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This Week in Matrix 2020-10-16

16.10.2020 00:00 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Ben Parsons

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

In which I chat with Kitsune about the work done to get a Matrix URI schema agreed, and the state of the work.

See also, Open Tech Will Save Us #7 took place this week! Go watch.

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌑️

Meta-counting

As a crude measure of growth, Matthew commented about #twim:matrix.org:

I love that this room has ~700 people in it, spread over ~350 servers :D

That is something to love. Come join us in the room to share your news and see what's new from others.

Elokapina (Extinction Rebellion Finland) migrates to Matrix

kapina-jaywink told us:

In recent weeks the XR Finland community has been moving over from Wire to our own Matrix homeserver for encrypted secure chat. This was something that had been planned for a while but kicked off in recent weeks due to Wire suffering from serious encryption key delivery issues, causing messages for many to be unreadable in large groups. Currently we've migrated almost 300 rebels with more to come. Feedback has mostly been very positive, people generally like the Element clients 🀩 One of the interesting changes has been a huge uptick in the amount of discussion, which can be taken as a good sign. The plan is to next start bridging to some of the international XR chapters, for example those on Mattermost, Telegram and Slack. And maybe get them over to Matrix too eventually ;)

To aid in community management, we've started creating a bot called Bubo. Right now it mostly helps with maintaining rooms and allowing mass invites, but more features to help the community cooperate are coming. We were planning to utilize (actual) communities so it has some functionality for those, but decided then to wait for the communities rewrite. It doesn't yet have any releases, will update in coming weeks as features are added and releases made.

kapina-jaywink also

wants to clarify that XR is a decentralized movement and this does not mean other chapters will adapt Matrix - but we can hope and for sure here in Finland we'll be spreading the good experiences to other chapters ;)

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

New Spec Website!

wbamberg told us:

We're working on a new platform for the specification docs, aimed initially at improving navigation and general usability.

The initial demo site is at https://adoring-einstein-5ea514.netlify.app/spec/ and the main tracking bug is at https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/issues/2822

Spec

anoa reported:

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

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, widgets are still the main focus: MSC2774 (widget URL template param), MSC2765 (widget avatars), and MSC2790 (modal widgets).

2020-10-16-KA5Yo-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of Servers 🏒

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

Neil Alexander reported:

We released our first beta last week and we've been busy taking feedback from the community and fixing problems as they have been reported to us. We will be cutting a v0.2.0 release candidate later today, which contains a significant number of important fixes and performance improvements.

We didn't publish a full changelog last week due to the beta announcement, therefore the following list includes changes from the last two weeks:

  • Database migrations are now ran automatically at startup

  • State resolution v2 performance has been improved dramatically on large state sets, seen to be running up to 20x faster in some rooms

  • Dendrite no longer runs state resolution over single trusted state snapshots

  • Monolith deployments with Kafka now work again (each component sets up connections independently to avoid duplicate consumers)

  • Dendrite now correctly rejects invalid UTF-8 - thanks to Lesterpig

  • Fully read markers are now handled - thanks to Lesterpig

  • The completed field is now returned properly for user-interactive auth - thanks to Lesterpig

  • The devices table now tracks last seen timestamps, IPs and user agents - thanks to S7evinK

  • A bug has been fixed in the reverse topological ordering algorithm which resulted in us giving up on inbound references after the first prev/auth event

  • A bug with concurrent map writes in the rate limiting in the client API has been fixed

  • Forward extremities and their previous events are now checked fully against the database

  • Typing events are now ignored if the sender domain doesn't match the origin

  • Duplicate redaction entries no longer result in database errors

  • Some bugs in /send have been fixed where the full room state wasn't requested properly before sending a new snapshot to the roomserver

  • The membership updaters now use database writers properly, which fixes some SQLite locking issues

  • The sync API no longer burns CPU processing unnecessary device key change notifications

  • QueryStateAfterEvents now resolves state from multiple snapshots properly

  • Cumulative room state is now sent to the roomserver when creating rooms locally

  • Missing auth events will now be retrieved from multiple servers in the room if necessary

  • Federation requests now have variable timeouts, allowing us to wait much longer for a remote server to process certain tasks

  • The /send endpoint now returns 500 errors far less often, reducing the frequency that other servers back off from sending to Dendrite

  • Backfill no longer uses the request context for persisting events, which was resulting in us failing to store those events sometimes

  • Invite stripped state from the sync API now includes the stripped invite itself, so that Element Web can display who sent the invite properly

  • The signing key fetch mechanism no longer gives up if it is unable to fetch specific keys

  • Handling of invalid display name or avatar URLs in membership events has been improved

Spec compliance has improved a little:

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

  • Server-server APIs: 80%, up from 79% last week

As always, please feel free to join us in #dendrite:matrix.org for general Dendrite chat, and #dendrite-dev:matrix.org if you are interested in contributing!

Good grief that's a big update! For a video discussion of the status and future of Dendrite, check out Open Tech Will Save Us #7.

Matthew added:

my personal dendrite is now in roughly the same set of rooms as my personal synapse. Dendrite is idling at 180MB of RAM, Synapse is idling at 1.8GB of RAM :)

Conduit

Timo:

Hello everyone, this week we merged the federation branch into master. It's not ready to be used properly yet, but we're merging it as it seems stable enough for now. We also improved performance of the federation branch a lot by turning off debug logs.

Other news:

  • I opened two issues on element-ios which currently break register and login support on Conduit, making it completely unusable. Hopefully they can be resolved soon (https://github.com/vector-im/element-ios/issues/3736, https://github.com/vector-im/element-ios/issues/3737)
  • I'm working on an MSC for threading. It's still WIP, but you can take a look here: https://demo.codimd.org/s/SykbuAUwP

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Synapse

Neil offered:

Stonking week for Synapse as we landed sharded event persisters and deployed to matrix.org. This is the last significant component other than the main process to go through the sharding process and a major hurdle in horizontal scalability of Synapse.

Initial results look good with event persistence apdex improving, however we think there are still some significant performance improvements available through configuration and will continue to experiment.

2020-10-16-I-Plk-Screenshot2020-10-16at17.23.31.png

We also moved off background processes from the main process. This is significant because it means that while the main process is not shardable it really doesn’t do anything anymore other than orchestration.

Again the initial impact looks very promising and we will continue to tune. Having moved the background processes away it also makes profiling the main process that much easier.

2020-10-16-fuKDh-main-cpu2.png

Aside from all of that we continue to progress room knocking put out a 1.21.2 - a bug fix release though please please ensure you are running at least Synapse >= 1.21.0 since 1.21.0 contains a XSS security fix.

Next week we will carrying on tuning matrix.org and start to look at improving state resolution performance.

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

Kubernetes

Ananace told us:

Just pushed the updated image tags and chart version for my K8s-optimized Synapse image for version 1.21.0, as well as a chart update for element-web 1.7.9

then later

And to expand on my previous update, got Synapse 1.21.2 up on the chart and K8s-optimized image.

YunoHost

Pierre said:

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

Synapse integration had been updated to 1.20.1 (1.21.0 available in branch testing)

Element Web integration had been updated to 1.7.8 (1.7.9 available in branch testing)

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

Bridges increase their presence

Half-Shot told us:

Small bit of news I wanted to talk about from Bridge Island. My implementation for MSC2409 has been merged which means appservices / bridges can now listen in for incoming presence, typing and read receipt events! This means that the Slack bridge can now reliably send your typing status to Slack, and Bifrost can reliably bridge your everything to XMPP. The MSC is still in flux and could change, but for now this could really improve the native feeling of bridges :)

(Oh and I should mention anyone using matrix-appservice-bridge v2.2.0+ can use this behaviour for free)

mautrix-python implements Half-Shot's new features

Hot on his heels, Tulir announced:

I've been adding support for the MSCs Half-Shot implemented in Synapse to my bridges:

  • Enabling end-to-bridge encryption now uses appservice login (MSC2778), which means setting up the shared secret login module is no longer required for e2be.

  • mautrix-python has support for receiving ephemeral events via MSC2409 in a branch, which will be merged once Synapse v1.22 is released. After it's merged, /syncing with double puppets will no longer be necessary to bridge ephemeral events.

Both of these will also be implemented in mautrix-go/whatsapp soon.

Now I just need Half-Shot to make synapse send to-device events to appservices, after which bridges won't need any hacky /syncing at all.

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Hydrogen

Bruno offered:

Several releases this week (0.1.11 to 0.1.15) with lots of changes:

  • url-based navigation has landed! All navigation in the app is now done through urls, meaning you can also bookmark any UI state (e.g. grid configurations).

  • fixed 2 memory leaks (exposed now because you can unload your session without refreshing the page)

  • fixed an issue with libolm running out of memory if you send a message to more than 44 devices (see issue #150).

  • some logical additions now we have url navigation: restoring the last url when opening the app with the default route, and a button to close your session and go back to the picker.

  • the app now blocks concurrent access to the same session from different tabs (it just closes the session in the non-active tab). This will prevent multiple syncs tripping over each other writing to indexeddb (e.g. ConstraintErrors and friends).

  • updates are announced in the app (for now through a confirm dialog, but will use an in app notification once we have it)

  • fixes updates not installing on iOS, by having an update prompt. To get this update on iOS though, you'll need to unpin the app, and pinning it again. You'll need to login again after this. All future updates should be installable through the update prompt once you have 0.1.15 though, you won't have to do this again normally.

  • uses the hydrogen icon when pinning on iOS

I really recommend hitting https://hydrogen.element.io/ - what great progress!

Element Android

benoit reported:

We are currently preparing the release of the version 1.0.9 of Element Android, which contain searching messages in clear rooms and a lots of other improvements and new features.

The SDK 1.0.9 will also be released, with an updated readme, and a brand new sample app, written by Ganfra. It will help developers to start using the new SDK and can be found here: https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-android-sdk2-sample. This sample app is able to let the user connects to an existing account on any homeserver with password login, display the room list, display a room timeline and send message to a room. a brand new sample app

YES! This is the best documentation

Element-iOS

Manu offered:

This week, we released 1.0.16 on the App Store (and TestFlight).

