This Week in Matrix 2019-02-15

16.02.2019 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Matrix Live, Synapse roadmap and Synapse 0.99.1.1

As you may have seen, Matrix Live this week features Neil and Matthew discussing the newly announced backend roadmap.

We also have Synapse v0.99.1.1 available, as the race to Synapse v1.0 gets closer and closer and closer!

Brendan also said, regarding low-bandwidth:

Some of the week has been spent finalising the components used in the low-bandwidth demo we did at FOSDEM. This required polishing some internal developments, which are now almost ready to be published to the wide world! This should happen in the next few days so stay tuned :)

Riot 1.0.0, and hotfix 1.0.1

If you're following Matrix much at all, you will surely have seen it by now: Riot, the most popular client, has announced the v1.0 milestone. I won't reiterate the features and improvements here, but do check out the blog post, or just head over to https://riot.im/app and see for yourself!

Particularly exciting is the new encryption verification process, involving sharing a list of emojis out-of-band:

thank you @matrixdotorg @RiotChat - with the new update the office is full of people yelling names of emoji at each other

— Russell Currey (@russelldotcc) February 15, 2019

MSCs update provided by MSCBot

In Progress MSCs

Work has continued on trying to resolve MSC1194.

Riot iOS

  • Last iteration on key backup UX
  • Finish reskin
  • Support Room v3 events ids
  • Key import (manual or backup restore) has been optimised. It is now 30x > quicker
  • An RC candidate will be available over the weekend

Scheduling, holidaying and illness means no update from Riot Android this week.

Artificial Intelligence Chat Bot tutorial

I like this short series on creating a Chat Bot using textgenrnn:

New(ish!) Python SDK: matrix-nio

Since we haven't featured their work here at all I wanted to give some space to poljar. They've been working on a Weechat-Matrix protocol script, but as part of this project they created a new Matrix client library, matrix-nio, "designed according to sans I/O principles".

As if this wasn't enough! python-olm is a library providing Python bindings for Olm (enabling E2E encryption for Matrix.)

FluffyChat v11 preview

FluffyChat is a pure QML Matrix client, designed to be used on smartphones running Ubuntu Touch. Krille, the author is working on:

boring refactoring stuff :-( at the moment to prepare everything for e2e encryption work

. . .which seems to me not boring at all - we can expect, in the next few months, another Matrix Client with E2EE support, and on mobile!

In my role as editor of this particular blog post, I enjoy certain luxuries that others might envy. For example, today, I tried a new preview build of FluffyChat. This I installed on my barely-repaired OnePlus One running Ubuntu Touch 16.04.

Fractal

Chris from Fractal:

Over the past week, Fractal has adapted its main view and room settings views for mobile phones, and implemented long-press for right-clicks on messages for touch devices. It's also received some changes in the backend to use the serde_derive Rust crate instead of parsing JSON by hand.

matrix-tag-manager

To celebrate tags being available again in riot-web, TravisR has created matrix-tag-manager:

If you're a power user which uses room tagging to organize your rooms, I've made a web UI for you: https://tags.t2bot.io/

mxisd v1.3.0 released

Max:

mxisd v1.3.0 is out! This release brings the massive performance improvements, bug fixes and enhancements. This release also marks the two years anniversary of the project. Thank you to all our users for your undying support!

EdimCoder new room

krixano reports that:

I made a room for my ed-inspired modern line editor called EdimCoder. Come check it out at #edimcoder:amorgan.xyz!

avecho

yuforia reports that:

a new bot avecho is created using the koma-library. It's a simple bot that echos text messages prefixed with avecho, but renders it into an image and include the sender's avatar.

Half-Shot's .NET SDK

Half-Shot reports that:

More improvements to the .NET sdk, to make it stable in this 0.4.0 world. To that end, I've written a room archiver app (for moving "old" rooms into a archive tag without removing them) and a simple caching project for bridges https://github.com/Half-Shot/matrix-cache. Progress as always can be followed in #dotnet:half-shot.uk

mautrix-telegram now at 0.5.0rc2

tulir has been working on the venerable Matrix<->Telegram bridge, mautrix-telegram:

mautrix-telegram got a bunch of changes and a release candidate.\nMain changes this week:

  • Added Matrix room upgrade handling
  • Fixed bugs
  • Added new admin commands and config options
  • Added new bugs to fix later
  • Stopped using the ORM part of SQLAlchemy

Get release notes for v0.5.0-rc1 and v0.5.0-rc2.

QMatrixClient project: libQMatrixClient and Quaternion

kitsune finds time to work on QMatrixClient!

QMatrixClient project has been busy merging PRs from contributors (close to tray and middle-click in room list and user list, to mention a couple) and streamlining the translation process before the upcoming releases of libQMatrixClient 0.5 and Quaternion 0.0.9.4. At the same time the feature branch to support room versions and room upgrades is at an advanced stage; expect the features to land in master next week.

matrix-archive-keyring

Linda has been working on new Debian package called matrix-archive-keyring:

I've paused porting Synapse to OpenBSD this week, while I attempt to both fix and revert some security issues caused by sudo apt-key add for Matrix.org and Riot.im packages for Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution users.
matrix-org/synapse PR #4609 was my first attempt to fix the problem, however I fell short this time in ease-of-use and my implementation had other issues. (Read: The repo-key.asc downloaded from Matrix.org Debian repository should go to /usr/share/keyrings, and must not be added by apt-key add or added to /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d directly. I attempted the latter with my first PR; but that would've allowed the Matrix.org signing key to also be used to verify packages from Debian's main repositories. Yikes!)
As my second attempt, I'm now creating a new Debian package called matrix-archive-keyring. There's multiple things this package intends to do:

  • A post-install script to remove any previously added Matrix.org package signing keys from /etc/apt/trusted.gpg. (This is the file apt-key add most commonly uses, and the most commonly found bad advice on the Internet.)
  • Convert repo-key.asc to a de-armorized .gpg format, understood better by apt(8). (Essentially, gpg --dearmor.)
  • Install the converted .gpg key to /usr/share/keyrings.
  • Make sure apt(8) uses the newly added key for Matrix.org repository only?
  • Deliver any updates to repo-key.asc directly to you via apt upgrade. Your operating system might then also do it automatically for you if unattended-upgrades(8) is installed on your system. ?
  • Make sure everything goes away when this keyring package is uninstalled. No more sudo sh -c 'apt-key del C35EB17E1EAE708E6603A9B3AD0592FE47F0DF61; rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/matrix-org.list to get rid of the repository.

