This Week in Matrix

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This Week in Matrix 2022-02-25

25.02.2022 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Thib

OTWSU 🎙

Dept of Spec 📜

Andrew Morgan (Element) reports

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

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Updates

MSC3440 continues to be the focus on much review as the proposal inches towards entering final comment period.

Otherwise both MSC3589 (room version 9 as the default room version) and MSC3582 (remove m.room.message.feedback) merged this week. The former brings with it updated versions for rooms as they continue to be created across the federation, whereas the latter is simply a nice clean up to the existing spec :)

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC3593: Safety Controls through a generic Administration API!

This MSC aims to introduce a set of generic administrative APIs for Matrix homeservers, starting with those that could potentially be useful for user moderation.

There has long been talk of adding administration APIs akin to Synapse's Admin API to the spec, in part to reduce the number of tools that are specifically created for it, and thus can only be used with Synapse.

Feedback welcome!

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

Shay announces

This week we released Synapse 1.53.0! This release adds support for sending to-device messages to application services, adds a background database update to purge account data for deactivated users, and adds more features to improve performance and stability, as well as bugfixes and improved documentation. Check out the release notes here.

In addition to the release, work continues on improving the performance of room joins-progress is being made! Finally, we began the process of switching over Synapse to use Poetry for dependency management-keep your eyes peeled for more information on that project as it develops.

Dendrite (website)

Second generation Matrix homeserver

neilalexander says

This week we released Dendrite v0.6.4 which contains a significant number of improvements and fixes. It includes the following:

  • All Client-Server API endpoints are now available under the /v3 namespace
  • The /whoami response format now matches the latest Matrix spec version
  • Support added for the /context endpoint, which should help clients to render quote-replies correctly
  • Accounts now have an optional account type field, allowing admin accounts to be created
  • Server notices are now supported
  • Refactored the user API storage to deduplicate a significant amount of code, as well as merging both user API databases into a single database
  • Guest registration can now be separately disabled with the new client_api.guests_disabled configuration option
  • Outbound connections now obey proxy settings from the environment, deprecating the federation_api.proxy_outbound configuration options
  • The roomserver input API will now strictly consume only one database transaction per room, which should prevent situations where the roomserver can deadlock waiting for database connections to become available
  • Room joins will now fall back to federation if the local room state is insufficient to create a membership event
  • Create events are now correctly filtered from federation /send transactions
  • Excessive logging when federation is disabled should now be fixed
  • Dendrite will no longer panic if trying to retire an invite event that has not been seen yet
  • The device list updater will now wait for longer after a connection issue, rather than flooding the logs with errors
  • The device list updater will no longer produce unnecessary output events for federated key updates with no changes, which should help to reduce CPU usage
  • Local device name changes will now generate key change events correctly
  • The sync API will now try to share device list update notifications even if all state key NIDs cannot be fetched
  • An off-by-one error in the sync stream token handling which could result in a crash has been fixed
  • State events will no longer be re-sent unnecessary by the roomserver to other components if they have already been sent, which should help to reduce the NATS message sizes on the roomserver output topic in some cases
  • The roomserver input API now uses the process context and should handle graceful shutdowns better
  • Guest registration is now correctly disabled when the client_api.registration_disabled configuration option is set
  • One-time encryption keys are now cleaned up correctly when a device is logged out or removed
  • Invalid state snapshots in the state storage refactoring migration are now reset rather than causing a panic at startup

Sytest compliance is up slightly:

  • Client-server APIs: 67%, up from 65%
  • Server-server APIs: 95%, same as before

As always, please feel free to join us in #dendrite:matrix.org for Dendrite-related chat!

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Helm Chart (website)

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace reports

And my Helm Chart updates continue as they do, with matrix-synapse being updated to 1.53.0

Dept of Bridges 🌉

matrix-appservice-kakaotalk (website)

A Matrix-KakaoTalk puppeting bridge.

Fair reports

Here are the first steps for a bridge to KakaoTalk! The bridge is based on mautrix-python (having used mautrix-facebook as a starting point--there's still plenty of Facebook-specific code in there), with the backend handled by node-kakao (connected via RPC, as there seems to be no Python API for KakaoTalk!).

The bridge doesn't do much yet; all it can do is log in & sync your list of chats (if that). But it's under rapid development & decent momentum, so hopefully it will be usable soon!

For anyone brave enough to try it out, its setup steps are very similar to that of any of the Python-based mautrix bridges (though Docker is currently unsupported).

Discussion: #matrix-appservice-kakaotalk:miscworks.net Issue page: https://src.miscworks.net/fair/matrix-puppeteer-line/issues

Dept of Clients 📱

Nheko (website)

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

Nico announces

We made a small release that just is compiled against the new mtxclient version to fix an issue with servers announcing support for Matrix v1.1 or higher. We strongly recommend you update before the next Synapse stable release is out.

Apart from that Nheko now has support for hidden read receipts (thanks to symphorien, see MSC2285). ZenWalker updated our usage of deprecated gstreamer APIs. Malte has been spending a lot of effort on improving the scrolling experience on the PinePhone as well as allowing to search on mobile. Forwarding should now work properly again as well as calling on mobile and we fixed a small memory leak when opening some dialogs.

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

Danielle announces

“Twosday” wasn’t the only exciting thing happening this week. Take a peek at everything else we had going on…

Coming to a Poll near you…

  • From next week’s releases, you’ll discover two new updates on polls! First off, you’ll be able to edit a poll as long as no one has yet voted on it - which is great if you create a poll and realise you’ve made a small mistake. Even better, there’s now a new type of poll: ‘closed polls’ don’t show any results until the poll has ended, to keep the surprise.

Location Sharing

  • Location Sharing is now available by default for users on all platforms, except desktop (where you can receive but not send locations). Check it out!
  • The next stage is live location sharing and ‘pin dropping’, expect more soon.

Threaded Messaging

  • Designed to make catching up on rooms easier, and to keep the main timeline as clutter free as possible, Threads are nearly here.
  • You can try Threads out on all platforms - you’ll find them in Labs. This feature is experimental; let us know your feedback, and report any bugs as we continue to improve.

Community testing

  • We will be looking at search result ordering on Web as part of the new search experience at 17:30 UTC / 18:30 CET on Tuesday, 1st of March
  • We’re also hoping to test Threads on mobile devices towards the end of the week, join the testing room to get involved!
  • Head over to #element-community-testing:matrix.org to hear the latest on all testing sessions!

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

Danielle announces

  • The EleWeb team has been working on Spaces, Threads, and defects this week.
  • We are starting to look at batched updates, which could be bringing performance improvements to us.
  • On the process improvement side, we are looking at test coverage and process improvements around PR submission. Don’t be surprised if our developers start a conversation around tests when you submit your next PR 🙂
  • V1.10.5 release candidate is available and release is expected to go out on Monday, 28th February.
  • And don’t forget; the new and improved search experience is available. It’s in Beta so turn it on, try it out, and send us your feedback!
    • We will be talking to the community about planned improvements in the next Community Testing Session on Tuesday over in#element-community-testing:matrix.org

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

  • Improvements to Threads reliability are happening everyday. We’re also making some tweaks to the user experience details, like dragging and dropping files into the Thread panel.

Element iOS (website)

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

Manu reports

  • Next week’s release (1.8.3) includes changes and improvements we’ve made to our overall app experience by closing some pesky UI defects.
  • This week we’ve also been working on improving the reliability of our Labs features. If you’ve turned on Threads or Bubbles in Labs you may have experienced app slow downs or crashes. In the next version, these will be minimised.
  • Spaces on iOS are also getting some attention at the moment and we’re hoping to improve the user experience of Spaces on Mobile.

Element Android (website)

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

Danielle announces

  • The next release of Android (1.4.2) includes support for “@ room” and other usability defects you might have seen before… Fixes include steadying the notification badge in the room list, adding the correct interactions on bottom sheets, and opening a DM from the Space member list.
  • We’ve also been working on upgrading the voice message experience, adding improvements like scrubbing! Keep sending voice notes and let us know what other improvements we should make.
  • Our onboarding flow is also getting a new lick of paint. We want new users to our platform to have a simple and straight-forward experience when they’re creating an account.

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Populus Viewer (website)

A Social Annotation Tool Powered by Matrix

gleachkr says

Populus-Viewer

Over at Populus-Viewer, we're continuing to refine the UX, for maximum focus, efficiency and enjoyment. Since last time we've:

  1. Reworked the mobile view controls into a sidebar design.
  2. Improved the generation of highlight rectangles.
  3. Made sure that LaTeX and code listings are always displayed nicely
  4. Made it possible to modify text selections within a PDF using the keyboard
  5. Added "one-click" links for onboarding new users into a particular server, SSO flow and PDF collection.

We've also had some bug fixes related to federation, and had some of our first ever (maybe the first on matrix - first in the history of the universe?) federated social annotation sessions.

Populus-Philarchive

Populus-Philarchive, our proof-of-concept discussion overlay for preprint archives, now incorporates an OAI-PMH harvester, so it can aggregate OAI bibliographic metadata, and use that data for room creation and discovery. The implementation is pretty general, so it should be easy to tweak for any archive that supports OAI-PMH.

MSC3574

MSC3574 - marking up resources got some love this week, as we added a proposal for serializing annotations on matrix that ought to be compatible with the w3c web annotation data model. This paves the way for interoperability between the matrix annotation ecosystem and services like hypothes.is, and hopefully will make matrix a compelling option even for institutions where compliance with existing web standards is a must.

As always, if you'd like to chat about any of these developments, come visit us at #opentower:matrix.org !

Circles (website)

E2E encrypted social networking built on Matrix. Safe, private sharing for your friends, family, and community.

cvwright reports

The Circles beta on iOS continues inching toward a public release later this Spring.

  • This week I added support for infinite scrolling on timelines. (Previously, scrolling the timelines was very clunky -- the user had to manually tap a button to "Load More" every 10-15 posts.)
  • Also added a confirmation dialog when the user attempts to leave a group.

On Android, the prototype is coming along nicely, thanks to the efforts of our new developer Taras:

  • The login screen works
  • Currently working on implementing the timeline of social posts for groups

Dept of Widgets 🧩

Mjolnir Widget (website)

A widget for moderating with mjolnir. Highly WIP. Use at your own risk!

MTRNord (they/them) reports

In the last 2 weeks, I increasingly had to learn how to moderate rooms properly, which brought up a lack of nice Mjölnir gui for me. Due to that, I just started to write one. It is at the time of writing still fairly young.

The current features are:

  • An overview of the ban list data the user is in (Not for the specific Mjölnir currently. Also requires a user to have joined the list room)
  • A quick form to ban a person
  • A form to redact someone or a message

Planned features are:

  • Support for showing MSC1929 information if available
  • Writing a patch for Mjölnir, so the widget can know which banlist the bot watches, so only relevant lists show up.
  • Editing the banlist (aka unbanning)
  • Adding support for more advanced features like deactivation of users and removal of media on the matrix-media-repo.
  • Covering most of Mjölnir's commands
  • Redact on ban and similar utilities you might want while banning.

Small getting started (it is simple :D)

To use it, you simply can add it to your Mjölnir Admin room by putting /addwidget https://moderation_widget.nordgedanken.dev?room_id=$matrix_room_id (the variable will get replaced automatically) in the message bar and pressing enter. The widget runs entirely client side, so this is not sending any events to my server. If you still are concerned due to the big amount of permissions asked, you can just build it yourself and host it.

Code and Room

Code is at https://github.com/MTRNord/matrix-moderation-widget Room is at: #mjolnir-widget:nordgedanken.dev

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

mtxclient (website)

Client API library for Matrix, built on top of libcurl

Nico reports

You know what would be embarrassing? If changing the version number of something broke Nheko... Well, completely unrelated, mtxclient 0.6.2 is out now which fixes an issue where it would aggressively validate that version numbers started with an 'r'. Otherwise that release is API and ABI compatible, so if packagers could pick that up as a bugfix release into stable releases, that would be great!

Matrix-Rust-SDK-Bot-Framework-Helper (website)

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

MTRNord (they/them) says

0.3.1

A small update was released, merging 2 month old PRs.

The changes are mainly features being now deactivated because we did not actually use them and fixing the example in one case. No updates to dependencies.

0.4.0

Dependencies have been updated to the newest versions.

Dept of Ops 🛠

andrewsh reports

The distribution-provided Debian packages for Synapse will only be provided for Bookworm (in testing/unstable) and Bullseye (in bullseye-backports). If you’re still using Buster (through buster-backports-sloppy), consider switching to Bullseye or, alternatively, to packages provided by the Synapse upstream. 1.52.0 is the last version to be provided for Buster through the backports repository.

saces reports

I did not find a docker container to ease/automate synapse and postgres maintenance, so I started one: https://gitlab.com/mb-saces/synatainer

Dept of Bots 🤖

reMarkable

Paul announces

I saw an interesting (to me) reMarkable telegram bot somewhere. But I prefer matrix and node.js was more difficult to deploy on embedded. So I wrote a reMarkable matrix bot in Go. https://gitlab.com/ptman/remarkable-matrix

matrix-ukraine-donation-bot

krazykirby99999 says

A Matrix chat bot to send donation links to aid Ukraine in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Setup

Install Python 3.8 or higher

Install python-poetry

python -m pip install poetry

Clone Repository

git clone https://github.com/KrazyKirby99999/matrix-ukraine-donation-bot.git

Install Dependencies

cd matrix-ukraine-donation-bot
python -m poetry install

Usage:

Set environment variables

HOMESERVER=https://matrix.org
USERNAME=matrix-ukraine-donation-bot
PASSWORD=password # or ACCESS_TOKEN=syt_...

Run main.py

python -m poetry run python main.py

Example:

Matrix Community Manager (website)

Looking for a bot to manage events and feedback from your community?

Sleuth reports

Looking for a bot to manage events and feedback from your community?

MCM an information bot. It manages the flow of information between community leaders and their community.

It aggregates messages from community members in several ways.

  • A @ mention. You can mention the bot with a message.
  • A Direct Message. Members of your community can message this bot privately.
  • hash tags. Using hash tags members of your community can send messages tagged to go to a specific back room.

You as an administrator of the bot can send timed announcements to any room using the built in matrix administration interface. You can also manage tags, add and remove admin of the bot, add automatic replies and more. All from the comforts of your Matrix client.

If you have any questions or want help please join #Matrix-Community-Manager:matrix.org Docs and installation guide can be found here

Dept of Ping 🏓

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server.

#ping:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1maescool.be346
22808.nl387.5
3envs.net394
4converser.eu405
5carnot.cc518
6reactos.org519.5
7plocki.ddns.net556
8mozilla.org590
9matrix.fomin.site660.5
10adminctrl.com699

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1conduit.cyberdi.sk197
2rcp.tf224.5
3conduit.grich.sk234
4nognu.de261
5cry.is319.5
6sspaeth.de466
7matrix.sum7.eu485
8dendrite.neilalexander.dev565
9rustybever.be614
10matrix.awesomesheep48.me720.5

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2022-02-18

18.02.2022 18:46 — This Week in Matrix Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

Dept of Spec 📜

TravisR announces

Hello everyone! It's me, not-anoa, here with your weekly spec update. I finally got the scripts to run which means you get a proper update once again (yay).

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

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

New MSCs:

Closed MSCs:

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, we've been looking at unblocking MSC3440: Threads so it can make a smooth journey into acceptance. This involves quite a lot of work to ensure that the features we're concerned about are addressed, but so far the FCP progress on it is looking good.

We're also spending a bunch of time working out what room version 10 looks like to try and fix some usability issues with join rules and general maintenance of things like power levels. The hope is that in time for Matrix 1.3 we'll have v10 out (but not made default) for folks to experiment with.

Random MSC of the week

Your random MSC is MSC2974: Widgets: Capabilities re-exchange. I swear it was actually random and only after running the script exactly once. The MSC is interesting because it allows widgets (a feature working its way into the general spec, slowly) to ask for more permissions when they need them. This ensures the widget doesn't need to ask for everything at startup (which is more likely to mean that it gets rejected), and that it can maintain a clean security state during normal operation.

One day it'll probably make it into the spec as part of the larger widget movement, but first we need to get widgets into the spec properly.

The Graph

Numbers only mean so much, and graphs show progress. Here's the breakdown of MSCs over time:

Of note

If you look carefully at the OpenAPI viewer, you might notice a dropdown for not-client-server APIs 👀. There's still work to be done to bring on the missing APIs, but this is in a place where it can be experimented with. Thanks to Alexandre Franke for getting this over the line :)

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

Brendan Abolivier reports

This week we've released Synapse 1.53.0rc1, which includes a bunch of new features, improvements, and other niceties... But more on that next week when we release Synapse 1.53.0 🙂 As usual, we're super grateful for anyone that helps us test release candidates by running them with their homeservers! Please report any breakage or feedback in #synapse:matrix.org

Apart from this we have been continuing our experimentations with Poetry to better manage our dependencies in our Python projects after we switched Sydent to it last week. We're already starting to see improvements off the back of this work, such as automated security PRs and an opportunity to centralise our automated workflows to better reuse them in our projects (see https://github.com/matrix-org/backend-meta). We look forward to bringing all this goodness to Synapse soon!

See you next week! 😀

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Helm Chart (website)

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace says

And my Helm Chart updates are still happening, also now listed on Artifact Hub for easier discovery. This week saw several element-web updates, finally ending on 1.10.4

Dept of Clients 📱

Nheko (website)

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

Nico says

Is using Nheko a bit of a pain on your PinePhone? Do you just want bubbles in your chat app, not raw lines of text? Does Nheko waste too much space on timestamps and other metadata for messages?

Well, I am assuming Malte was annoyed by that or similar reasons. But in the end, they did spend a lot of effort reorganizing the way Nheko layouts messages so that people can have bubbles. This should make Nheko feel much more at home on the PinePhone and it seems like they are doing even more to make Nheko a great experience on mobile devices! But just look at it yourself:

If you are scared now and you think: "This is not the Nheko I came to love!", don't worry, all of this is optional. You can play around with the different avatar sizes as well as the bubbles themselves. You can even make Nheko look like it always looked!

There will be some regressions though. If you want to contribute, it would help a lot if you test those changes and report issues that you find! <3

Apart from that, there were also a lot of other bugfixes and cleanups by various contributors. You can also hide events by type now. If you don't want to see stickers or when someone joins a room, just disable that in the room settings! Tastytea implemented that. Long usernames should now also no longer overflow the profile pages and you can reset the state for a single room using the /reset-state /command. This is helpful when updating Nheko to use widgets, but Nheko just threw those events away (or pinned messages or other state events).

That's all, have a wonderful bubbly day!

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

kittykat reports

Hello and welcome back to another week at Element!

Location Sharing

  • As of this week, Location Sharing is now available by default for users on all platforms, except desktop where you can receive but not send locations.
  • We’re starting work on the next stage, which is to enable live location sharing, and ‘pin dropping’ where you can pick any location on a map to share.