Konheko (Sailfish client)

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) offered:

I published the first preview of my Sailfish client called Konheko. While you can run Android applications on Sailfish, they usually are a subpar experience, since they really don't fit the platforms design and style and also usually don't properly send notifications.

So about a year ago I started working on a Matrix client for SailfishOS, but I never really made much progress. Well, last weekend I did, and so it can now send plain text messages as well as various forms of media messages, I made a basic application icon and I've been using it this week already (for unencrypted rooms).

It is still missing a lot of features, but if you want you can install it from OpenRepos. Sources are available here. Just be aware, that it currently stores all messages in RAM, so every restart will take forever to load your rooms and it may run out of RAM at some point. Storing messages in some database will come at some point. Also, a lot of menus may lead nowhere, since those are just placeholders for me atm.

2020-10-16-QApie-Bildschirmfoto_20201016_002.png

2020-10-16-I5_7M-Bildschirmfoto_20201016_007.png

SchildiChat Web/Desktop

SpiritCroc announced:

Recently, I tweaked Element-web to feature a few changes similar to SchildiChat for Android.

For now, it's probably best seen rather as a proof-of-concept than a finished product, as there are still some layout bugs, and no settings available for the added features (I know some people prefer separate lists for direct and group chats). I consider it usable though.

Particular changes compared to upstream Element-web include:

  • A common section for groups and direct chats in the overview

  • Message bubbles

  • Bigger items in the room overview

  • A different dark theme, similar to SchildiChat for Android

I don't know how much I will work on this in the future, but I figured it might be interesting to share either way. Maybe even someone with more web-development skills than me might want to help improving it :)

For further discussion, I have created #schildichat-web:matrix.org .

The current version of SchildiChat-Desktop is available for Desktop here, and I host the web variant here. If you want to build it yourself, check out this repo.

2020-10-16-oMUqR-1.png

Element Web

Neil offered:

Element 1.7.9 has landed, highlights include

  • Many small fixes with edits and replies

  • Fixed a race during cross-signing key upload at registration time

  • Clarified when you have unsaved changes in profile settings

Aside from that has been pushing on with the widgets project. A picture says a thousand words, so here you go.

2020-10-16-wZher-image.png

As you can see T3chguy was really pleased to have me interrupt him to take this picture. Expect the new design to merge next week.

Finally we will most likely ship a new release next week to fix some Jitsi bugs.

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

Wake-on-LAN bot

JCG announced:

I wrote a Wake-on-LAN bot to wake up hosts by sending a matrix message. It is configurable with multiple hosts and has a list of users per host who are allowed to wake it up. It's using the matrix-rust-sdk, source is available over at https://git.jcg.re/jcgruenhage/matrix-wol, and if anyone has questions, feel free to join #matrix-wol:jcg.re.

When I asked what this is used for:

I have stuff on my workstation that I need access to most of the time, but keeping it running uses too much power (but I did it anyway so far), this is so that I can suspend it when I leave but can still power it on when I need something from there on the got

Dept of Events and Talks πŸ—£οΈ

Talking about Bridges and Bots in Matrix (German)

Oleg announced:

I was invited to the German Podcast MacMittwoch (no, it's not only about Macs) to talk about Bridges and Bots in Matrix. It was a very interesting and funny round.

Here is the recording:

Dept of Interesting Projects πŸ›°οΈ

matrix-emoji-upload

mewmew offered:

This is a script I've created for use with MSC2545. It allows easy uploading of emoji packs to Matrix rooms. Feel free to check it out on Gitea, or join the project room #matrix-emoji-upload:blob.cat if you have any questions/comments/issues.

n8n.io support

Matthew announced:

n8n.io (FOSS extendable workflow automation) just added Matrix support! https://n8n.io/integrations/n8n-nodes-base.matrix and https://github.com/n8n-io/n8n/pull/1046

Exciting! Yet the saga that followed only adds to the excitement!

First Oleg noticed a problem:

Could it be that only matrix.org as HS currently is supported?

I'm getting Matrix credentials are not valid! and I see the request to matrix.org on a traffic capture.

jaywink discovered the alarming truth:

the original PR mentions mantrixorg indeed: https://github.com/n8n-io/n8n/pull/1024 .. sounds like PR time for someone :)

Tulir, like a coiled spring, provided a PR:

well now it's a pull request https://github.com/n8n-io/n8n/pull/1065

...

oh nice it got merged already

Faelar noticed:

For those not following on github, n8n released a new version including the fix for homeserver

Oleg, who brings us back to the start said:

Just tested it.

It works! πŸ₯³

Open Source!

Dept of Ping πŸ“

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1imninja.net466.5
2midov.pl531
3mdpnd.ch540
4chatcloud.net569
5elcyb.org801
6fab.network967
7conduit.rs1168
8envs.net1863.5
9blob.cat2660
10aragon.sh2743.5

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 2020-10-09

10.10.2020 00:28 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Ben Parsons
Last update: 09.10.2020 20:29

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌑️

Matrix in use at IETF and TeamSpeak

Matthew said:

IETF is trialling Matrix as a replacement to Slack and a complement to XMPP: https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/tools-discuss/cUd9P35cj-nGsaioZ9HmMLmf1G4/

ALSO

Matthew commented:

looks like teamspeak is using Matrix (a Matrix endpoint was previously noticed at https://tschat-1.teamspeak.com/)

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) offered:

More info here: https://community.teamspeak.com/t/teamspeak-development-status-update/11419/36

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

anoa told us:

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

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, we're going to be keeping the same three MSCs as last week, as their review is still a work in progress. As a reminder, those are MSC2774 (widget URL template parameters), MSC2765 (widget avatars), and MSC2790 (modal widgets).

2020-10-09--3RtA-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of Servers 🏒

Dendrite goes beta

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

kegan told us:

Dendrite has officially entered beta!

It aims to be an efficient, reliable and scalable alternative to Synapse.

We encourage early adopters to try it out starting with v0.1.0 in Monolith/Postgres mode.

Dendrite supports a large amount of the Matrix spec including:

  • All room versions

  • E2E encryption (but not cross-signing)

  • Federation

  • and many others!

We'll be hard at work in the coming weeks ironing out any issues that crop up as Dendrite enters the global

federation of Matrix servers. At present, Dendrite has not been optimised for memory/CPU usage, nor does it fully support sharding, so there is still much scope to improve the already impressive resource usage whilst

heading towards 100% spec compliance.

Spec compliance:

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

  • Server-Server APIs: 77%, same as last week

stefan announced:

I created an AUR package for dendrite. So it is easy to get it running on Arch Linux.

Conduit

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

timo told us:

This week I worked on a new feature: the Admin Room. This is a room that is automatically created for the first user of a new homeserver. This room will be used to send warnings to server admins in the future and can be used to control Conduit (like querying information, running cleanup, banning servers, hiding public rooms or restarting Conduit). Power levels can be used to control who in the room has access to which commands. The admin room will work over federation, so it's easy to help someone fix his server.

Other news:

  • Federation is now disabled by default and can be enabled in the config

  • Bug with typing notifications is fixed

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Synapse

Neil told us:

This week we put out v1.21.0rc3, which fixes a duplicate messages bug. We expect the full release to go out early next week.

After a long and sometimes painful journey we plan to run sharded event persisters on matrix.org from Monday. All being well we will start running background processes on their own worker to free up the main process. These two projects combined should noticeably improve performance of matrix.org and any large scale deployments.

Aside from that we are continuing to work on room knocking as a feature and have been considering ways to reduce load attributable to state resolution.

We will also dust off the notifications project.

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

Gitter

Eric Eastwood told us:

The native Gitter <-> Matrix bridge is underway and we're working on virtual users which is the first piece to making the bridge feel native. You can see what this will look like in this ominous and exciting tweet: https://twitter.com/gitchat/status/1314252991705292800

There is also a GitLab epic you can track which breaks down some of the tasks and holds more details of what we're thinking of for the bridge.

🌈 Once more into the Bifrost

Half-Shot announced:

Asgardians rejoice, for Bifrost development resumed this week! We've worked extremely hard this week to improve general gateway performance, edge case bugs and basically plowing on with the project. A 0.2.0 release will shortly be due with the new changes, and matrix.org is already running the latest and greatest. You can checkout the project over at https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-bifrost

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Fractal

Alexandre Franke reported:

Former Fractal GSoC intern Alejandro Dominguez 😎️ got his Integrate matrix-sdk (I) merge request in β€œReady for review” state. That’s a +3910/-5439, 38 commits diff‼️ poljar, who is the main contributor of matrix-rust-sdk, already had a look and provided some insights, but given 😱️ the sheer size of the changeset, the moar πŸ‘€οΈ we can get on it the better.

fluffychat

krille offered:

FluffyChat now runs on native Linux desktop (x86).

You can download Linux tarballs from the CI and run them on any system which has sqlite3 installed (which all distros may have). If you have libolm3 installed, you can also use e2ee. Oh and by the way. Its NOT electron or any html5 stuff! Its a native Linux app. We are working on packaging solutions like snap and Flatpak. 😊

Vtx

CraftedCart offered:

I've started to make a Matrix client over the past few weeks, just as a hobby project for now, using Qt and a 'lil C++20! :D

There's not a whole lot to show right now - currently we've got password login, and a simple timeline that can show plain text or m.image thumbnails.

Source code's up at https://gitlab.com/CraftedCart/vtx

2020-10-09-TATmq-vtx_main.png

Nheko

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

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) reported:

This week we finally cleaned up the remaining parts of Chethans GSoC work and merged it. This means Nheko now has partial support for cross-signing. You can either start the verification from another client or when viewing the profile of a user. There are a few things still missing though:

  • Nheko does not use the verification status at all at the moment. So while you can verify your master key and let others verify your master key, from Nhekos perspective there is not much benefit yet. You will however show up with a green checkmark in other clients.

  • While nheko supports verifying your own master key and after that will also let others verify your master key, it does not yet download the self and user signing keys. This means you won't be able to upload cross-signing signatures for your own devices and other users master keys yet. I'll see if I can implement in the next weeks or so (since literally only the private key download or sharing is missing).

  • Nheko can't bootstrap cross-signing yet. This means you need to bootstrap it from Element or another client once. That will probably take a bit until this is complete.

  • The UX is still WIP. Currently it shows a lot of unnecessary buttons, that are a bit confusing as well as not enough green checkmarks, so that needs some work.