I have one more interesting enhancement to disclose.
We can ask you with debconf if you want to install deb https://matrix.org/packages/debian $(lsb_release -cs) main to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/matrix-org.list while you're installing the new keyring with apt install matrix-archive-keyring.
You'll most likely notice the difference in install instructions, as a result of this package. Before and after:

# Before
sudo apt install -y lsb-release curl apt-transport-https
echo "deb https://matrix.org/packages/debian `lsb_release -cs` main" |
    sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/matrix-org.list
curl "https://matrix.org/packages/debian/repo-key.asc" |
    sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt update
sudo apt install matrix-synapse-py3
# After
sudo apt install matrix-archive-keyring
sudo sh -c 'apt update && apt install matrix-synapse-py3

If you are a Debian or Ubuntu user and Synapse homeserver operator using Matrix.org repositories, I'll be towncrying when this package becomes available as much as I can. All you should need to do then is apt install matrix-archive-keyring and it should patch the security holes in your operating system if you've formerly installed packages from Matrix.org or Riot.im! (The command may change a bit, because next Debian operating system release "Buster" has entered soft-freeze just today (2019-02-12) and not accepting new packages into that release.)
PS: I'm at #debian-matrix:matrix.org, please come talk to us if Debian packaging interests you!

For the eager early testers not afraid of building from source, matrix-archive-keyring version 2015.12.09+debian0.10 is available for early testing (attached).

# Something like this!
sudo apt install devscripts
tar -xfvJ matrix-archive-keyring_2015.12.09+debian0.10.tar.xz
cd matrix-archive-keyring_2015.12.09+debian0.10
debuild -us -uc
sudo dpkg -i dpkg -i ../matrix-archive-keyring_2015.12.09+debian0.10_all

Please follow Debian Bug#922155 for updates. Debian binary packages will be available later sometime this/next week from Debian's unstable distribution (contrib), if all goes well and there are no remaining Debian policy violations or serious bugs.

See also:

Gridepo

Max again:

Gridepo, as a Matrix Homeserver, is gaining basic support for Matrix Client API. We have basic login, room creation, message sending and sync working! A little screen recording of the progress can be viewed here for live action with Riot. As a reminder, Gridepo is a clean rewrite of mxhsd.

This is not usable yet outside of a dev environment but we should have a first usable version with federation in a couple of weeks!

Mention Bots page

We have a new location for listing bots: https://matrix.org/docs/projects/bots, message benpa with any you think should be included!

That's all I know

That's all we have for now, but come join us in #twim:matrix.org to share your project and share the fun, and I'll see you back here next week.

Publishing the Backend Roadmap

15.02.2019 00:00 — Tech Neil Johnson

Good people,

2019 is a big year for Matrix, in the next month we will have shipped:

  • Matrix spec 1.0 (including the first stable release of the Server to Server Spec)
  • Synapse 1.0
  • Riot 1.0
This is huge in itself, but is really only the beginning, and now we want to grow the ecosystem as quickly as possible. This means landing a mix of new features, enhancing existing ones, some big performance improvements as well as generally making life easier for our regular users, homeserver admins and community developers.

Today we are sharing the Matrix core team's backend roadmap. The idea is that this will make it easier for anyone to understand where the project is going, what we consider to be important, and why.

To see the roadmap in its full glory, take a look here.

What is a roadmap and why is it valuable?

A roadmap is a set of high level projects that the team intend to work on and a rough sense of the relative priority. It is essential to focus on specific goals, which inevitably means consciously not working on other initiatives.

Our roadmap is not a delivery plan - there are explicitly no dates. The reason for this is that we know that other projects will emerge, developers will be needed to support other urgent initiatives, matrix.org use continues to grow exponentially and will require performance tweaking.

So simply, based on what we know now, this is the order we will work on our projects.

Why are we sharing it?

We already share our day to day todo list, and of course our commit history, but it can be difficult for a casual observer to see the bigger picture from such granular data. The purpose of sharing is that we want anyone from the community to understand where our priorities lie.

We are often asked ‘Why are you not working on X, it is really important' where the answer is often ‘We agree that X is really important, but A, B and C are more important and must come first'.

The point of sharing the roadmap is to make that priority trade off more transparent and consumable.

How did we build it?

The core contributors to Synapse and Dendrite are 6 people, of 5 nationalities spread across 3 locations. After shipping the r0 release of the Server to Server spec last month we took some time to step back and have a think about what to do after Synapse 1.0 lands. This meant getting everyone in one place to talk it through.

We also had Ben (benpa) contribute from a community perspective and took input from speaking to so many of you at FOSDEM.

In the end we filled a wall with post-its, each post-it representing a sizeable project. The position of the post-it was significant in that the vertical axis being a sense of how valuable we thought the task would be, and the horizontal axis being a rough guess on how complex we considered it to be.

We found this sort of grid approach to be really helpful in determining relative priority.

After many hours and plenty of blood, sweat and tears we ended up with something we could live with and wrote it up in the shared board.

And this is written in blood right?

Not at all (it's written in board marker). This is simply a way to express our plan of action and we are likely to make changes to it dynamically. However, this means that at any given moment, if someone wants to know what we are working on then the roadmap is the place to go.

But wait I want to know more!

Here is a video of myself and Matthew to talk you through the projects

Interesting, but I have questions ...

Any feedback gratefully received, come and ask questions in #synapse or #dendrite or feel free to ping me direct at @neilj:matrix.org

Synapse 0.99.1.1 Released!

14.02.2019 00:00 — Releases Neil Johnson

Hey, everyone, today is the day we release Synapse 0.99.1.1

This release contains improved ACME support to make it even easier to get going with TLS certs on your federation end points, plus some tweaks to make the room version upgrade path easier.

Just as a reminder that the 0.99.x series is precursor for our 1.0 release (which will land in early March, exact date to be confirmed) - it is really important that all server admins are aware that self signed certificates on the Server to Server API will no longer be accepted by >= Synapse 1.0. If you have not already done so, now is the time to configure your certificate. For more info see our FAQ and if you get stuck come and join us in #Synapse.

As ever, you can get the new update here or any of the sources mentioned at https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse. Note, Synapse is now available from PyPI, pick it up here. Also, check out our new Synapse installation guide page.

Synapse 0.99.1.1 Changelog

Bugfixes

  • Fix "TypeError: '>' not supported" when starting without an existing certificate. Fix a bug where an existing certificate would be reprovisoned every day. (#4648)

Synapse 0.99.1 Changelog

Features

  • Include m.room.encryption on invites by default (#3902)
  • Federation OpenID listener resource can now be activated even if federation is disabled (#4420)
  • Synapse's ACME support will now correctly reprovision a certificate that approaches its expiry while Synapse is running. (#4522)
  • Add ability to update backup versions (#4580)
  • Allow the "unavailable" presence status for /sync. This change makes Synapse compliant with r0.4.0 of the Client-Server specification. (#4592)
  • There is no longer any need to specify no_tls: it is inferred from the absence of TLS listeners (#4613#4615#4617#4636)
  • The default configuration no longer requires TLS certificates. (#4614)

Bugfixes

  • Copy over room federation ability on room upgrade. (#4530)
  • Fix noisy "twisted.internet.task.TaskStopped" errors in logs (#4546)
  • Synapse is now tolerant of the tls_fingerprints option being None or not specified. (#4589)
  • Fix 'no unique or exclusion constraint' error (#4591)
  • Transfer Server ACLs on room upgrade. (#4608)
  • Fix failure to start when not TLS certificate was given even if TLS was disabled. (#4618)
  • Fix self-signed cert notice from generate-config. (#4625)
  • Fix performance of user_ips table deduplication background update (#4626#4627)

Internal Changes

  • Change the user directory state query to use a filtered call to the db instead of a generic one. (#4462)
  • Reject federation transactions if they include more than 50 PDUs or 100 EDUs. (#4513)
  • Reduce duplication of synapse.app code. (#4567)
  • Fix docker upload job to push -py2 images. (#4576)
  • Add port configuration information to ACME instructions. (#4578)
  • Update MSC1711 FAQ to clarify .well-known usage (#4584)
  • Clean up default listener configuration (#4586)
  • Clarifications for reverse proxy docs (#4607)
  • Move ClientTLSOptionsFactory init out of refresh_certificates (#4611)
  • Fail cleanly if listener config lacks a 'port' (#4616)
  • Remove redundant entries from docker config (#4619)
  • README updates (#4621)

This Week in Matrix 2019-02-08

08.02.2019 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Huge week! Let's go!