Threads

  • Threads are now live in Labs on all Element platforms!
    • Please remember this feature is experimental; let us know your feedback and report any bugs as we continue to improve.
  • The teams on all platforms are working hard on improving the stability and performance of Threads.

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

kittykat says

  • The new search experience came out this week, you can enable it in Beta to try it out! We are collecting feedback from users to inform upcoming improvements.
  • We’re working hard on smashing bugs and reducing the number of defects.

Element iOS (website)

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

kittykat announces

  • Along with closing bugs, we’re working hard on adding finesse to our app and removing some of those “papercut” issues that users experience.
    • Keep your eyes peeled for updates and let us know what you think!
  • Our first time user experience is being updated also. We’ve introduced new splash screens to help introduce Element. Don’t panic! You can skip straight to “sign-in” if this isn’t for you.
  • A new spinner is here… While we work on the speed and performance of the app we’ve introduced a new spinner that does not get in your way while you work.

Element Android (website)

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

kittykat says

  • Bugs and Papercuts… Our app is getting some love from our developer team as we try to reduce confusion and simplify flows throughout the app.
    • Keep an eye out for any small changes and let us know what you think!
  • Creating a new account in Element can be intimidating for new users, especially those who aren’t familiar with Matrix. We’re introducing new screens and simplifying our questions so that users can sign up with confidence!
    • If you have any feedback, or want to share your thoughts on our first time user experience, get in touch.
  • A new layout option hit our app this week: Message Bubbles! If you’re used to seeing inbound messages on the right, and outgoing messages on the left this might be for you. You can access the new appearance option from Settings.

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Beeper media viewer

tulir says

I wrote a small web app thing that can download, decrypt and display Matrix media in a browser. The goal is to use it in the Android SMS bridge for sending attachments that are too big for MMS, but it might be useful for other things too.

Currently it consists of the web frontend, a maubot plugin to generate links, and a small server that stores file metadata (so the URLs just contain the decryption key and a short ID to find the metadata on the server). I'll probably continue working on the exact URL format to make it shorter and to encrypt the metadata, and maybe also add an alternative mode where all info is included in the URL to make the server component optional.

You can try it out by sending files in an encrypted room with @media:maunium.net. It'll reply with a link like https://media.mau.chat/AGIPyjtJQAU#KHBwuZFrv1ffCd4ZUylo8MV03P9N4sz2T75zLi1Urcw

The code can be found at https://gitlab.com/beeper/media-viewer

Cactus Comments (website)

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

Asbjørn says

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

Another small-ish release for the client: v0.12.0

This update introduces a new UI for the login form.

Here's the changelog:

  • Re-structure login form to more clearly separate matrix.to links from direct login.
  • Require user id (e.g. @alice:example.com) instead of username. Only show homeserver url field if .well-known lookup fails.
  • Add top-right "X" button to close login modal.
  • Login modal now closes when you press outside it.
  • Fix some CSS bugs related to positioning the login form in viewport center.
  • Make LoginForm a stateful component.

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

Try out a live demo: cactus.chat/demo

Join our Matrix room: #cactus:cactus.chat

Dept of Ops 🛠

f0x says

I worked on adapting the NixOS module for Synapse to support worker deployments. It's a great reproducible deployment method, and super easy to configure. My module is perhaps less quality than the rest of the chain, but it's pretty neat to define your whole Matrix deployment like this: https://git.pixie.town/f0x/nixos/src/branch/synapse-workers/nodes/cosmos/containers/synapse-workers.nix#L60 and have Nix figure out all the systemd units and nginx routes that have to be added

Full Nix code for the module is at https://git.pixie.town/f0x/nixos/src/branch/synapse-workers/common/modules/synapse pictured is the ping stat for a little test deployment with 8 federation senders :P

Dandellion dares

do tell your about publishing my NixOS module for workers in a git repository as well then 👀? https://github.com/dali99/nixos-matrix-modules

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy (website)

Matrix server setup using Ansible and Docker

Slavi says

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy now supports installing the matrix_encryption_disabler Synapse module (details here), which homeserver admins can use to prevent End-to-End-Encryption from being enabled by users on their homeserver. The popular opinion is that this is dangerous and shouldn't be done, but there are valid use cases for disabling encryption discussed in this Synapse issue.

Dept of Services 🚀

etke.cc (website)

Your matrix server on your conditions

Aine reports

🎉 Today marks 1 year of the etke.cc! 🎉

During that year, we did:

  • Pushed 234 updates and enhancements to the automation framework used as the service core
  • Integrated 17 additional components to the matrix stack
  • Developed 5 bots and tools to extend matrix capabilities
  • Installed 92 new matrix servers
  • Helped 172 people and organizations to achieve their goals in the matrix
  • Posted 74 updates in the announcements room

Some history:

  • the project (not service yet) started on February 12, 2021
  • the first installed server was etke.cc itself (yes, etke.cc homeserver is a customer of etke.cc service from the day 1)
  • the second installed server was a chatbot, that uses matrix as a platform to interact with users across different chat networks (Telegram, WhatsApp, Signal, etc.) - one API to rule them all.
  • In May 2021 the service was published globally

#news:etke.cc | #discussion:etke.cc

Dept of Bots 🤖

matrix-wordle (website)

An implementation of the popular Wordle game for the Matrix Protocol.

krazykirby99999 reports

An implementation of the popular Wordle game for the Matrix Protocol.

Source: Github Repository

Made with simplematrixbotlib

Setup

Install Python 3.8 or higher

Install python-poetry

python -m pip install poetry

Clone Repository

git clone https://github.com/KrazyKirby99999/matrix-wordle.git

Install Dependencies

cd matrix-wordle
python -m poetry install

Usage:

Set environment variables

HOMESERVER=https://matrix.org
USERNAME=wordle-bot
PASSWORD=password # or ACCESS_TOKEN=syt_...

Run main.py

python -m poetry run python main.py

Example:

Dept of Interesting Projects 🛰️

TravisR reports

After a few years, matrix-room-directory-server has finally gotten an upgrade to modern times. Intended to eventually be a standalone directory server (making vanity aliases possible, but otherwise not functional as a homeserver), it currently only supports overriding the federation /publicRooms endpoint.

The changes made today are to replace the old, broken, appservice-backed approach with a space-backed approach. You can see this in action on t2bot.io: querying the room directory over federation will hit the room directory server, which is watching #directory:t2bot.io in the background to determine which rooms to serve.

Dept of Guides 🧭

minecraftchest1 says

Hay y'all. I created a blog post about how to host element and matrix .well-known files using cloudflare pages that I thought might be worth sharing. Have a few kinks to work out regarding CORS (might need to clean my browsers cache) though. https://minecraftchest1.wordpress.com/2022/02/17/hosting-element-and-matrix-well-known-files-with-cloudflare-pages/ https://matrix.to/#/#minecraftchest1-blog-matrix-elemet-cloudflare:matrix.org

Dept of Ping 🏓

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server.

#ping:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1workers2.pixie.town270.5
2matrix.org320
3neko.dev345
4magdeburg.jetzt427
5koyax.org491
6jae.fi565
7wuks.space664
8fachschaften.org703
9balsillie.net704
10matrix.sp-codes.de743.5

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1nognu.de210
2rustybever.be262.5
3cry.is299
4matrix.org322.5
5conduit.grich.sk331
6dendrite.grin.hu568
7conduit.rs613.5
8matrix.sum7.eu635.5
9dendrite.s3cr3t.me896
10dendrite.matrix.org1430

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2022-02-11

11.02.2022 19:28 — This Week in Matrix Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

Dept of Spec 📜

anoa announces

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

MSC Status

New MSCs:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

MSCs with newly proposed Final Comment Period:

Closed MSCs:

Spec Updates

MSC3440 (threading) continues to move forward with a proposed final comment period this week. As a really useful feature in Matrix, it's great to see it getting closer to landing in the spec.

In a similar vein, MSC3613 (combinatorial join rules) had a proposed final comment period. The intention of this is to be a simple mechanism for resolving the "it's not possible to have both a restricted and knock room" situation - as both introduced mutually exclusive join rules. This MSC will likely serve as the basis of a new room version whenever it lands.

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC3144: Allow Widgets By Default in Private Rooms!

This MSC makes the case for allowing widgets to be created in private rooms by default. The actual spec for it is blocked behind having widgets in the spec (see this tracking PR if you're interested).

As noted in the PR though, this MSC could build on the existing im.vector.modular.widgets unstable prefix for widgets in order to create an implementation for this feature. It does not appear to have happened yet though.

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

callahad announces

Hello, TWIM! This week we released Synapse 1.52, which includes new Admin APIs for monitoring federation status and immediately retrying failed connections, as well as for reporting on rooms shared between two homeservers. We've also fixed / improved media previews for sites like Reddit. Plus lots more fixes / refactors / improvements under the hood.

This is a smaller release as it's coming off of our FOSDEM sprint, but we look forward to getting back to more regularly-sized and featureful Synapses this month.

Notably, we've been experimenting with Poetry to better manage Python dependencies in our applications (Synapse, Sygnal, and Sydent). We just switched Sydent over this week and are working out the kinks in our CI and build pipelines. We're looking forward to bringing this consistency to Synapse next month!

See you next week!

Dendrite (website)

Second generation Matrix homeserver

neilalexander reports

Yesterday we released Dendrite 0.6.3 which is a primarily bug fix release. It contains the following changes:

  • Initial support for m.login.token
  • A number of regressions from earlier v0.6.x versions should now be corrected
  • Missing state is now correctly retrieved in cases where a gap in the timeline was closed but some of those events were missing state snapshots, which should help to unstick slow or broken rooms
  • Fixed a transaction issue where inserting events into the database could deadlock, which should stop rooms from getting stuck
  • Fixed a problem where rejected events could result in rolled back database transactions
  • Avoided a potential race condition on fetching latest events by using the room updater instead
  • Processing events from /get_missing_events will no longer result in potential recursion
  • Federation events are now correctly generated for updated self-signing keys and signed devices
  • Rejected events can now be un-rejected if they are reprocessed and all of the correct conditions are met
  • Fetching missing auth events will no longer error as long as all needed events for auth were satisfied
  • Users can now correctly forget rooms if they were not a member of the room

As always, please feel free to join us in #dendrite:matrix.org for more Dendrite-related discussions!

Conduit (website)

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

Timo ⚡️ says

Conduit v0.3.0 released last week and over 50 servers already upgraded! This week we looked into some bugs that still happen with this version:

  • Element Android doesn't show notifications: A bug where we send 'null' instead of leaving out a field https://github.com/matrix-org/sygnal/issues/295
  • Missing profiles when scrolling up: Bug in multiple clients: https://gitlab.com/famedly/conduit/-/issues/233

These bugs will be fixed in the coming days.

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Helm Chart (website)

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace announces

This week saw more updates to my Helm Charts as usual; matrix-synapse is now at 1.52.0

Dendrite Helm Chart (website)

Helm Chart to deploy Dendrite on Kubernetes

jonnobrow reports

I am pleased to share that both v2 and v3 of the Dendrite Helm Chart have now been released.

Dendrite Helm Chart v2

Version 2 included a bump in app version up to v0.6.0 and the necessary switch from Kafka to NATS.

Dendrite Helm Chart v3

Version 3 includes the addition of polylith support as well as some general improvements and fixes.

You can find the latest version of the chart and documentation on GitHub

Thanks to @anthr76:mozilla.org and @s7evink:matrix.org for their support throughout the development of polylith mode.

Dept of Clients 📱

Neochat (website)

A client for matrix, the decentralized communication protocol

Carl Schwan announces

NeoChat 22.02 is out with the possibility of sharing files directly from NeoChat to other apps and services (Nextcloud, Imgur, email, ...). We also added support for minimizing the application to the system tray on startup and you can now label accounts to better organize them if you are using the multi-account feature. Aside from that, we spend some time fixing many small bugs and paper cuts reducing the total amount of open bug reports by 20%.

https://plasma-mobile.org/2022/02/09/plasma-mobile-gear-22-02/#neochat

Hydrogen (website)

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

Bruno announces

We've release 0.2.26. You can now create rooms and direct messages with Hydrogen. There's also a bug fix in this release for replies not loading in e2ee rooms under certain conditions.

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

Danielle announces

Welcome to another week of TWIM at Element! Here’s our updates:

Polls and Location Sharing

  • Polls is now out of labs, and available in the composer for all users with the latest app versions.
  • Location sharing is available on the mobile apps. For now you will need to enable it in settings in order to see the composer icon and send your location. As of next week’s releases it will be enabled by default on all platforms.

Threads

  • Threads aims to reduce cross-talk on the timeline by moving side-convo’s to the right panel. If you want to try it out, it's available in Labs on Web today and in Labs on Mobile from next week!
  • We’ve been working on improving the stability and speed of threads across platforms.

Community Testing

  • Join#element-community-testing:matrix.org to join us for future testing sessions!

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

Danielle announces

  • Metaspaces have landed! Giving users a new way to display favourites, DMs and rooms outside of other spaces. Switch these on in Quick Settings at the bottom left of your app.
  • New and improved Search! We’re pleased to move the new search experience into Beta. Head to Settings > Labs to access it.
    • Those of you using Nightly or Develop will see the new experience by default.
    • Provide feedback on your experience directly from the Search window.
  • On Web we’ve also been chasing away some bugs, specifically desynced memberlist and stale display names.

In Labs (Enable labs features in settings on develop.element.io or Nightly)

  • Threads: The MSC is available here MSC3440

J. Ryan Stinnett announces

Thanks to everyone who tested the maximised widgets feature which was recently added to Element Web. It received a sudden burst of attention as part of the FOSDEM conference. 😄 This week we've been fine tuning the feature to ensure it works for more workflows, and we've also cleaned up various associated widget bugs. In particular, in the develop version of Element Web, the pin and maximise actions are more consistent accessible, so you can toggle between pinned and maximised if e.g. you're in a conference room and temporarily want the stream widget to be larger while still having access to the chat timeline.

Next week we'll be focusing more on our Matrix-native collaborative document plans.

Element iOS (website)

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

Doug says

  • The next update of iOS (1.8.0) will have improved emoji reactions and location sharing will be on by default!
    • We will also be releasing fixes to the incorrect scrolling on the timeline and home screen sorting.
  • Work on a Rust prototype is also underway. We’re excited to learn about the opportunities and advantages of this approach as we start to learn and experiment.

In Labs

  • From next week Threads will be available in Labs on Mobile. Switch it on and try it out!

Element Android (website)

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

adam reports

  • This version of the Android app (1.4.0) includes message bubbles and location sharing!
  • Also, notifications are back online! Some of our users were experiencing intermittent notifications when connected to wifi, but ‘tis no more.
  • We’ve also squashed a bunch of other bugs, our favourites include:
    • Welcoming back some font weights that had disappeared
    • Fixing statuses in the timeline for missed or rejected calls
    • Closing the “Invited to Space” dialog after you invited someone to the Space…

In Labs

  • Threads have landed in Labs. Switch it on and try it out!

Beeper (website)

All you chats in one app.

Brad Murray says

Beeper is a universal chat app built on top of Matrix. We've created 12+ open source Matrix bridges and integrated them into an easy to use all-in-one service which does not require setting up your own homeserver.

We’re excited to announce that as of today we are now out of Beta! We have been hard at work and we’re now ready to be sharing Beeper with a lot more people, starting first with the people we’ve built up on our waitlist.

For more details and demos on the current state of Beeper, including our recently rebuilt and relaunched iOS app, check out the update on our blog: https://blog.beeper.com/p/beeper-update-4-out-of-beta or watch the video below.

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Matrix Wrench (website)

Matrix Wrench is a web client to tweak Matrix rooms.

ChristianP announces

The new version contains two new features around the Synapse Admin API, making someone a room admin and listing all unencrypted media URLs.

I've had some good ideas on how to make Matrix Wrench cover more use cases while staying simple for both users and me as a developer. New components allow me to add new API endpoints in as little as 7 lines. So far this only applies to simple endpoints without parameters, like joining and leaving a room, but it can be expanded to more endpoints because of how similar all Matrix endpoints are. Props to the Spec! 🙌

Stay tuned for an editable UI coming soon™️.

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Trixnity (website)

Multiplatform Kotlin SDK for Matrix

Benedict says

Trixnity is now on version 1.1.7. Since 1.1.0 we have fixed many bugs and added some improvements and features. Our reference client runs amazingly reliable and fast thanks to Trixnity 🚀

Features and improvements:

  • support presence
  • support read receipts
  • support push notifications API
  • add Unknown to UserTrustLevel
  • basic support for relates_to field

Halcyon (website)

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

gen3 says

Version 1.1.1 released This was a quick bugfix release for a finding by jeffcasavant, in which joining a room with a predecessor, the bot could crash. Thanks Jeff!

If you missed it last week, I published a template / demo stock reporting bot you can find here: https://github.com/WesR/Halcyon-stock-bot . Short and sweet, this little bot should be a great starting point if your looking into making a bot. Make sure to also checkout the library itself for more examples, and usage information https://github.com/WesR/Halcyon.

I'm always looking for more feedback, and love to see what people are working on. Come hangout with us in the Halcyon room: https://matrix.to/#/#halcyon:blackline.xyz

Dept of Interesting Projects 🛰️

Pretix Matrix Plugin

Felix says

We have been using Matrix as a chat solution for the attendees of our biannual conference (KIF) and for new students during the introduction week, as well as Pretix to register attendants. Up until now the process to invite attendees to the corresponding Matrix Rooms and Spaces involved some curl and jq magic as well as manual intervention to connect both.

We have now replaced said manual process with a Pretix plugin that invites registered attendees to a configurable Matrix Room or Space. This plugin is now available on the Pretix marketplace or directly from its repository.

Gatho

Jake C announces

I'm excited to share a side-project I've been working on for the last ~3 months: Gatho (http://gatho.party) - a web app for hosting small gatherings.

Gatho is perfect as a replacement for Facebook Events for small social gatherings. I'm a 24 year old Australian who recently deleted Facebook - I've used Gatho for a few parties now and the guests have loved it!

Gatho includes a Matrix bot which, when added to a room, can synchronise RSVP emoji reactions to a linked Gatho event! See gatho.party/getting-started to hear how the Matrix synchronization works.

You can also create one-click RSVP links to send to your friends - no matter which chat/social app they use!

It's fully GDPR compliant and multi-region with an EU server and database, and uses NextAuth.js for passwordless authentication.

The Gatho website and bot is open source (AGPL-3.0) on Github, PRs and Github issues are very welcome! It's built using Next.js in Typescript.

I'd love to hear your feedback! Join the Matrix room at #gatho-events:matrix.gatho.party

Dept of Ping 🏓

Ping Room

tulir reports

The ping room has been upgraded to room v9. During the 452 days the previous (v6) ping room was alive, it received a total of 735997 org.matrix.dummy_events and 604459 m.room.message events.

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server.