Other things that happened in the mean time or are work in progress:

  • Decryption errors should be reduced by a bit now. This is still work in progress though. With device trust landed now, we should be able to do automatic key requests, sharing and key backup soon.

  • Lurkki is currently cleaning up the design of the built in video player.

  • manu_kamath is improving the design when showing images at the same time.

  • LorenDB has been updating our screenshots and working on an Esperanto translation.

  • trilene has been ever busy improving edge cases around the Voip support in Nheko.

So far Hacktoberfest seems to be going well with quite a few people trying to clean up some of the rougher edges in Nheko. If you are using Nheko and think some things could be better, why not try to fix it yourself? October is the perfect time for that!

Featurework of this cycle is also slowly nearing its end. Once cross-signing, voip and the new event store are stable, we plan to improve the UX a bit more as well as some other annoyances and maybe we can do a new release then! A nice and spooky Hacktober everyone!

David Mehren told us:

I just built nheko-git 0.7.2.r2021.517a126a-1 from the AUR and cross-signing works

Element Web

Neil offered:

This week we put out 1.7.9-rc.1 which is available atΒ https://staging.element.io

Highlights include

  • Many small fixes with edits and replies

  • Fixed a race during cross-signing key upload at registration time

  • Clarified when you have unsaved changes in profile settings

Finally, the improved widget support is looking very exciting. Here is a design grab to give you an idea of what to expect. Note this is not a real Element screen shot, the base functionality is there, but the look and feel of the final version is subject to change.

2020-10-09-oANj9-widgets.png

Michael (t3chguy) added:

Element Web is currently transitioning the codebase over to TypeScript - track our progress at http://arewetsyet.bit.ovh/

Hydrogen

Bruno told us:

This week, Hydrogen gained better caching (and a little over-eager on Safari), room list filtering, a grid layout to show up to 6 rooms simultaneously (see screenshot) and work is well on its way for url-based navigation within the app.

2020-10-09-taU-L-hydrogen-grid.png

also adding the screenshot on iOS that I didn't get in last week, showing the full range of display formats supported πŸ™‚

2020-10-09-OJHmu-hydrogen-ios.jpg

The app also received some visual polish, thanks to Nad, our designer.

Element-iOS

Manu offered:

We blocked the last week release (1.0.14) because of 2 issues: Unable to decrypt errors and timeline not updating when coming from a notification.

1.0.15 fixes those issues and more. The release should be available in TF soon. Hopefully, we will be able to publish it on the App Store on Monday

Dept of VoIP πŸ€™

Matrix VoIP Tester

reivilibre said:

https://github.com/matrix-org/voip-tester/pull/18 (updated demo: https://test.voip.librepush.net)

This week, I have improved the scoring rubric, so that the verdict given to you by the tester more accurately reflects the likelihood of connection establishment.

I have also added more hints on what the verdicts mean.

Finally, I have added workarounds to support Chromium browsers that decided to break their WebRTC API so that they could pedantically rename ip to address. In any case, it now seems to be on par with Firefox.

The VoIP tester is now roughly 'usable' but please note that IPv6 support is totally untested (I don't have IPv6) β€” it is also suspected that some browsers won't try IPv6 anyway.

There are also some more features on the wish list, such as screenshot safety and extra help when things go wrong.

For discussion, feel free to join #voip-tester:librepush.net .

Dept of Encryption πŸ”

Olm 🦎

uhoreg reported:

Versions 3.2.0 and 3.2.1 of libolm have been released. 3.2.0 supports fallback keys (MSC2732) in the C library and the JavaScript binding, and includes several JavaScript/TypeScript fixes and improvements. 3.2.1 was just a fix to the TypeScript definition file.

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Ruma

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

jplatte said:

This week, q-b implemented moderation policy events, bringing us to full compatibility with r0.6.1 of the client-server API. iinuwa added the only endpoint we were missing from the appservice API. Additionally, I improved Ruma's JSON canonicalization, making it both simpler and more efficient.

Due to two issues regarding future-compatibility, we're still a while away from our next set of releases, but we're working on it!

New library: ObjMatrix (Objective-C)

js introduced it with:

ObjMatrix (GitHub) is a new Matrix client library written in modern Objective-C for ObjFW. Because it uses ObjFW, it is not limited to Apple platforms, and instead is extremely portable and should run on basically everything.

This is currently in its very early stages and is intended to be suitable to develop bots and clients with very soon. Being suitable to develop bridges with it is another goal for later.

Since ObjFW also works on platforms that are usually hard to support or port software to (e.g. MorphOS), this will hopefully also bring clients for these less mainstream operating systems. I'm especially hopeful about MorphOS here, since ObjFW already runs quite well there (parts of it are included with the OS even!), and hardware on which MorphOS runs on is usually not powerful enough to run Element Web. And eventually, I will want to have a Matrix client on my Amiga, too πŸ˜‰ (which this should enable).

This currently does not have a decicated Matrix room yet, so all discussions about it currently happen in #objfw:nil.im. So please feel free to join there and follow along development. And contributions are of course very welcome!

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

famedly.matrix ansible collection

JCG told us:

the famedly.matrix ansible collection has seen a release v0.2.0. Highlights since the last TWIM mention:

  • synapse_register: a new module for registering users using synapse's admin API.

  • matrix_member: another new module, for inviting/kicking/banning people to/from rooms.

  • updates to synapse and element have been merged into their roles

  • support deploying release candidates of synapse and element

Dept of Guides 🧭

Noteworthy Hub Guide

balaa told us:

We’ve put together a write up on how to deploy a Noteworthy Hub (transparent TLS proxy) in order to make it easy to run a federation capable matrix home server behind a firewall or NAT: https://noteworthy.tech/hub

Dept of Ping πŸ“

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1helderferreira.io487
2heitkoetter.net627
3asra.gr802
4conduit.rs1178
5matrix.thedisco.zone1275.5
6shortestpath.dev1803
7lelux.net2419
8elcyb.org2685
9test.zemos.net2800
10blob.cat2882

That's all I know 🏁

Thanks anoa for TCB* the last two weeks! Was fun to be the one to read TWIM for myself. :D

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

* Taking Care of Business

This Week in Matrix 2020-10-02

02.10.2020 00:00 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Andrew Morgan

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

Don't forget that Matrix Live is also available in podcast form. Search for "Matrix Live" wherever you get your podcasts.

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌑️

Gitter Enters the Matrix

Half-Shot reported:

Gitter is joining the Matrix ecosystem!

It's true! Element has acquired Gitter from GitLab and will be implementing Gitter's current chat features in Matrix, before rebuilding Gitter as a Matrix client! Before all that however, the first step is to build a proper, modern bridge between the two networks, replacing the old one that's been around for years.

The full spectrum of news is:

And if you'd like to chat with your fellow Matrix and Gitter users, there's a bridged room already set up at #gitter:matrix.org!

Welcome to the community, Gitter! πŸŽ‰

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

anoa reported:

Spec

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

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, after dropping off MSC2414 in the FCP bucket, we're heading back for another big swing at widgets. MSC2774 (widget ID URL parameter), MSC2765 (widget avatars) and MSC2790 (modal widgets) are the focus for this week πŸ™‚

2020-10-02-BQKH9-stacked_area_chart.png

Matrix URIs

kitsune told us:

being totally shook up about the Gitter announcement for a good part of the week, I completed the work on MSC2312 (it's about Matrix URIs, ICYMI) and it hopefully won't be long before it becomes the actual standard to share Matrix coordinates in popular web browsers. Ok, who am I kidding - before Matrix clients get on with adoption.

This will allow people to post links to Matrix rooms/messages/users and when clicked will open right in your favourite Matrix client. Super convenient and great for adoption!

Dept of P2P πŸ‘₯

iOS P2P Demo

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go. It is currently serving as the basis for peer-to-peer Matrix experiments

Neil Alexander announced:

Build 38 of the iOS P2P Demo, as built using Element iOS and Dendrite, has been submitted to TestFlight and will hopefully be available for testers shortly (pending Apple approval)! It features lots of updates in the Dendrite backend which should hopefully make it more reliable.

If you have an iPhone or iPad and enjoy things that sometimes work, join the TestFlight here!

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

Neil reported:

This week we put out a new release candidate -1.21.0rc2

Highlights include

  • Add experimental support for sharding event persister. (#8294, #8387, #8396, #8419)

  • Add experimental prometheus metric to track numbers of "large" rooms for state resolutiom. (#8425)

  • Add prometheus metrics to track federation delays. (#8430)

  • Fix messages not being sent over federation until an event is sent into the same room. (#8230, #8247, #8258, #8272, #8322)

  • Fix a regression in v1.21.0rc1 which broke thumbnails of remote media. #8438

Aside from that we are working on moving background processes away from the main process, actually getting the event persister sharding onto matrix.org and trying to improve Synapse stability generally.

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

Neil Alexander said:

Dendrite is nearing beta! Today we will be cutting a candidate 0.1.0rc1 version after a week of hunting and fixing bugs. We are on track to release version 0.1.0 next week, at which point we will be inviting people to try installing and using Dendrite!

Changes this week include:

  • Initial sync is fixed after a bug caused us to fall back on incremental sync

  • The Content-Type HTTP header is now handled properly when MIME-formatted

  • Internal API calls over HTTP in polylith mode now use their own HTTP client with higher timeouts

  • Dendrite now tries harder to find missing auth events, using fetcher workers

  • Dendrite no longer falls back on /state unnecessarily, which was the cause of a major memory leak and high CPU usage

  • Federation HTTP calls now include the User-Agent header

  • The event depth field is now ignored in the federation API

  • We now report the password change capability properly (thanks bn4t!)

  • Registration flows now include the completed field after a failure (thanks Lesterpig!)

  • A bug in the previous event updater in the roomserver has been fixed

  • A bug where we didn't check our own old verify keys when verifying event signatures is fixed

  • A bug where we didn't handle event ID domains being different to the event origin in earlier room versions has been fixed

  • TLS fingerprints have been removed

Spec compliance is unchanged:

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

  • Server-Server APIs: 77%, same as last week

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

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

Conduit

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

timo reported:

  • Fix bug leading to many requests at the same time due to error in waiting code

  • Implement /query/profile over federation

  • Start work on /invite over federation

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

The Construct

Jason reported:

This week in Matrix Construct supports aarch64 (ARMv8) architectures. The experience has been phenomenal, with performance exceeding all expectations. Last week I wrote about all new vector code inside Construct using SSE through AVX-512 hardware acceleration in servers; that same code is now accelerated by SVE (Scalable Vector Extensions) on ARM architectures when you compile with clang.