Matrix Live: Riot Redesign Chat (2019-02-08 - Season 3, Episode 13)

Riot-web new version coming out so soon. So soon! It looks and runs great, you can use it today at https://riot.im/develop. Includes a labs flag for displaying custom tags, which I love. Watch the vid.

FOSDEM 2019

FOSDEM happened.

  • two Matrix-themed packed-room talks
  • lots of people coming to chat at the stall to say things like "hi" or "I like Matrix" or "what is Matrix? … wow that sounds amazing, how can I get involved?"
  • 1000s of stickers decentralised out of my bag onto people's laptops
If you didn't yet, take a look at the summary blogpost, which also contains videos of both talks.

Synapse 0.99.0

With the release of Server to Server Spec r0.1, Synapse 0.99.0 is shipping now.

Synapse 1.0.0 will be compliant with r0.1 and the goal of Synapse 0.99.0 is to act as a stepping stone to Synapse 1.0. Synapse 0.99.0 supports the r0.1 release of the server to server specification, but is compatible with both the legacy Matrix federation behaviour (pre-r0.1) as well as post-r0.1 behaviour, in order to allow for a smooth upgrade across the federation.
It is critical that all admins upgrade to 0.99.0 and configure a valid TLS certificate. Admins will have 1 month to do so, after which 1.0.0 will be released and those servers without a valid certificate will no longer be able to federate with >= 1.0.0 servers.

Please read the announcement post and be sure to come and chat in #synapse:matrix.org if you need help!

GSOC 2019

Cadair has been helping admin this year's GSOC application:

Matrix.org has applied to be a GSOC (Google Summer of Code) mentoring organisation. If your matrix project has a feature a summer student could tackle and you have the time to mentor them over the summer, why not add a project idea to our website by submitting a PR to this repo. Feel free to ask questions in #gsoc:matrix.org as well.

Latest MSCs

Approved MSCs

In Progress MSCs

matrix-puppet-hangouts 0.1.0 released, with bidirectional image support

tom reports that:

matrix-puppet-hangouts version 0.1.0 has been released!
This release adds bidirectional (Hangouts -> Matrix and Matrix -> Hangouts) image support!
It also bumps the version of matrix-puppet-bridge (the common core of matrix-puppet-bridge bridges, which handles most of the stuff that's the same between different third-party service bridges, and makes implementing new matrix-puppet-bridge bridges easier) required to 1.16.2, the current latest, for recent bugfixes that improve all matrix-puppet-bridge bridges.
0.1.0 also requires Python 3.5+, for async. Older versions of python3 won't work. PRs getting python3 < 3.5 working again are welcome.

tom also gives credit to d3m3vilurr:

These changes are also brought to us by d3m3vilurr, Honored Hero of Matrix Puppet Bridge

Praise indeed!

matrix-media-repo from TravisR now supports .well-known server delegation

TravisR reports that:

matrix-media-repo now supports .well-known server delegation (compatible with Synapse 0.99 and r0.1 of the server-server specification), among many other bug fixes and improvements. Actually validating the certificates presented by servers will be implemented alongside Synapse 1.0's requirement for it.

Dimension from TravisR now supports .well-known server delegation

Similar to matrix-media-repo above, TravisR has been implementing .well-known server delegation in Dimension:

Dimension now supports .well-known server delegation (compatible with Synapse 0.99 and r0.1 of the server-server specification). Actually validating the certificates presented by servers will be implemented alongside Synapse 1.0's requirement for it.

mxisd v1.3.0-rc.3

Max:

mxisd v1.3.0-rc.3 is out. This is hopefully the last RC before release, but we would like as much testing as possible! the v1.3 branch is a big enhancement on the previous release with big performance and privacy improvements. It's smaller, faster, stronger and protects you privacy even better than before! You know you want it!

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy now supports Synapse v0.99

Slavi reports that:

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy now supports Synapse v0.99 and should be ready for Synapse v1.0.
If you're using the playbook to manage your Matrix server you should upgrade soon.
Depending on how you've customized your setup, you may not even have to do anything for the big Synapse v0.99/v1.0 transition, besides upgrading and re-running the playbook. A good place to start is the changelog entry: Synapse v0.99 support and preparation for Synapse v1.0

I have been using these playbooks to test my own homeserver deployment and am happy.

Tchap Android client

Willem reports that:

After seeing a demo at FOSDEM of Tchap, the app the French government uses to access their Matrix network, I decided to try to get it to work as a general-purpose Matrix client. The app uses email and password to log in, and infers the homeserver address from the homeserver name. So to get it to work, I had to patch the app and write a little proxy so it gets the proper homeserver (and optionally identity server) from an email address.
A patched version of Tchap can be found at https://github.com/14mRh4X0r/tchap-android, code for the proxy at https://git.snt.utwente.nl/14mRh4X0r/tchap-proxy. At the moment it's very crude, and images/files don't work since the virus scan API is unimplemented, but at least it can be used outside the French government. ?

Riot iOS

From the team:

  • Still iterating on key backup UX
  • Fix various share extension bugs (image sending failure, links share as text, etc…)

Riot Android

  • Still iterating on the key backup UX, changes concern Riot and the Matrix SDK
  • Valere has worked on Riot Android Notifications, we intend to merge this work on develop at the beginning of the next Sprint.
  • RiotX: no update this week due to François being out of the office

.NET SDK

Half-Shot, working on "not bridging":

I opened up the .NET SDK project for the first time in two years and revived it to just about work with a r0.4.0 home server. Its now based on .NET core 2.0.

Related .NET lovin'.

Spectral, soon for KDE Plasma Mobile

Black Hat is clearing:

I'm porting Spectral to KDE Plasma Mobile with Kirigami framework. This provides full convergence and mobile support.

Some progress pictures below, desktop and mobile version.

