderation.

Brendan and Rich are continuing to work on the Notifications rewrite, with Brendan finishing up unread counts, and Rich polishing up designs for the new replacement for push rules.

Andrew (who dat? - ed.) is continuing to work on the knocking MSC and has fleshed out the CS and SS details. There are still some open questions though, so please give feedback if you notice anything off!

Finally, Olivier has been working on making sure you get your missed messages when your homeserver has been offline for a while, as well as various Sygnal fixes and matrix-synapse-ldap3.

Them's the news!

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

YunoHost

Pierre said:

YunoHost is an operating system aiming for the simplest administration of a server, and therefore democratize self-hosting.

Synapse integration had been updated to 1.18.0 (1.19.0 available in branch testing)

Element Web integration had been updated to 1.7.3 (1.7.4 available in branch testing)

Kubernetes

Ananace told us:

Just pushed an update to my matrix-synapse chart, fixing the volume permission configuration - for those who want to run Synapse as non-root without using a storage class that supports setting rights based on fsGroup

and then

Just pushed the 1.19.1 tags for my K8s-optimized container image, and a new helm chart version to go with it.

Did you know that Ananace is running a Matrix server for LinkΓΆpings universitet?
Another True Fact: "universitet" appears to be Swedish for "university".

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

matrix-appservice-mattermost

dalcde offered:

I recently published a new matrix <-> mattermost bridge - matrix-appservice-mattermost. The new bridge already supports many features and is rapidly improving, with the current focus being setting up proper integration tests.

New bridge! This is actually really fully featured considering that we've only just heard about it! Looking forward to seeing more from dalcde and team in future.

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Daydream

MTRNord offered:

Some small updates on Daydream:

  • The pages https://daydream.im and https://app.daydream.im get finally updated again. We switched from netlify to github pages

  • Devin R fixed a bug with huge numbers in power levels which caused Florian to not being able to join (Fixed in the rust-sdk)

  • Because of the now again working deployment of Daydream parts of the WIP redesign are now available on https://app.daydream.im

  • Github Emoji codes like :gift: Get replaced with unicode on sending allowing basic emoji usage

Also the landing page at https://daydream.im got a fresh new design :)

And we are investigating a switch to the Druid framework to also add support for desktop

Check it out at: https://app.daydream.im or join our Chat at #daydream:nordgedanken.dev

Honestly I didn't realise Florian was a setting in the power levels. Is this in the spec? Very good seeing Rust SDK getting such usage, we will see more from this project I hope!

mxapps

KB1RD offered:

A multi-account Matrix client that allows you to authorize webapps to access parts of your account, designed with collaboration in mind.

This is the webapp I've been talking about for a while that allows webpages limited access to your account. Currently, apps can view the name, avatar, alias, and type of a room that's been opened with the app, and that's just about it.

The big interesting thing about mxapps right now is the architecture. Just about all of the logic is running in a shared worker. This means that you can duplicate as many tabs as you want and it will all act as the same client. It also has multi-account support.

Features coming ~soon~ at some point will be full state event support and easy-to-follow docs on how to make an app, plus Vue plugins to make development really easy.

You can checkout the live version on mxapps.kb1rd.net, but it is a bit useless...

There are some work-in-progress docs on the structure on docs.mxapps.kb1rd.net

I'll post an example app in a bit ;)

What a great use of workers! The possibilities for this are really impressive...

Mirage

miruka reported:

Small 0.6.2 release this week, mostly bug fixes:

Changed

  • When replying to a message, you can now press enter without entering any

    text to send it directly (useful to "forward" a message).

  • Sending a file while replying to a message will create a pseudo-reply,

    consisting of an "In reply to" text message with no body, followed by the actual file event.

    This is a workaround to the reply restrictions imposed by the Matrix spec.

  • Composer aliases cannot contain whitespace anymore.

    This includes spaces, hard tabs or newline characters. If an alias from your config still has whitespace, only the first word

    will be taken into account (ignoring any leading or trailing space).

  • Faster server browser loading, now gathers all needed data with a

    single request instead of one for each server

  • Auto-focus the "Join" button on invited room pages

    ((Shift+)Tab can be used to navigate between buttons)

  • Auto-focus the "Forget" button on left room pages

  • Themes: modify chat.message.styleSheet to add some spacing between HTML

    list items, see 48663ae

Fixed

  • Fix @username autocompletion closing if there's more than one character

    after the @

  • Consider the partial text from IME (input method editors) and touch screen

    autocompleting keyboards and for username autocompletion

  • Reset IME state upon autocompleting a username

  • Fix clicking on autocompletion list user not making the username a mention

  • Fix UI freezing when mentioning user lacking a display name

  • Fix mentioning users with blank display name (e.g. only spaces), mention

    them by their user ID

  • Fix text fields/areas unable to be focused on touch screen

  • Fix random chance of profile retrieval requests failing if one of the logged

    in account doesn't federate with other servers (e.g. localhost synapse)

  • Fix composer text saved to disk for the wrong account if that text begins

    by an account alias

  • Servers can potentially return an outdated member list for rooms on initial

    sync, which is one of the possible cause of "Members not synced" error for encrypted rooms.

    When loading the full room list, discard members from the initial sync list that are absent from the full list.

    For those not using the AppImage or Flatpak, this fix requires matrix-nio 0.15.1 or later to take effect.

  • When erasing an account alias inside the composer, send a

    "x isn't typing anymore" notification corresponding to that account

  • Fix potential 403 error on chat pages for invited rooms.

  • Start loading room history immediately when the room join state changes,

    e.g. when clicked "Join" for an invited room page.