This result is important: ARM virtual machines are offered at a significantly lower price compared to x86 from the same vendor. The systems are cheaper, require less power, but generally perform worse. The trick is to optimize the software for the weaker hardware. The benefit allows, for example, Matrix server hosts running Construct to make th eir profit margin from the lower TCO, getting more out of every computing cycle.

Construct is available at https://github.com/matrix-construct/construct and don't forget to idle and idle #construct:zemos.net.

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

YunoHost

Pierre announced:

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

Synapse integration had been updated to 1.19.3 (1.20.1 available in branch testing)

Element Web integration had been updated to 1.7.7 (1.7.8 available in branch testing)

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

mautrix-signal

Tulir said:

I made a Signal bridge using signald.

Currently it supports bridging messages, reactions and signal read receipts. End-to-bridge encryption also exists (mautrix-python does all the work there). The bridge can be linked as a secondary device and possibly even registered as the main device, but I didn't actually test registering yet. Setup instructions are currently somewhat non-existent, but it's mostly the same as my other bridges plus signald as a separate daemon.

The repo is https://github.com/tulir/mautrix-signal and the room is #signal:maunium.net

He then popped up again a few days later to say:

After the initial announcement earlier this week, I implemented a few of the missing features like media bridging, and even added setup instructions.

The speed at which Tulir writes bridges scares me sometimes.

mx-puppet-discord

mx-puppet-discord is a (double)puppeting and relay bridge for discord, based on mx-puppet-bridge

sorunome said:

mx-puppet-discord got updated to the newest discord.js version, meaning you have to update if you want to continue to operate it, due to discord having changed their gateway url!

mx-puppet-discord now also supports the intent stuff, so be sure to update by 7th oct

If you run mx-puppet-discord (like I do), make sure to update by October 7th or it will stop working!

Bridges do Hackertoberfest

Half-Shot reported:

Hey folks, I wanted to give another shoutout to say that we are still accepting PRs as part of hacktoberfest. Contributing 4 PRs will get you a T-Shirt (sadly not a Matrix one). Obviously, please ensure your PRs are meaningful (no copyright adjustments, typo fixes).

You can work on any issue, but we've highlighted some issues that would be perfect for newcomers over at https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-bridge/issues?q=is%3Aopen+is%3Aissue+label%3Ahacktoberfest and https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-slack/issues?q=is%3Aopen+is%3Aissue+label%3Ahacktoberfest

Cadair reported:

In the hope of expanding the number of people contributing to the matrix-appservice-slack repo I have spent a chunk of my morning improving the issue descriptions and labelling up issues. If you are interested in fixing a little annoyance with the slack bridge or just fancy writing some typescript see the good first issue label on the repo.

matrix-appservice-slack 1.6.0 rocks the block

Half-Shot reported:

The matrix.org team are delighted to bring you the latest in Slack bridging technology. Do not let the

minor version bump fool you, this release is packed with the good stuff. The headline feature is that our phase 1 encryption feature has landed and is free for users to experiment with. Head over to the

docs to see how to set this up.

There have been other notable changes, such as:

  • New configuration options to allow or deny some channels from being bridged.

  • Support removing reactions from Slack and Matrix messages.

  • Add onboarding message for new users when puppeting is enabled, to encourage them to puppet.

  • Improved feature documentation

(and many many bugfixes)

You can read the release information over at https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-slack/releases

Looking forward to seeing all the new Hacktoberfest contributors! πŸŽƒ

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

fluffychat

sorunome offered:

Fluffychat 0.19.1 has been released!

Features

  • Implemented ignore list

  • Jump to events in timeline: When tapping on a reply and when tapping a matrix.to link

  • Display messages with up to 10 emotes or emoji bigger

  • New design for the chat list and message bubbles

  • Implement reactions

  • Implement password change

  • Implement deactivate user account

Fixes

  • Timeline randomly resorting while more history is being fetched

  • Automatically request history if the "load more" button is on the screen

Hydrogen

Bruno said:

More browser compatibility work this week, making Hydrogen run IE11 on Windows 7, and on Safari on macOS and iOS (still with some caveats). Also fixed several bugs:

  • fix for unable to open session after a synapse bug manifested itself

  • prevent the app locking up when you start the app with previously unsent messages

  • fix sync errors being reported as "null" in the banner

  • handle timeout during initial sync (important for large accounts) (although I have seen 1 report that this still isn't fixed, please report if you can't login with a large account)

SchildiChat for Android

SpiritCroc said:

SchildiChat's codebase has been updated to Element 1.0.8!

Furthermore, there have been a few design updates:

  • Media items (pictures, videos, stickers) are no longer displayed in message bubbles

  • Bigger stickers

  • Avatars are now hidden in direct chats (when using dual-side message bubbles)

Finally, Schildi doesn't crash anymore if somebody sends an empty message.

SpiritCroc also mentioned some relevant links!

Element-iOS

Manu announced:

1.0.14 is in on the release path. It has:

  • Room: Differentiate wordings for DMs

  • Room: New room details screen

  • Add Estonian support

  • Polishment in several areas and many bug fixes

Full changelog:

https://github.com/vector-im/element-ios/releases/tag/v1.0.14 https://github.com/vector-im/element-ios/releases/tag/v1.0.13

Element Web

Neil announced:

This week released v1.7.8

Highlights include

  • Secure Backup has been moved out of the registration flow to a toast when you first encounter an E2EE room, which simplifies the new user experience

  • Added options to hide various UI features when hosting a custom Element

Aside from that we continue to improve on widget support for resizable widgets, modal widgets and generally making widgets better.

We are also continuing to work on instrumenting the app, improving mobile support for matrix.to and making jitsi calling more reliable.

Element Android

benoit told us:

Element Android: Version 1.0.8 is now available on the stores, it fixes issues with verification and PIN code among other issues (see https://github.com/vector-im/element-android/releases/tag/v1.0.8 for more details). Now we are working on improving performance when sending messages to rooms, and also improving global UX, especially of the home (rooms list). Search messages (in clear rooms for the moment) is coming soon, and it will be also possible to filter the room members list.

We will also spend some time on the new Android SDK, https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-android-sdk2, which is for the moment a quick extract of what we have in Element Android. We have to take care of it as a real product now: document it properly, set up CI, export Javadoc, develop a sample app, etc.

Element for Nextcloud

Gary Kim reported:

Element for Nextcloud v0.6.11 has been released this week. The new version comes with various bug fixes, dependency upgrades, and an upgrade to Element Web v1.7.8. The version is also compatible with Nextcloud 20 which is being released soon.

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Ruma

iinuwa told us:

Over the past couple of weeks, we've received PRs for all of the remaining federation endpoints, and all but one have already been merged!

Now that the end is in sight, we're turning our focus elsewhere. We're working on cleaning up and fixing a few bugs in our event signing code and soon will create tracking issues for filling out the Identity Service API.

Dept of Services πŸš€

t2bot.io

TravisR reported:

t2bot.io has crossed 1M monthly active users

All of these users are Telegram/Discord users that have been brought into Matrix over the last 30 days. This doesn't appear to be a temporary spike either: over the last 8 weeks t2bot.io has been hovering at 900-950 thousand monthly active users, up from 600-700 thousand. Record-setting traffic levels have also been achieved, with matrix.org being able to keep up for the first time in a long while.

Overall it's a good sign to see so many communities making the jump to Matrix and sticking around ❀️

2020-10-02-uDiMG-image.png

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

zabbix-matrix

progserega told us:

I added zabbix-bot to my zabbix-matrix repo, which can get information about current problems from zabbix-server and send it to matrix user. https://github.com/progserega/matrix_zabbix

In our company we use it for get current situation and https://github.com/progserega/im_sender_service for sending events from zabbix.

I've found that having your systems reporting in a room while you chat around it can be really productive. Props to supporting yet another monitoring platform!

Dept of Interesting Projects πŸ›°οΈ

Jitsi E2EE Calls using Olm

While 1-1 calls benefit from end-to-end encryption due to WebRTC, Jitsi group calls have always only benefitted from transport encryption.

A while ago Jitsi announced that they were adding E2EE to Jitsi. But did you know that it's using Matrix's Olm encryption under the hood? It's currently available as an experimental feature on https://meet.jit.si!

Dept of Ping πŸ“

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1fairydust.space368
2blob.cat543
3nuclearlimes.co.uk580
4nuclearlemons.uk889
5conduit.rs912.5
6mailstation.de1075
7matrix.org1092
8test.zemos.net1123
9shortestpath.dev1251.5
10chatcloud.net1338.5

We also now have a room where the ping bots are only hosted on non-Synapse servers! See the scoreboard below.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1conduit.rs104
2settgast.org154
3construct.grin.hu182
4blob.cat209
5grin.hu324.5
6dendrite.neilalexander.dev367
7test.zemos.net379
8maunium.net448.5
9conduit.nordgedanken.dev476
10inferiorlattice.com592

Final Thoughts πŸ’­

XKCD 2365

Alexandre Franke told us:

XKCD made another strip about messaging systems and I’m outraged to see that Matrix has been left out of it.

Not to worry though, we've fixed it up!

2020-10-02-xkcd.png

TWIM authorship

I hope you enjoyed this week and last's TWIM editions! Benpa will return next week for more of your regularly scheduled programming. Ciao!

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2020-09-25

26.09.2020 00:38 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Andrew Morgan
Last update: 25.09.2020 22:21

Hello all, and welcome to this week's addition of This Week in Matrix! Matrix is an open network protocol for secure, decentralized communication on the web.

My name is Andrew (aka anoa), and I'm a Synapse developer at Element. Thanks to Ben for letting me take over the reins of TWIM for this week! I'll actually be doing the same for next week as well, so please adjust your clocks to Anoa Nonstandard Time accordingly.

With that out of the way, let's jump right in!