Preparing for Synapse on OpenBSD

Linda has been making progress on a project to get Synapse running on OpenBSD, and to that end has been preparing and improving the dependencies that we take for granted on Linux. To summarise the current status:

This week I've been porting Synapse's dependencies to OpenBSD -current distribution. There is no port yet for Synapse in OpenBSD. Ports missing from OpenBSD 6.4 for Synapse's dependencies were:

  • py-frozendict: ok'd, waiting…
  • py-unpaddedbase64: TBD
  • py-canonicaljson: TBD
  • py-signedjson: TBD
  • py-treq: WIP (this will take a while, lots of dependencies)
  • py-daemonize: ok'd, waiting…
  • py-pymacaroons: TBD
  • py-phonenumbers: 8.10.4 done, waiting to be imported…
  • py-prometheus_client done, needs to be tested/imported…
  • coturn: TBD, maybe?
waiting = usually waiting for an OpenBSD developer to "ok" and import

Of those, py-phonenumbers was added to OpenBSD
-snapshots (-current) distribution. py-phonenumbers (?) and py-service_identity received updates to ports. py-prometheus_client, py-daemonize and py-frozendict are ported ready and waiting to be given "ok" at OpenBSD's ports@ mailing list.
There is an unofficial up-to-date Synapse port exists at GitHub maintained by someone else, which I've not yet tested. (At glance, I can take a guess the devel/tz port may not be required.)
(coturn doesn't have a port yet, may have to look at it later.)

c u l8r

Phew! That was a lot! See you next week, and if you have a project you'd like to see featured in This Week in Matrix, come chat to us in #twim:matrix.org!

Synapse 0.99.0

05.02.2019 00:00 — Releases Neil Johnson

Hey hey, Synapse 0.99.0 is here!

You may have heard that we recently published the first stable release of the Server to Server Spec (r0.1). The spec makes some changes which are not compatible with the protocol of the past - particularly, self-signed certificates are no longer valid for homeservers. Synapse 1.0.0 will be compliant with r0.1 and the goal of Synapse 0.99.0 is to act as a stepping stone to Synapse 1.0. Synapse 0.99.0 supports the r0.1 release of the server to server specification, but is compatible with both the legacy Matrix federation behaviour (pre-r0.1) as well as post-r0.1 behaviour, in order to allow for a smooth upgrade across the federation.

It is critical that all admins upgrade to 0.99.0 and configure a valid TLS certificate. Admins will have 1 month to do so, after which 1.0.0 will be released and those servers without a valid certificate will no longer be able to federate with >= 1.0.0 servers.

First of all, please don't panic :) We have taken steps to make this process as simple as possible - specifically implementing ACME support to allow servers to automatically generate free Let's Encrypt certificates if you choose to. What's more, it is not necessary to add the certificate right away, you have at least a month to get set up.

For more details on exactly what you need to do (and also why this change is essential), we have provided an extensive FAQ as well as the Upgrade notes for Synapse

As ever, you can get the new update here or any of the sources mentioned at https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse. Note, Synapse is now available from PyPI, pick it up here. Also, check out our new Synapse installation guide page.

This was a huge effort! Congratulations to all involved, especially those of you in the community who contributed to spec MSCs and tested our release candidates. Thank you for bearing with us as we move the whole public Matrix Federation onto r0.1 compliant servers.

Onwards!

Changelog

Synapse v0.99.x is a precursor to the upcoming Synapse v1.0 release. It contains foundational changes to room architecture and the federation security model necessary to support the upcoming r0 release of the Server to Server API.

Features

  • Synapse's cipher string has been updated to require ECDH key exchange. Configuring and generating dh_params is no longer required, and they will be ignored. (#4229)
  • Synapse can now automatically provision TLS certificates via ACME (the protocol used by CAs like Let's Encrypt). (#4384#4492#4525#4572#4564#4566#4547#4557)
  • Implement MSC1708 (.well-known routing for server-server federation) (#4408#4409#4426#4427#4428#4464#4468#4487#4488#4489#4497#4511#4516#4520#4521#4539#4542#4544)
  • Search now includes results from predecessor rooms after a room upgrade. (#4415)
  • Config option to disable requesting MSISDN on registration. (#4423)
  • Add a metric for tracking event stream position of the user directory. (#4445)
  • Support exposing server capabilities in CS API (MSC1753, MSC1804) (#447281b7e7eed))
  • Add support for room version 3 (#4483#4499#4515#4523#4535)
  • Synapse will now reload TLS certificates from disk upon SIGHUP. (#4495#4524)
  • The matrixdotorg/synapse Docker images now use Python 3 by default. (#4558)

Bugfixes

  • Prevent users with access tokens predating the introduction of device IDs from creating spurious entries in the user_ips table. (#4369)
  • Fix typo in ALL_USER_TYPES definition to ensure type is a tuple (#4392)
  • Fix high CPU usage due to remote devicelist updates (#4397)
  • Fix potential bug where creating or joining a room could fail (#4404)
  • Fix bug when rejecting remote invites (#4405#4527)
  • Fix incorrect logcontexts after a Deferred was cancelled (#4407)
  • Ensure encrypted room state is persisted across room upgrades. (#4411)
  • Copy over whether a room is a direct message and any associated room tags on room upgrade. (#4412)
  • Fix None guard in calling config.server.is_threepid_reserved (#4435)
  • Don't send IP addresses as SNI (#4452)
  • Fix UnboundLocalError in post_urlencoded_get_json (#4460)
  • Add a timeout to filtered room directory queries. (#4461)
  • Workaround for login error when using both LDAP and internal authentication. (#4486)
  • Fix a bug where setting a relative consent directory path would cause a crash. (#4512)

Deprecations and Removals

  • Synapse no longer generates self-signed TLS certificates when generating a configuration file. (#4509)

Improved Documentation

  • Update debian installation instructions (#4526)

Internal Changes

  • Synapse will now take advantage of native UPSERT functionality in PostgreSQL 9.5+ and SQLite 3.24+. (#4306#4459#4466#4471#4477#4505)
  • Update README to use the new virtualenv everywhere (#4342)
  • Add better logging for unexpected errors while sending transactions (#4368)
  • Apply a unique index to the user_ips table, preventing duplicates. (#4370#4432#4434)
  • Silence travis-ci build warnings by removing non-functional python3.6 (#4377)
  • Fix a comment in the generated config file (#4387)
  • Add ground work for implementing future federation API versions (#4390)
  • Update dependencies on msgpack and pymacaroons to use the up-to-date packages. (#4399)
  • Tweak codecov settings to make them less loud. (#4400)
  • Implement server support for MSC1794 - Federation v2 Invite API (#4402)
  • debian package: symlink to explicit python version (#4433)
  • Add infrastructure to support different event formats (#4437#4447#4448#4470#4481#4482#4493#4494#4496#4510#4514)
  • Generate the debian config during build (#4444)
  • Clarify documentation for the public_baseurl config param (#4458#4498)
  • Fix quoting for allowed_local_3pids example config (#4476)
  • Remove deprecated --process-dependency-links option from UPGRADE.rst (#4485)
  • Make it possible to set the log level for tests via an environment variable (#4506)
  • Reduce the log level of linearizer lock acquirement to DEBUG. (#4507)
  • Fix code to comply with linting in PyFlakes 3.7.1. (#4519)
  • Add some debug for membership syncing issues (#4538)
  • Docker: only copy what we need to the build image (#4562)

Matrix at FOSDEM 2019

04.02.2019 00:00 — In the News Matthew Hodgson

Hi all,

We just got back from braving the snow in Brussels at FOSDEM 2019 - Europe's biggest Open Source conference. I think it's fair to say we had an amazing time, with more people than ever before wanting to hang out and talk Matrix and discuss their favourite features (and bugs)!

