This weekend, I went to the first Redecentralize Conference. I thought it was a good mix of traditional tech talks and sessions where we discussed how to make people aware of why the net needs to be decentralised. There were a lot of interesting people and we had some really thought-provoking discussions. Sessions in the main room were filmed and can be found here.
I did a talk on Matrix in one of the tutorial rooms, and it was great to see people with lots of questions and comments in the session. If you missed the talk - or have further questions: the FAQ might have the answer, or maybe the Spec itself - and there's always #matrix:matrix.org where you can find me and the whole matrix team.
At the end of day-panel on the first day, the question "are there any projects that are ready for mass adoption" was posed, and Ira picked Matrix as her answer, which was great to hear. We have come a long way in the last year, and I think Matrix now has "enough" features to be a realistic option for your IM/VoIP and group chat needs.
I really enjoyed redecentralize and hope it will be repeated! Thanks to the redecentralize.org gang for arranging it!
Following from the addition of voice and video calling in the previous release, we have added some new features and fixed more bugs - and released v0.5.1 of the Android version of the Matrix Console app.
Please note that installing this update will log you out of the app and require you to sign in again!
This release includes:
Support for self-signed certificates
Support for recording and sending video messages
We have improved the performance when you resume the app
We fixed a bug where a picture/video would disappear after rotation
Fixed several reported issues/crashes - for the full list look at the CHANGES files in the console and SDK projects
Charles Solar and Jiang Shuyang used Matrix and Flowroute resources for a platform independent app called 'Samaritan' which allows users to post help requests like "I got a flat tire!" or "My computer crashed!". Others can then call / text / video chat with them to solve their problem. A video of their presentation can be seen here. This hack won the Flowroute prize.
Vladimir Beloborodov demoed his award-winning Matrix-hack from WebRTC Paris: using Matrix just to set up a WebRTC connection between his iPad and robot, thus proving that you can have a robot with telepresence functions without having to depend on a remote server - see his demo here.
Adnan Baleh, Caterina Lazaro, Javier Garcia, Ernesto G. Grabwosky, Sergio Gil and Marion Le Callonnec - Team 'ProbatioNerds' - created a mobile Matrix app to control the provided Trossen Robotics HR-OS1 Humanoid Endoskeleton robot over the Internet - even making it dance the Macarena! Presentation video can be seen here. We awarded team 'ProbatioNerds' the TADHack Matrix prize - an HR-OS1 - and we hope the team and the robot will keep learning new tricks and moves!
[caption id="attachment_1307" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Daniel presenting the HR-OS1 to team 'ProbatioNerds' (Photo courtesy of Alan Quayle)[/caption]
We keep being impressed by the quality of projects developed at TADHacks - remember, in practice you only have around 12 hours to work on your hack. Congrats to all who participated - and thanks to Alan for arranging it!
Heads up that we've just pushed the big red release button on Matrix Console iOS 0.5.3. This includes a bunch of updates to MatrixKit that you can take advantage of in your MatrixKit powered app. These include:
Animated Gif support!
Support for pasting images, videos and documents into the input field
Inclusions of matrix IDs when searching
Options to customise the thumbnail thumbnail display box
You can see the full MatrixKit change list in CHANGES.rst.
Super-quick post just to announce that we have released a new version of the Android Matrix Console. This version fixes a problem where the Playstore wouldn't let some Android devices install the app just because they don't have a SIM card, due to a required permission that wasn't really needed anyway.
Over the past two weeks, we have been hunting down some more performance issues in Synapse, as well as fixing a few potential bugs in the new backfill feature that we introduced in 0.9.1. For those that were having issues, this release should really help speed up when your server joins larger remote rooms.
We have also been busy hacking on end-to-end encryption, which is very exciting. Hopefully we will have more details to share about that soon!
Changes in synapse v0.9.2 (2015-06-12)
Use ultrajson for json (de)serialisation when a canonical encoding is not required. Ultrajson is significantly faster than simplejson in certain circumstances.
Use connection pools for outgoing HTTP connections.
Process thumbnails on separate threads.
Add option, gzip_responses, to disable HTTP response compression.
Improve resilience of backfill by ensuring we fetch any missing auth events.
Improve performance of backfill and joining remote rooms by removing unnecessary computations. This included handling events we had previously handled as well as attempting to compute the current state for outliers.
Next weekend, June 13 and 14, the global TADHack takes place all over the world. You can participate on site or remotely, and there are a lot of different prizes to be won - in total the prize pot is worth $35k!
For the best two hacks using our technology, we will award a whole lot of Tessel modules! Tessel is a new breed of development board that runs entirely on Node.js, and they come with different modules you can plug in - for more information, see: getting started & sample projects.
Both prizes will include several tessel modules, including:
multiple core tessel boards
multiple servo modules and many servo motors
multiple ambient modules
multiple accelerometer modules
GPS module with antenna
DIY module kit
Matrix.org will be present at the London site, Idea London in Shoreditch, where we will help both local and remote participants (via #matrix:matrix.org) using the Matrix APIs as part of their hacks.
So if you have some spare time next weekend - why not have a think about what could be a cool hack and join us for the global TADHack event! See you there!
We are back from Kamailio World, where we presented and participated in James Body's "Dangerous Demos". We were racing against the deadline, but managed to join the demos at the very last minute - and even win the award for "Most Entertaining Demo"!
It was great to catch up with old acquaintances - and meet many new ones! There were only around 150 people at Kamailio World, but given the area of expertise is very specialised, you can pretty much start talking to anyone and have a really interesting conversation.
A video from the dangerous demo event is available here:
The Parrot Drone we use in the demo has a 14 megapixel fisheye camera with advanced stabilization techniques which means that you can't actually see what happened when everybody went "ooh" - I assure you the "flip" command does exactly what you would expect!
Thanks to everybody who talked to us at Kamailio - and as always, come find us in the #matrix:matrix.org room on Matrix!