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

It's demos week again. This time around we've got the following lineup:

  • Michael shows off all the new widget goodies coming to Element Web!
  • Bruno shows off Hydrogen's new encrypted session backup support!
  • Ismail details the new room creation flow on Element iOS!
  • Jorik presents his work on revamping the UX of https://matrix.to that he completed for his second summer internship at Element!
  • Hubert fixes another class of failure-to-decrypt messages edge case with Device Dehydration!
  • Half-Shot closes off with the tale of Encrypted Bridges!

Don't forget that Matrix Live is also available in podcast form, if you're into that sort of thing. Search for "Matrix Live" wherever you get your podcasts.

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

anoa (hey that's me!) told us:

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

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, we've been rather busy with implementation, so we'll be continuing on with the same focus as last week. As a reminder, that's MSC2414 (making reason and score optional on reports).

Dept of Servers 🏒

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go.

Neil Alexander announced:

This week has mostly been spent trying to improve stability and to fix bugs ahead of the beta release, which is so far still planned to go ahead in the next two weeks.

Changes this week include:

  • Room version 6 is now the default for newly created rooms

  • Soft-fail of events that aren't allowed by the current room state is now implemented

  • Support for configuring old_verify_keys has been added to the Dendrite config

  • Correct formatting for signing key IDs is now enforced in the configuration

  • Initial support for peeking over federation (MSC2444) is in progress and it "even works!" (thanks Matthew!)

  • Federated joins will now continue being processed even if the client gives up on the join due to a HTTP timeout

  • Backoff code has been refactored a bit more, and now correctly affects device list syncing

  • /make_join now errors correctly if a federated user tries to join a room which all members have left

  • A bug where a single user could start multiple simultaneous federated joins to the same room has been fixed

  • Some initial (but unfinished) support for the /key/v2/query notary endpoint has been added

  • Signature verification has been updated to not fail if the event origin field is missing (although it still requires a signature from the domain of the sender field)

  • A number of places where we use SQL transactions have been updated with safe wrappers (thanks samcday!)

  • A couple of error codes on invite endpoints for room version 6 JSON violations have been fixed

Spec compliance has improved slightly for federation:

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

  • Server-Server APIs: 77%, up from 74% last week

As always, if contributing to Dendrite sounds like something you would be interested in, please feel free to join us in #dendrite-dev:matrix.org ! There's also #dendrite:matrix.org

Synapse

Neil offered:

This week we released 1.20.0 (and 1.20.1) highlights include shadow banning support and including unread message counts in the sync response. This will help client developers and is a precursor to improving notification support.

We’ve also been looking at adding monitoring to get a better sense of which rooms are most expensive from a state resolution perspective, we also want a better way to track federation lag.

Up next we’ll move all background tasks away from the main process and try it out on matrix.org, we are hoping for a 10-15% saving in CPU. Event persistence sharding, specifically the new stream token format is on hold slightly while we work on a nasty race condition on start up of the event persister. We hope to get back to the main sharding project next week.

Conduit

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

timo announced:

  • Respect SRV record when sending requests over federation
  • Don't send new requests to servers if we are already waiting
  • Implement get_missing_events
  • Bug fixes and code cleanup

We also started work on a system that retries failed or blocked requests after some time.

Thanks to everyone who supports me on "Liberapay" (https://liberapay.com/timokoesters) or Bitcoin!

The Construct

Jason reported:

This week in Matrix concludes a summer of Construct where several transformative rounds of optimization took place. I'd like to talk about these achievements and why they are important for future directions.

Over the summer, Construct introduced new vector extensions to the project. As server software, our primary target is the datacenter which (for now) is dominated by x86 hardware. The latest features of x86 chips include AVX-2, AVX-512, and on-die GPU. These advancements are important because they help mitigate current limitations of hardware, such as the cubic relationship between a processor's frequency and its power consumption. These limitations mean that CPU cores aren't completing more cycles-per-second every iteration of their development -- they're not getting much faster.

The problem with threads is that they can introduce a lot of complications to a project. Construct is able to forego multi-threading as a network server because it is primarily IO-bound. The benefits to a single-thread design in both performance and simplicity cannot be overstated. This is why Construct stands to benefit the most from features which allow more work to be accomplished at every individual computing cycle.

Construct undertook several endeavors over the summer which directly leverage platforms featuring SSE, AVX, AVX-512, etc. As an added bonus, our approach is designed to effortlessly port to ARM's Scalable Vector Extensions (SVE) as it becomes available (inside datacenters too!). Our focus has been JSON, Unicode, and finally Base64. Detailed explanations for each of these will need to be discussed in their own posts, but in summary:

  • Matrix specifies a canonical form of JSON which is not necessarily the same as the JSON the server receives. Therefor it is imperative that Construct is liberal with what JSON it accepts and correct with its transformation into canonical JSON. Over the summer, a portion of Construct's canonical transform received some optimization to go beyond the default method of character-by-character read-modify-write. As seen in [1], a streaming hardware-accelerated transform now processes at least 16 characters at a time (with more possible) without forward branching except for the parts where transformation needs to occur. One of these transformations is UTF-16 to UTF-8 surrogate conversion, which leads into the second endeavor.

  • Construct introduced a completely branch-free Unicode toolset in [2]. Among the functions offered is a custom transform of UTF-16 surrogate pairs to UTF-8 sequences. Using the new vector registers, Construct can transform two UTF-16 surrogates in parallel to output two UTF-8 sequences, or two UTF-16 surrogates in a pair to output one UTF-8 sequence. Unfortunately, these specific functions were written at fixed vector widths, so more work needs to be done to really take advantage of the widest hardware. Each surrogate is 6 bytes, and a surrogate pair is 12 bytes; therefor we cannot make use of the last 4 bytes of a 16 byte vector. However, with a little more work this approach can be extended to a 64 byte vector, capable of decoding 5 surrogate pairs and 10 individual surrogates in parallel!

  • Professor Daniel Lemire recently published a paper about fast Base64 from hardware acceleration in [3]. This approach is extremely elegant on the 64-byte-wide AVX-512 system. Prior to Construct's implementation of this in [4], the Boost library base64 encoding and decoding took roughly 20 and 25 cycles per character respectively. Our implementation on the same system, an old system with only SSE2 (not even AVX-512!) yields 5 and 6 cycles per character!

All of this helps lay a foundation for Construct to introduce Federated Media Rooms sometime in the future. Currently, Construct stores media in a separate database. Recently there's been work on a separate branch at [5] which stores actual file block inside events using Base64. It is for this reason sub-cycle and branchless JSON parsing and Base64 encoding is essential for maximum performance. The result is worthwhile, as the latency for querying the media database is slower than parsing and decoding the event content already in-hand.

That's all for today. Construct is available at https://github.com/matrix-construct/construct and don't forget to idle and perform #construct:zemos.net / #construct:maunium.net

Thanks!

  1. https://github.com/matrix-construct/construct/blob/563f833ab325f27ff9e71af61af427fb02812f90/ircd/json.cc#L3483

  2. https://github.com/matrix-construct/construct/blob/563f833ab325f27ff9e71af61af427fb02812f90/ircd/utf.cc

  3. https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.05109

  4. https://github.com/matrix-construct/construct/blob/563f833ab325f27ff9e71af61af427fb02812f90/ircd/b64.cc

  5. https://github.com/jevolk/charybdis/tree/federated_media_rooms

It's really exciting to see Homeserver development ramping up from all angles, and nice that the protocol warts are slowly getting ironed out in the process.

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

Kubernetes

Ananace told us:

Before I forget (more) about it, I pushed the 1.20.0 tag for my K8s-optimized container image as well as my Helm chart.

YunoHost

Pierre reported:

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

Synapse integration had been updated to 1.19.3 (1.20.0 available in branch testing)

Element Web integration had been updated to 1.7.5 (1.7.7 available in branch testing)

dacruz21/matrix-chart

Typo Kign announced:

Thanks to Arkaniad, v2.7.0 of my Matrix Helm chart for Kubernetes is released with support for exporting Prometheus metrics. It pairs well with the Synapse Grafana dashboard.

More Kubernetes

Ananace said:

And just pushed the 1.20.1 tag too for my K8s-optimized container image as well as my Helm chart.

Third-Party PowerPC and ARM64 support for Synapse

andreas announced:

The synapse docker image from AVENTER (https://www.aventer.biz), does support PowerPC (ppc64le) and ARM64 architecture now. But at the moment only under the docker tag "ppc". https://hub.docker.com/r/avhost/docker-matrix/tags?page=1&name=ppc We will be happy to get feedback.

As a Synapse developer, it's great to see the community making personal and enterprise Matrix deployments more accessible!

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

FluffyChat

sorunome told us:

Fluffychat 0.19.1 has been released!

Features

  • Implemented ignore list

  • Jump to events in timeline: When tapping on a reply and when tapping a matrix.to link

  • Display messages with up to 10 emotes or emoji bigger

  • New design for the chat list and message bubbles

  • Implement reactions

  • Implement password change

  • Implement deactivate user account

Fixes

  • Timeline randomly resorting while more history is being fetched
  • Automatically request history if the "load more" button is on the screen

Sorunome briefly mentioned afterwards that there is no 0.19.0 due to some accidental messed up tagging, and that it was easiest to just call the new version 0.19.1.

Element Web

Neil offered:

This week we put out a new release candidate 1.7.8-rc.1 highlights include:-

  • Secure Backup has been moved out of the registration flow to a toast when you first encounter an E2EE room, which simplifies the new user experience

  • Added options to hide various UI features when hosting a custom Element ...along with various smaller fixes.

Aside from that the work to improve the widget experience continues with modal widget next on the agenda.

Next week we will continue to improve widgets and add some more instrumentation into the app.

Hydrogen

Bruno said:

Released 0.1.0 (and 0.1.1) this week with read-only session backup enabled πŸŽ‰ Also doing more work to make Hydrogen work on IE11 on Windows 7 (it does already for Windows 10), Safari and other browsers where you get TransactionInactiveError during login, hope to release that soon.

I need to give Hydrogren a shot myself, the quick speeds and low RAM usage are really attractive.

Element-iOS

Manu offered:

This week, room settings have been updated with a new intermediate screen. The codebase saw the introduction of an AppCoordinator (in swift) which will help us to have a better control on navigation within the app AND to use swift from end to end.