Hydrogen

Bruno announced:

Released 0.0.34 this week with some fixes to the room list sorting and fixing several crashes. If you clear your session, it will also sort low priority rooms at the bottom of the room list, even if unread, making it a bit more usable until we add more UX refinements to the room list.

Most of the effort this week however has gone into working on end-to-end encryption, having investigated using the rust-sdk for a couple of days, and now looking into a custom implementation based on libolm. This is well on its way with key upload working and device tracking nearing completion.

Getting e2ee will make this a very compelling client! Remember to watch Matrix Live with Bruno above. If you've watched it, remember we have 100s of episodes of Matrix Live to catch up on!

Nheko

Nheko is a desktop client using Qt, Boost.Asio and C++17. It supports E2EE (with the notable exception being device verification for now) and intends to be full featured and nice to look at

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

I just merged the new event store a few days ago. This means Nheko now doesn't keep messages in RAM! Everything is stored on disk and mapped into memory from disk. This may reduce memory usage a tiny bit, but may increase latency while scrolling a bit. Try it out and give your feedback!

For the developers reading this, I collected some ramblings on my blog here: https://blog.neko.dev/posts/nhekos-event-store-v2.html . Yes, I designed that site when I was like 15, I know the dark theme is a bit too much... Just use Firefox and the alternate stylesheet for light mode! Anyway, I'm very interested to hear how other clients implement their event stores!

Element-Android v1.0.5

benoit said:

Element-Android v1.0.5 has been released to the PlayStore. We are now working to improve user experience with 1-1 calls. We will add support to add and remove emails to your Matrix account, and we are still fixing bugs...

We are always fixing bugs!

Element-iOS

Manu has been working hard on iOS:

This week, we made 2 release candidates available through TestFlight. New features are :

  • app access protection with PIN code, TouchID or FaceID
  • the come back of the incoming native call screen

A huge thanks to the community for the feedbacks. It helped us to discover issues like a crash in background due to PushKit. The coming TF (1.0.7) should fix all of them

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

mautrix-go

nikofil reported:

A PR has been created for cross-signing and SSSS support! It also supports accepting in-room verification requests and will soon also support creating them, after which it should be ready for reviewing. Afterwards, with some minor changes to clients using the library, cross-signing should be available.

Cross-signing in gomuks and more?

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

catbot

chloe reported:

Github

A Matrix bot using the library matrix-nio and Docker (specifically aiodocker) for running sandboxed code, allowing users to write their own factoid commands which can perform any task required. The bot launches a new instance of itself every time it is invited to a room, where it can then be configured for that channel by a management website. There is also a web IDE for the factoids, so you can edit and test the bot's output.

  1. Bash-like factoid and command input/output redirection

  2. Run untrusted code for PHP, Python, JavaScript and Java in Docker containers

  3. Manage the instance of the bot from a management server (realtime log output over websockets, schedule commands to run, manage trusted devices and more)

  4. Web interface for factoid editing (create, save, edit and test with live output). IDE from ace from cloud9

2020-08-28-ArKGA-testing_factoid.png

2020-08-28-gdnHE-time_example.png

Cool! There are so many bot creation systems for Matrix now!

Final Thoughts πŸ’­

Christian offered:

There is one month left until HacktoberfestπŸŽƒ! Prepare your repos now!

It's a great time to get friends and newcomers involved with open source and your projects. During October, merged PRs to any(!) public GitHub repo will count towards a person's score. With four PRs, they get a very neat looking t-shirt from the organizer DigitalOcean. They can also ask for a tree to be planted instead.

As a maintainer,

  1. Add a "Hacktoberfest" label (color suggestion: #FF7518) on issues to point people to tasks with a clear scope.
  2. Let people know that you're interested in contributions and will review them.
  3. Add the label "invalid" on a PR that's spam or a minor contribution that shouldn't count (fixing typos, blindly upgrading dependencies, etc.).

Matrix benefits from Hacktoberfest, but do keep in mind that this is a commercial project from DigitalOcean.

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. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1fairydust.space374
2neko.dev526
3loves.shitposting.chat566
4yyyyyyy.ml619
5kif.rocks669
6maescool.be737.5
7matrix.vgorcum.com754
8autodie.be839
9hmlw.me966.5
10fick.es1053.5

That's all I know 🏁

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

Synapse 1.19.1 released

27.08.2020 12:26 β€” Releases β€” Brendan Abolivier

Synapse 1.19.1 is a bug fix release to fix two bugs introduced in 1.19.0.

Those two bugs were related to the new rate-limiter on room joins, which was introduced in 1.19.0.

The first bug caused Synapse to ignore exceptions to rate-limiting for application services.

The second one prevented profile updates from being correctly propagated across rooms.

Sorry if you have been bitten!

Get 1.19.1 from github or any of the sources mentioned at https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/blob/master/INSTALL.md.

Changelog since v1.19.0

Synapse 1.19.1 (2020-08-27)

No significant changes.

Synapse 1.19.1rc1 (2020-08-25)

Bugfixes

  • Fix a bug introduced in v1.19.0 where appservices with ratelimiting disabled would still be ratelimited when joining rooms. (#8139)
  • Fix a bug introduced in v1.19.0 that would cause e.g. profile updates to fail due to incorrect application of rate limits on join requests. (#8153)

This Week in Matrix 2020-08-21

21.08.2020 00:00 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Ben Parsons

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

Nico, one of the Nheko client maintainers, discusses the state of the project and shares various opinions about Matrix, chat clients, physics, the local weather and so on.

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

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

Closed MSCs:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, MSC1960 will be the only one on the list. The two MSCs from last time will be put aside for this week while we focus on implementation.