#ping:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1neko.dev300
2catvibers.me325
3deuteronomiumcloud.com375.5
4thomcat.rocks396.5
5asra.gr400.5
6maunium.net408
7matrix.infra.reflect-media.de461
8matrix.ring-0.net480.5
9stefanberger.net487
10zehka.net650.5

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1conduit.supercable.onl101
2schuwi.science292
3dendrite.grin.hu361
4cry.is522.5
5nognu.de631.5
6conduit.cyberdi.sk730
7conduit.beckmeyer.us858
8matrix.awesomesheep48.me1164.5
9dendrite.matrix.org1216.5
10grin.hu3054

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2022-02-04

04.02.2022 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

Dept of oh hey it's FOSDEM

TravisR says

We've got a devroom. check it out. https://fosdem.org/2022/schedule/track/matrixorg_foundation_and_community

And let me add

You can join our devroom at #matrix-devroom:fosdem.org to watch all the talks, and our stand at #matrix-stand:fosdem.org

Dept of Spec 📜

anoa announces

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

MSC Status

New MSCs:

MSCs with proposed Final Comment Period:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

Abandoned MSCs:

Merged MSCs:

Spec Updates

Matrix v1.2 has landed! 🥳 Read the official announcement blogpost and check it out over at https://spec.matrix.org/v1.2/. This release includes headlining features such as Spaces, room versions 8 and 9 which bring restricted join rules, as well as the new Matrix URI scheme.

I'd also like to point out that v1.2 released on 2/2/2022 :)

Otherwise, thank you to aaronraimist and devonh from the community for their fixes to the spec's text that merged this week. They are highly appreciated!

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC3051: A scalable relation format!

This MSC proposes to pave a way to allowing relating an event to multiple other events, which unlocks some additional use cases. Go check it out if you're interested in extending Matrix's capabilities even further!

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

callahad announces

Synapse 1.52.0rc1 is out, but honestly, we're just all hands on deck for FOSDEM tomorrow! As a reminder, members of the Synapse team will be giving a couple of talks during at the event:

Be sure to check out all of the talks in the Matrix.org Foundation & Community devroom or visit the Matrix stand for more freeform discussion — we'll see you there!

Dendrite (website)

Second generation Matrix homeserver

neilalexander says

Today we've released Dendrite 0.6.1 which contains a number of fixes and improvements. This release includes the following changes:

  • Roomserver inputs now take place with full transactional isolation in PostgreSQL deployments
  • Pull consumers are now used instead of push consumers when retrieving messages from NATS to better guarantee ordering and to reduce redelivery of duplicate messages
  • Further logging tweaks, particularly when joining rooms
  • Improved calculation of servers in the room, when checking for missing auth/prev events or state
  • Dendrite will now skip dead servers more quickly when federating by reducing the TCP dial timeout
  • The key change consumers have now been converted to use native NATS code rather than a wrapper
  • Go 1.16 is now the minimum supported version for Dendrite
  • Local clients should now be notified correctly of invites
  • The roomserver input API now has more time to process events, particularly when fetching missing events or state, which should fix a number of errors from expired contexts
  • Fixed a panic that could happen due to a closed channel in the roomserver input API
  • Logging in with uppercase usernames from old installations is now supported again (contributed by hoernschen)
  • Federated room joins now have more time to complete and should not fail due to expired contexts
  • Events that were sent to the roomserver along with a complete state snapshot are now persisted with the correct state, even if they were rejected or soft-failed

Spec compliance, as measured by Sytest, currently sits at:

  • Client-server APIs: 65%
  • Server-server APIs: 94%

As always, you can join us in #dendrite:matrix.org for Dendrite discussion and announcements.

Conduit (website)

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

Timo ⚡️ says

Hey everyone, this evening we will finally release the next Conduit version: v0.3

If you have questions about anything, come and ask us in #conduit:fachschaften.org

We have managed to get a lot of features and improvements into this release, here are some of the most exciting ones:

  • Feature: Support server ACLs !248

  • Feature: RocksDB Database Backend !217

  • Feature: Database backend selection at runtime !217

  • Feature: Report users to homeserver admin !218

  • Feature: Creation of Spaces (exploring spaces is not supported yet) !220

  • Feature: Enable voice calls (requires configuring a TURN server) !208

  • Feature: Lazy loading for much faster initial syncs !240

  • Improvement: Batch inserts for events !204

  • Improvement: Significantly faster state resolution !217

  • Improvement: Reuse reqwest client !265

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Dendrite Helm (website)

This chart creates a polylith, where every component is in its own deployment and requires a Postgres server aswell as a NATS JetStream server.

Till F. reports

Hi TWIM followers :)

dendrite-helm is an experimental Helm Chart to deploy a polylith/monolith Server.

After last weeks release of Dendrite 0.6.0, I finally updated my Helm Chart to finally reflect that.

Changes:

  • Versioned releases (no morelatest docker tags or such)
  • locmai added dependencies (NATS JetStream, Postgres)
  • Update README (helm-docs)

Special thanks to locmai, who added the missing dependencies!

Chart

Dept of Clients 📱

Nheko (website)

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

Nico reports

It's FOSDEM! Don't forget to checkout my 5 min ramble about custom stickers and emotes in Matrx: https://fosdem.org/2022/schedule/event/matrix_custom_stickers/

In preparation for FOSDEM, I've also been working on some goodies so that you can participate using Nheko in a limited manner:

  • Previews for rooms are now fetched for spaces using the hierarchy API
  • Widgets for the talks should be shown below the topic as links

While this isn't grand, it should be good enough for some to participate using Nheko. You will need the latest master (some commits aren't even pushed at the time of writing!), but if you are just watching, this should give you an easy way to fetch the talk link for each room. You will still have to watch the actual talk in your browser though.

LorenDB also added a big, fat, red offline indicator. If your server dies because of FOSDEM, now Nheko will tell you.

I hope you all will have a great time and I hope I see you around!

Moment (website)

A Matrix client; forked from Mirage.

@maze:mazie.rocks announces

Releasing Moment, a fork of Mirage! In case you missed out on Mirage, here's what this is:

  • A fancy QML + Python client aimed at power users
  • Keyboard bindings for almost everything
  • Very customizable, with ability to adjust any keybinding/functionality
  • A multi-account client
  • Adjusts to any screen size

After 6 months of inactivity on the Mirage project, Moment brings it back to life. We have fixed some important issues and will continue to maintain Moment!

🏠 Matrix room: #moment-client:matrix.org

📁 Repo: https://gitlab.com/mx-moment/moment 🌐 Website: mx-moment.xyz 🔍 Differences between Mirage and Moment

🛠 Install Moment from source 📦 Install Moment from Flatpak ⛰ Install Moment on Alpine Linux

Hydrogen (website)

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

Bruno announces

🎺 We've released Hydrogen 0.2.24 and 0.2.25 with session backup writing and some bug fixes! From now on you shouldn't need to have another client running along hydrogen for keys to be written to the key backup!

Bruno adds

We've also just released 0.0.5 of the hydrogen-view-sdk with very early support for registration and exporting more symbols.

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

Danielle reports

Welcome to another week of TWIM at Element! Here’s our updates:

Polls and Location Sharing

  • Polls is now out of labs, and available in the composer for all users with the latest app versions.
  • Location sharing is also now available on the mobile apps. For now you will need to enable it in settings in order to see the composer icon and send your location.

Threads

  • Threaded Messaging is making forward progress on all 3 platforms; we’re aiming to help clear up cross-talk on the timeline by moving side-convo’s to the right panel. If you want to try it out, it's available in Labs on Web. We’ll be pushing Threads into Labs on Mobile in the next release!

Community Testing

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

Danielle says

  • Bubbles are now available! Keeping your inbound messages on the left, and your outbound messages on the right your timeline should now be easier to skim read. This layout is off by default but to see it in action, update your Message Layout appearance preferences from Settings.
  • Metaspaces have landed! Giving users a new way to display favourites, DMs and rooms outside of other spaces. Switch these on in Quick Settings at the bottom left of your app.

In Labs (Enable labs features in settings on develop.element.io or Nightly)

  • New and improved Search!
    • Provide feedback on your experience directly from the Search window.
  • Threads, including design updates. The MSC is available hereMSC3440

Element iOS (website)

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

Manu reports

  • We’ve been working hard on improving the startup and resume times, you should start to see these in your app in 1.7.0.
  • Work on a Rust prototype is underway. We’re excited to learn about the opportunities and advantages of this approach as we start to learn and experiment.
  • Also, Xcode13 & iOS15 compatibility has been added for developers
  • Coming soon in 1.8.0! Bubbles and an improved Onboarding experience
    • Threads will also be hitting Labs on Mobile soon so let us know what you think.

Element Android (website)

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

Danielle announces

  • A hotfix (1.3.18) on Android will fix some bugs we found in this week’s release.
  • Bubbles will also be landing soon, you can find this new feature in Settings > Preferences > Timeline. The feature has been merged to develop if you want to give it a try!
  • Threads have also been merged on develop.
  • We’ve been making improvements to the Onboarding experience for new users too.

In Labs

  • Threads will soon be in Labs on Mobile. Switch it on and try it out!

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Populus Viewer (website)

A Social Annotation Tool Powered by Matrix

gleachkr says

Viewer Updates

Here's a big populus viewer update! Since last time, I've been mostly working on improving the user experience and onboarding for non-experts, as well as making my teaching-assistant bot a little smarter - this work is ongoing. But I have had time for a few new features 😁

  • Populus now implements MSC3592 - Markup locations for PDF documents, a proposal building on MSC3574 - Marking up resources, so there's a documented format for interoperable PDF annotations (though this is not the final draft, see below!)
  • I've reworked the sidebar for the PDF view, improving the aesthetics and allowing for a "fullscreen" view of PDF content.
  • I've added user-directory search and improved the usability of the invite modal.

The reason that MSC3574 is not a final draft is that I'm increasingly looking at the w3c's web annotation data model as a compelling foundation for annotations on Matrix. Stay tuned for a upcoming MSC, or come over to #opentower:matrix.org to talk about the future of annotation on Matrix!

Populus-Philarchive

I've also been working on a proof-of-concept for one Matrix use-case that I'm hoping Populus can help fill. Social annotation can be a good tool for getting feedback on works in progress, or for discussing new research with your team or lab. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just pop open a paper on a preprint archive and start commenting, or say "hey friends, I'm reading this paper, what do you think?" And wouldn't it be nicer if you could do that and host the discussion on your university or team's Matrix server?

Here's a first pass at that idea: https://opentower.github.io/populus-philarchive/

At the moment works by just pasting in paper codes from philarchive.org - it'll preview bibliographic information and give you a list of discussions taking place around a given paper, with the option to create a new one. Sessions are shared with populus-viewer, and pdfs continue to be hosted by the original archive. There are a number of clear upgrade paths, by integrating with a preprint archive that has an open search API, or even by adding an OAI-PMH metadata harvester to the backend, to combine the metadata from a bunch of open paper archives. I'm really excited to see where this work goes.

nehko-krunner (website)

A KRunner plugin to list joined rooms and possibly other things from nheko.

LorenDB announces

I have been working on a little project over the last week: nheko-krunner. nheko-krunner is a KRunner plugin that loads rooms from nheko, displays them to the user, and allows the user to activate said rooms. How does it do this? Well, I've also been creating a D-Bus API for nheko! This code has not been merged yet, but once it is, you will be able to create your own plugins that access nheko via D-Bus!

The current functionality of nheko-krunner is simply (1) search and switch to rooms that you are in (not unlike the Ctrl-K switcher), and (2) join rooms from their aliases.

If you want to try out nheko-krunner, you will need to build from the dbus branch in my personal fork of nheko and then install nheko-krunner from the above repo.

I hope that somebody finds this useful and I am excited to see what other D-Bus plugins may show up in the future!

Matrix Wrench (website)

Matrix Wrench is a web client to tweak Matrix rooms.

ChristianP announces

The versions 0.4.x brought improvements to the network log, letting you spot and investigate HTTP errors, bad JSON and network errors.

Ideally, I want to focus as much on the Matrix Spec as possible, but for the v0.5.0 I might venture into the territory of the Synapse Admin API, e.g. for listing and deleting media in a room. Please contact me, if you have use cases around media moderation you'd like me to consider.

export matrix messages (website)

A commandline utility to export matrix messages

Aine reports

emm (export matrix messages) v0.9.4 is here

Now you can ignore messages from some users, defined in the -i cli argument.

For example, to ignore TWIM bot and me, -i @twim:cadair.com,@aine:etke.cc

Source code

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Halcyon (website)

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

gen3 announces

No new release this week. I've been working on the video sending functionality, and I am looking forward to seeing what that enables ya'll to do! In the meantime, I've published a template / demo bot you can find here: https://github.com/WesR/Halcyon-stock-bot . In just 37 lines of (unminified) code, this little bot:

  • Sets a status message
  • Automatically joins rooms via invite
  • Searches messages for $stocks mentioned, then formats and replies the current price and daily percent change for all the tickers in the message Screenshot below

I'm always looking for more feedback, and love to see what people are working on. Come hangout in the Halcyon room: https://matrix.to/#/#halcyon:blackline.xyz Lastly, for more info at on the bot library visit https://github.com/WesR/Halcyon Happy Hacking!

Polyjuice (website)

Elixir libraries related to the Matrix communications protocol.

uhoreg announces

The Polyjuice Project has a new component: Polyjuice Client Test, a tool for testing Matrix clients. Each test has its own preconfigured homeserver environment, implemented using the Polyjuice Server library, and can be customized according to the needs of the test. Only a few tests are implemented so far, but many more are planned, initially focusing on testing functionality related to end-to-end encryption. You can see a demo of it in the Matrix Live video.

Dept of Ops 🛠

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy (website)

Matrix server setup using Ansible and Docker

Slavi says

Thanks to HarHarLinks, matrix-docker-ansible-deploy can now install the matrix-hookshot bridge for bridging Matrix to multiple project management services, such as GitHub, GitLab and JIRA.

See our Setting up matrix-hookshot documentation to get started.

Matrix Corporal (website)

reconciliator and gateway for a managed Matrix server

Slavi says

matrix-corporal (as of version 2.2.3) is now published to Docker Hub (see devture/matrix-corporal) as a multi-arch container image with support for all these platforms: linux/amd64, linux/arm64/v8 and linux/arm/v7. Users on these ARM architectures no longer need to build matrix-corporal manually.

Dept of Bots 🤖

Honoroit (website)

A Matrix helpdesk bot

Aine announces

Honoroit v0.9.4 is here!

New version comes with in-memory caching for thread relations. It significantly decreases amount of requests to homeserver during thread relations solving, both for MSC3440 threads and reply-to chain fallback

Source code, say hi in #honoroit:etke.cc

Dept of Social Media?

matrix-art (website)

A Deviantart Fork based on Matrix

MTRNord (they/them) says

This week the focus was on fixing quirks and making the profile (at least partially) editable and adding translations.

Changes

  • Fonts now get hosted on the page itself due to the legal issues in Germany with Google Fonts hosted fonts
  • Profile page has a rough UI to edit the profile page if logged in
  • Licence gets now correctly displayed according to the Creative Commons Licence requirements
  • Initial work on translations has started. A Weblate instance has been set up at https://trans.nordgedanken.dev for this.
  • German translation was added
  • Progress on the HS side to be able to use it as a public registration server for anyone who wants to post to Matrix Art. (yes, this really has a public registration HS)
    • Mjölnir instance is set up which also is used to moderate Matrix Art in complete (Aka it is joining on creation.) This is used for being able to moderate the website.
  • Errors are now properly reported to the user

Dept of Interesting Projects 🛰️

ChatStat (website)

An R package To Gather Stats From Chat Platforms

Gwmngilfen announces

ChatStat 0.1.0 release

ChatStat is an R package for making reports on Matrix rooms.

Ahead of my lightning talk on Sunday, ChatStat has been polished up and given it's first release. You can get it here. Huge thanks to @johrpan:johrpan.de for their contributions too.

The main highlight since my last TWIM is that we actually have report generation now! You can see an example here, or check the project wiki for an example of using the raw data with ggplot2 to make custom plots of your own.

If you do give it a try, please stop by #matrix-matrix_chat_stat:fosdem.org to let us know how you got on!

Matrix in the News 📰

Carl Schwan says

The season 2 of Raising Dion (a Netflix TV show) featured shortly a video call with Riot/Element and a few other open source software (e.g. Karbon). Oh and you might recognize a few usernames in the sidebar 😅

Moe (Moritz Dietz) announces

Circles has made it into a small German speaking Apple News site/App called ifun.de. „Circles-App: Neue alte Ideen für private soziale Netzwerke“ https://www.iphone-ticker.de/circles-app-neue-ideen-fuer-private-soziale-netzwerke-185764/ There wasn’t a mention of Matrix - which is kind of exciting really. This means it can just be the transparent layer of great apps :)

Dept of Ping 🏓

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server.

#ping:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1neko.dev315
2envs.net579
3sosnowkadub.de822
4maescool.be1004.5
5aria-net.org1621
6utzutzutz.net1689
7rollyourown.xyz2247
8trygve.me2293.5
9midnightthoughts.space3045.5
10diasp.in3441

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1rustybever.be899.5
2nognu.de947
3schuwi.science992
4conduit.cyberdi.sk1203.5
5dendrite01.fiksel.info1871
6dendrite.neilalexander.dev12309

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2022-01-28

28.01.2022 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

Dept of Matrix.org?

Thib reports

Kudos to Aaron for adding a GitHub action to matrix.org's repository to check for typos, and taking the time to fix them all! Worry not fellow proofreaders, our post-publication TWIM proofreading tradition is not extinct: some typos are not caught by the CI, such as misspelling of proper nouns (e.g. Devianart) or articles (e.g. "an proofreader" won't make the CI upset)

Alexandre Franke says

May be worth mentioning that Aaron added the same thing to matrix-doc so spec changes and MSCs get the same treatment.

Dept of Spec 📜

anoa says

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

MSC Status

In terms of MSC updates this past week:

New MSCs:

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs currently in Final Comment Period:

Spec Updates

The release of Matrix v1.2 is right around the corner, and is expected to go out on February 2nd. This is in line with our quarterly release cycle for the spec going forwards.

Please reach out to us in #sct-office:matrix.org if there are any last-minute MSCs that haven't started/finished Final Comment Period that you believe should be included!

Otherwise there was a lot of discussion surrounding MSC2781: Remove the reply fallbacks from the specification. I'll let the other spec updates in TWIM speak to that though :)

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC2291: Configuration to Control Crawling!

A concept similar to robots.txt for the web, but for Matrix! Currently the way to inform room-crawling bots in Matrix today is by banning/kicking them from the room. However, this doesn't allow you to blanket prevent bots from joining - nor does it only inform bots that they should access some of the room's data. It's a binary switch.

Consider if you wanted your room to be crawled, but the room topic to not be indexed. This MSC could help with that! Give it a read/review if you're interested.