The big news is that we released r0.1 of Matrix's Server-Server API late on Friday night - our first ever formal stable release of Matrix's Federation API, having addressed the core of the issues which have kept Federation in beta thus far. We'll go into more detail on this in a dedicated blog post, but this marks the first ever time that all of Matrix's APIs have had an official stable release.  All that remains before we declare Matrix out of beta is to release updates of the CS API (0.5) and possibly the IS API (0.2) and then we can formally declare the overall combination as Matrix 1.0 :D

We spoke about SS API r0.1 at length in our main stage FOSDEM talk on Saturday - as well as showing off the Riot Redesign, the E2E Encryption Endgame and giving an update on the French Government deployment of Matrix and the focus it's given us on finally shipping Matrix 1.0! For those who weren't there or missed the livestream, here's the talk!  Slides are available here.

Full house for @ara4n talking about @matrixdotorg and the French State @fosdem It was a packed presentation full of lots exciting progress demos. So sorry for practically yanking you offstage in the end! pic.twitter.com/idshDcSRhv

— Rob Pickering (@RobinJPickering) February 2, 2019

Then, on Sunday we had the opportunity to have a quick 20 minute talk in the Real Time Comms dev room, where we gave a tour of some of the work we've been doing recently to scale Matrix down to working on incredibly low bandwidth networks (100bps or less).  It's literally the opposite of the Matrix 1.0 / France talk in that it's a quick deep dive into a very specific problem area in Matrix - so, if you've been looking forward to Matrix finally having a better transport than HTTPS+JSON, here goes!  Slides are available here.

Full house for @matrixdotorg ? #FOSDEM #RTCsevroom pic.twitter.com/dDQnD3mzmc

— Saúl Ibarra Corretgé (@saghul) February 3, 2019

Huge thanks to everyone who came to the talks, and everyone who came to the stand or grabbed us for a chat! FOSDEM is an amazing way to be reminded in person that folks care about Matrix, and we've come away feeling more determined than ever to make Matrix as great as possible and provide a protocol+network which will replace the increasingly threatened proprietary communication silos. :)

Next up: Matrix 1.0...

This Week in Matrix 2019-02-01

01.02.2019 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

MSC (spec) updates

r0, the first stable release of the Server-Server (Federation) Specification is extremely close! We of course will make a big splash and let you know when this comes!

Even apart from that, let's take a look at the MSCs (Matrix Spec Changes) that are currently in progress.

Approved MSCs

Final Comment Period

In Progress MSCs

Synapse

Neil and the team have been working frantically on getting a new Synapse release out this week:

This week has been all about gearing up for v0.99.0 and if you would like to help us test it, our latest release candidate lives here
We've taken the decision to bump up to v0.99.0 because it is very much a precursor to v1.0. When v1.0 lands it will contain a breaking change that means all homeservers will need a valid certificate for their server to server endpoint, self signing will no longer be possible.
v0.99.0 contains support to help you do this, but once it lands all admins will need to upgrade, failure to do so will mean losing the ability to federate with > v1.0 servers.
We'll have detailed docs ready to go alongside the full v0.99.0 release, and we plan to leave at least 1 month between v0.99.0 and v1.0, but for now please be aware that the change is coming.
Huge thanks to Rich, Erik, Hawkowl and Anoa for all their work in getting us to rc stage.

nheko_reborn

If you haven't already heard, then I envy that you get to learn about it now: there is a credible new project which forks nheko and seeks to maintain and continue the project.

Nheko-Reborn is a new project headed by red_sky, who told me:

I think I'm getting pretty close to having another release ready. Need to clean up some things here and there and get the CI packages uploading correctly
It'd be good to have more community engagement

Come chat about the project in #nheko-reborn:matrix.org.

Riot iOS

  • New app icons
  • Most of e2ee keys backup screens are done. We are only missing the sign out warning which invited the user to back up their keys before logging out
  • A Beta release is on its way to TestFlight

Riot Android

  • Finishing e2ee keys backup screen
  • Integrate new app icons, and splash
  • Release in Beta
  • Riotx: improvement in room list, read marker management

journal

lukebarnard has continued work on journal, a matrix-backed blog engine:

I've posted another blog on journal about the next steps for the project, including my thoughts on verifying blog content.

https://journal.lukebarnard.co.uk/journal/26-jan-2019

I'm planning to start work on the component that will scrape blog content from a matrix room. This will most likely involve a dedicated bot that syncs new journal blog events, verifies the blog signature and then writes the blog content to a file on the blog server.

I'll probably ramble about the details of that at some point.

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy

Slavi had two big updates for matrix-docker-ansible-deploy this week, improved security and IRC bridging:

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy now has much-improved security. All services now run in containers with a non-root user from the very beginning, without capabilities and with a read-only filesystem. To learn more, see the relevant changelog entry.
Thanks to a contribution by Devon Maloney (@Plailect), matrix-docker-ansible-deploy now has IRC bridging support via matrix-appservice-irc. To learn more, see the Setting up Appservice IRC documentation page.

neo

f0x again, now with an update on neo:

Not too much work on Neo this week, but there's some smooth animations for the roomlist now video, with music, which is surprisingly complicated in css
https://git.lain.haus/f0x/iris

libaqueous - Matrix SDK in Dart

Black Hat is working on a Matrix SDK in Dart:

libaqueous (the Matrix SDK in Dart) is progressing nicely. A reference implementation is also planned.
The repo is at https://gitlab.com/b0/libaqueous, and I also set up a room at #libaqueous:encom.eu.org

ma1uta's Matrix projects: Jeon, JMSDK, matrix-jabber-java-bridge

ma1uta has been working on his ecosystem of Matrix tooling:

Not much changes in jeon, jmsdk and matrix-jabber-java-bridge (mjjb).

  • Jeon: improved mxid with a new validation, support of the 11 java. And preparing the new release.
  • Jmsdk: fixed few bugs.

matrix-jabber-java-bridge

The bridge is being re-written. I excluded the jabber server (still need to setup SRV records) and implementing the xmpp s2s api in the bridge. Done:

  • rfc6120 in s2s part;
  • almost server dialback (XEP-0220);
Remaining:
  • MUC (XEP-0045);
  • stabilize.
New version will allow:
  • 1:1 conversations between matrix and jabber users;
  • group chats by double-puppet mapping rooms to conferences;
  • additionally xmpp users can join directly to rooms via double-puppet bots.
Also I started breaking the bridge to modules. And the next module will be ActivityPub S2S module which allows communicate matrix servers with other fedivers.

mxisd

Max reports that:

mxisd v1.3.0-alpha.3 is out! This one works further towards protecting your privacy and we strongly recommend it if you already are using an alpha release. We have written our stance on privacy with how it affects mxisd here.

We also consider this release to be as stable as v1.2.2. Feel free to upgrade following the Upgrade notes and benefits from all the v1.3.0 work so far, especially the massive improvements on resources usage.