2020-08-21-WX3fG-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of GSoC πŸŽ“οΈ

Nheko(GSoC)

Nheko is a desktop client using Qt, Boost.Asio and C++17. It supports E2EE (with the notable exception being device verification for now) and intends to be full featured and nice to look at

Chethan offered:

  • Room Verification works in Nheko! Still needs some Improvement,working on it.

  • Improving and fixing some caching issues.

  • Fixing some breaking stuff with the new event store Nico is working on.

Dept of Servers 🏒

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

Neil Alexander told us:

This week we have largely been working on bug fixes and performance issues.

Changes this week include:

  • The room server now handles input events for multiple rooms in parallel when running with PostgreSQL, which helps a lot with perceived latency

  • Device key queries now obey federation backoffs, so that we don't spend a lot of time making unnecessary requests

  • The key server now only emits changes for /users/devices which reduces database hits significantly

  • The client API now tries to guarantee message ordering on a per-user basis (thanks Anand!)

  • Federated invites are now more reliable and are performed synchronously

  • Invite room metadata is now sent correctly in all cases

  • Accepting and rejecting invites is also now much more reliable

  • A bug has been fixed that caused excessive memory usage in the sync API (bringing the memory usage of my own instance down to less than 100mb)

  • A massive amount of work has been done to reduce database locks in SQLite mode across the entire codebase

  • Some unnecessary code has been removed from the roomserver updaters

Spec compliance has improved slightly:

  • Client-Server APIs: 54%, same as last week

  • Server-Server APIs: 71%, up from 70% last week

As always, feel free to join us in #dendrite:matrix.org for the latest!

Conduit

Conduit is a Matrix homeserver written in Rust https://conduit.rs

timo told us:

While work on federation is going on in the background, here are some other things we worked on this week

Also check out the Romeo and Juliet Benchmark!

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Synapse

Neil said:

This week we added some more federation readers to matrix.org which should noticeably improve federation lag.

2020-08-21-2HGwe-Screenshot2020-08-21at14.59.34.png

Patrick has continued on with the async/await-a-thon and we are starting to enter the home stretch. Of the things we care about only runInteraction remains. Once done we can get on with profiling the main process.

2020-08-21-u40Ex-Screenshot2020-08-21at15.08.51.png

On the sharding side the last big milestone is to get the event persister to shard. I know this comes up every week, but we now have a rough working implementation for non-backfilled events. Next steps are to get backfill working, get the tests passing, go through review and then ship. I asked Erik if it would be live on matrix.org within 2 weeks. He didn’t say, at least I didn’t hear him say no…> Aside from that Rich is working on the push rules redesign, the next steps are to design the APIs in more detail and then make a formal spec proposal. Brendan is also in notifications land and his work on room unread counts is going through final review.

Finally, Andrew has been working with Sorunome to dust off the knock feature, both on the spec and the Synapse side.

Romeo and Juliet benchmark to compare Matrix server implementations

timo offered:

This week I created the first(?) Matrix server benchmark and ran it on Synapse, Dendrite and Conduit. The test will go through the entire Romeo and Juliet play and create users for each character and sends messages for each line they say.

The results are very interesting:

Synapse:

     timo         neilalexander    Half-Shot

# default (sqlite)
time 5m0.870s

# postgres:
time 1m46.319s                     1m8s


Dendrite:

# default (sqlite)
time 6m8.802s     0m38.502s

# postgres:
time 2m45.387s    0m53.691s


Conduit:

# default (sled)
time 0m4.184s     0m2.776s         0m2.935s

2020-08-21-KRqaI-Screenshot_20200818_223636.png

There is some question here about how federation and state resolution will affect performance on these tests.

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

There is rather a lot in this section this week (see also Ops πŸ›  section below.) I'll consider making this a more structured (table?) feature in future.

SELinux policy module

0xC0ncord reported:

Hello! Just recently I made public an SELinux policy module I developed for Synapse. This policy is one I developed early on during my trip down the SELinux rabbit hole, and I have been using it in production for some time. At the moment, this policy module is built for the Gentoo SELinux policy (not RHEL/CentOS/Fedora) and does not currently have systemd support, nor has it been tested in all environments, i.e. with workers. I am publishing this policy in the hopes that it will be useful and I am open to any contributions, even those to help tighten the policy if possible. Finally, I have also made public a policy module for coturn, which I am also using in my own personal environment under the same conditions. Both the Synapse policy and the coturn policy can be found on Github. Thank you!

Ansible

JCG said:

The ansible collection famedly.matrix has seen another release, 0.1.2, which updates the element role to 1.7.4 and the synapse role to 1.19.0. As always, get it from Ansible Galaxy, source from Gitlab, and for any questions join #ansible:famedly.de.

Kubernetes

Ananace announced:

Just pushed the 1.19 tags for the K8s-optimized Synapse image, as well as an updated chart version for it that also takes advantage of the added /health endpoint.

Void Linux

JCG announced:

Element 1.7.4 and Synapse 1.19.0 have been packaged for Void Linux, packages are already available from mirrors.

dacruz21/matrix-chart Kubernetes Helm Chart

Typo Kign told us:

v2.5.0 of dacruz21/matrix-chart has been released with Synapse 1.19 support and some new configuration options.

YunoHost

Pierre reported:

YunoHost is an operating system aiming for the simplest administration of a server, and therefore democratize self-hosting.

Synapse integration is still 1.18.0, 1.19.0 is available en branch testing

Element Web integration is still 1.7.3, 1.7.4 is available en branch testing

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

Telegram public channel mirror

bo41 reported:

As channels are really popular in Telegram, I wrote a quick and dirty program/bot which can mirror (text and image) public Telegram channels to Matrix rooms. This should make it easier for Telegram users to consider a switch.