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Polyjuice Client πŸ§™

uhoreg told us:

Polyjuice Client v0.3.0 has been released. This release includes many breaking changes. ("Breaking" in the sense of API changes, rather than the sync process suddenly failing to work, which was already featured in a previous release.) This release also includes many changes, such as the client managing more bookkeeping, detecting if it got logged out, and supporting more Matrix features. See the release notes for more information.

Igor

uhoreg reported:

Igor is a bot framework for Elixir. Igor v0.2.0 has been released. The main change is updating it to use Polyjuice Client 0.3.0.

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

Matrix-Architect

erdnaxeli announced:

Hi!

I present you a new project I've been working on for some time. It's a bot that allows you to use the admin API through matrix, by typing commands to the bot. The inspiration comes from the OperServ-like bots that allow IRC operators to administrate an IRC server.

The bot exposes some of the available admin APIs and aims to provide some more high level commands by combining different APIs. There is currently one "high level command", !room garbage-collect, which allow you to purge from your HS all rooms without local users.

The project is written in crystal and is my first project in this language. It should be stable in normal conditions, but don't hesitate to fill issues. A Docker image is provided for more convenience.

I hope you will find this project useful πŸ™‚

https://github.com/erdnaxeli/matrix-architect

People administering their Synapse deployment through Matrix itself! How deep does the rabbit hole go?

Songwhip bot

Tulir reported:

benpa wanted a bot that replies with a songwhip.com link whenever someone sends a music link (youtube, spotify, apple music, etc), so I wrote a small maubot plugin to do that: https://github.com/maubot/songwhip

It's available at @songwhip:maunium.net

I'm also desperately in need of this for the 10 open.spotify.com links that get thrown at me every week. Thanks Tulir!

Cyberbot

jj reported:

There's a new bot! Cyberbot.

It supports E2EE and can be easily extended with Python plugins. Can be used e.g. for GitLab notifications, automated user invites, room creation, and of course can be programmed to react to any message posted in a room.

Dept of Interesting Projects πŸ›°οΈ

matrix-gotify

sorunome said:

Soru made a new thing, matrix-gotify. It is a gotify plugin to receive matrix notifications. This means, you can now receive matrix push notifications on your android phone self-hosted without the need of google services! That is why putting the full event in the push notification is actually not a privacy leak in this case.

This plugin could also be used to receive push notifications on any other kind of device that gotify supports.

Please note that this is independent of any matrix client - you don't even need to run one to be able to use this!

I asked whether an OpenPush-like solution be built on top of this , and Sorunome responded that someone had already started working on just that! https://github.com/gotify/android/pull/115

This would allow other matrix clients on your phone to get their push notifications through your gotify client, instead of needing to run a process each. Great for battery life without proprietary Google blobs!

Homeservers on-the-go

js got Synapse running in a car on a German highway:

the setup is a cigarette lighter to 2x 230V converter, one being used to power the RockPro64, the other being used to power my notebook. My notebook is connected to the hotspot from my phone, while also being connected to a USB ethernet, the other end of which is plugged into the RockPro64.

The notebook then acts as a gateway, as well as SSHing to a tiny VPS with -R, to get a public port, and forwarding that traffic to the RockPro64.

Maybe one day we'll all have an embedded Synapse homeserver in our cars. P2P E2EE car comms anyone?

Matrix VoIP Tester

reivilibre announced:

https://github.com/matrix-org/voip-tester

I have been through the perils of setting up a TURN server and having VoIP continue to fail, whilst spending hours scratching my head and staring at Wireshark without getting anywhere. When I was given free reign over project choice last year during my internship, I chose to start a tool that tests your homeserver's VoIP configuration, hoping it would be useful to both me and the community at large.

It saw some progress but I never managed to iron out some of the 'last few things' or put a pretty front on it β€” until about 2 weeks ago, when I got some more time to do it.

There are known issues β€” such as the scores being very arbitrary, wrong and misleading; it crashes Chromium every time (on my machine) and it completely misbehaves in Brave Browser (on my machine). It may also not be the prettiest (but hopefully it is at least somewhat inoffensive). I hope to work on these annoying issues soon.

I have deployed a test instance at https://test.voip.librepush.net β€” it can be tried in a WebRTC-supporting browser (probably Firefox if you want half a chance). Please don't take it to heart if you get a Fail or Poor score β€” it's probably not your fault. :)

Oliver was interning with us at Element this Summer. Fixing up and releasing this VoIP tester was part of it, but he's still working on it in his spare time even though his internship has finished :)

Through this I found out that I forgot to turn on my turnserver on my homeserver again. Thanks Oliver!

Dept of Guides 🧭

German-Language Guide for Getting Start with Matrix

Samuel told us:

I started an article series about Matrix on my german blog. The goal is to make it easier for new users to get started with Matrix. https://blog.sp-codes.de/werde-teil-der-matrix-matrix-teil-1/

Guides like these are the essential entrypoints to a project for a lot of users. The more, in different languages, the merrier!

Dept of Ping πŸ“

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1thomcat.rocks896
2matrix.vgorcum.com965
3conduit.rs1226.5
4neko.dev1232
5kif.rocks1396
6chatserver.ca1533.5
7jauriarts.org1949.5
8settgast.org2328
9vkane.cz2419
10conduit.nordgedanken.dev2519

Ping Graphs by Timoℒ️

timo told us:

Here we look at how fast ping bots respond.

I changed the formatting of the plot a bit to make it more readable. Note that it is now using a log scale which allows us to see more data at the same time.

(A graph showing conduit beating everyone)

Non-Synapse Ping Room

Tulir reported:

Now that we have multiple somewhat federating Matrix homeserver implementations, I decided to make a ping room where all the echo bots are hosted on second-gen homeservers: #ping-no-synapse:maunium.net. Synapse users are still allowed to join and !ping, but all the pongs will come from non-Synapse servers.

Based on observations in that room so far, the new server implementations don't like eachother very much.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1conduit.rs110
2pc.koesters.xyz:59003162
3cd.mau.dev162.5
4maunium.net181
5c.mau.dev238
6dendrite.neilalexander.dev370
7conduit.nordgedanken.dev427
8inferiorlattice.com592
9matrix.org1294
10grin.hu3560.5

Final Thoughts πŸ’­

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2020-09-18

18.09.2020 00:00 β€” This Week in Matrix β€” Ben Parsons

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌑️

Element review by TechRadar

TechRadar have published a fairly thorough Element secure messenger review. This covers the Web, Android and iOS clients, and appears to use the matrix.org server for signup.

The review is very positive, awarding 4.5/5, and concludes:

The Element messenger platform scores highly for its approach to security and its commitment to decentralization, and it's definitely going to be of interest to businesses wanting control over their own chats – as well as plenty of individual users as well.

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

Spec

anoa told us:

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

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

In terms of Spec Core Team MSC focus for this week, MSC1960 has made it into FCP, so this week our focus is MSC2414.

2020-09-18-8BoQF-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

Neil announced:

This week we put out two point releases to fix critical bugs. At the very least ensure that you have upgraded to 1.19.2 which is a security release but you may as well go the whole hog and upgrade to the hot off the press 1.19.3. We will release 1.20.0 early next week.

Aside from that we continue to work on performance analysis and the sharding of the event persister continues - it’s proving to be a really tough job but we are getting there. We’ve also been making progress on the room knocking implementation

This week we say goodbye to Oliver (reivilibre) as a leaving present he fixed a long standing bug that prevented servers catching up after a federating outage and as we speak is furiously trying to finish a service to test TURN configuration. Thanks Oliver!

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

Neil Alexander said:

Not much has happened this week, as the Dendrite team have been taking some time off. However, we still have a couple of changes to report:

  • Support for rejected events has been merged

  • Work on soft-fail has begun (although not complete yet)

  • A new mechanism for avoiding SQLite parameter limits was contributed (thanks HenrikSolver!)

Spec compliance is on the up:

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

  • Server-Server APIs: 74%, up from 71% last week

Conduit

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

timo announced:

Welcome back! This week we made some groundbreaking progress - this is not a joke, we found a bug in Synapse while breaking multiple Matrix rooms, causing the Matrix team a lot of unnecessary stress. Let me explain: The good news is that Conduit is starting to federate now. This means that you should be able to join all public rooms of the Matrix network and exchange messages. Note that Conduit does not do all the checks it should be doing yet making it stop sending messages from time to time as well as that advanced features like loading the history, syncing temporary data like read receipts or accepting invites are not implemented yet.

The bad news is that, while Synapse is happy to accept Conduit's messages when it is already part of the room, joining into one of the rooms Conduit servers are part of didn't work because of an event validation bug. The Matrix team did an excellent job at fixing this bug and releasing a Synapse patch the same day, but the damage has been done making a few rooms inaccessible to old Synapse servers. Thanks to everyone who supports me on "Liberapay" (https://liberapay.com/timokoesters) or Bitcoin!

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

Synapse on NetBSD

js reported:

I ported Synapse + its dependencies to NetBSD and it is now in pkgsrc as chat/matrix-synapse. This means that Synapse is now easily installable on any operating system that supports pkgsrc (which is many, e.g. NetBSD, Linux, macOS, Solaris, AIX, Haiku, …). And while at it, I also ported mautrix-hangouts + dependencies (in pkgsrc as chat/mautrix-hangouts).

YunoHost

Pierre told us:

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

Synapse integration had been updated to 1.19.1 (1.19.2 available in branch testing)

Element Web integration had been updated to 1.7.5 (1.7.7 available in branch testing)

Kubernetes

Ananace offered:

Both image tags and a new chart version are hereby pushed for 1.19.2 for my Synapse image and Helm chart

then later

Just pushed the updates for the K8s-optimized Synapse image and chart for 1.19.3

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

matrix-appservice-bridge hits 2.0.0ʳᢜ¹

Half-Shot said:

Hey bridge developer enthusiasts! Myself and ChristianP (bridge crew of matrix.org) have been working hard on freshening up the matrix-appservice-bridge library. It's no secret that it was using "classic" Javascript rather than ES6 syntax, was poorly documented in places and there were no types at all to make use of.