Purism working on Fractal integration

update on @gnome @matrixdotorg client for #PureOS: "I am pleased to announce that over the next week I will be working to make Fractal's UI adaptive for the Librem 5's launch. This contract began last week, and I already have some results to show off." https://t.co/iX47u1Bdb1 pic.twitter.com/Hnr7ZVpYd1


— Purism (@Puri_sm) January 30, 2019

Definitely take a look at the linked blog post for more.

What else is there?

What there mainly is is FOSDEM. A lot of Matrix-folk are currently near me as I write this, sat in a hotel bar in sunny Brussels. Matrix live is not available today, but will incorporate some of the event, which kicks of tomorrow.

If you will be attending, come /join us at the Matrix table, where there will be stickers and t-shirts and merriment, and definitely come and attend the talks:

This Week in Matrix 2019-01-25

25.01.2019 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Matrix Live S03E12 - Modular.im

This week I chatted to Rick about the release of Modular, Hosted Homeservers and more. We're pleased to be able to announce the availability of a HipChat migration tool to get people into Matrix.

Latest MSC updates (from anoa's MSC bot)

Approved MSCs

Final Comment Period

In Progress MSCs

Synapse

  • Working furiously towards an r0 spec release. Event ids as hashes (MSC 1659) and S2S API certificates (MSC 1659 ) are very close now - see https://github.com/orgs/matrix-org/projects/8 to track our progress.
  • Since MSC1711 is a breaking change, we will initially ship our next release (v0.35.0) with ACME support to make it easy to provision and renew certificates. The give everyone a month to upgrade and install a cert before we ship Synapse v1.0 which will require that servers have certificates in order to federate. Don't worry, there will be plenty of details on the steps necessary for admins when v0.35.0 lands - watch this space.
  • Finally a raft of db performance improvements, room version upgrade bug fixes, as well taking a look at room directory and user directory efficiency.

matrix-puppet-slack

tom reports that:

matrix-puppet-slack version 1.10.1 has been released, thanks again to @twouters

  • The bridge could not create new Matrix rooms on versions of Synapse after a certain change, because it did not reserve the room alias prefix it used. That's been fixed, but anyone currently running matrix-puppet-slack will need to edit their slack_registration.yaml and restart Synapse. See the Release for instructions on doing so.
  • The bridge will no longer send "Edit: " events when Slack sends it a "message_changed" message, if the message text has not actually changed (Slack sends these events for URL previews, for example, but this just causes duplicate bridged messages). This fix has been a long time coming.

matrix-corporal

Slavi reports that:

matrix-corporal 1.3.0 was released.
It uses a new Matrix API for fetching account data (Synapse >0.34.1 is required), so it performs reconciliation quicker than before.

From the notes:

Reconciliation is now much faster, due to the way we retrieve account data from the Matrix server (no longer doing /sync).
From now on, the minimum requirement for running matrix-corporal is Synapse v0.34.1, as it's the first Synapse release which contains the new API we require (GET /user/{'{'}user_id{'}'}/account_data/{'{'}account_dataType{'}'}).

journal

lukebarnard disappeared from our screens some time ago, but he's back with this news on journal:

I have an update on journal (finally). I've pushed the redesign branch that I've been working on. It contains the web view component of the new architecture and can be used as a generic blog-hosting site (I'll be doing this personally). Feel free to check it out here: https://journal.lukebarnard.co.uk/journal/1-jan-2019

Riot-web

  • Redesign
  • Typing notifications don't make timeline jump anymore
  • Jump to bottom button is overlay now, so we can finally hide the room status bar again most of the time
  • Working on room sublist resizing
  • Work on authentication flow
  • Work on settings

Riot Android and iOS

  • Reskin of Riot is nearly finished. Last known issues have been fixed.
  • Keys backup screen development well underway! We're working to fit everything nicely on mobile platforms - there are some UX/UI specificities to consider.
  • Riotx (new version of riot for Android, built using the upcoming kotlin SDK): more and more event types supported in timeline.

Quaternion

kitsune reports that:

the macOS build for Quaternion 0.0.9.3 turned out to be not complete and fails if the user doesn't have Qt installed. Thanks to Aaron Raimist the build has been now includes a snapshot of Qt 5.11 - if you tried and failed to run the .dmg from https://github.com/QMatrixClient/Quaternion/releases, you can try to use it again.

Thanks also to Aaron for helping populate homebrew with Matrix goodness. Mac users may be interested to know that Seaglass and Spectral are both available in homebrew now.

Neo client

f0x reports that:

Neo is still in the GUI component design stage (the best stage to get involved with feedback!). I have implemented the jdenticon library for avatars, autoscrolling when there are new events, and I've added the Rust code of conduct. https://git.lain.haus/f0x/iris
General vision for this project is to first get as much gui done as possible, before diving in the backend. This will be split into a separate module, with the gui component being as protocol-agnostic as possible, to allow different backend modules for XMPP or IRC as well.

Fractal client

Backend refactoring by Julian Sparber and Alejandro Domínguez. They also got progressed with tag handling, spell checking and lazy loading.

matrix-bot-sdk

TravisR reports that:

the matrix-bot-sdk has received a bunch of updates currently residing on the develop branch. Changes include unit tests covering most of the library, appservice support improvements, handling of room version upgrades, and a bunch of bug fixes.

matrix-bot-sdk was recently updated to have support for Application Services, and is a lighter alternative to the matrix-js-sdk.

cl-matrix

Gnuxie reports that:

I've been working on cl-matrix and I think now it might be in a good condition to talk about it. cl-matrix is a WIP client library written in common lisp, most of the API endpoints have been covered using macros that allow you to copy straight from the spec, here is an example using the send event endpoint:

(define-matrix-endpoint room-send-event (:put)
  ("rooms" room-id "send" event-type txn-id))

this will expand into a function with the signature:

(PUT-ROOM-SEND-EVENT AUTHENTICATION ROOM-ID EVENT-TYPE TXN-ID CONTENT &KEY PARAMETERS)

it also has some basic events defined using deeds that can be issued using the sync endpoint.

Informo

The unknown individual from Informo, vabd told us:

Not much news this week in Informo land, though we have a few specs proposals that are still open for public review, including SCS #19 (rendered version here) which rewrites the specs website's introduction to make it more newcomer-friendly and feature a brief introduction on what Informo is about.
People who either never had a look at the project, or got fed up trying to because of the difficulty to easily understand what we're building, we'd love to read your opinion on this! ?

This is much, much appreciated. For those interested but confused, please take a look.

matrix-autoinvite

CromFr (Thibaut CHARLES) reports that:

matrix-autoinvite is a very basic service that synchronizes joined rooms between users from different servers, by inviting missing users to the room.
I'm using it to invite @CromFr:matrix.org to each Facebook Messenger rooms on my personal homeserver (that has very limited resources) hosting the matrix-puppet-facebook bridge. This way I can chat with people on facebook from a matrix.org account :)

Some relevant news from today: Zuckerberg Plans to Integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger

matrix-register-bot

krombel reports that:

A long time ago I started writing matrix-register-bot. Now as there is a new requestor of it I finally implemented the planned features and released 0.1-rc1
Feel free to test it and ask questions or provide feedback in #matrix-register-bot:msg-net.de

Other thoughts

Did you know about status.matrix.org? This handy site lets you know about the status of the matrix.org homeserver. That URL again: status.matrix.org.

linux.conf.au is happening right now in Christchurch, New Zealand (editor's note: is this right? .au or .nz?), and they've been partly using Matrix for their comms.