Making the rooms read-only via permissions prevents messages from users. It provides a good basis for someone trying to make a real 1to1 mirror. Please fork this project and host some channels publicly ;)

https://git.sr.ht/~bo41/matrix-channel-mirror

This project is functionally quite different from the more established mautrix-telegram: it is purely designed to mirror content from Telegram public rooms.

matrix-appservice-irc release 0.20.1

Half-Shot said:

Hello all, I'm going to be quick off the mark and announce matrix-appservice-irc release 0.20.1! This release contains a ton of bug fixes and quality of life changes that you never knew you were missing. Please update and report back in the usual channels as always. Thanks!

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Nheko

Nheko is a desktop client using Qt, Boost.Asio and C++17. It supports E2EE (with the notable exception being device verification for now) and intends to be full featured and nice to look at

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) reported:

I've been working on trying to finish the event store (when I wasn't distracted by video calls with some people). This should allow limited offline use and reduce memory use as well as allow some other features in the future. If you want to try it out, you can build this PR or try out the nightlies with new-event-store in their name.

If you decide to try it out, backup your cache or at least BACKUP YOUR ENCRYPTION KEYS! I won't be responding to feedback immediately, since I am currently hiking, but I should get to it this weekend or next week. Come discuss it in #nheko:ocean.joedonofry.com, if you have some feedback or issues.

See also Matrix Live this week!

Element Android

benoit announced:

We are still fixing issues on Element Android. Hopefully we will release version 1.0.5 of the application and of the Matrix SDK in the coming days!

later, fidèle à sa parole:

Element Android 1.0.5 has been published on the beta channel of the PlayStore. If everything is fine it will be pushed to production next week. I've also published SDK v1.0.5, and push translations of the PlayStore home page of Element to German, Chinese, English US, Hungarian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Slovak, Swedish and Ukrainian.

Element-iOS

steve offered:

This week, we improved customisation for forks. We add possibility to customize default HTTP headers (like "User-Agent") and improve login and room settings screens customisation. We started to improve project documentation. We also made some fixes like fixing registration validation link in email.

Element Web

Ryan announced:

  • Released 1.7.4

    • Updated various links and strings for the new brand

    • Renewed Windows code signing cert

    • Removed rebranding toast

    • All cross-signing keys now shared with other devices during verification

  • This week

    • Mode to require secure backup during registration

    • Continue work on deferred cross-signing setup

    • Light weight Hydrogen client continues, adding key features and design tweaks

    • Notifications continues in background while push rules evolve

    • Matrix.to link previews in progress

Hydrogen

Hydrogen is a web-based client designed to be very lightweight, and with few dependencies. Anyone who wants to discuss Hydrogen can join #hydrogen:matrix.org.

Bruno told us:

Added several features this week:

  • avatars and display names in the timeline and for rooms

  • implemented the logic for the member list, but no UI for this yet

  • room list sorting by last message timestamp, unread state and badge count

  • clear unread state when reading a room

  • some visual tweaks in the timeline and room list

  • bug fixes

If you have checked out hydrogen before, you'll need to clear your session (the little clear button in the session picker) to get correct avatars and display names everywhere.

Next week I'll get started on E2EE, which should make the project a lot more useful. I'll look into leveraging the nice rust matrix-crypto-sdk for this.

2020-08-21-qAi-A-image.png

Mirage 0.6.1

miruka hit us with a late breaking update about Mirage!

Mirage 0.6.1 was released today:

Added

  • SSO authentication support

  • Homeserver browser:

    • To add a new account, you will be asked first to pick one of the listed public server (list data from anchel.nl) or to manually enter a server address
  • Typing in the server address field will also filter the public server list, Up/Down or (Shift+)Tab and Enter can be used to navigate it by keyboard

  • If the address doesn't have a scheme://, auto-detect whether the server supports HTTPS or only HTTP

  • Use the .well-known API if possible to resolve domains to the actual homeserver's URL, e.g. matrix.org resolves to https://matrix-client.matrix.org

  • The server address field will remember the last homeserver that was connected to

  • Room members autocompletion:

    • Type @ followed by one or more characters in the composer, or one or more characters and hit (Shift+)Tab to trigger username/user ID autocompletion

    • Only autocompleted names will be turned into mentions, unlike before where any word in a sent message that happened to be someone's name would mention them

  • Full image viewer for matrix image messages and URL previews:

    • Click on a thumbnail in the timeline to open the image viewer

    • Middle click on a thumbnail (or use the option in the context menu) to open the image externally

    • Left click on the image (mouse only): expand to window size if the image's origin size is smaller than the window, else expand to original size

    • Tap on the image (touch screen/pen only): reveal the info and button bars when auto-hidden (bars will auto-hide only when they overlap with a big enough displayed image)

    • Any mouse movement: reveal auto-hidden bars

    • Double click on the image: toggle full screen

    • Middle click anywhere: open externally

    • Right click anywhere: close the viewer, back to chat

    • Drag when displayed image is bigger than window to pan

    • Wheel to pan up/down, hold shift or alt to pan left/right

    • Ctrl+wheel to control zoom

    • Buttons to control rotation, scale mode, full screen, GIF play/pause and GIF speed

    • New keyboard shortcuts are available for all these actions, see keys.imageViewer in the config file (will be automatically updated when you start Mirage 0.6.1)

  • Add media.openExternallyOnClick setting to swap the new click and middle click on thumbnails behavior

  • Room and member filter fields now support (Shift+)Tab navigation, in addition to Up/Down