Nico announces

Have you ever pinged someone by accident, because you replied to a message with their name in it or maybe even a whole room mention? Or are you avoiding replies for that reason? Did the quote of a messages suddenly vanish when someone edited their message in a client? Or are you just in general unhappy with replies only showing what type of message was replied to, instead of showing the actual image being replied to (on mobile for example)? Were you annoyed, that you could only reply with a text message, but not an emote message, an image, a sticker or even a video?

I spent a bunch of time trying to remove the blocker for that in the Matrix specification, you can find the proposal here: https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/pull/2781

As it turns out, it is not quite as simple, because notifications for replies to your messages rely on a bunch of implicit interactions, which is why I also wrote another MSC to fix that: https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/pull/3664

I'm a bit unhappy with replies across the matrix ecosystem at the moment and I hope this is a small step towards improving things. It's certainly not as exciting as spaces, voip, threads or stickers, but it is something which affects me every day and I think those small papercuts need some attention too.

I hope some of you share my love for the less exciting stuff!

Jonathan announces

To add onto Nico's efforts, I think that mentions today are based on too many "false-positives" (ping on displayname or username mention), and i kinda wish for the "just mention them" UX of discord, telegram, whatsapp, and so many other messengers.

So I've also made a proposal that tries to bring some explicitness in that, a new push rule that'll fire on "mention"; https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/pull/3517

It'll look for any @-MXID mention in the plaintext, or look for an <a>-mention "pill" in the HTML. It is a hack, but it is the most correct way of determining if you've been pinged in matrix, at the moment.

Matthew announces

In terms of reply fallbacks - the Spec Core Team gave an overwhelming thumbs up to removing reply fallbacks via MSC2781... but given practically this causes a cascade of other work (defining and implementing push_rules for replies, and defining and implementing push_rules for threads (MSC TBD)) and so as a temporary transitional measure we've instead made reply fallbacks best effort (MSC3676). This means that clients can now reply using non-textual events, and we can use replies as a fallback for threads for non-thread-capable-clients/ASes once MSC3440 lands. To be clear, the intention is still to incorporate all of Nico's excellent contributions on MSC2781 and MSC3664 however.

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

callahad announces

Hello TWIM! Last week we released Synapse 1.51. This is a great release which includes lots of performance work around sending aggregations down /sync. It also makes Spaces much more reliable: we tracked down a bug with caching which could cause some sub-spaces to randomly appear empty when queried over federation. We also removed the 50 result limit when listing the contents of a Space.

We're also starting to see some promising results experimenting with ways to make room joins faster (MSC2775). It's not quite ready to demo, but we should have something to show off before too long. 🤞

Last but not least, FOSDEM is in 8 days! The Synapse team will be giving a couple of talks during the day: Events for the Uninitiated by Shay at 10:10 UTC, and Beyond the Matrix: Extend the capabilities of your Synapse homeserver by Brendan at 15:40 UTC. Come say hi! 🙂

Dendrite (website)

Second generation Matrix homeserver

neilalexander says

We know that it has been a while coming but today we have released Dendrite 0.6! This version contains a number of significant changes, including switching away from Kafka to NATS JetStream and refactoring a number of other components. We have been making architectural changes recently to help Dendrite scale better in the future and to fix a number of race conditions that were present before. Federation in particular is much smoother and better behaved in this release, with overall lower CPU and memory usage and less resource spikes.

The full changelog is available on GitHub but the highlights are:

  • NATS JetStream support, deprecating Kafka and Naffka
  • The roomserver now being responsible for fetching missing events and state instead of the federation API, which fixes some race conditions
  • Strict ordering and asynchronous input support in the roomserver input API, which smooths out incoming federation significantly
  • Consolidated federation API, including functionality from the now-deprecated federation sender and signing key server components
  • Database-backed device list synchronisation, which is now more reliable
  • Correct gap checking when fetching missing events and state
  • Better behaviour and lower resource usage by the /event_auth endpoint

Spec compliance, as measured by Sytest, currently sits at:

  • Client-server APIs: 65%
  • Server-server APIs: 94%

This is a highly recommended update so if you are running a Dendrite server, please upgrade! As always, you can join us in #dendrite:matrix.org for Dendrite discussion and announcements.

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Helm Chart (website)

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace says

And this week has seen some updates to my Helm Charts as well, with matrix-synapse passing through 1.50.2 to end up on 1.51.0

Dept of Bridges 🌉

Half-Shot says

Hey folks, no releases this week but a general update on a little project of ours. I've been working through the problem of making bridges easier to use and supplimenting our command interfaces with pretty buttons and forms. To that effect, we've landed out first PR on adding widget communication support to the matrix-appservice-bridge library \o/.

You can see some of the details here https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-bridge/pull/365

but that's not all. I'm doing a talk about this whole subject at FOSDEM which you can tune into! See the deets at https://fosdem.org/2022/schedule/event/matrix_next_gen_interfaces/

Dept of Clients 📱

Nheko (website)

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

Nico reports

Next to spec work, progress on porting Nheko to 100% qml continues. This week I ported the login and registration pages. I also did some minor cleanups on them and prep work for future improvements (like buttons for each SSO provider or providing email address and registration token inline instead of in a separate popup, if the server requires it). Logging in or registering is often the first thing a user does on a client or maybe even the first thing they do on Matrix! As such I should really spend more effort optimizing that feature, that usually falls off the priority list because I don't use it often!

Once Nheko is 100% Qml we should also see lower memory usage again, here is a screenshot from a Nheko instance with over 100 rooms, that's been running for a few days of active use on Windows:

We also fixed an issue where Nheko could crash the notification service, because it sent images not following the Freedesktop notification specification and tasty spent some time further improving the man page.

Fractal (website)

Matrix messaging app for GNOME written in Rust.

Julian Sparber reports

Hello folks, it's been a while since we last spoke! We have been focused on the code, but we're long overdue for an update. A lot has happened since November. Fractal-Next is getting closer to feature parity with current Fractal, and even supports new things:

  • Timeline

    • Fractal-Next now allows you to open and save sent files

    • It also displays images, videos and stickers in the timeline

    • You can also get a better view of media send to the room thanks to the built-in media viewer

    • It (finally!) supports reactions (displaying them and sending new ones)

  • User verification

    • Fractal-Next now supports verification of other users by scanning their QR code, or via emoji

    • When a user is verified, an icon is displayed next to their username in the list of room members

  • Room details

    • The room details show now the members of the room including the power level
  • General UX

    • Fractal-Next is better integrated with GNOME's secret management service Seahorse

    • It supports room upgrades

    • It also supports inviting users to a room

    • Users can change the category of rooms in the sidebar via drag and drop or by using the context menu

If you want a more lengthy writing about what we've been up to and a note about the NLnet grant, please head out to my blog post "A Long Overdue Update — Fractal Next"

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

kittykat says

Polls and location sharing

  • Polls is coming out of labs with the next release on all three platforms
  • Location sharing is coming out in mobile apps with the next release on Monday and will need to be enabled in labs

Community testing

  • Join #element-community-testing:matrix.org to help out with the testing
  • Coming up this week:
    • FOSDEM conferencing
    • Threads with the new APIs
    • The new search experience
  • All dates and times to be confirmed, follow our channel for updates

Decryption

  • You can help us fix decryption errors by enabling automated error reporting
  • On Android, enable “Auto Report Decryption Errors” in the settings
  • If you are using Nightly or develop.element.io, you can help us fix decryption errors by enabling “Automatically send debug logs on decryption errors”

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

kittykat reports

  • Release candidate was late as we have more regressions and release blockers than normal: last minute fixes include a couple of crashes when hanging up a call from the picture-in-picture view and in the appearance tab of settings, plus chasing a crashing bug on Linux.
  • Metaspaces has landed in the release candidate: it will give you a new way to group your favourites, DMs and rooms outside of spaces. You can switch these on in the Quick Settings menu at the bottom left from Monday.

  • Bubble layout for messages has landed for the upcoming release!
  • This release will update to Electron 15 which uses a newer Chromium, so if you host your own Jitsi, please make sure it’s up to date, or you may find calls start breaking.
  • Nightly testing went well on Tuesday, with 47 test cases showing up 15 new issues
  • In labs (you can enable labs in settings on develop.element.io or on Nightly)
    • New thread fallback using the reply chain
    • Better stability when home server supports threads API defined in MSC3440
    • We are intending to add the new and improved search to the next release candidate on 8th Feb, community testing planned for next week

Element iOS (website)

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

Manu announces

  • Startup and resume times improved for upcoming release
  • Xcode13 & iOS15 compatibility added for developers
  • Release v1.3.17 coming out on Monday
  • In development:
    • Work continues on Spaces and Authentication

Element Android (website)

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

kittykat reports

  • Release v1.3.17 coming out on Monday, includes message bubbles, polls and location sharing
  • In development:
    • Message bubbles and Thread are progressing well and will probably be merged on develop next week
    • Improved automated testing (more screened added to the sanity test, including all the Spaces screens)

Cinny (website)

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

ajbura announces

Features

  • Room settings
    • Add support for room message search in unencrypted rooms
    • Support options for Room visibility and Room addresses
    • Manage room permissions
    • Enable encryption and manage room history visibility
  • Custom emoji
    • Show user and room emoji in auto-complete cmd and emojiboard
    • Show custom emojis in reactions
  • Use jumbo emojis for emoji only messages
  • Add toggle to use browser's preferred theme
  • Show placeholder profile picture when it fails to load
  • Show ban, kick, unban options in profile viewer
  • Ability to change power level in profile viewer

Bugs

  • Fix loading all twemoji on startup
  • Fix wrong read receipt count in encrypted rooms
  • Reset scroll when switching Home/DM
  • Fix gap under typing indicator in some device
  • Fix username overflow in timeline change messages
  • Fix message formatting

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

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Matrix Highlight (website)

A decentralized and federated way of annotating the web based on Matrix.

Daniel reports

Matrix highlight got experimental support for Firefox! It's still a bit crashy, but it shouldn't be much harder to stabilize it, and get the tool working properly there, too. Firefox is my personal browser of choice, and others have requested it, so it's nice that it's on the horizon :)

Also, after the discussion in Matrix Live and with some minor tweaks, I was able to get the extension to play nice with conduit! So that's now a viable alternative if you want to use Matrix Highlight with your own, self-hosted server.

Circles (website)

E2E encrypted social networking built on Matrix. Safe, private sharing for your friends, family, and community.

cvwright reports

Circles is a project to build a secure, end-to-end encrypted social network using Matrix technology.

  • This week the primary focus was on updating Circles to work with the latest Matrix iOS SDK. I also successfully built and packaged the first beta release from an Apple M1 Mac.

  • The next step is to develop and integrate a new, more secure password-based login based on the BS-SPEKE protocol. This will replace Circles' current approach, which is described in MSC3265. Hopefully the new login flow will also be of interest to the broader Matrix community.

  • Our search continues for an Android developer to help us bring Circles to the world's largest mobile device platform. If you are excited about working with Matrix, Android Studio, and Jetpack Compose, send a resume and cover letter to [email protected].

More info:

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Trixnity (website)

Multiplatform Kotlin SDK for Matrix

Benedict announces

Trixnity version 1.1.0 has been released! It adds support for room key backup, which makes developing a matrix client a lot more comfortable.

Here is the changelog:

  • Added key backup support!
  • RoomService::getAll() returns a reactive list of reactive rooms instead of a reactive list of rooms. This allows to implement huge room lists without performance losses in the UI.
  • Some reactive data can be accessed in a non reactive way. Note that you will then only get a snapshot of the data.
  • Prevent sending room keys as to device messages, when they cannot be encrypted (e.g. due to missing one time keys).

Halcyon (website)

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

gen3 reports

Version 1.1.0 Released

Hello again! Halcyon is a python Matrix bot library created with the intention of being easy to install and use. With this release, we have reached our second release milestone! Check out the roadmap in notes.md (located in the repository), for what is planned for RC3! I'm really happy about the performance and functionality gains for this release. If you have any questions or bug reports, come and chat with us over in https://matrix.to/#/#halcyon:blackline.xyz

More info at on the project at https://github.com/WesR/Halcyon

  • Added
    • Detailed room info is here! The bot will now cache and provide room info with each message, automatically refreshing in the background. Check out usage.md for info on what is provided
      • get room admin / moderators, topic, related groups and more
    • Better polling through long polling (Thanks @forden:matrix.org for pointing out this improvement)
    • send images with the new send_image() function. It includes simple toggles for blurhash and thumbnail generation
    • More examples in /examples
    • General roadmap and documentation updates
  • Fixed
    • A fix for the slow polling, which might have also caused issues on systems with frequent network drops (Thanks @octt:matrix.org)

Dept of Bots 🤖

Bubo (website)

Matrix bot to help with community management

jaywink says

https://github.com/elokapina/bubo

Bubo is a friendly little owl (bot) that helps maintain your community. It's been over a year since cutting the last release, so the changelog contains a bunch of things, namely:

  • Added command to set power levels in rooms.
  • Added users command to list and create users in a configured Keycloak. Optionally send invites via keycloak-signup, a web app that allows self-registering with Keycloak via short lived tokens.
  • Add logging to a Matrix room.
  • Bubo admins and coordinators can now be set based on room memberships.
  • Add command to make Bubo unlink and part itself from a room.
  • Add command to list rooms Bubo maintains but is not admin in.
  • Add command to recreate a room. This follows the upgrade room functionality, but does it without needing admin permissions (basically almost everything except a tombstone event). Useful if for example you have accidentally lost admin in a hundred or so rooms in your community. Which may have happened 😅
  • The communities command is now deprecated (support for spaces coming in the next version).

Additionally some other changes and fixes, see changelog for full details.

Plans for next up features include syncing with Discourse to replicate spaces from Discourse groups and populate space members from Discourse group memberships (when Discourse shares the same Keycloak SSO provider with the homeserver).

Dept of Interesting Projects 🛰️

matrix-art (website)

A Deviantart Fork based on Matrix

MTRNord (they/them) reports

Reaching another feature Milestone – Submitting images via Matrix Art.

Matrix Art now supports logging in with any account (well-known not supported yet. You need to provide the full server address) and submitting images through the interface. You can now either just log in (No benefit though at this time as comments and follows are missing) or create a Matrix Art Profile.

An Account can also be created later. An Account would create a Profile room at #<mxid> on your server if it doesn't exist. This currently is only possible by doing a logout and login in again with the box checked. A better way will be added soon. Editing the Profile is not yet implemented at this time.

These 2 changes should allow some people to experiment with this. Mobile design is not tested at this time. Submits should work. If you were previously logged in, you will need to log out and back in for some variables to get set correctly.

Registration is still WIP as there is some more moderation prep needed before the server accepts the registrations.

I hope people cheer in and post their images :) (Also, please use the nsfw flag if required. This will make them hidden on the front page but shown in your profile page. I will block people that don't use it from the instance otherwise. Please be sensible.)

Other Changes

  • Form readability increased
  • Search engine getting filled in the background (Self hosted https://meilisearch.com instance gets used) when submitting
  • Loading indicator gets correctly positioned
  • Images without thumbnails or html caption don't break anymore
  • Directory Database was switched to SQLite
  • Roboto font was replaced with Inter font
  • Directory Endpoint got secured using the OpenID module in Matrix
  • "Devianart" typo got replaced with correct "Deviantart"
  • Logout state management got improved

Project Information

For more information, feel free to take a look at https://github.com/MTRNord/matrix-art Or join our room: #matrix-art:nordgedanken.dev

Matrix in the News 📰

msirringhaus says

Apparently, a German school forked FluffyChat and is using it for homeschooling: https://www.golem.de/news/matrix-grundschule-forkt-messenger-2201-162562.html (German only news article) Sources: https://gitlab.com/hermanncoders/hermannpost

Dept of Ping 🏓

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server.

#ping:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1plocki.ddns.net766
2aria-net.org1320
3trygve.me1359
4almum.de1393
5matrix.org1412.5
6envs.net1429
7sosnowkadub.de1482
8polarbear.army2157
9pavot.ca2668
10matrix.fomin.site2736.5

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1matrix.sum7.eu567
2sspaeth.de717
3rustybever.be992
4dendrite.neilalexander.dev1091
5matrix.awesomesheep48.me1659
6grin.hu4148
7conduit.beckmeyer.us6223
8conduit.cyberdi.sk96446

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2022-01-21

21.01.2022 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

Dept of Spec 📜

anoa reports

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

MSC Status

New MSCs:

MSCs with proposed Final Comment Period:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

Merged MSCs:

Spec Updates

Work on preparing the release of Matrix v1.2 is currently underway. As of today, the Spec Core Team is aiming for a release of Matrix v1.2 on February 2nd.

If you know of any MSCs which you believe should be included in Matrix v1.2, but haven't started/finished Final Comment Period yet, please bring them up in the #sct-office:matrix.org, and we'll take a look. Thanks!

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC3635: Early Media for VoIP!

When I first came across this MSC, I didn't know what "Early Media" as a concept referred to. Even after skimming the MSC... I still didn't really know. But I'll demystify it here in case it peaks your interest and you would like to learn more.

Early media is essentially any media that is exchanged between the moment you start a call, to the moment the other side picks up (a connection is established). For instance, the ringing you hear while waiting for someone to pick up (called "ringback tones"), or the "busy" tone you hear when the line is busy. Those audio bits are known as "early media". Video can also fall into this category (though that's less common).

This MSC would essentially allow Matrix to introduce these concepts in Matrix-only calls (though these days the client just plays sounds while connecting), but more crucially would allow Matrix to interoperate with other protocols (like SIP) that expect to handle these features.

So yay, more interoperability and bridge compatibility!

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

callahad says

After a somewhat bumpy process, we released Synapse 1.50 on Tuesday! The big thing you need to be aware of is that we're turning off support for Python 3.6 and PostgreSQL 9.6, including Linux distributions which ship with those versions by default (like Ubuntu 18.04 LTS). Please make sure your infrastructure is up-to-date.

I'm personally very excited that we tracked down a bug which could cause device list updates to get lost when being sent over federation. When device lists fall out of sync, it can cause failures when attempting to decrypt messages, since the keys may not have been sent to all of the user's devices.

We've also made quite a lot of progress in allowing Application Services to support end-to-end encryption via the still-experimental MSC3202.

For MSCs which have been merged into the Matrix Spec, we now implement MSC3419, allowing guests to send state events into rooms, and we now use stable identifiers for cross-signing and fallback keys per MSC1756 and MSC2732.

Looking to the future: We're aiming to release 1.51 next week so it has plenty of time to burn in before we host FOSDEM 2022. This is a pretty quick turnaround from 1.50, but we'll return to our usual fortnightly release cadence for subsequent releases. To that end, 1.51.0rc1 is out today; give it a shot. 😉

Conduit (website)

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

Timo ⚡️ announces

Hello again! In the last week we continued to optimize the rocksdb backend and Conduit in general, trying to get it as memory efficient as possible. Using valgrind we could see that memory was not getting released in some cases.