FOSDEM is in a week! Come chat in #matrix-fosdem:matrix.org. Be there and be square. I'll be there with Matrix swag so ping me if you'll be attending.

When will I see you… again?

I might adjust the schedule a little next week since it's FOSDEM (see above), but as always, stay tuned into #twim:matrix.org for all the biggest news!

This Week in Matrix 2019-01-18

18.01.2019 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Matrix Live S3E11

This week I chatted with Jason Robinson about all things decentralisation, especially his projects socialhomethe-federation.info, and feneas.org. Jason has been interested in decentralisation for many years, and had a lot to say about how we can look forward to a more decentralised Internet.

Latest MSC updates (from anoa's MSC bot)

Approved MSCs

[MSC 1229]: Mitigating abuse of the event depth parameter over federation [MSC 1497]: MSC1497: Advertising support of experimental features in the CS API [MSC 1501]: Room version upgrades [MSC 1354]: Widget API extension: Always-on-screen [MSC 1339]: Proposal to add a GET method to read account data

Final Comment Period

MSC 1794: Federation v2 Invite API

In Progress MSCs

[MSC 1796]: improved e2e notifications [MSC 1797]: Proposal for more granular profile error codes [MSC 1607]: Proposal for room alias grammar [MSC 1544]: Key verification using QR codes [MSC 1802]: Standardised federation response formats [MSC 1804]: Advertising capable room versions to clients [MSC 1538]: storing megolm keys serverside [MSC 1681]: cross-signing [MSC 1659]: Proposal: Change Event IDs to Hashes [MSC 1767]: Extensible event types & fallback in Matrix (v2) [MSC 1768]: Proposal to authenticate with public keys [MSC 1769]: Extensible profiles as rooms [MSC 1772]: Groups as rooms (v2) [MSC 1776]: Implementing peeking via /sync [MSC 1640]: MSC: Replace event IDs with hashes [MSC 1777]: peeking over federation

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy

Slavi reports that:

It's a New Year and there have been a lot of improvements to the matrix-docker-ansible-deploy playbook:

Lots of thanks go to Maximus, jcgruenhage and Cadair for helping out!

libQMatrixClient and Quaternion

kitsune reports that:

libQMatrixClient 0.4.2 has been released, fixing a security issue (the library could be tricked into altering the local room state by fake state events - those without state_key). The master branch of the library is updated as well - it is strongly recommended to update to either 0.4.2 or master, depending on which branch you live on.

For those who want to help testing Quaternion or just can't wait to the next release, we now have CI builds collected at bintray: https://bintray.com/qmatrixclient/ci/Quaternion. Linux and macOS are already there, and Windows binaries will also be available any day soon.

matrix-client.el

alphapapa reports that:

matrix-client.el can now send typing notifications.

matrix-puppet-slack

tom reports that:

matrix-puppet-slack v1.10.0 has been released, thanks to Cadair and (once again!) d3m3vilurr!

v1.10.0 fixes Matrix-to-Slack image upload, and no longer sends markdown-formatted @-mention links in the plaintext body of Matrix events; instead, it uses plaintext username the way text-only clients traditionally have it.

The version bump is also the project's 100th commit, and I've updated the supported feature checklist in the README to paint a more comprehensive picture of what is and isn't supported, and link out to the GitHub Issues for some of the unsupported features, in hopes of making life easier for users and encouraging contributions.

opsdroid

SolarDrew reports that:

opsdroid's Matrix connector is now a core part of the library rather than an external addition. This should open up a lot of cool possibilities for doing fancy stuff with bots on matrix. Many thanks to Cadair for helping with this.

mxisd

Maximus reports that:

mxisd has a new alpha release: v1.3.0-alpha.2 - Fixes a set of issues from alpha.1 and is now close to v1.2.2 stability. If you are already on alpha.1, update is highly recommended.

continuum (previously, "koma")

uforia reports that:

made some minor changes to continuum to make the GUI more intuitive. Now when there are no joined rooms, buttons for joining or creating rooms are shown instead of an empty list. And when there are issues with syncing or syncing takes longer than usual, a status bar with options is shown.

mauview

tulir reports that:

I've been working on a new Go TUI library for gomuks: https://github.com/tulir/mauview

Still not quite sure if it's a good idea, but at least the input area component is very nice. It should also make it easier to add more fancy stuff like html tables and selecting messages (for replying/redacting)

Riot iOS

We are still working on the key backup screens. The last bit on the SDK side, the passphrase support, has been implemented this week.

Reskin is almost done. It just needs some small adjustments. We will release a beta soon so that we can gather users feedback.

This week, we have also fixed small but boring UX issues in Riot and we will continue to do so up to the end of the month and FOSDEM!

Riot Android

Reskin is almost done too and available on develop builds.

Benoit has started to implement the key backup passphrase management in the SDK. Valere is still improving push notifications at the code level but also at the display level.

We are working hard to polish the app for FOSDEM.

Modular

Rick reports:

We now have a HipChat migration tool - https://www.modular.im/tools/hipchat-migration. This tool helps migrate a HipChat workspace to your very own Modular Hosted Homeserver. Migration is performed by uploading an exported copy of an existing HipChat workspace so that the tool can automatically re-create all of the users and rooms (including messages and attachments) on your new Matrix homeserver. Once the migration is complete all of the migrated users will be emailed with login instructions, so that they can seamlessly continue chatting where they left off in HipChat. If your organisation (or if you know of an organisation that) has not yet decided what to do when Stride & HipChat is discontinued next month, come and try Modular!

Synapse

The Synapse gang are working flat out towards r0 and a v1.0 release - you can track our progress here (https://github.com/orgs/matrix-org/projects/8). Aside from that if you haven't already done please please upgrade to v0.34.1.1 (https://matrix.org/blog/2019/01/15/further-details-on-critical-security-update-in-synapse-affecting-all-versions-prior-to-0-34-1-cve-2019-5885/)

Dendrite

Brendan reports:

People have been generally happy about the flood of new issues following the completion of the internal audit last week, and a few folks have been opening PRs addressing some of the “good-first-issues” labeled ones, which has been amazing to see, including fixing room joins and a couple of default variables. Thanks a lot to Cnly and Behouba for these!

On my end, this week mainly consisted in reviewing most of these PRs (and merging them when that was possible), while anoa worked on making Dendrite's CI more complete and reliable, especially by configuring it to run sytest against Dendrite which will allow us to better track its compliance to the Matrix specification.

If you're interested in contributing on Dendrite, there's still some “good first issues” open, and we'll be happy to chat and help in #dendrite-dev:matrix.org ?

Synapse in Debian

andrewsh reports that:

the most recent synapse, using Python 3, is available in both stretch-backports and Debian testing

Discord Bridge

Half-Shot reports that:

Discord bridge v0.4.0 is out now, nothing new since rc1 because it was that good. There have been no changes since rc1 because either Sorunome did a stellar job of keeping things stable, or nobody spoke up out of fear :p. Thanks one and all for continuing to run the bridge.