But that's all changed now, the 2.0.0-rc1 release brings fresh types, new convenience methods, a total swichover from Bluebird Promises to native Promises and much much more. If you are looking to quickly get set up writing bridges, it's never been easier.

Check out the slack-starter project to get your first taste of bridge excellence and see what you think.

As this is an RC, feedback is valuable and logging bugs helps us all. Please do so if you encounter any issues πŸ˜„

Bridge Encryption Support

Half-Shot reported:

Hi encryption fans. This week the bridge team has been churning away at adding support for encrypted rooms in the matrix-appservice-bridge library, to enable support in matrix-appservice-irc, matrix-appservice-slack, and anyone else using the library. This is probably the most exciting feature the library has seen in a long time!

The feature will be a simple config toggle, so existing bridges will have to do very little work to support it.

The first phase plans to use Pantalaimon with bridge users syncing like real users, but eventually the hope is that this will be all built into the library. Come check out this issue to keep track of progress.

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Element Web

Neil announced:

  • Released 1.7.6 and 1.7.7 highlights include

    • Redesigned right panel where top right actions are now revealed via the i icon

    • Widgets can now be opened in the right panel

    • Widgets won't be visible in the Apps Drawer (top of timeline) by default (except Jitsi) - you need to pin them from the right panel

    • Widgets can now be resized

  • A new feature to defer e2ee set up until the user actually wishes to use an e2ee channel.

  • A series of config flags to remove various features from the UI thereby simplifying the experience.

Mirage

miruka said:

0.6.3 and 0.6.4 were released this week, and I'm now working on desktop notifications support and push rules control.

Added

  • Add a system tray icon.

    A left click will bring up the Mirage window, middle will quit the application and right will show a menu with these

    options.

  • Add a closeMimizesToTray setting to the config file, defaults to false.

    Controls whether closing the Mirage window will leave it running in the system tray, or fully quit the application.

  • Add a discrete read marker indicator to messages, shows how many people

    have this event as their last seen one in the room.
    A way to see who read the message and when will be added in the future.

  • Themes: add chat.message.localEcho and chat.message.readCounter color properties

  • Add a zoom setting, defaults to 1.0

  • Add a lexicalRoomSorting setting, to sort rooms by their name instead of

    recent activity.
    A restart is needed to apply changes to this setting.

Changed

  • Restrict Mirage to a single instance per config folder, trying to launch a

    new window will instead focus the existing one.
    The MIRAGE_CONFIG_DIR and MIRAGE_DATA_DIR environment variables can be

    set to run different "profiles" in parallel.

  • Reduce the visible lag when opening a chat page, switching rooms should be

    a lot smoother

  • When using the focusPreviousMessage and focusNextMessage keybinds, if no

    message is focused and the timeline has been scrolled up, focus the message in the center of the view instead of returning to the

    bottom of the timeline and focusing the last one.

  • Don't re-center the room list on clicks by default.

    This prevents the list from jumping around every time a room is selected.
    The previous behavior can be restored with the new centerRoomListOnClick

    setting.

  • Show a better terminal error message than "Component is not ready" when the

    window creation fails, giving details on what went wrong in the code

  • If an account's access token is invalid (e.g. our session was signed out

    externally), say so with a popup and cleanly remove it from the UI, instead of spamming the user with errors.

  • Rename message context menu option "Debug this event" to just "Debug"

  • Unify up/down and (shift+)Tab navigation for the account Sessions page

  • Changes to the UI scale/zoom via keybinds are now persisted across restarts

  • Themes: uiScale is now bound to window.settings.zoom.

    This change is necessary to keep the zoom keybinds working.

Fixed

  • A bunch of stuff, see the full changelog for 0.6.3 and 0.6.4

Element Android 1.0.7

benoit offered:

Element Android 1.0.7 has been released (still stuck in Google pipes writing those lines), and will be quickly followed by 1.0.8 to fix a problem with cross signing verification.

We are working to implement search of messages in a room and we keep on fighting bugs and improving performance of the application.

We are also iterating on the home screen, to improve user experience, and try to satisfy users with a few rooms as well as users with several hundreds of rooms.

Element-iOS

Manu said:

This week, we released 1.0.12 with several bug fixes including the one for background crashes due to PushKit

Hydrogen

Bruno told us:

Released 0.037 on Monday with some polish for E2EE:

  • remove outdated devices when querying

  • update room summary with decrypted events, also when retrying decryption

  • various crash protections

  • keep megolm session with earliest index when receiving a room key we already know about

  • add new icon

  • fix issue where olm would be loaded twice when login failed

  • show decryption errors in timeline

  • show encryption enabled tile in timeline

The rest of the week was implementing session backup, which I hoped would be ready to release today but it needs some more polish unfortunately. In the meantime, here's a GIF teaser:

2020-09-18-uMR7F-session-backup.gif

FluffyChat

Thank you to Krille, who told us:

FluffyChat version 0.18.0 is out now in F-Droid, Testflight and soon the PlayStore:

Features

  • Added translations: Armenian, Turkish, Chinese (Simplified), Estonian
  • Url-ify matrix identifiers
  • Use server-side generated thumbnails in cleartext rooms
  • Add option to send images in their original resolution
  • Add additional confirmation for sending files & share intents
  • Add option to opt-in to report issues / crashes to sentry
  • Write keys to online key backup, fully implementing online key backup

Changes

  • Tapping links, pills, etc. now does stuff
  • Better handling of sending messages in bad network
  • Better recovery of "keys not cached"
  • E2EE is enabled again

Fixes:

  • Various html rendering and url-ifying fixes
  • Added support for blurhashes
  • Image viewer now eventually displays the original image, not only the thumbnail

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Hemppa

Hemppa the bot is a multi-purpose Matrix bot for writing new functionality easily with Python.

Cos said:

Hemppa gained a small but big feature for making fediverse better: per-room Mastodon tooting support. This means that you can set up a Mastodon account in your room and anyone with moderator rights can toot to that account. This way you and your roommates can super easily send toots to the world directly from Matrix. Mastodon (unlike the big alternative) supports RSS feeds out of the box so it's very easy to subscribe to users and hashtags with stock RSS bot. Toot #hemppathebot if you like it! Another new contribution worth mentioning is welcome which can send welcome messages to users registering on the server or joining a room. https://github.com/vranki/hemppa

Ruby

Ananace said:

Another week, another Ruby SDK release. This time adding a little fix to avoid duplicate state events being passed twice to the application if identical ones arrive in both state and timeline, also adds a global state event handler and moves room event handling to not depend on room instances themselves.

Asked how much the SDK is used in production, Ananace said:

a little, we've hooked Matrix into our server orchestration / configuration management system TheForeman - which is a Rails application. Also got a colleague who's doing a bot to linkify internal ticket IDs.

Ruma

iinuwa told us:

Thanks to @q-b and @jtescher we have implemented more of the federation endpoints (bringing us up to about 85% completion) and every (one) endpoint of the Push Gateway API!

We fixed a bug where federation endpoints expected access tokens instead of server signatures for authentication. In the future, we may add an API that requires signatures on requests.

Finally, we've also continued progress on the non-exhaustive type updates for backwards compatibility; we expect to finish this within the coming weeks.

New Contributors

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

Matrix Reminder Bot

anoa announced:

v0.2.0 of matrix-reminder-bot has been released! This releases includes lots of bugfixes, updates and polishing. Find the list below:

Features

  • Better support for command prefixes other than the default !.

  • Just writing !silence now silences the currently active alarm.

  • The bot will now print the correct syntax of a command if the user fails to follow it.

  • The bot will reply to events if it cannot decrypt them, as well as offer helpful tips that both the user and bot operator can try to fix things.

Bugfixes

  • Timezones. They should finally work correctly! ...no 100% guarantees though.

  • Alarms were a bit broken. They're fixed now.

  • Fix commands with formatting and newlines not being picked up by the bot.

  • Fix non-latin characters preventing reminders from being deleted.

Internal changes

  • Add a dev-optimised Dockerfile for quicker iteration during development.

  • Better wording revolving alarms. They're just reminders that alarm repeatedly when they go off.

  • Log why the bot is unable to start.

  • Don't print "Unknown help topic" in case the user is trying to ask another bot for help.

  • The config dict is now a singleton.

  • Type hints everywhere!

Additionally, the minimum Python version is now 3.6. matrix-reminder-bot is made with nio-template.

Dept of Ping πŸ“

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

RankHostnameMedian MS
1fairydust.space412
2matrix-dev.kapsi.fi1308
3utzutzutz.net1519
4blob.cat1521
5r23s.eu1915.5
6conduit.rs2149
7maescool.be2759
8halogen.city2774.5
9uraziel.de3253
10kapsi.fi3713

Dept of Ping Extra:

timo announced:

Normally the ping shows how long other servers take to receive the sending-server's message. Some servers receive it quickly, some take hours. All this flows into the statistic of the sending server. I wrote a small program that's the other way around. Instead of measuring the sending-server's ping, it associates each measurement with an echo-bot (instead of the sending server), so this plot shows which maubots are the fastest to respond (it's probably not accurate at all, because most of the pings were started on conduit servers this week, but it's interesting nevertheless):

2020-09-18-PRR99-image.png

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2020-09-11

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

Open Tech Will Save Us #6

From the schedule:

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

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

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌑️

GSOC project reports

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

Expect to see the next three reports next week.

LinkΓΆping University

Alexander Olofsson announced:

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

Oh dear.

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

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

\o/

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

anoa told us:

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

MSC Status

Closed MSCs:

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

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

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

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

2020-09-11-yd96P-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

Neil reported:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conduit

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

timo announced:

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

Dendrite

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

kegan told us:

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

  • The current state server has been removed.

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

  • Support for database migrations has been added.

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

  • Experimental support for peeking has been added - See MSC2753

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

  • The README has been updated with hardware requirements.

Spec compliance remains the same this week:

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

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

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Hydrogen

It's been a big week for Bruno:

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

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

Element Web

Neil (same fellow from earlier) reported:

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

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

Coming up:

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

Element for Nextcloud

Gary Kim said:

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

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

Check out the source code here.

Element Android 1.0.6

benoit told us:

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

SchildiChat for Android

SpiritCroc said:

Element v1.0.6 has been merged into SchildiChat.