We found out that switching to the jemalloc allocator completely got rid of this problem and memory usage seems to be a lot more stable now!

All of this is currently available on the next branch. We are preparing to make a v0.3.0 release soon!

Join #conduit:fachschaften.org to help us test it.

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Helm Chart (website)

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace announces

And back to regular form, my Helm Charts have gotten some upgrades again; element-web got upgraded to 1.9.9, and matrix-synapse got both 1.50.0 and 1.50.1 (the configuration generated by the chart shouldn't be affected by the .0 bug, but always good to upgrade)

Dept of Clients 📱

Watch The Matrix (website)

A watchOS client for Matrix

Doug announces

It's been a while since I reported any updates on Watch The Matrix.

The following new features have been added:

  • Message bubbles are properly left/right aligned now.
  • Support for displaying images.
  • Replies are nicely formatted now.
  • Ability to send messages and replies (inc FlickType support).
  • Redacted reactions are now properly hidden.

Sailtrix (website)

Sailtrix is a matrix client for SailfishOS

HengYeDev announces

This week, version 1.3.7.1 has been released.

Updates:

  • Support favorite rooms
  • Add View Source
  • Add useful active cover
  • Merge better notification support by @razcampagne

Fixes:

  • Fix bug of images and files not displaying in encrypted rooms
  • Add UI placeholder when there are no rooms

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

Danielle announces

Threads

  • To keep your timeline clean and ordered we’ll soon be introducing threaded messages to Element. Currently the team is working hard on the fallback solution, and polishing up the user interface.
    • Threads is already in Labs on Web, so go ahead and check it out!
    • For mobile, we’re hoping to release Threads to Labs in the next few weeks.

Polls

  • Get ready to start asking more questions… Polls are nearly ready to go! You’ll be able to ask folks things like; their favourite superhero, which day you should grab lunch, or even the best way to make tea (milk first, always). ☕️
    • If you just can’t wait ‘til we’re ready to launch, you can enable Polls from Labs.

Location Sharing

  • Location sharing is almost here! You’ll soon find a new setting to turn this on, which will give you the location sharing icon in your composer and can be used to tell people exactly where you are!
    • The setting will be in the next release on iOS and Android, and will start “off” by default. Once the feature is settled in, we’ll turn it on by default.

Community testing

  • Join #element-community-testing:matrix.org to help out with the testing
  • We will be testing the FOSDEM conferencing setup (Element web + widgets) on Monday at 17:00 UTC
  • Element Desktop (Nightly) has had an Electron update, join us to test it on Tuesday at 16:00 UTC

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

Danielle reports

  • We’re moving forwards with our PostHog Analytics implementation and are super excited to start to get to know how our users experience Element. Remember; it’s off by default and you have to opt-in to share.
  • 2 testing sessions happening this week, join at #element-community-testing:matrix.org

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

  • With the coolest project name by far, the Bubbles team is working hard to bring you message bubbles ASAP! These should land in the next week or so but are available in Labs today.

Element iOS (website)

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

Danielle says

  • The integration of analytics tracking has been included in the most recent version of the app. Using PostHog Analytics we’ll be able to make informed product decisions for our app as we’ll have more visibility into the usefulness of each feature.
    • Remember; Analytics is opt-in and you don’t have to share any info with us. If you choose to opt-in we’ll start to learn how users use Element and how we can simplify your experiences.

In development:

  • Work ongoing on Spaces support, finished improving room long press interactions for Spaces and reviews of space creation changes are nearing completion. Work ongoing on Space settings.
  • We’re currently building a simplified first time user experience, the first piece of which will be released in the next few weeks!
  • The team is working to update to Xcode 13 / iOS 15.

Element Android (website)

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

Danielle reports

  • We’ve had some trouble with the stability of our releases this week but the team’s been working hard to get it all ironed out. Our latest update to the app store fixes some bugs and includes the option to enable analytics.
    • Analytics? Yes! Knowing how our users traverse our app, and understanding this cross-platform, will help us to tailor to your needs and make impactful improvements. If you don’t want to send anonymised event info to Element, no problem! Just say no. If you change your mind, there’s a toggle in Settings.

In development:

  • Message Bubbles? Yes, please! With a week of successful testing internally we’re nearly ready to release message bubbles into the wild. We’re excited to see what you think.
  • Element’s first time user experience could use a little help, so the team have been working on improvements to our sign up flow that will hopefully reduce confusion for newbies.

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Matrix Wrench (website)

Matrix Wrench is a web client to tweak Matrix rooms.

ChristianP says

New feature: HTTP status in the network log.

Next up: Bulk editing of rooms for updating room power levels or aliases in masses. If you're a maintainer of a homeserver, space or bridge, please let me know your use cases.

export matrix messages (website)

A commandline utility to export matrix messages

Aine reports

It's a small cli tool that does exactly what it says - exports matrix messages from a room. As example you can check etke.cc/news - that page and all items on it generated by emm from #news:etke.cc room.

The tool gracefully supports room aliases, message edits, custom templates (check the contrib/ dir for example) and 2 export modes - single (all messages exported to a single file) or multi (each message exported to separate file, that's how etke.cc/news works)

Source code

Circles (website)

E2E encrypted social networking built on Matrix. Safe, private sharing for your friends, family, and community.

cvwright announces

Circles is a project to build a privacy-respecting, end-to-end encrypted social network on top of Matrix. It was originally built out of the desire for a safer way to share baby photos with friends and family, but it can be used by anyone who wants easy sharing combined with strong security.

Recent news:

  • The Circles iOS app is back in beta on TestFlight. Builds 0.99 (6) and 0.99 (8) are rolling out now.
  • The latest updates fix some bugs in Circles' use of Matrix's encrypted recovery feature to improve the reliability of E2E encryption.
  • FUTO, the new company behind Circles, is hiring an Android developer to help us bring Circles to Android. Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to [email protected].

The (old) Circles homepage: https://kombuchaprivacy.com/circles The code on Github: https://github.com/KombuchaPrivacy/circles-ios

Dept of Bots 🤖

Honoroit (website)

A Matrix helpdesk bot

Aine reports

long time no see! Today I come with a new internal etke.cc tool that publicly available, because open source matters.

Honoroit is a helpdesk matrix bot with end-to-end encryption support, that utilizes MSC3440 (Threading) to act as a proxy between a customer (any matrix user) and your backoffice (users added in special room), each customer's room = thread in a backoffice room, where multiple operators can send messages to the same customer at once.

Pretty bad description, I know - check the source code to see screenshots.

Updates:

  • the v0.9.2 release brings the fallback reply-to mode, so even on matrix clients that doesn't support threads yet you can use it with good ol' replies.
  • the v0.9.3 release fixes commands parsing in the reply-to mode and adds prefixes to the thread topics

source code, #honoroit:etke.cc

Dept of Interesting Projects 🛰️

matrix-art (website)

A Devianart Fork based on Matrix

MTRNord (they/them) says

Matrix Art received some minor changes since the last twim post:

  • You can now get a rss feed of the posts at https://art.midnightthoughts.space/posts.rss (This is in the same format as devianart does their feeds)
  • Mobile should be mostly fixed
  • The About-info isn't hardcoded anymore but now uses an event type.
  • The page now uses the Roboto Font instead of the default font, which helps with readability.
  • Matrix Art cmes with a basic Text Logo now
  • Links to the profile page are now easier to notice
  • Blurhashes are now supported for images
  • The repo now has the Apache-2 License applied
  • Dependencies have been pinned
  • Various small design improvements were made
  • Images now have size hints so the page doesnt jump around as much when loading
  • Lots and lots of metadata was added to each page for SEO

Check it out at https://art.midnightthoughts.space Check the Code out at https://github.com/MTRNord/matrix-art Or join the Chat at #matrix-art:nordgedanken.dev

Planned for this week is to add registration and usage of external profiles. As soon as that works I am also going to make uploading images work. So with a bit of luck in the next TWIM anyone is able to post their images :)

Dept of Guides 🧭

Éibhear (on matrix.org) reports

Hi TWIM. I published a long-planned, long-in-the-making, long-winded report of how I containerised my matrix-synapse homeserver and its PostgreSQL database in order to get ahead of the application dependency deprecations. This was something I couldn't find for myself, so I put this together to help anyone else who might need it. (And it does contain a TL;DR section!)

Helder Ferreira says

I’ve created [blog post|(https://helderferreira.io/matrix-well-known-with-cloudflare/) explaining the way to host the static well-known files using cloudflare workers gaining speed and stability

Matrix in the News 📰

Brendan Abolivier says

During the holidays I recorded a podcast about Matrix and Element with AnDaolVras/La Cantine Brestoise, which is a French non-profit organising tech events and operating a coworking space in Brest, France. The episode (in French, sorry!) came out on Monday and can be found on their website, on YouTube as well as on most podcast platforms 🙂

Dept of Ping 🏓

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server.

#ping:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1envs.net517
2talkthings.net687
3aria-net.org821
4reactos.org869
5matrix.xn--kll-sna.net1109
6trygve.me1881
7minecraftchest1-matrix.loca.lt1922.5
8matx.myecloud.org2453
9thomcat.rocks2949
10asra.gr3546.5

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1sspaeth.de367
2dendrite.matrix.org423
3rustybever.be606
4conduit.rs908.5
5dendrite.neilalexander.dev926
6matrix.awesomesheep48.me1160.5
7dendrite.beckmeyer.us1856
8conduit.cyberdi.sk3547

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2022-01-14

14.01.2022 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

Dept of Spec 📜

anoa announces

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

MSC Status

New MSCs:

MSCs with proposed Final Comment Period:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

Closed MSCs:

Spec Updates

Hot on the heels (relatively speaking) of v1.1 of the Spec being released in November, v1.2 is now on the horizon! As a reminder, we're working towards quarterly releases of the spec going forwards - no hard dates yet though.

While this is certainly an improvement in speed, when it comes to writing software and updating implementations: quarterly spec updates may actually seem too fast. This is OK; implementations of the spec are not expected to update as soon as a new spec release is published. Rather, it is more realistic to expect that the ecosystem updates gradually over the course of the next few months/year after the release.

Look forward to more concrete dates soon!

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is... MSC2702: Specifying semantics for Content-Disposition on media!

This looks like a small, but useful improvement to the spec that never really received much love. Feel free to give it some!

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

anoa says

Happy Friday everyone! Today the Synapse team has released Synapse 1.50.0rc2. It fixes a particularly nasty federation-breaking regression that crept in during 1.50.0rc1. If you're currently running 1.50.0rc1, we implore you to update to 1.50.0rc2 as soon as possible!

In other news, a reminder that as of Synapse 1.50.0rc1, we have ended support for Python 3.6 and PostgreSQL 9.6 as per our dependency deprecation policy, as upstream has marked them as end-of-life.

We'll let the community test 1.50.0rc2 over the weekend to ensure that no other regressions have emerged (please test if you can)! If not, expect Synapse 1.50 to land sometime early next week.

Conduit (website)

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

Timo ⚡️ reports

It has been a long time since my last TWIM post, so here's a summary of all exciting news:

Features:

  • We now support RocksDB as a backend. Migrating to RocksDB improved both my memory and IO usage a lot.
  • You can select the database backend at runtime. No need to recompile a special version anymore.
  • Lazy loading works. This means initial syncs are significantly faster (1-2 minutes instead of an hour!)
  • Voice calls are now supported (requires configuring a TURN server)
  • The report feature is now implemented and sends a report into the admin room

Improvements:

  • Much faster state resolution
  • Batch inserts for events
  • Better appservice docs
  • Lots of bug fixes

All of this is currently available on the next branch. We are preparing to make a v0.3.0 release soon!

Join #conduit:fachschaften.org to help us test it.

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Dept of Bridges 🌉

Heisenbridge (website)

Heisenbridge is a bouncer-style Matrix IRC bridge.

hifi announces

Release v1.10.0 🥳

  • RELAYMSG sending support 🚀
  • Allow forwarding all IRC noise to network room 🤫
  • Support ZNC self-message caps ✅
  • Support CHGHOST caps (prevents leave+join on host change) ✅
  • Fix owner auto-registration (regression) 🐛
  • Upgrade to Mautrix 0.14 ⬆️

Sending RELAYMSGs have been requested for a while so now we do support that if the cap is added to request list. This makes plumbs on networks that support it work nicer. Receiving RELAYMSGs has not been implemented yet so they show up as external like before.

If you prefer keeping your IRC rooms clean without any IRC noise (mode changes etc.) you can now use a new FORWARD command in the network room to make all such events happen in the network room instead. This affects in-room commands as well.

ZNC users can now enjoy messages coming from your own clone in IRC rooms (including PMs!) if you wish so by keeping the znc.in/self-message cap enabled. This isn't extremely well tested yet but feedback welcome.

Not a breaking change but the caps support will cause connections to networks that ignore CAP requests take a few seconds longer unless you remove all the default caps for said network and it will never try requesting them again.

Mautrix 0.14 upgrade bumps the minimum version as well so packages beware.

Get some global warming from GitHub, PyPI or matrix-docker-ansible-deploy!

Thanks!

Dept of Clients 📱

Nheko (website)

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

Nico announces

We rewrote the whole settings page (as a stepping stone to 100% QML). Please test it and complain about everything I broke! We also tried to organize it a bit better so that similar settings are grouped together and tried to use the right controls for the right things. Best case you didn't notice anything. ;-)

And we also now show which profile a notification is for on KDE. I don't think other DEs have such a feature, so those will just show the generic Nheko as always.

Hydrogen (website)

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

Bruno reports

We're about to release 0.2.23 after somewhat of a release hiatus. We've been working on two fronts:

  • Get the SDK out! Hydrogen was always meant to be easy to embedded, reuse in parts, and make customized versions of. But until now, actually doing that was quite challenging. Now that the SDK is out, you can use the hydrogen-view-sdk package in your projects and use parts of Hydrogen in your application. It's still early days, and we're still working out what symbols should be exported (finding a balance between APIs we want to support and utility), etc. Expect updates in the coming weeks. We're also not yet promising API stability for now, some APIs will very likely still change. Once we hit 1.0, we won't change things from underneath you anymore without increasing the major version.
  • Rich reply previews: as part of providing minimal support for threads (representing them as replies), we're switching from using the embedded reply fallback and actually looking up the replied-to message. One benefit is that reply previews will now updated when they are redacted (and edited, once we support that :).
  • Also fix some minor other things, like loading images when they are only partially visible, and a very basic location tile.

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

kittykat announces

Threads

  • Issue with thread panel rendering timeline has been fixed
  • Reviewing plans for backward compatibility with clients that don’t support threaded messages

Polls

  • iOS and Android starting on the next phase of development, look out for poll editing and other exciting changes! You can enable polls in the Settings, under Labs.

Community Testing

Analytics

  • You can now opt in to sending anonymous analytics data in the user settings on all platforms. Please enable it in the “Security & Privacy” menu, under “Analytics” to help us understand better how Element apps are used.
  • Mobile app users will see an opt-in screen on first startup on Android in 1.3.14 and iOS in 1.6.12

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

kittykat announces

  • Maximised widgets merged into the release candidate and on track for the next release (see the Beyond Chat section for more info on this feature)
  • Fix code blocks being wrongly wrapped causing the line numbers to misalign, this was a regression in 1.9.8
  • Fixed ability to edit horizontal rules in markdown
  • Fixed some edge cases around Spaces not updating properly causing rooms to show up in the wrong Space
  • Add ability to cancel an outbound message during its encryption phase
  • Fix wrongly sending typing indicator when restoring a draft when changing room
  • Replace kick terminology with remove to be more inclusive
  • In labs (you can enable labs in Settings on develop.element.io or on Nightly)
    • Polishing bubbles layout
    • Upgrade to Electron 16 for Element Nightly - we are expecting this to help resolve some of the issues caused by Electron. Intending to release to production in 1.9.10 (two weeks away)

J. Ryan Stinnett announces

The maximised widgets feature in Element Web that Timo K. has been working on is now available for everyone on develop, and it's on track for the next web release. 🚀 It's a great match for widget-based collaborative editors, dashboards, games, and more. The widget becomes the focus of the room. You can optionally show chat from the room in a side panel, allowing easy discussion of the document / dashboard / game.

To try it out, add a widget to a room in the usual way, then look for the new "maximise" button in the room info panel's widget section. Please let us know in #beyond-chat:matrix.org or in issues if you have any feedback. 😄

Element iOS (website)

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

kittykat reports

  • Working on improving app startup speed (note that this is the green spinner, not the account sync)
  • Issue with home view in dark mode was reported this morning and fixed this afternoon
  • In development:

Element Android (website)

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

kittykat says

  • First time user experiences (FTUE) changes are starting to land, including changes to the login screen which will be available in next week’s release.
  • Replace kick terminology with remove to be more inclusive
  • Resolved issue with stuck event in the timeline, which will be released with 1.3.16

Beeper (website)

All you chats in one app.

Brad Murray announces

Beeper is a universal chat app built on top of Matrix. We've created 12+ open source Matrix bridges and integrated them into an easy to use all-in-one service which does not require setting up your own homeserver. You can learn more at beeper.com.

Our team is growing! We’re now at 25 people, all remote around the world. Recent additions include hifi (creator of Heisenbridge) and Finn (creator of signald).

We are hiring many full-time remote roles including:

  • Bridge developers
  • iOS engineers
  • Product designers

Learn more here and apply through that site, or message @eric:beeper.com

Beeper Desktop

  • We recently released a Beeper Desktop update with a new room list and a ton of UI improvements. Check out the video below!
    • Made it easier to triage your inbox by moving unread dots to left
    • Made the list of connected bridges more compact
    • New link previews
    • Loads of bug fixes including improvements to scrolling

Beeper Bridges

  • We introduced a new version of our iMessage bridge designed for Mac OS computers with SIP disabled. https://docs.mau.fi/bridges/go/imessage/mac-nosip/setup.html Now includes support for:

    • Tapbacks
    • SMS via Continuity
    • Threaded replies
    • Synced read states to other iDevices and

    Most importantly, we launched a cloud Mac service that allows you to use iMessage with Beeper if you do not have access to an always-on Mac computer. Included with your Beeper subscription!

  • Voice messages are bridged in native format in both directions for all Beeper bridges

  • Signal bridge now supports disappearing messages

  • All Instagram message types are now bridged

  • Added support for Telegram message reactions

  • WhatsApp bridge now backfills 3 months worth of chats

Beeper Android

  • Coming soon: A recent addition to our Android team has added encrypted search by massaging seshat into the app. Expect an upstream PR for this into Element Android as well!

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Trixnity (website)

Multiplatform Kotlin SDK for Matrix

Benedict says

Trixnity version 1.0.0 is out! I decided to make it 1.0.0 not because it is out of beta, but because it has most features you need to build a usable client. That means: cross signing has landed into Trixnity! The next big features will be room key backup and push notification.