  • Add a colored left border to the currently highlighted item in list views (e.g. room list, members list, etc) to improve visibility

  • Themes:

    • Add controls.listView.highlightBorder and controls.listView.highlightBorderThickness properties (can be set to 0)
    • Add the chat.userAutoCompletion section

Changed

  • Messages context menu:

    • Use a cleaner icon for the "Copy text" entry

    • Replace the confusing broken "Copy media address" entry with:

      • Copy media address: visible for non-encrypted media, always copies the HTTP URL

      • Copy local path: always visible for already downloaded media, even if they were downloaded before mirage was started

  • The openMessagesLinks keybind (default Ctrl+O) is renamed to openMessagesLinksOrFiles and can now also open media message files

  • Using the openMessagesLinksOrFiles keybind on a reply will now ignore the matrix.to links contained in the "In reply to XYZ" header

  • Pressing Ctrl+C to copy selected/highlighted non-encrypted media messages will copy their HTTP URL instead of the filename

  • Retry downloading image thumbnails if they fail with a 404 or 500+ server error (uploads sometimes take a few seconds to become available on the server)

  • Non-encrypted media messages are now always downloaded on click and opened with a desktop application (or the image viewer), instead of being opened in a browser

  • Compress thumbnails and clipboard images in a separate process, to avoid blocking every other backend operation while the compression is running

  • Reduce the level of optimization applied to clipboard images, the previous setting was too slow for large PNG (10MB+)

  • Increase applied scrolling velocity when using the scrollPageUp/scrollPageDown keybinds, now similar to how it was before Mirage 0.6.0

  • Don't catch SIGQUIT (Ctrl+\ in terminal) and SIGTERM signals, exit immediately

  • Slightly increase the top/bottom padding to the multi-account bar in the left pane

  • Dependencies: minimum nio version bumped to 0.15.0

Removed

  • Themes: remove unused controls.listView.smallPaneHighlight property

And lots of fixes, see full changelog

Mirage

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Ruma

iinuwa offered:

We wanted to take a little bit of time to show off a state resolution library for Ruma, courtesy of @DevinR528 and @Timo. Ruma has a new crate to make resolving state easier, state-res! The goal of this crate is to be the base for federation, it provides the necessary utilities to resolve state, sort power events (reverse topological ordering), sort events (based on mainline depth), and a lot of event authentication functions. It is still in the early stages of development, but will be hopefully proved out in Conduit.

Other things that happened this week:

  • Added the invite endpoints from the Federation API

  • Started requiring strong types for event-sending endpoints

  • Augmented error types with error-specific fields (see the livestream here)

Speaking of livestreams, @jplatte streams coding sessions from time to time on Twitch. If you're interested in watching some coding streams to get more familiar with the Ruma codebase or learn Rust in general, follow us at [#ruma-livestreams:matrix.org](https://matrix.to/#/#ruma-livestreams:matrix.org)!

Very impressed that these features are landing in Ruma first, with the intention of getting them into Conduit.

mautrix-go

nikofil reported:

  • SSSS and cross-signing are slowly making their way to mautrix-go! A WIP PR exists for both features and is being developed upon. This will allow any clients that use the library to eventually be able to use SSSS and verify the trustworthiness of other devices based on cross-signing.

Ruby

Ananace announced:

Just pushed version 2.1.1 of the Ruby Matrix SDK, mainly including a couple of fixes for various minor issues.

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy

This Ansible playbook is meant to easily let you run your own Matrix homeserver.

Slavi said:

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy now makes it incredibly easy to use rust-synapse-compress-state to compress the state groups in your Synapse database.

See our Compressing state with rust-synapse-compress-state documentation page to get started.

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

go-neb

nikofil said:

  • Device verification was merged to neb! It needs human intervention to approve that the SAS match, of course.

  • A new service called "cryptotest" was added that allows other clients to exchange e2e-related events with neb to test their capabilities (such as encryption, room key forwarding, SAS verification)

Final Thoughts πŸ’­

Christian told us:

Residents of Germany can apply for the Prototype Fund until the end of September. They are looking for new open source ideas or features and fund about 20 projects twice a year with 47,500 EUR for six months (starting in April for this round).

Previously funded chat-related projects include Briar and OpenPush. It would be great to see a project building on Matrix.

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. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1fairydust.space345
2maescool.be865
3chatserver.ca985
4nuclearlimes.co.uk1206
5utzutzutz.net1826
6nct08.de1885
7kapsi.fi1994.5
8mailstation.de2324
9envs.net4053
10kittenface.studio4076

That's all I know 🏁

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

Synapse 1.19.0 released

17.08.2020 00:00 β€” Releases β€” Neil Johnson

Synapse 1.19.0 is here and ready for action.

1.19.0 contains lots of async/await changes, 27 separate PRs to be precise(thanks Patrick). These changes will provide some level of performance improvement, but the real value to us is that it will improve our ability to profile Synapse more effectively.

It also features improved logging performance, this is in part to reduce IO but also to reduce the total amount logged. We’d be really interested to get some feedback on if the changes help. You may also want to take a look at our new logging defaults to see if they would help reduce total disk space usage.

Some admins will rejoice that we have added a /health end point to every configured HTTP listener which should make it easier to monitor multi-worker installs.

Finally 1.19.0 contains improvements to the Admin API allowing the admin to optionally purge rooms on deletion.

Get the new releases from any of the usual sources mentioned at https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/blob/master/INSTALL.md. 1.19.0 is on github here.

Changelog for 1.19.0 follows:

Synapse 1.19.0 (2020-08-17)

No significant changes since 1.19.0rc1.