New Dart/Flutter Matrix SDK

Black Hat reports that:

I am prototyping a Matrix client SDK in Dart. It will target Flutter (Android, Fuchsia and iOS), web (AngularDart or other) and Dart VM.

f0x returns to Neo

f0x reports that:

Neo v4: Iris is coming up, focusing on design first. It will be based on React, and the matrix js sdk
I didn't plan ahead enough with old Neo (v3), so it became a bit of a clobbered togeather mess, which I'm trying to prevent this time around
https://git.lain.haus/f0x/iris

That's all for now

Come chat in #twim:matrix.org to discuss what's happening, and especially come and share what YOU'VE been working on!

Ben's favourite projects 2018

17.01.2019 00:00 — Thoughts Ben Parsons

Hi all, Ben here.

Since joining the core team as Developer Advocate last year it's been quite a ride. One of the best things about the job is getting the chance to talk to so many people about their projects and what they would like to see happen in the matrix ecosystem. With so much going on, I just want to say thanks to everyone who has been so welcoming to me and share some of my personal highlights, as I recall them, from 2018!

Clients

Fractal was featured in the very first TWIM, announcing v1.26. Since then, the team have hosted two IRL hackfest events (Strasbourg and Seville - where to next, Stockholm? Salisbury?), engaged two GSOC students and continued to push out releases. At this point, Fractal is a full-featured Matrix client for GNOME.

Matrique became Spectral, and is generally awesome. Apparently the name "Matrique" was chosen because it sounds French, but those who speak the language well revealed that this name was not ideal! The project was re-named "Spectral", and is going strong. I really appreciate the multi-user facility! It's a great looking client, and runs great on macOS too (protip: get more attention from /me by providing a macOS build…)

On which subject, Seaglass is a native macOS client. First announced in June, this client supports E2EE rooms (via matrix-ios-sdk), and is also available on homebrew.

Ubuntu Touch has the most Matrix clients per-user of any platform. UT epitomises the resilience and collaborative spirit of Open Source. It's a true community maintenance effort, and is as friendly a community as you might meet. uMatriks came first, but it's FluffyChat that prompted me to install it on my battered old OnePlus One. FluffyChat is now extremely full-featured, with E2EE support being actively discussed.

In the command line, gomuks appeared and quickly became a competent client, but in terms of sheer enthusiasm and momentum, I must give commendation to matrix-client.el, a newly revived mode for Emacs which turns your editor/OS into a great Matrix Client. I enjoyed using it enough that it began to change my mind about using emacs. Laptops have more than 8mb memory these days anyway.

A culture of bots

There is a tendency in the community to build a bot for everything and anything. This has reached the point where there are multiple flairs available depending on what bots you like to make (silly vs serious.)

TravisR was perhaps the first person I saw to get the obsession, creating

and more…

Cadair even made twimbot, designed to make it easier to consume and produce This Week in Matrix itself.

In June tulir started maubot, a plugin-based bot system built in Python, which now also has a management UI.

All bridges lead to Matrix

Or from Matrix, depending on which way you want to send the message.

Around May, I started to notice another obsession brewing in the community. Bridging is a core part of the Matrix mission, but it was around this time I started seeing it in the wild.

Summer 2018 Half-Shot began working in the Matrix core team, and was hugely productive in maintaining and developing the bridge infrastructure for matrix.org. IRC bridging is far more stable and reliable now than it was a year ago. And yet there are still more bridges - too many to list, so I'm picking the ones I've used and enjoyed.

Discord is bridged by matrix-appservice-discord, handled by Half-Shot, aided and abetted by anoa but with a new maintainer this year, Sorunome. This bridge is now feature-rich and sits at v0.3.1.

tulir's suite of bridges including mautrix-telegram and mautrix-whatsapp are extremely stable and useful - big thank you to TravisR for maintaining t2bot.io and hosting the Telegram bridge too.

SMSMatrix, a phone-hosted bridge is simple and works great for SMS bridging.

Libraries, SDKs, Frameworks

I enjoyed using matrix-bot-sdk for building elizabot (more coverage needed for that!), and the SDK recently received support for application services.

In April, kitsune announced v0.2 of libqmatrixclient describing it as “the first one more or less functional and stable" - confidence! This library now powers both Quaternion and Spectral. QMatrixClient has continued to get updates, plus features including lazy loading and VoIP signalling.

There are a few libs I want to pay more attention to this year, starting with tulir's maubot now that it has been rewritten in Python. I'm also excited to see jmsdk, part of ma1uta's broader ecosystem of Matrix tooling - a Java-based SDK.

Ruma Resurrection

Until around June, Ruma was receiving regular updates. There was a pause as the team waited for Rust async/await to land, and also to get some stability in the Matrix Spec. Still waiting on Rust, but now that the Matrix Spec is stabilising, Ruma is showing signs of life too. I have also been watching other homeserver projects begin to restart, which makes for a great start to 2019.

DSN Traveller by Florian

Matrix was featured as part of a Master's thesis by Florian Jacob.

DSN Traveller tries to get a rough overview of how the Matrix network is structured today. It records how many rooms it finds, how many users and servers take part in those rooms, and how they relate to each other, meaning how many users a server has and of how many rooms it is part of.

Florian's thesis was handed in last August. Source code is available.

All details at https://dsn-traveller.dsn.scc.kit.edu/, room at #dsn-traveller:dsn-traveller.dsn.scc.kit.edu.

Still more

Synapse dominates the homeserver space right now, so if you want to host your own homeserver today it's the obvious choice. Too great a variety of installation guides was doing more harm than good, so Stefan took the initiative to create a definitive community-driven Synapse installation guide, including a room to discuss and improve the text. Find the guide linked from here, and chat about the guide in #synapseguide:matrix.org.

I want to use Matrix, and I want to host my own homeserver. As such, matrix-docker-ansible-deploy is a project I absolutely love. It uses Synapse docker images from the Matrix core team, and combines them with Ansible playbooks written and organised by Slavi. It lets you quickly deploy everything needed for a Synapse homeserver, and it's simple enough that even I can use it.

Construct, a homeserver implementation in C++ began successfully federating with Matrix, work progressed from around April/May.

Having a Matrix-native mode for shields.io (those counter/indicator images you often see at the top of repos) seems like something petty at first, but it's actually a great indicator of the importance of Matrix from the outside. Plus, I love seeing the images at the top of different repos. Thanks Brendan for helping this along.

Two students worked on Matrix-related projects during GSOC 2018.

Something which came in super-helpful for me when testing homeserver installations was f0x's fed-tester. Source code available (obv.)

Thanks for all the projects

Thanks for a great 2018. There was so much to learn about, so much to write about, and so many great community members to meet and chat to! If I didn't mention your project, I'm sorry to have been either forgetful or to not be able to include everything.

If you think I've missed something, or if there's a project I should have included rather than another, or even if you just disagree with my choices, let's discuss it in #twim:matrix.org. See you there, and let's all parade ahead to a productive, open, interoperable 2019!