Here is the changelog:

  • fully support cross signing
  • load members of rooms in an async way (you don't need to catch errors anymore)
  • reactive displayname and avatar url of the logged-in user
  • reactive avatar url for rooms
  • reactive is-direct-room state for rooms
  • better Android support for thumbnails
  • make part of device keys API public
  • merge SecureStore into Store (encrypt your database if you want to keep secrets secure)
  • move trixnity-client-api model-classes into separate module to use them e.g. for a matrix server implementation (thanks to @NicolasJouanin)
  • fixed long standing bug of wrong room name calculation
  • account data events are handled as if they have a key (like state events) to bypass inconsistency in the spec (maybe this will lead into a MSC)

ruby-matrix-sdk (website)

Ruby SDK for the Matrix communication protocol

Ananace says

Just cut a new release of the Ruby Matrix SDK, with 2.5.0 there's some preliminary support for Matrix 1.1 and the client/v3 API, the information for room knocking is exposed properly, some threading issues have had workarounds applied, and a bunch of fixes have been applied.

Additional thanks go out to the nice people submitting PRs on GitHub and the members of the #ruby-matrix-sdk:kittenface.studio room.

Ananace says

Currently running my own ping bot with it, I'm doing the GitHub (and hopefully also GitLab at some point) releasetracker bot, I've got my definitely not suitable for production MatrixFS, there's a notification module for TheForeman which we use at the university. And I've got some MSC hacks as well, like the MSC2108 testbed.

matrix-crdt (website)

Use Matrix as a backend for local-first applications with the Matrix-CRDT Yjs provider.

yousefed reports

I just open sourced a library called Matrix-CRDT: https://github.com/yousefED/matrix-crdt - feedback very welcome! It allows you to use Matrix as a backend for decentralized, local-first collaborative apps. Above you see a collaborative rich text editor (like Google Docs) powered by Matrix!

You can try the Rich text editor here: https://bup9l.csb.app (see also the links in the repo, e.g. there is also a collaborative todo-list example)

J. Ryan Stinnett adds

If you have a distributed data structure and an algorithm that ensures all participants end up with the same result when their actions are combined, then that's effectively a CRDT as well. For Matrix, there a few research papers like https://arxiv.org/abs/2011.06488 which examine the CRDT-like properties.

Dept of Bots 🤖

GH-Bot (website)

The worst (according to its author!) but simplest webhook bot for GitHub and Matrix.

Jae Lo Presti announces

First stable release of the gh-bot which is a simple webhook to Matrix bot made in Python. As of now, the bot supports webhooks from Github, Gitlab and Gitea (although support for this one is very light). Some other projects might do that way better than this bot but this is a learning project, to learn step by step how client interact with servers. The next step would be to add a CRT.sh integration to get notified when a certificate is issued for a certain range of domains (which is something we want since we saw an IRC bot do the same).

Dept of Interesting Projects 🛰️

matrix-art (website)

A Devianart Fork based on Matrix

MTRNord (they/them) says

Matrix-Art is a new social network prototype on Matrix.

It is a direct Devianart style clone. It currently has a focus on only images but is going to get extended to other media types eventually. I am doing this as a toy project, so it may sometimes have slow progress. The goal is covering the main functions Devianart provides (Posting, Sharing, Profiles, Following, Collections, Comments) as well as integrations to other social networks on matrix using MSC3639.

A lot of things are currently still missing, but I am trying to get uploading working next :)

An instance is hosted at https://art.midnightthoughts.space/ and the code is at https://github.com/MTRNord/matrix-art

Currently, the interface is limited to viewing basic data from a matrix room. In the future, there are plans to have an open registration as well as login with any account to use it. :)

Note however that I suggest against using your personal account just yet, even though the login works, as it may have unexpected room joins at this time. This is known and expected, but not production ready.

Also, at this time, there are no plans of e2ee support. This may get added after the main features are finished.

For questions, feel free to join #matrix-art:nordgedanken.dev :)

Dept of Guides 🧭

Stas'M says

I just wrote an article about my experience using Matrix, and the question... is it worth posting in the news? The article is written in Russian and published on Habr... and since it's pretty big I'm not sure about translating it to English 😅

Here is the link: https://habr.com/ru/post/599777/ - it also mentions TWIM.

Dept of Ping 🏓

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server.

#ping:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1envs.net442
2mtx.koyax.org584
3kapsi.fi698
4finallycoffee.eu877.5
5aria-net.org1032
6trygve.me1049
7fff.chat1528
8samlord.me1551
9bitcoin.ninja1598
10kreatea.space1845.5

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1conduit.supercable.onl397.5
2rustybever.be655
3dendrite.thomcat.rocks672.5
4dendrite.matrix.org794.5
5dendrite.neilalexander.dev958
6matrix.spooks.cyou1405
7matrix.awesomesheep48.me1534
8conduit.cyberdi.sk3041
9dendrite.beckmeyer.us6883

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2022-01-07

07.01.2022 19:58 — This Week in Matrix Thib
Last update: 07.01.2022 19:18

Matrix Live 🎙

What a pleasure it is to be back with the community for the new year! This week Erlend is detailing what Commune is, and I'm flabbergasted by how well thought-through the project is.

Dept of we've been away for holidays

This week in Matrix should be called Three Weeks in Matrix, since there hasn't been TWIM updates during the holiday season. Nico has published a first and second communitwim while I was away. All the news reports since the last official TWIM still made it to the post you're currently reading!

Dept of Spec 📜

TravisR says

Your regular spec person, anoa, is out today so you're stuck with me, not-anoa. This time I got the script to work though 😇

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

Note: This is for the last 3 weeks given TWIM holiday :)

Merged MSCs:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Closed MSCs: Sadly, not every MSC makes it to the end.

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week the last little bit, we've been working on getting MSCs merged into the formal spec itself in preparation for v1.2 this quarter. We expect the release to happen quite soon and to contain Spaces, room versions 8 and 9, and refresh tokens (no spec PR yet) in addition to all the other wonderful stuff which has landed.

The merged MSCs can be seen over at https://spec.matrix.org/unstable/ where they're queued up for the next release. Look out for Added in v1.2 labels throughout the spec, denoting what is new and exciting.

Random MSC of the week

The random MSC this week is MSC2192: Inline widgets (I promise it was random, after a few re-rolls). Inline widgets are a concept that allows for rich functionality in the timeline without needing to necessarily specify an explicit event type. For example, video embeds, minigames, etc could all be represented by inline widgets instead of dedicated event types.

The MSC needs updating to handle MSC1767: Extensible Events (and friends), but once there it could be a very powerful bit of functionality, with free fallback thanks to Extensible Events.

The graph

Here's a stacked graph of MSC progress:

Kegan announces

Sliding sync (aka sync v3) is described in MSC3575 - it's still very early days for the proposal which means a lot can change: and YOU can be a part of that. Please take a look at the MSC and provide any and all feedback, be it on the names of keys, format of JSON objects, or the kinds of operations that can be performed. I'm particularly interested in feedback from client developers who have complex room list sort orders or room list filtering requirements and bot/bridge developers who typically don't have a visible room list UI. Any and all feedback at this stage is welcome, visit #sliding-sync:matrix.org to join the discussion.

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse (website)

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

callahad announces

We're back! New year, new release candidate: we published Synapse 1.50.0rc1 today, marking the end of life for our Python 3.6 and PostgreSQL 9.6 support. We've also extracted some shared utilities into their own package, matrix-common, which is used by Synapse, Sygnal, and Sydent.

We'll talk more about what's in 1.50 next week when it formally releases.

The Synapse team is expecting to spend most of January on behind-the-scenes work as we gear up to virtually host FOSDEM again! Members of the team will be presenting two talks this year: Shay on Events for the Uninitiated, and Brendan on Beyond the Matrix: Extend the capabilities of your Synapse homeserver. Check out the full devroom schedule here.

matrix-media-repo (website)

Matrix media repository with multi-domain in mind.

TravisR says

v1.2.9 v1.2.10 got released as a maintenance update. With early support for Matrix 1.1, S3 storage classes, and blurhash fixes it's worth the upgrade though there are other goodies - check out the changelog, and report bugs to the issue tracker 🙂

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Helm Chart (website)

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace reports

And as a end-of-year update, my Helm Charts have gotten updated yet again. With element-web ending up on 1.9.8, matrix-synapse on 1.49.2 (and .1 before that), and matrix-media-repo on 1.2.10

Dendrite Helm Chart (website)

Helm Chart to deploy Dendrite on Kubernetes

jonnobrow reports

The first iteration of a Dendrite Helm Chart has been released under the k8s-at-home charts repository. It currently supports a full monolithic deployment and requires minimal configuration to get up and running (just need to generate a matrix key and mount it as per the instructions).

If polylith is your thing then I recommend the chart by S7evinK for now, although it is likely these charts will merge in the future.

The chart and documentation are available here: https://github.com/k8s-at-home/charts/tree/master/charts/incubator/dendrite

Dept of Bridges 🌉

Matrix Webhook Receiver (website)

An add-on for the matrix-appservice-webhooks bridge. Webhooks are essentially web interfaces for applications to "push" data to. The bridge can receive messages in a certain format, which is nice if the notifying app can be configured. Often it cannot.

kim says

matrix-webhook-receiver has hit 1.1.0! Give feedback or talk to us about it over in #matrix-webhook-receiver:matrix.org! 🙂

Features

  • Advanced Templating! It is now possible to set format and msgtype based on arbitrary values from the webhook JSON via Jinja2. Shoutout to qg for suggesting this and giving their feedback!
  • compatibility with matrix-appservice-webhooks forks that read avatarUrl instead of avatar_url
  • allow mxc:// URL avatars
  • improvements to the GUI, including automatically resizing text areas and msc:// avatar URL preview
  • improvements to templates/examples including making use of above features
  • more documentation, including Tips & Tricks and Related Projects

Notable Fixes

Full Changelog: https://github.com/HarHarLinks/matrix-webhook-receiver/compare/1.0.0...1.1.0

matrix-hookshot (website)

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

Half-Shot says

Howdy folks, it is the time of the year where everyone scarpers! Anyway, perfect time to announce that matrix-hookshot has gotten it's first major release!. 1.0.0 is here!

For those not in the know, the hookshot bridge is used to bridge GitHub, GitLab, JIRA and Generic Webhooks into Matrix rooms. It doesn't just bridge into existing rooms, but can also spawn dynamic rooms based on aliases, send you your notifications in a DM and do lots of other wonderful things!

The notable changes from the 0.1.0 release are:

  • The bridge has now been renamed from matrix-github to matrix-hookshot.
  • Now supports JIRA and Generic Webhooks in addition to GitHub and GitLab.
  • Includes new commands and metrics reporting.
  • Includes complete documentation.

You can get involved and start playing with it by checking out the release here

And that will be my last TWIM entry of the year. Have a good one and stay safe all 🐶

That was in 2021! Half-Shot is back in 2022 with more news

Hey folks! It was only last year we released the 1.0 release of hookshot, after many years of work to get it that far. I'm happy to announce that this week we've got another release. There are a number of buxfixes and improved documentation pieces landing (special shoutout to HarHarLinks for ensuring the docs are competent). The highlights are as follows:

  • Added support for Figma webhooks. this also means the archival of my old project matrix-figma
  • Support GitLab wiki page change events.
  • Added a new script validate-config which allows you to check your config file for simple errors. Handy for people writing ansible roles!
  • Add support for a html key on generic webhooks to set the HTML content of a Matrix message.

The project can be found over at https://github.com/Half-Shot/matrix-hookshot/, with pretty pretty docs at https://half-shot.github.io/matrix-hookshot. We're also in #hookshot:half-shot.uk if you prefer using Matrix to learn about these things!

Heisenbridge (website)

Heisenbridge is a bouncer-style Matrix IRC bridge.

hifi announces

Heisenbridge roundup!

Release v1.8.0 v1.8.1 v1.8.2 v1.9.0 🥳

  • Spaces support 🌃
  • Sort NAMES reply nicks 🔤
  • UNPLUMB network command to force unplumbing without being in the room
  • Proper SASL external with CertFP with mechanism override option (see notes)
  • Disconnect and cleanup from networks that have no rooms open ♻️
  • Reply (and reject) DM requests to ghosts with QUERY command ↪️
  • Try to keep IRC users in the room at all costs if they are on the IRC channel
  • Fix assumption of all IRC replies to have arguments
  • Prevent accidental namespace changes to cause mayhem
  • Finally convert from homegrown Matrix API stuff to Mautrix
  • Bump Mautrix requirement to 0.12=>0.14
  • Conduit support was broken in 1.8.x but fixed again in 1.9.0, sorry

Finally there's network level spaces support with a new SPACE command. This creates a new bridge controlled space for the network and automatically manages rooms in and out. There's an issue/feature with Element that all rooms that have been converted to DMs with /converttodm will appear in all bridge spaces. The workaround is to convert them back to regular rooms.

CertFP SASL has been updated to do SASL external flow by default. If you are upgrading and have used CertFP with OFTC you need to run SASL --mechanism=none for it to connect again.

Abandoned networks where the user has left all rooms including the network room will now automatically disconnect and cleanup. This is more in line what people would expect and prevents idle connections from hanging around.

Get your third vaccination from GitHub, PyPI or matrix-docker-ansible-deploy!

Thanks!

Dept of Clients 📱

Nheko (website)

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

Nico announces

We just released 0.9.1!

This is a small bug fix release. If you reported an issue, there is a 15% chance it is fixed now! This release also supports pinned messages, although those will only show up after someone changed the pinned messages in a room currently (we didn't want to force a full resync just for such a small feature). The spaces list is also now nested, Nheko offers you quick access to your recently used reactions and Nheko will show you your direct chats in the sidebar. Apart from that there are quite a few bugfixes and smaller improvements, you can find the full changelog and downloads here: https://github.com/Nheko-Reborn/nheko/releases/tag/v0.9.1

Thank you everyone, who helped shape this release!

Nico reports

Nheko now is a lot more efficient. We now use one Threadpool instead of 3, got rid of more than 60% of the allocations when scrolling through messages, layout half as much content when scrolling, blurhashes decode in 10% of the time and jdenticons allocate ~10% as much temporary buffers. We also deleted around 1000 lines of unused code. Tooltips also shouldn't steal the mouse focus when scrolling anymore, which could lead to sudden stalls when scrolling.

Additionally edits now replace existing notifications, tastytea added a manpage and fixed blurry or incorrectly sized custom emoji, you can now send custom emotes via the inline completer using ~ and completers now show a scrollable list with more Elements than before. Advanced users can also now opt into an insecure client side secrets storage via a hidden setting.

Nico says

We're baaaaack! Anyway, last week Drake just translated all of Nheko into Spanish, you can now zoom in and pan in the image viewer, emojis shouldn't split up into their segments anymore and Nheko should always be sending the qualified version of it (according the to the unicode test files, not by just appending FE0F). Blurhashes should be even faster still and we now have support for running the call event loop on macOS and Windows (although call support is still disabled there for now).

We are also now working to restructure our README. It has a lot of outdated stuff in it and you really want to see screenshots pretty early in the README! You can sneak a peak here: https://nheko.im/nheko-reborn/nheko/-/tree/README_updates

Element (website)

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

Danielle reports

Welcome to a new year at Element!

Threads

  • This week the Threads team has focussed their efforts on improving some of the smaller details and pesky bugs we’ve found in our first rounds of testing.
    • If you’d like to help us test Threads we’ll be asking for help in the Community Testing room over the next few weeks. Join#element-community-testing:matrix.org to stay in the loop.

Polls

  • Polls is available in Labs on all clients! While we know there are some minor improvements to be made, we’re proud of where we are and would love for you to start using it!

Community Testing

  • Our next session will be on Wednesday, 12th January at 16:00 UTC (17:00 CET). We will be testing the new release candidates on all three platforms! Join us at#element-community-testing:matrix.org

Element Web/Desktop (website)

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

Danielle reports

  • Work continues on the integration of PostHog analytics. With your explicit permissions we’ll receive anonymous usage data that will allow us to understand the areas of Element that are helpful (or not). This info will help fuel things like our Information Architecture project.
  • In labs (you can enable labs in settings on develop.element.io or on Nightly)
    • Information Architecture improvements are still being worked on - try it out by enabling things like the new Spotlight search and Breadcrumbs.
    • Message Bubbles are improving; We’ve been hard at work preparing them for a release in the coming weeks.

Element iOS (website)

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

Danielle announces

  • During the Christmas break we increase the speed of the app launch by 7x! Once stabilised this update will land with you.
  • Analytics changes have been merged into the RC and opt-in will be available soon.
  • In development:
    • More Spaces improvements are underway; You’ll soon be able to add rooms to Spaces, update room settings, and have room interactions on the ‘long-press’.
    • Improved onboarding! We’re hoping to make the first few steps in Element easy by simplifying some of the first tasks users take in the app, including signing up.
    • We’ve started building Message Bubbles on iOS. This will help to distinguish the messages you send from the messages you receive.

Element Android (website)

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

Danielle says

  • For Android we now have a PR review board to increase visibility into the state of PRs submitted by external contributors!
  • The new Opt-in screen for PostHog analytics tracking will be released soon.
  • Work on Message Bubbles has started and we can’t wait to share it with you!
    • If you have any feedback or questions about Messages Bubbles, please let us know now.
  • We’re also working on improving the sign up and sign in experience with some micro-improvements landing in the product soon.
  • We’re sorry for the delay of Element on F-Droid store, it will be available next week.

Dept of Non Chat Clients 🎛️

Populus Viewer (website)

A Social Annotation Tool Powered by Matrix

gleachkr says

A lot has happened with populus-viewer!

  • We now implement MSC2574! This MSC proposes a standard format for marking up resources (PDFs, other document formats, audiovisual media, websites, geospatial data...) using Matrix.
  • Room avatars are now displayed in the welcome view for PDF rooms
  • There's now a UI for using spaces to manage and share PDF collections
  • Reactions now work like element-web: click to mirror an existing reaction or redact your previous reaction

Next, I'm aiming to implement MSC3592, which proposes a standard format for basic markup on PDFs. Stay tuned! And if you're interested in learning more, come visit #opentower:matrix.org.

Matrix Wrench (website)

Matrix Wrench is a web client to tweak Matrix rooms.

ChristianP announces

Matrix Wrench is a web client to tweak Matrix rooms. After formerly calling it Matrix Navigator or Matrix Screwdriver, I finally settled on the name Matrix Wrench. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Version v0.2.0 comes with a Network Log which displays curl equivalents for all network requests. It also allows to easily add and remove room aliases. https://gitlab.com/jaller94/matrix-wrench/

matrix-streamchat (website)

Matrix powered stream overlay for OBS, to integrate live chat in your favorite (selfhosted) streaming setups.

f0x says

there's a pink theme and irc styling for matrix-streamchat now

Cactus Comments (website)

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

Asbjørn reports

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

We released version v0.11.0 of the client!