Removal warning

As outlined in the previous release, we are no longer publishing Docker images with the -py3 tag suffix. On top of that, we have also removed the latest-py3 tag. Please see the announcement in the upgrade notes for 1.18.0.

Synapse 1.19.0rc1 (2020-08-13)

Features

  • Add option to allow server admins to join rooms which fail complexity checks. Contributed by @lugino-emeritus. (#7902)
  • Add an option to purge room or not with delete room admin endpoint (POST /_synapse/admin/v1/rooms/<room_id>/delete). Contributed by @dklimpel. (#7964)
  • Add rate limiting to users joining rooms. (#8008)
  • Add a /health endpoint to every configured HTTP listener that can be used as a health check endpoint by load balancers. (#8048)
  • Allow login to be blocked based on the values of SAML attributes. (#8052)
  • Allow guest access to the GET /_matrix/client/r0/rooms/{room_id}/members endpoint, according to MSC2689. Contributed by Awesome Technologies Innovationslabor GmbH. (#7314)

Bugfixes

  • Fix a bug introduced in Synapse v1.7.2 which caused inaccurate membership counts in the room directory. (#7977)
  • Fix a long standing bug: 'Duplicate key value violates unique constraint "event_relations_id"' when message retention is configured. (#7978)
  • Fix "no create event in auth events" when trying to reject invitation after inviter leaves. Bug introduced in Synapse v1.10.0. (#7980)
  • Fix various comments and minor discrepancies in server notices code. (#7996)
  • Fix a long standing bug where HTTP HEAD requests resulted in a 400 error. (#7999)
  • Fix a long-standing bug which caused two copies of some log lines to be written when synctl was used along with a MemoryHandler logger. (#8011, #8012)

Updates to the Docker image

Improved Documentation

  • Document how to set up a client .well-known file and fix several pieces of outdated documentation. (#7899)
  • Improve workers docs. (#7990, #8000)
  • Fix typo in docs/workers.md. (#7992)
  • Add documentation for how to undo a room shutdown. (#7998, #8010)

Internal Changes

  • Reduce the amount of whitespace in JSON stored and sent in responses. Contributed by David Vo. (#7372)
  • Switch to the JSON implementation from the standard library and bump the minimum version of the canonicaljson library to 1.2.0. (#7936, #7979)
  • Convert various parts of the codebase to async/await. (#7947, #7948, #7949, #7951, #7963, #7973, #7975, #7976, #7981, #7987, #7989, #8003, #8014, #8016, #8027, #8031, #8032, #8035, #8042, #8044, #8045, #8061, #8062, #8063, #8066, #8069, #8070)
  • Move some database-related log lines from the default logger to the database/transaction loggers. (#7952)
  • Add a script to detect source code files using non-unix line terminators. (#7965, #7970)
  • Log the SAML session ID during creation. (#7971)
  • Implement new experimental push rules for some users. (#7997)
  • Remove redundant and unreliable signature check for v1 Identity Service lookup responses. (#8001)
  • Improve the performance of the register endpoint. (#8009)
  • Reduce less useful output in the newsfragment CI step. Add a link to the changelog section of the contributing guide on error. (#8024)
  • Rename storage layer objects to be more sensible. (#8033)
  • Change the default log config to reduce disk I/O and storage for new servers. (#8040)
  • Add an assertion on prev_events in create_new_client_event. (#8041)
  • Add a comment to ServerContextFactory about the use of SSLv23_METHOD. (#8043)
  • Log OPTIONS requests at DEBUG rather than INFO level to reduce amount logged at INFO. (#8049)
  • Reduce amount of outbound request logging at INFO level. (#8050)
  • It is no longer necessary to explicitly define filters in the logging configuration. (Continuing to do so is redundant but harmless.) (#8051)
  • Add and improve type hints. (#8058, #8064, #8060, #8067)

This Week in Matrix 2020-08-14

14.08.2020 00:00 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Ben Parsons

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

No new Matrix Live this week, we have Open Tech Will Save Us #5:

Also, I recommend Matrix Live from last week, with Timo and Matthew discussing Conduit/Rust/Homeserver dev. Conduit is absolutely motoring, as you will read below.

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌑️

LinkΓΆping University has now soft-launched Matrix

Alexander Olofsson said:

In completely unrelated news to my earlier K8s updates, LinkΓΆping University has now soft-launched Matrix for use both internally - and hopefully with other universities and institutions in the future.

Se the k8s updates from Ananace below. Is this the first .se university offering Matrix? Also, great hostname!

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

SAS Emoji Translations

TravisR said:

We've finally opened up https://translate.riot.im/projects/matrix-doc/sas-emoji-v1 to translate the emoji used by clients to ensure that users are securely verifying each other. The idea is that clients should always have a consistent name for these emoji, even if developed by completely different teams. If your client supports encryption verification and has translations, please transition to using matrix-doc for your translations: https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/pull/2728 has some details, and #matrix-spec:matrix.org would love to help out.

2020-08-14-Ly4te-image.png

Spec

anoa said:

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:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

Some of the team was on holiday last week, hence the noticeable lack of progress πŸ˜‡ In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, we're keeping on with the same two as last week: MSC2674 (aggregations pt1: relationships) and MSC1544 (QR code verification).