The client has been relicensed to LGPL. This means that you can now use Cactus Comments in non-GPL compatible projects. But mainly, this release brings a bunch of CSS improvements: introducing automatic dark mode, and making it easier to change colors with CSS variables.

Here's the changelog:

  • Relicense from GPLv3 to LGPLv3.
  • Rewrite large parts of the stylesheet to use flexbox.
  • Introduce CSS variables to the stylesheet.
  • .dark and .light CSS classes with default values for dark/light mode.
  • Bugfix: "View More" button no longer blinks when auto-refreshing short comment sections.

v0.11.0 changelog and IPFS links here.

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

Try out a live demo: cactus.chat/demo

Join our Matrix room: #cactus:cactus.chat

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

simplematrixbotlib (website)

simplematrixbotlib is an easy to use bot library for the Matrix ecosystem written in Python and based on matrix-nio.

krazykirby99999 reports

Happy New Year!

Since the last post of TWIM, versions 2.5.1 and 2.6.0 of simplematrixbotlib were released.

Version 2.5.1 Released!

New Fixes:

  • Fixed #101 'Api' object has no attribute 'async_client'

Version 2.6.0 Released!

New Features:

  • A listener for handling m.reaction events has been added. Bot developers can now use Listener.on_reaction_event to smoothly handle reactions.

Example usage is shown below:

"""
Example Usage:

random_user
      !echo something

random_user2
      *reacts with 👍️

echo_reaction_bot
      Reaction: 👍️
"""

import simplematrixbotlib as botlib

creds = botlib.Creds("https://example.com", "echo_reaction_bot", "password")
bot = botlib.Bot(creds)


@bot.listener.on_reaction_event
async def echo_reaction(room, event, reaction):
    resp_message = f"Reaction: {reaction}"
    await bot.api.send_text_message(room.room_id, resp_message)


bot.run()

Request additional features here.

Source: https://github.com/KrazyKirby99999/simple-matrix-bot-lib

Package: https://pypi.org/project/simplematrixbotlib/

Documentation: https://simple-matrix-bot-lib.readthedocs.io/en/latest/

Matrix Room: https://matrix.to/#/#simplematrixbotlib:matrix.org

matrix-bot-sdk (website)

A TypeScript/JavaScript SDK for Matrix bots

TravisR announces

matrix-bot-sdk has had a v0.6.0-beta.3 release with beta support for crypto! It even includes documentation!

The crypto is considered beta quality at the moment: good enough to use for somewhat unimportant bots, but not fully recommended for production just yet. With that being said, I'm interested in bugs you run into - please use the issue tracker if you run into crypto not working.

Tutorials for the crypto setup are at https://turt2live.github.io/matrix-bot-sdk/tutorial-encryption.html

Note for appservice support to work then you'll need a Synapse with these PRs enabled (may require manual merge too):

  • https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/pull/11538
  • https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/pull/11617
  • https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/pull/11215

For non-linux platforms, the rust-sdk will try to build itself which means you might need a working Rust stack. The Rust SDK repo itself has more information:

  • https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-rust-sdk/blob/travis/node-bindings/crates/matrix-sdk-crypto-nodejs/README.md
  • https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-rust-sdk/blob/travis/node-bindings/README.md

Bots and appservices don't automatically support encryption, but adding encryption should be easy. The Rust SDK dependency is required in either case, sorry.

Complement (website)

Matrix compliance test suite

Kegan reports

Complement has seem some updates this week in the test output that is produced onto the CLI. Details on how to add this to your CI process are contained in the README. Here's the difference when viewed using Github Actions:

Before:

After:

Polyjuice (website)

Elixir libraries related to the Matrix communications protocol.

uhoreg reports

Polyjuice Newt, the newest addition to the Polyjuice project, is an Elixir binding for vodozemac, the new Olm/Megolm implementation in Rust. At the time of writing, Polyjuice Newt supports encryption and decryption using Olm and Megolm, but by the time you read this next year, it may also support the SAS verification functions and pickling/unpickling.

Dept of Ops 🛠

NixOS Deployment (website)

Matrix packaging for NixOS

piegames announces

I don't think we've previously had any Nix/NixOS/nixpkgs related entries in TWIM, so I'll start ^^

The current unstable channel has extended its Matrix ecosystem support to also include Heisenbridge and Conduit packages and modules. This makes it super easy to deploy any of those services: For example, my configuration for Heisenbridge is 21 lines long, and Conduit is only 11 lines. You can browse the available configuration options online: services.matrix-conduit, services.heisenbridge (note that some of them are freeform and simply forward to the upstream configuration).

For those that are not into NixOS, a module is the code that turns the declarative configuration files into your running system setup. As an example, if you enable services.heisenbridge the following things are done for you:

  • Create a new heisenbridge user and group for the service
  • Create and manage the registration file for the homeserver (i.e. automatically regenerate it after the configuration changed)
  • Create a systemd service that runs the heisenbridge command with the requested bridge configuration. The unit also sets a few systemd security hardening options.

For support, join our Matrix space at #community:nixos.org and its Matrix-Nix channel: #matrix-nix:transformierende-gesellschaft.org

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy (website)

Matrix server setup using Ansible and Docker

Slavi says

Thanks to Aine of etke.cc, matrix-docker-ansible-deploy can now help you set up Honoroit - a helpdesk bot.

See our Setting up Honoroit documentation to get started.

Slavi says

Thanks to Aine of etke.cc, matrix-docker-ansible-deploy now supports Cinny - a new simple, elegant and secure Matrix client.

To try it out, see our Setting up Cinny documentation page.

Slavi announces

At matrix-docker-ansible-deploy, we believe that 2022 will be the year of the non-Synapse Matrix server!

Jip J. Dekker did the initial work of adding Dendrite support to the playbook back in January 2021. Lots of work (and time) later, Dendrite support is finally ready for testing.

The playbook was previously quite Synapse-centric, but can now accommodate multiple homeserver implementations, with Synapse still remaining the default.

To learn more, see our changelog entry about Dendrite.

Slavi announces

Thanks to Matthew Cengia and Shreyas Ajjarapu, matrix-docker-ansible-deploy can now bridge to Twitter using the mautrix-twitter bridge.

Note: the playbook already supports another Twitter bridge - mx-puppet-twitter.

To get started with this bridge, see Setting up Mautrix Twitter bridging in our documentation.

This brings the total number of bridges supported by the playbook up to 22. See all supported bridges here.

matrix-commit (website)

A Github Action for sending messages to a Matrix Room.

krazykirby99999 says

Version 1.2.2 Released!

A Github Action for sending messages to a Matrix Room. Changes should apply automatically if you are using tag v1.

New Features:

  • Link to repository added
  • Link to commit added

Before:

After:

Dept of Guides 🧭

Austin Huang says

A new Matrix guide has come into town: https://joinmatrix.org

In the hopes to expand Matrix's reach to the non-technical population, this guide is intended to give quick directions on how to use Matrix, as well as clear comparison between Matrix and other dominant platforms.

The pages are available on GitHub. Open to contributions!

Dept of Ping 🏓

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server.

#ping:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1envs.net599.5
2thomcat.rocks768
3matrix.spooks.cyou862
4matrix.nicfab.it955
5aria-net.org1300
6aletheia.moe1611.5
7trygve.me1617
8mtx.koyax.org1703.5
9rollyourown.xyz1808
10microelectro.de1996

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1matrix.spooks.cyou366
2dendrite.matrix.org440
3sspaeth.de466
4rustybever.be546.5
5grin.hu966
6matrix.awesomesheep48.me1294
7dendrite.neilalexander.dev1537
8dendrite.beckmeyer.us1744

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2021-12-17

17.12.2021 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Thib

Matrix Live 🎙

A supercharged episode this week with five super exciting demos!

Dept of Spec 📜

TravisR reports

Hey all, it's me again, not-anoa, with your spec update. I don't have a graph for you this week, but I do have curated content which hopefully holds you over until next week 🙂

This week we've seen a few new MSCs get opened up:

As demonstrated, a few of them are follow-on work from aggregations. A lot of the work is an effort to get MSC2675 - Serverside aggregations of message relationships through FCP - it's changed quite a bit in the last week, so if you reviewed it before then please give it a quick read!

We're also gearing up for MSC1767 - Extensible event types & fallback in Matrix receiving attention early next year. This is currently being evaluated by features like MSC3245 - Voice messages, MSC3381 - Polls, and MSC3488 - Static location sharing. If all goes according to plan, the first pieces of Extensible Events will land soon.

Thib has caught me quite close to the deadline on TWIM, so while I don't have a random MSC for you this week I do recommend some light reading around aggregations and extensible events - these are both major features for Matrix and help shape the future for other, even more exciting, features.

Nico announces

Random MSC

Since the script didn't run, I manually generated random numbers until I actually got one, that matches an MSC and is not a draft!

So the random MSC is: MSC2461: Proposal for Authenticated Content Repository API

The goal of this MSC is to restrict who can access files in your content repository, which is used to share files, images, voice messages and more on Matrix. Currently this is secured by using random identifiers, but this MSC wants to add a few more restrictions: A signed-in user can still access everything, but if you don't provide an access token, when downloading media, you either can access no media, only media that was sent from that server, only media which the server already downloaded or everything. The level of access can be set by the server admin.

I think this would be really nice to have, but it has various challenges when implementing it in clients and when it needs to work across federation. It could limit how much random users can fill up your disk though, which is especially important for small server admins!

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

callahad reports

Happy holidays! This week we released Synapse 1.49.0, our last planned release of the year. This is the last release that supports Python 3.6 or PostgreSQL 9.6; if you've not upgraded, now is the time!

Most notably, this release includes stable support for MSC2918: Refresh tokens. This is a more secure alternative to long-lived access tokens, and we'd encourage clients to implement support for refresh tokens as described in the MSC.

We also released Sygnal 0.11, which includes loads of bugfixes. For the Element-managed Sygnal instances, this release has reduced our daily Sentry error rate by over 99%, dramatically improving the signal-to-noise ratio of our monitoring.

See you in January with Synapse 1.50! 🎄

Sydent

Sydent is the reference Matrix Identity server. It provides a lookup service, so that you can find a Matrix user via their email address or phone number (if they have chosen to share it).

dmr announces

I've just published the third and final post on Sydent's type annotations (part 1, part 2). This one is more reflective and tries to quantify our efforts: how well have we done?

Thanks for reading---I hope it's been useful.

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Helm Chart

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace announces

And yet again more updates have been done on my Helm Charts - bringing element-web up to 1.9.7 and matrix-synapse up to 1.49.0

Dept of Clients 📱

Nheko

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

Nico reports

We are planning to have a small release next week, that fixes a few issues with the 0.9.0 release. It would be lovely if some of you could test one of our nightlies or could check if the translations for a language you speak are up to date in our weblate.

Some of the fixes this week include another crash fix for handling matrix links from your browser, notification bubbles that can show values over 9000(!), better preview images for sticker and emote packs created in Nheko, allowing you to click links in replies, a few layout and click area fixes. Nheko now also keeps track of your latest reactions and gives you easy access to them in the hover menu.

Nheko now also finally supports pinned messages! Most of you probably don't know, but that feature has pretty much always been in the matrix spec, but very few clients expose it. Today Nheko joins that rank! It's part of our goal to provide better support for building communities. Topics can be quite limiting, because they can only contain plain text. Pinned messages allow for much more creative freedom! They can also be encrypted, while state events currently never are, but the key for that isn't reshared, so currently experience in encrypted rooms is a tradeoff. Maybe we'll go for an encrypted description event in the future, but for now this seems to be a good solution to bridge the gap.

Let's hope the current master branch is good and we'll have a release with ALL THE FIXES next week! And thank you everyone, who already translated and reported issues! It took less than 10 hours to have 5 languages updated to 100%! Last year we didn't even have that many languages at 100%! You guys are AMAZING! <3

Element

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

kittykat announces

Development has kicked off for location sharing! Watch this space for more news in the new year.

Threads

  • List of threads in a room is now more accurate and viewing very long threads has improved with the integration with the homeserver APIs. (These APIs are not enabled on matrix.org yet.)
  • Threads on mobile platforms are catching up to Web, with many changes in review.
  • Iterated on the design for restricted history threads and search results across all platforms.
  • Design for thread previews in room list has been improved for mobile platforms.
  • Improved Android bottom sheet expandable and scrollable behaviour design.
  • We’ve created MSC3567 to fix some edge cases with API calls

Polls

  • Only one Android bug is outstanding!
  • Gathering feedback to incorporate into the next phase of development, join us for the community testing session on Monday at 17:00 in #element-community-testing:matrix.org

VoIP

  • Continuing with polishing & bug fixing for full mesh calling app. One remaining bug somewhere causing members to not connect properly. Finalising how much of registration & login we can/want to implement for the short term until it’s replaced by OAuth login.

Community testing sessions

  • Tested all three Release Candidates (RCs) at the same time for the first time! Did not find any new web issues when testing first time user experiences and basic interactions on Web. We found 6 new issues on Android and 9 on iOS.
  • Tried out the Information Architecture changes on web with the Delight team. Very exciting to see these changes available in Labs already!
  • Closed 33 out of 60 re-tested encryption issues on Web and prioritised a few to be considered for upcoming work.
  • Next sessions, join #element-community-testing:matrix.org :
    • 17:00 UTC / 18:00 CET on Monday 20th December to test the new Polls feature
    • 16:30 UTC / 17:30 CET on Tuesday 21st December to squash more encryption bugs!

Element Web/Desktop

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

kittykat announces

  • We’ve been working on auto-generating code and documentation for events raised by our client analytics (code here, PR for documentation generation here). This allows us to publish a comprehensive list of everything our analytics capture, which is great both for end users and for people doing analysis.
  • In labs (you can enable labs features in settings on develop.element.io or on Nightly)
    • First milestone reached on Information Architecture! To try it out, enable “Threaded messaging”, “Use new room breadcrumbs” and “New spotlight search experience” in the Labs settings.
    • We’re actively collecting feedback on IA to review in the new year.
    • Starting work on Message Bubble defects

Element iOS

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

kittykat reports

  • Fixed an issue around some voice messages not playing in bridged rooms.
  • Polls changes are in this week’s release candidate (RC) and will be available behind a Labs flag in the next release.
  • Analytics changes have been merged into the RC and opt-in will be available soon.
  • In development:
    • Spaces is coming closer to completion: we’re there on space creation, adding rooms to spaces, space management and more. Release coming in the new year!
    • Work on implementing new login flow continues, with more improvements incoming.

Element Android

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

kittykat announces

  • Improvements to the timeline performance (faster display, faster scroll) after updates to the way we store timeline events.
  • Analytics framework has been merged, opt-in request will be shown to users once more translations have landed. For now, you can enable it in the settings.
  • Work on Message Bubbles has started!

Cinny

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

ajbura says

Cinny v1.6.0

Features

  • Room Timeline
    • Add pagination in room timeline
    • Replies link back to original message event
    • Use formatted_body to parse markdown
    • Support rich replies
    • Separation of read/unread messages in the room
    • Typing outside of an input box should focus the message field
    • Spoiler display support
    • User pill display support
    • Custom emoji display support
    • Performance improvements
  • Export E2E key for decrypting history in another client
  • Replaced go-to commands with Room search modal (Ctrl + k)
  • Remember people panel state
  • Twemojified all kind of text (except inputs)
  • Add option to hide membership and user events from timeline
  • Messages now span to full viewport width
  • Add animation on hover in sidebar/avatar

Bugs

  • Fix defer typing notifications until it can't be a command
  • Fix checkbox in register page
  • Fix app sending read receipt in background
  • Fix crash on creating room
  • Fix dark theme colors

Security update

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

Dept of Non Clients 🎛️

Matrix Highlight

A decentralized and federated way of annotating the web based on Matrix.

Daniel announces

I've been working on a matrix-based tool for highlighting and annotating websites. By building on top of matrix, we can effectively have a decentralized, federated and collaborative way to leave notes and highlights on pages. I wrote a brief introduction on my blog, as well as made a little bit of a simple demo video. Here's a copy-pasted list of planned and existing features:

  • Current: Create and send website annotations over Matrix.
  • Current: Store data in a decentralized and federated manner.
  • Current: Share highlights with other users, including those on other servers.
  • Current: Group annotations together and create multiple annotation groups
  • Planned: Use Matrix's End-to-End encryption to ensure the secure transmission and storage of highlight data.
  • Planned: Leverage the new m.thread MSC to allow users to comment on and discuss highlights.
  • Planned: Use something like ArchiveBox to cache the current version of a website and prevent annotations from breaking.
  • Planned Highlight PDFs in addition to web pages.

Come join #matrix-highlight:matrix.danilafe.com to receive updates about the project!

I haven't published the code just yet, but I'm going to as soon as the tool is in better shape.

Daniel announces

Matrix highlight for probably the last time this week. Highlight comments and self-editing are implemented, though I'm not sure I'll stick with this particular model.

Populus Viewer

A Social Annotation Tool Powered by Matrix

gleachkr announces

I've been teaching a class this semester using a tool built on the matrix-js-sdk and tentatively entitled populus-viewer. Populus-viewer uses Matrix as a backend for the social annotation of PDFs, with the goal of helping matrix become a platform for teaching and scholarly collaboration. If you're interested in learning more, or adopting populus-viewer in your teaching, come visit #opentower:matrix.org!

Populus-Viewer currently supports:

  • Annotation of PDFs with highlights and pin-drops
  • Matrix conversations based on annotations
  • Audio and video messages
  • Replies, reactions, and redactions
  • Markdown for rich text
  • LaTeX for mathematical notation
  • Typing notifications
  • Synchronized reading position across devices
  • SSO, with single-click links for embedding in an LMS like Canvas or Blackboard.

As the project develops, I'm hoping to continue to polish the reading experience, and to add support for other mime types (audio and video especially).

matrix-streamchat

Matrix powered stream overlay for OBS, to integrate live chat in your favorite (selfhosted) streaming setups.

f0x announces

TWIM I got started on the chat part of matrix-streamchat, to provide a lightweight embeddable Matrix client to be used alongside streams in Owncast and PeerTube. It will use guest access, and lots more features to come like extensive custom emote support. For now refactoring a bunch of things first before adding more flashy things, but who knows, you might see me do it live on https://stream.pixie.town

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

vodozemac

An implementation of Olm and Megolm in pure Rust.

Matthew says

Introducing vodozemac (https://github.com/matrix-org/vodozemac) - a rewrite of libolm in Rust by poljar and dkasak! The intention is for this to become the reference Olm implementation going forwards, and to get it audited asap (and benefit from all of Rust’s nice safety and parallelism features, and better crypto primitives!)

simplematrixbotlib

simplematrixbotlib is an easy to use bot library for the Matrix ecosystem written in Python and based on matrix-nio.

krazykirby99999 says

Version 2.5.0 Released!

simplematrixbotlib is an easy to use bot library for the Matrix ecosystem written in Python and based on matrix-nio. Version 2.5.0 adds improvements to the config feature.