2020-08-14-i2G3v-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of GSoC πŸŽ“οΈ

Opsdroid(GSoC)

tyagdit announced:

Matrix database

  • The port to nio is complete and most of the functionality has been worked out

  • Encryption support is being worked on

  • The module now has a delete method

  • Some testing is remaining

  • Check out the progress here

End to End Encryption with matrix

  • Opsdroid will soon get a new release with the new connector

  • For now it can be used through the master branch of opsdroid

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

Neil reported:

We have a new RC out, edited highlights include

  • lots of async/await changes, 27 separate PRs (thanks Patrick)

  • improved logging performance, this is in part to reduce IO but also to reduce the total amount logged. We’d be really interested to get some feedback on if the changes help. You may also want to take a look at our new logging defaults to see if they would help reduce total disk space usage.

  • Further improvements to the Admin API allowing admin to optionally purge rooms on deletion.

Expect 1.19.0 to land early next week.

Aside from that Erik has been continuing with sharding the event persister, this is a big job, so we’re still a little way off having something to ship, but I’ll keep you updated.

Big news this week, after spending a good chunk of time trying to rework notifications to make the UX more intuitive, we have decided that the best (and only) way forward is to completely rethink how the push rules work. Rich is currently redesigning the whole thing, and once done we’ll resume on the client side.

Having spent much of the past 3 months trying to improve the performance of large scale instances we will soon start looking at improving the out of the box experience for smaller installs and are in the early stages of thinking about what that might look like. I’ll update more over time, but the two obvious use cases to target are

  • Federating instance, with 1-5 users, resource constrained.
  • Federating instance with a few hundred users.

Our (relatively small) changes to logging in 1.19.0 are the first signs of this shift. We still need to ship event persistence sharding and also move more functionality from the main process (dependent on async/await), but once done it clears the way for new projects.

2020-08-14-2cR_s-image.png

anoa brought it to our attention that this graph looks like a "ocean-beach waterline dropoff".

Conduit

Conduit is a Matrix homeserver written in Rust https://conduit.rs

timo reported:

This week I worked a bit on federation! Last week we were able to query room directories over federation; This week I looked into what's needed to join one of those rooms:

  • Resolve room aliases over federation

  • Send make_join request when a user tries to join an unknown room

  • Use make_join response to create send_join request (insert origin, origin_server_ts and add hashes and signatures)

After implementing all those things, I could actually see Conduit's join event on Synapse!

2020-08-14-bRuiV-Screenshot_20200814_125755.png

Of course a lot more work is needed to make this really work,

like creating the room on the Conduit side and sending and receiving federation transactions, but this is a start.

Other news:

  • Docker support (thanks to @weasy, @valkum and @paul)

  • Room upgrade support (almost done, thanks to @Faelar)

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

Neil Alexander told us:

This week we've been closing off some of the remaining tasks for end-to-end encryption and working on tasks from our beta milestone task list.

Changes this week include:

  • New format for the Dendrite configuration file, which is correctly broken up into configuration per-component

  • Support for server ACLs has been added

  • Significant refactoring of the HTTP routing and API setup to improve flexibility and separation of internal and external APIs

  • A number of improvements to device list handling

  • Key updates are now sent when handling device display name changes

  • Deleted devices are now propagated correctly over federation

Spec compliance is improving:

  • Client-Server APIs: 54%, up from 51% last week

  • Server-Server APIs: 70%, up from 54% last week

As always, feel free to join us in #dendrite:matrix.org for the latest!

I'm enjoying the close rivalry and progress happening in Dendrite and Conduit right now!

Sytest

Neil Alexander reported:

Sytest has now been updated to allow skipping tests for endpoints that have been deprecated in the spec. This may be useful if you are writing a homeserver and have no plans to implement deprecated endpoints, e.g. /initialSync or /events.

Use the command line parameter --exclude-deprecated when starting Sytest to skip these tests!

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

YunoHost

Pierre reported:

YunoHost is an operating system aiming for the simplest administration of a server, and therefore democratize self-hosting.

Synapse integration had been updated to 1.18.0

Element Web integration had been updated to 1.7.3

Kubernetes

Ananace reported:

Just pushed some WIP (v0.1) charts for both Synapse and the matrix-media-repo project, written with Redis, workers/sharding, PVC constraints, and other large deployment thoughts in mind.

Note that these charts - the Synapse one in particular - basically require you to have a fully featured cluster, with a regex-capable ingress, automated cert manager, and RBAC. They do not require you to have a ReadWriteMany capable storage class though, even when using workers.

and then:

To expand on my earlier TWIM, the charts for Synapse, media-repo, and now element-web are all being used in production now so they are also respectively receiving their 1.0's

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Nheko

Nheko is a desktop client using Qt, Boost.Asio and C++17. It supports E2EE (with the notable exception being device verification for now) and intends to be full featured and nice to look at

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) said:

So, we've been silent for a bit, but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy, so I have a little bit of a bigger announcement to make today:

Trilene implemented voice call support in Nheko! We just merged this and you can try it out now!

Some caveats apply at the moment, but will be resolved in the near future:

  • Currently you will need to have a patched version of GStreamer. The current releases of GStreamer have a bug when your turnserver uses a password, that contains a ':'. Since this is the default for coturn, I'm guessing this affects everyone.

  • You will need to build Nheko yourself. Currently we do not have GStreamer available in our CI pipeline, so we disabled support for voice calls in those builds (apart from the flatpak build, but that also needs some further validation and a new GStreamer release). We will release proper builds with VOIP support once GStreamer is actually released and available with the fixes we need.

  • There are still some other issues, when relying on a turnserver to connect a call. We will fix them one at a time.

Big shoutout to trilene for implementing all of this! I can finally call people from Nheko, which is super awesome!

This was the first of the bigger features, that have been cooking for a while, in the near future we should also finish the new event store, which reduced memory usage and provides some kind of offline support, and Chethan will probably finish the first iteration of cross-signing soon too. After that we'll focus on the smaller features again. ;-)

BIG update! Looking forward to trying out voice calls. ☎️ Maybe we'll be calling Nico for Matrix Live soon..?

Element-Android

benoit said:

We are still fixing issues following the Element release. We are also working to add Jitsi conference call support.

We have exported a first beta version of the SDK from Element Android. It is available here: https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-android-sdk2 and can be integrated in any Android app as a regular gradle dependency. We will update the SDK after each release of Element Android.

SchildiChat for Android

SpiritCroc said:

SchildiChat version 1.0.4-sc.12 should be up in the Play Store soon.

It includes following changes since the last TWIM:

  • The single-list overview screen is now optional. If you prefer the tabbed layout for separating direct messages and rooms, as known from Element for Android, but still want SchildiChat's message bubbles, you can get that combination now too!

  • Push notifications have been enabled for the Play Store variant

  • Some theme fixes for old Android versions

Hydrogen

Bruno told us:

Some regular readers might remember, in the past I've put a few entries here about a side-project called Brawl. Two weeks ago, we took Brawl and started building a new client on top of it code-named Hydrogen.

As the name implies, Hydrogen tries to be the lightest Element. It is written entirely in vanilla javascript (no React, no Webpack) for complete control, structured as an MVVM app, leveraging the raw performance of indexeddb. On huge accounts where Element-web uses up to 1GB of heap memory, Hydrogen sips away with a mere 15mb. It is very early days though, and Hydrogen has very little features: you can receive and send unencrypted messages and that's it.

Hydrogen also aims to support a wider range of browsers, from IE11 (particularly for orgs with locked-down machines) all the way to a fully featured PWA that works well on mobile. We should also be able to easily add progressive loading, which proved hard in the past.

Another goal is to make it easy to embed parts of the app (like the room view) into another app or website. It could also be really nice to have a place to play and experiment with new tech for element proper - much as Dendrite has influenced Synapse.

As mentioned, it's early days, and lots of things are missing or broken, so please don't file any issues yet. Feel free to play around with it at https://hydrogen.element.io/ though!

Hydrogen

Find the repo here: https://github.com/vector-im/hydrogen-web/.

Element-iOS

ismailgulek offered:

This week, we've completed some of the tasks from the sprint: https://github.com/vector-im/element-ios/milestone/38.

As a highlight, we've released a new TF with PushKit & CallKit back.

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Ruma

Ruma is a Rust project to create a comprehensive set of APIs for Matrix. Previously there was a Ruma homeserver project.

iinuwa announced:

Lots of exciting things happened in Ruma this week:

  • We have officially implemented over half (18/31) of the Federation API endpoints!

Special thanks to @agraven and @q-b!

  • We've added the only new endpoint from r0.6.1 of the C2S spec.

  • We have begun work on adding support for borrowed types for requests. This should reduce the memory allocations required for clients to send requests to

a server.

  • Exported some macros to make creating custom endpoints and events that

much easier.

New Contributors

This week, we have gotten help from a few new contributors:

Thanks for your help!

If you're interested in contributing, join the party on GitHub or

#ruma:matrix.org!

Great to see new contributors here.

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

Support for Ansible collections from Famedly

JCG told us:

There's news from ansible land! Ansible recently introduced a new packaging format, the "collection", and we've now started moving our ansible content into collections. This means the matrix modules I twim'ed a few months back are now easier to install than ever before, and the synapse/element roles are included in there as well (thanks to madonius for the contributions there). The roles have been regularly updated for a while now, and the element role isn't even called riot anymore! You can get the collection on Ansible Galaxy, with the source being available over on GitLab. In case of any questions, feel free to hop over into #ansible:famedly.de

If Ansible were a film franchise "Ansible: The Collection" would be the long awaited boxset.

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

Cody

carl said:

cody - the REPL for your matrix room - received support for unit conversions this week. This is done by implementing GNU units as a language.

Chat with cody: @cody:bordum.dk

Join our cody room: #cody:bordum.dk Read the source: https://gitlab.com/carlbordum/matrix-cody/

2020-08-14-cody.png

Seems to work well!

Opsdroid

Cadair reported:

opsdroid is getting close to a release with the matrix connector rewritten to use the matrix-nio library. If you are feeling brave and want to help us iron out any bugs before the release, please install the master branch and test it out for your matrix bots. Please report any issues on the GitHub issue tracker or come talk in #opsdroid-developers:matrix.org. Hopefully, a release with this and lots of other goodies will be coming in a couple of weeks.

Dept of Interesting Projects πŸ›°οΈ

Privee

terry_hello said:

Hi All,

I’ve created a compact and portable home server based on Matrix protocol, it’s a piece of hardware which is easy to use and set up. I’m working on a new client APP similar to other typical messenger GUI, but this server we named it β€˜Privee’ supports any messenger developed with Matrix protocol. I’ve launched a campaign on Kickstarter this week, please come and support us! Thank you! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/privee/privee?ref=beibnw

Privee is an interesting project alright! The project creators are based in Hong Kong, and are working from a desire to have more control over their communications. The plan is to run homeservers on a small computer physically located with the user, similar to plans outlined by NovaChat.

This is an early-stage project (hence starting on KickStarter.) While exciting and ambitious, I encourage everyone to do their own research! Learn more and chat with terry_hello (who has done a good job handling questions already!) in #Privee:matrix.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. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1helderferreira.io470
2maescool.be486.5
3matrix.vgorcum.com570.5
4mchus.pro730
5envs.net770
6maunium.net983
7matrix.org1261
8acmelabs.space1282.5
9chatserver.ca1387
10productionservers.net1433.5

That's all I know 🏁

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