Feature Changes:

  • Add allow/block lists: This allows bot developers to specify allow/block lists of users who have permission to interact with the bot using regex.
  • Permissions can checked with Match.is_from_allowed_user(), which lets the bot developer choose which responses are restricted.
  • The allow/block lists can by modified at runtime via the Config.add_allowlist(), Config.remove_allowlist(), Config.add_blocklist(), and Config.remove_blocklist() methods.

A thank you to HarHarLinks for their contributions to version 2.5.0!

Request additional features here.

View source on Github View package on PyPi View docs on readthedocs.io https://matrix.to/#/#simplematrixbotlib:matrix.org

Dimension

An open source integration manager for matrix clients, like Element.

TravisR announces

Dimension, an integration manager alternative for Element, has received a bunch of updates over the last couple weeks:

  • Added (early) support for matrix-hookshot's GitHub, Jira, and Webhooks bridging.
  • Most of a redesign complete to make it feel more like an Element UI rather than something special and third party.

If you're interested in helping out in getting the redesign finished, please check out https://github.com/turt2live/matrix-dimension/issues/458 which has reference mockups and linked issues. The major parts are the "complex bots" (Travis CI, RSS, etc) and the sticker integration. Unfortunately, I don't have enough free time to work on it myself in the near term, but will get back to it eventually 🙂

And now, a complementary screenshot of the Good™ parts:

Dept of Ops 🛠

matrix-commit

A Github Action for sending messages to a Matrix Room.

krazykirby99999 reports

Example Usage:

# .github/workflows/matrix-commit.yml
on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master

jobs:
  matrix_action_job:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    name: Send Message to Matrix Room
    steps:

    - name: Checkout
      uses: actions/checkout@v2

    - name: matrix-commit
      uses: krazykirby99999/matrix-commit@v1

      with:
        homeserver: ${{ secrets.BOT_HOMESERVER }}
        username: ${{ secrets.BOT_USERNAME }}
        access_token: ${{ secrets.BOT_ACCESS_TOKEN }}

        room_id: ${{ secrets.ROOM_ID }}
        message: "#### New Commit:"

Notes:

Syntax:

  • The homeserver should be in the form of https://domain.tld
  • The username should be the username, not the user id. (krazykirby99999, not @krazykirby99999:matrix.org)
  • The room_id should be the internal room id of the room, not the published address. (!QQpfJfZvqxbCfeDgCj:matrix.org, not #thisweekinmatrix:matrix.org) This can be found under Room Options > Advanced > Room Information in the Element Client.

Other

  • If the room_id is not specified, the bot will send the message to all joined rooms.
  • If the message is not specified, it will default to Commit:.
  • The bot will join all invited rooms upon the start of an action.

Contributions are welcome - https://github.com/KrazyKirby99999/matrix-commit

Example Image

Dept of Bots 🤖

matrix-imposter-bot

A Matrix appservice for relaying messages.

mr_johnson22 says

matrix-imposter-bot - A bot that uses your account to repeat other people's messages. This gives relay-bot capabilities to puppet-only bridges.

I made this project a while ago to hack in a relay mode to the mautrix Facebook bridge. But as of this week, that bridge supports relaying natively! 🎉 Thus, my main motivation for maintaining imposter-bot is obsolete, and the project will be on indefinite hiatus.

With that said, it can (mostly) still be used to add relay support to any bridges that don't yet support a relay mode themselves--but native relay support is always better!

Thanks to everyone who's shown interest in the project, and to tulir for making such great bridges!

Dept of Interesting Projects 🛰️

ChatStat

An R package To Gather Stats From Chat Platforms

Gwmngilfen announces

A project has started to re-implement the venerable mIRCstats for Matrix! It's in very early stages, right now it only does "getting a data-frame of events for a list of rooms" and has no actual visualisations baked in yet. However, we're moving quickly, and I hope to have some initial easy-to-use viz in place over the Christmas break.

The project is written in R (because I am an R user, and its good for data and viz work :P) and you can find it here. If you're new to R and want to give it a go, check out the extremely brief howto I just wrote here. I look forward to all the ways you will tell me it's broken!

Dept of Built on Matrix 🏗️

Saint Petersburg Widget (A Board Game build on Matrix)

Timo K. announces

Board games are great. And Matrix and its widget api turned out to be an excellent environment to create collaborative board games. With some really impressive conditions:

  • I don't have to maintain a server with a database.
  • I don't have to create a custom account systems user need to register. They play with their matrix account, which also makes accessibility great. Someone invites you in a room with the game and you can play!
  • I just need to host one static file and ppl will be able to play as long as that static site exists.

This project tries to be two things. A tech demo and inspiration to what is possible with widgets (Especially, with the changes on how widgets can be displayed in element (Check the "matrix live" Demos! 😊) ) Second it should serve as source and resource. For ideas and solutions on how no trust games can be executed without server (third party) side logic. And, for the ones interested, also as a resource on how widgets are implemented.

Last but not least the game Saint Petersburg is really fun. It takes a couple of minutes to grasp the rules but it is one of those games where there are so many things that can be considered with simple rules that it becomes more and more exciting with each round. So I really invite you to check out the rules and give it a try. Its best to start in the Git Repo or join the this room: #st-petersburg-auth:matrix.org

To put it simple, the widget works like this: The game state is stored in the room state and is updated through the widget directly. This of course raises questions: How is it still possible to prohibit users from cheating and manually changing parameters like, how much money they own. Everyone (who has the permission) is always able to send whatever state events they want? How is it possible to draw random cards if there is no third party involved. Could I not just send a state event with the cards that I hope are going to be drawn and are beneficial for me. Can we make card drawing deterministic? Not really since then everyone know what is going to happen. Which kind of breaks the game...

I would be super happy, if someone is interested and wants to find answer to the questions above by checking out the README.

Matrix in the News 📰

kim says

There is an article (exclusive to paid subscribers) in the German tech news/magazine website heise.de about "Running your own messaging service using the matrix server" https://www.heise.de/ratgeber/Eigener-Chatserver-Mit-dem-Matrix-Server-einen-Messaging-Dienst-betreiben-6289020.html

I'm not a subscriber but sounds like they go over how to set up using the Ansible playbook #matrix-docker-ansible-deploy:devture.com

Dept of Ping 🏓

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server.

#ping:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1envs.net451.5
2cri.epita.fr1019
3aria-net.org1446.5
4flueren.eu1576
5matrix.home.boris-wach.de3181
6trygve.me3519
7utzutzutz.net4038
8matx.myecloud.org4855.5
9rollyourown.xyz4989.5
10grimneko.de5127

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1rustybever.be461
2conduit.supercable.onl524
3dendrite.supercable.onl539
4conduit.cyberdi.sk953.5
5matrix.awesomesheep48.me1434.5
6s2.toldi.eu1593
70x1a8510f2.space2125
8dendrite.beckmeyer.us8497

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2021-12-10

10.12.2021 19:24 — This Week in Matrix Thib
Last update: 10.12.2021 19:09

The Adventures of TWIM bot

Last week the Matrix Scientists had turned this room into a portal to TWIM bot's ship tank so we could all fuel it with news about our work. The spec and hookshot news were reported late when the tank was already full, sending TWIM bot's ship into hyperspeed mode 🚀

We lost contact with the bot for a few days but managed to restore a connection with it. It appeared to have crashed on the green planet of Fuj'ehr. Its ship shattered in pieces at impact! 💥

The bot managed to find most of them, but some critical pieces of the engine were missing. We needed to find those pieces quickly before the mushy ground of Fuj'ehr swallows them forever! 😱

The Editor has asked the Matrix Scientists to reconfigure the room and bridge it to TWIM bot's navigation tools. Each news report highlighted the position of a piece of engine on its map. 🗺️

Matrix Live 🎙

This week my guests are the FluffyChat and MinesTRIX maintainers, following the v1 release of the simple and beautiful FluffyChat… and they want to work together!

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌡️

Austin Huang reports

Version numbers of each homeserver, updated daily using a GitHub Action, are now added onto my public homeserver list, in hopes that it will further aid those choosing a homeserver to use Matrix on.

Very handy to quickly know if a server is well maintained or not before making it your new home!

Dept of Spec 📜

anoa says

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

MSC Status

New MSCs:

MSCs with proposed Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs entered proposed FCP state this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

Merged MSCs:

Spec Updates

Extensible events are coming! With lots of potential usecases to be built on top of the concept (such as threading, polls, and any type of data one would like to through on top of existing room events), extensible events are finally getting some love. New MSCs are available above, which detail some of these usecases. Exciting times!

A small correction from last week's issue: the next aggregations MSC to be focused on (after MSC2675 (serverside aggregations) is MSC2677 (annotations and reactions), as it's a more pressing blocker for usecases such as threading and polls.

Otherwise, the Spec Core Team is continuing to wind down in preparation for the holidays ☃️

Random MSC of the Week

The random spec of the week is... MSC3015: Room state personal overrides.

Quite a novel concept, and one that would enable many usecases, such as the ones described in the MSC itself. Check it out if that's something that interests you!

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse

Synapse is the reference homeserver for Matrix

dmr reports

This week we cut Synapse release candidate 1.49.0rc1 It includes a bunch of work to supporta plethora of MSCs (MSC 2675, MSC3030, MSC2918, MSC2946), a crop of bugfixes and improvements to our documentation which incorporate Synapse's old wiki. And as ever, there's a bunch of internal type hinting to keep the Synapse team's blood pressure at healthy levels.

The formal release of Synapse 1.49.0 is scheduled for the coming Tuesday. This will be the last Synapse release of 2021 as the Synapse team prepare for a break over the Christmas period. Releases will continue at the usual pace in the new year, with 1.50.0rc1 slated for 2022/01/04 and 1.50.0 for 2022/01/11.

Please note: Synapse 1.49 will be the last version to support Python 3.6, PostrgreSQL 9.6, and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic): by our next release, these will have reached their upstream end-of-life. If you're reliant on any of these platforms, please ensure you have plans to upgrade.

In other news, we're preparing to release a new version of Sygnal with a series of fixes for common errors. This should make Sygnal administrators much happier by removing an awful lot of error spam from logs!

Sydent

Sydent is the reference Matrix Identity server. It provides a lookup service, so that you can find a Matrix user via their email address or phone number (if they have chosen to share it).

dmr says

The second blog post on improving Sydent's type coverage should be published now. See the first post here from last week.

Homeserver Deployment 📥️

Helm Chart

Matrix Kubernetes applications packaged into helm charts

Ananace reports

This week has seen yet another set of updates to my Helm Charts, with element-web being bumped to 1.9.6 and matrix-synapse seeing fixes to non-standard port configurations and better support for modern ingressClass handling.

Dept of Clients 📱

Nheko

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

Nico reports

If you are using Nheko on a mobile device like the PinePhone, you should now be able to swipe between the room list and the spaces list. Since I don't use a PinePhone, feedback will be appreciated!

Neochat

A client for matrix, the decentralized communication protocol

Tobias Fella announces

NeoChat version 21.12 is out! You may have noticed that this version number is roughly twenty times higher than the previous one. This means that NeoChat is now twenty times as good as the last version. Or it means that version numbers are utterly meaningless and we switched to a date-based version number system since NeoChat is now released together with many other plasma-mobile related apps. This also means that new versions will arrive monthly from now on. New features and fixes in this version include - but are not limited to:

  • Spell checking while writing a message
  • Improved markdown to html conversion when sending a message
  • Built-in theme switching
  • Various fixes to login, logout and account switching
  • Support for custom emojis
  • Support for Spoilers
  • Support for Blurhashes

Element

Everything related to Element but not strictly bound to a client

Danielle Kirkwood announces

Threads

  • Threads is making excellent progress; This week we held 2 internal testing sessions, both of which went swimmingly.
  • We’re continuing our hard-work on Notifications to fix those up as best we can.
  • Also, we started work on the Threads Filter. The filter will allow you to choose between all the threads in a room and threads you’ve actively participated in.
  • If you’re using the Labs version of Threads, let us know what you think so far!

Polls

  • Exciting news on Polls; All development on Polls MVP is nearly complete, and will soon be making their way to a production environment near you!
  • Polls will be available behind Labs flags at first. We're excited to see people using it and we’re looking forward to hearing any feedback/comments.

Community Testing

  • Closed 20 out of 36 issues in encryption and verification (E2EE) this week.
  • We are planning three testing sessions for next week:
    • Tuesday 17:00-18:00 UTC - first time user experience on iOS, Android and Web
    • Wednesday: 16:00-17:30 UTC - information architecture changes on Web (with Michael and Nique joining us from the Delight team)
    • Thursday 16:30-18:00 UTC - bug squash edition on encryption, can we get the issue count to an all new low?
  • Join us! We’re at #element-community-testing:matrix.org

Element Web/Desktop

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

Danielle Kirkwood announces

  • We are monitoring and triaging feedback, which is submitted through the new feedback interface in the app.
  • In Labs:
    • Work continues on Information Architecture: this week we’ve made a spotlight search labs feature that we’ll be testing to replace the current filter.
    • We’re also starting to test preferences per space, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

madlittlemods (Eric Eastwood) reports:

Jump to date headers soon in Element

From the experimental MSC3030 implementation merge to Synapse update in TWIM last week, we now also have the start of some client usage in Element to make featureful jump to date headers!

If you've ever tried to find a message back in the past, you've experienced the burdensome task of having to scroll back manually for days, even months! With the jump to date headers, that will be a thing of the past 😌. Clicking any date separator in the room timeline, will give shortcuts to jump to last week, last month, jump to any date using the date picker, or even the beginning of the room to follow a room upgrade chain.

This is currently still in a draft pull request state but will give another update when it lands in Element Labs for everyone to use.

Element iOS

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

Danielle Kirkwood reports

  • On iOS it’s been a week of completing things!
  • We’ve made some final changes to PostHog analytics and MatrixKit has been integrated in element-ios.
  • There have also been lots of bug fixes - especially around an app crash.
  • Don’t forget! As per our update from last week, our release candidates are now prepared on Tuesdays (not Wednesdays).

Element Android

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

Danielle Kirkwood reports

  • Element Android 1.3.9 has been released on the PlayStore and is available for the beta testers:
    • This version adds support for draft voice messages and a new design for URL previews.
  • Opt-in PostHog analytics will land soon, and will be included in the next release.
  • A new "Legals” screen has been added to Settings in order for users to see all legal info pages for Element, the user's homeserver and the user's identity server (if any).
  • The next release candidate will be prepared next Tuesday.

Commune

Commune is a communications suite built on top of matrix. Commune aims to bring together chat, discussions, email and other interactive apps into a single matrix client.

erlend_sh says

So here’s the thing ahq (dev) and I (product) have been working on: https://github.com/commune-org/commune It’s a chat/forum hybrid. Still in pre-alpha, proof-of-concept stage.

Dept of Non Clients 🎛️

matrix-streamchat

Matrix powered stream overlay for OBS, to integrate live chat in your favorite (selfhosted) streaming setups.

f0x announces

TWIM I wrote a Matrix powered stream overlay for OBS, to integrate live chat in your favorite (selfhosted) streaming setups. Was a great little 2 evening project to develop while livestreaming it's development :)

You can find the code and instructions at https://git.pixie.town/f0x/matrix-streamchat and a hosted instance at https://streamchat.pixie.town

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

jOlm

Olm bindings for Java

brevilo announces

jOlm has seen two releases since the previous update, v1.0.7 and v1.0.8. jOlm now supports (and requires at least) the latest libolm version 3.2.7. Please note that we deprecated a number of methods in favor of renamed siblings. The majority of the old ones will be removed in the upcoming jOlm 1.1 release, likely published soon after libolm's announced security release on Dec. 13th. Please follow suit and update your implementations accordingly.

Summary:

  • 🧰 Maintenance and upstream update releases
  • ⚠️ Renamed methods for improved coherence and due to upstream changes (old ones deprecated)
  • ✅ Up to date with Olm 3.2.7 (new minimum requirement)

Changelog:

  • Deprecated methods (see the individual release notes for full details):
    • Account.markOneTimeKeysAsPublished()
    • Account.fallbackKey()
    • InboundGroupSession.export()
    • InboundGroupSession.importer()
    • Utility.ed25519_verify()
  • Refined unit tests
  • Updated dependencies

Cheers!

Dept of Videos 📹

Matthew reports

We previewed yet more native Matrix VoIP conferencing at CommCon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4k7DVIK5TE&list=PLvNS4EBAxmJJbvGW-PfXdXOSy9AjHjCLV

Half-Shot says

If you've got room for more video content, I also said more things about bridges. In this one, we do a live code session for a twilio bridge and watch it fly! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5q3FLLvRn4

Dept of Interesting Projects 🛰️

Henri says

Wily Messenger Matrix client

Wily has launched an iOS Matrix client to enable messaging in restricted- or poor networks. mText and Room events are transferred as DNS payload, thus bypassing most captive portals, while message headers are minimized to enable messaging in very low bandwidth/high latency networks.

Wily Messenger is in POC stage, missing i.e. encryption at the moment, among others. We are committed to develop it further and invite a Kotlin developer to join our journey. DM @hp:hq.wily.im

Download: https://apps.apple.com/lv/app/id1576476396

Room of the Week 📆

TravisR says

We've set up a new Element Space for the Element family of clients and projects, finally. Feel free to join it at #community:element.io and be sure to check out #community:matrix.org while you're there for everything Matrix related.

There's also #element-translators:matrix.org for the Element Translators community out there.

Dept of Ping 🏓

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server.

#ping:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1envs.net494.5
2nicoll.xyz548
3matrix.markshorten.co.uk857.5
4helderferreira.io1373
5almum.de1886.5
6diasp.in2958.5
7matrix.liamgooch.com2982
8mailstation.de3030.5
9kde.org3234
10matrix.org3415

#ping-no-synapse:maunium.net

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

RankHostnameMedian MS
1envs.net138.5
2construct.supercable.onl165
3weasy-is-my.name317
4grin.hu403
5dendrite.supercable.onl531
6spacedn.com534.5
7matrix.org828
8matrix.awesomesheep48.me1084
9dendrite.s3cr3t.me1103.5
100x1a8510f2.space1332

The Adventures of TWIM bot continued

The members of the Federation have been very active and helped TWIM bot to find all the pieces of its ship! TWIM bot assembled everything together and put the engine back in its place... but at the last moment, as it was ready to take off, another bright spot appeared on the map following madlittlemods late report!

How could this happen? All the pieces of the engine were already there! Unsure of what to do, the bot asked Earth for directions. Earth confirmed: it was worth going to that new bright spot on the map.

The bot welded back the plate of the engine casing, made sure nothing could get into the ship in its absence, and started heading to the mysterious spot. The signal of our communication tools with TWIM bot weakens as it enters in the thick forest of Fuj'ehr…

That's all I know 🏁

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