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

  • Fixed message bubbles clipping italic text

  • Less wasted bubble space in some scenarios

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

  • Display the year in the chat list for old chats

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

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

Element-iOS

Manu told us:

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

Maunium sticker picker

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

Tulir announced:

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

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

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

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

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

later more words appeared from Tulir:

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

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

  • Frequently used stickers now show up at the top

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

A model of productivity, Tulir also announced:

my sticker picker has dark theme support too now

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Ruby

Ananace said:

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

matrix-appservice-rs

Lieuwe announced:

matrix-appservice-rs got some love!

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

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

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

  • Some more documentation.

  • Cleaned up the code a bit.

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

quotient

kitsune said:

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

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

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

mnotify

stefan said:

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

Dept of Services πŸš€

publiclist.anchel.nl

Mr. Wimpy offered:

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

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

Bots galore

Alexander Olofsson reported:

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

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

Dept of Events and Talks πŸ—£οΈ

Perth Linux user group Matrix presentation

PC-Admin offered:

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

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

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

From the YouTube description:

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

Dept of Ping πŸ“

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

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

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2020-09-04

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

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

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

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌑️

Next step in world domination

Alexander Olofsson reported:

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

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

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

But then:

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

\o/

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

sorunome asks for attention on MSC2545:

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

Spec

anoa reported:

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

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

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

2020-09-04-gKF3z-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

anoa said:

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

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

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

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

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

Expect a fresh release with all these changes soon!

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

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

Neil Alexander said:

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

Changes this week include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Some more SQLite writer bugs have been fixed

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

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

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

Spec compliance is improving:

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

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

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

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

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

YunoHost

Pierre announced:

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

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

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

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

tomsg-matrix

Lieuwe told us:

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

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

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

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

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

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

matrix-sms-bridge

Benedict told us:

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

im_sender_service, for zabbix bridging and more

progserega said:

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

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

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Ditto

Ditto is a Matrix client for iOS & Android

Annie offered:

Ditto development is back from hiatus!

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

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

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

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

Links:

Matrix Room

Big exciting things happening!

Hydrogen

Bruno offered:

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

YESSSS - see Matrix Live for a demo.

2020-09-04-t4hyh-image.png

gomuks

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

Tulir said:

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

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

v0.2.0 was just released with these features!

NovaChat

eric told us:

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

Sept 4 Updates:

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

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

  • Added Discord Bridge. Thanks for building this Sorunome!

In the works...

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

  • Marking messages as 'unread'

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

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

Nheko

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

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) announced:

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

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

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

2020-09-04-KUPpB-clipboard.png

Fluffychat

sorunome offered:

Fluffychat 0.17.0 is released!

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

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

Features

  • Pin and unpin chats

  • Implement event aggregations

  • Implement message edits

  • Render reactions

  • Add / Remove reactions by tapping on existing reactions

Fixes:

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

  • Various fixes for sending messages on bad networks

  • Design tweaks and fixes

  • Various performance fixes and improvements

Definitely hoping to see these issues resolved.

SchildiChat for Android

SpiritCroc offered:

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

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

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

On the implementation side, I can report the following:

  • Element 1.0.5 has been merged

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

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

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

Element-iOS

Manu announced:

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

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

Element Android

benoit reported:

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

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

rn-matrix

rn-matrix is a React Native SDK for matrix

Annie offered:

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

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

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

Links: Docs (start here!) | Matrix Room

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

Ruma

iinuwa said:

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

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

New Contributors

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy

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

Slavi reported:

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

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

Dept of Events and Talks πŸ—£οΈ

Matrix talk @ FrOSCon 2020 (in German)

Oleg reported:

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

Apparently

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

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

Dept of Ping πŸ“

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

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

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2020-08-28

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

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

anoa announced:

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

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

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

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

2020-08-28-MSnEZ-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of GSoC πŸŽ“οΈ

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

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

matrix-ircd - Call for Testing

jplatte announced:

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

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

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

HTML embeddable matrix chat

arnav-t said:

For the GSoC project HTML embeddable matrix chat this week -

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

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

  • Restyled various components.

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

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

Dept of Servers 🏒

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

Neil Alexander told us:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Rejecting invites over federation multiple times should now work properly

  • Redactions are now permanent and are committed to the database

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

  • The redaction endpoint is now spec-compliant

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

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

Spec compliance has improved slightly:

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

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

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

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

Conduit

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

timo said:

Some new features this week!

  • Handle transaction ids to avoid duplicate messages on bad connections

  • Redaction reasons

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

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

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

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Synapse

anoa offered:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Them's the news!

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

YunoHost

Pierre said:

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

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

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

Kubernetes

Ananace told us:

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

and then

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

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

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

matrix-appservice-mattermost

dalcde offered:

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

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

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Daydream

MTRNord offered:

Some small updates on Daydream:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mxapps

KB1RD offered:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mirage

miruka reported:

Small 0.6.2 release this week, mostly bug fixes:

Changed

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

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

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

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

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

  • Composer aliases cannot contain whitespace anymore.

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

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

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

    single request instead of one for each server

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

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

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

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

    list items, see 48663ae

Fixed

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

    after the @

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

    autocompleting keyboards and for username autocompletion

  • Reset IME state upon autocompleting a username

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

  • Fix UI freezing when mentioning user lacking a display name

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

    them by their user ID

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

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

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

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

    by an account alias

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hydrogen

Bruno announced:

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

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

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

Nheko

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

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

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

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

Element-Android v1.0.5

benoit said:

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

We are always fixing bugs!

Element-iOS

Manu has been working hard on iOS:

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

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

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

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

mautrix-go

nikofil reported:

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

Cross-signing in gomuks and more?

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

catbot

chloe reported:

Github

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

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

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

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

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

2020-08-28-ArKGA-testing_factoid.png

2020-08-28-gdnHE-time_example.png

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

Final Thoughts πŸ’­

Christian offered:

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

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

As a maintainer,

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

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

Dept of Ping πŸ“

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

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

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2020-08-21

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

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

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

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

anoa offered:

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

MSC Status

Closed MSCs:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

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

2020-08-21-WX3fG-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of GSoC πŸŽ“οΈ

Nheko(GSoC)

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

Chethan offered:

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

  • Improving and fixing some caching issues.

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

Dept of Servers 🏒

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

Neil Alexander told us:

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

Changes this week include:

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

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

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

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

  • Federated invites are now more reliable and are performed synchronously

  • Invite room metadata is now sent correctly in all cases

  • Accepting and rejecting invites is also now much more reliable

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

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

  • Some unnecessary code has been removed from the roomserver updaters

Spec compliance has improved slightly:

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

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

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

Conduit

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

timo told us:

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

Also check out the Romeo and Juliet Benchmark!

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Synapse

Neil said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romeo and Juliet benchmark to compare Matrix server implementations

timo offered:

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

The results are very interesting:

Synapse:

     timo         neilalexander    Half-Shot

# default (sqlite)
time 5m0.870s

# postgres:
time 1m46.319s                     1m8s


Dendrite:

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

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


Conduit:

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

2020-08-21-KRqaI-Screenshot_20200818_223636.png

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

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

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

SELinux policy module

0xC0ncord reported:

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

Ansible

JCG said:

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

Kubernetes

Ananace announced:

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

Void Linux

JCG announced:

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

dacruz21/matrix-chart Kubernetes Helm Chart

Typo Kign told us:

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

YunoHost

Pierre reported:

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

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

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

Dept of Bridges πŸŒ‰

Telegram public channel mirror

bo41 reported:

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

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

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

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

matrix-appservice-irc release 0.20.1

Half-Shot said:

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

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Nheko

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

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) reported:

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

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

See also Matrix Live this week!

Element Android

benoit announced:

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

later, fidèle à sa parole:

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

Element-iOS

steve offered:

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

Element Web

Ryan announced:

  • Released 1.7.4

    • Updated various links and strings for the new brand

    • Renewed Windows code signing cert

    • Removed rebranding toast

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

  • This week

    • Mode to require secure backup during registration

    • Continue work on deferred cross-signing setup

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

    • Notifications continues in background while push rules evolve

    • Matrix.to link previews in progress

Hydrogen

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

Bruno told us:

Added several features this week:

  • avatars and display names in the timeline and for rooms

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

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

  • clear unread state when reading a room

  • some visual tweaks in the timeline and room list

  • bug fixes

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

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

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

Mirage 0.6.1

miruka hit us with a late breaking update about Mirage!

Mirage 0.6.1 was released today:

Added

  • SSO authentication support

  • Homeserver browser:

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

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

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

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

  • Room members autocompletion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Any mouse movement: reveal auto-hidden bars

    • Double click on the image: toggle full screen

    • Middle click anywhere: open externally

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

    • Drag when displayed image is bigger than window to pan

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

    • Ctrl+wheel to control zoom

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

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

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

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

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

  • Themes:

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

Changed

  • Messages context menu:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Dependencies: minimum nio version bumped to 0.15.0

Removed

  • Themes: remove unused controls.listView.smallPaneHighlight property

And lots of fixes, see full changelog

Mirage

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Ruma

iinuwa offered:

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

Other things that happened this week:

  • Added the invite endpoints from the Federation API

  • Started requiring strong types for event-sending endpoints

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

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

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

mautrix-go

nikofil reported:

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

Ruby

Ananace announced:

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

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy

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

Slavi said:

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

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

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

go-neb

nikofil said:

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

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

Final Thoughts πŸ’­

Christian told us:

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

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

Dept of Ping πŸ“

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

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

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2020-08-14

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

Matrix Live πŸŽ™

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

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

Dept of Status of Matrix 🌑️

LinkΓΆping University has now soft-launched Matrix

Alexander Olofsson said:

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

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

Dept of Spec πŸ“œ

SAS Emoji Translations

TravisR said:

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

2020-08-14-Ly4te-image.png

Spec

anoa said:

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

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

  • No MSCs were merged this week.

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

  • No MSCs are in FCP.

New MSCs:

Spec Core Team

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

2020-08-14-i2G3v-stacked_area_chart.png

Dept of GSoC πŸŽ“οΈ

Opsdroid(GSoC)

tyagdit announced:

Matrix database

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

  • Encryption support is being worked on

  • The module now has a delete method

  • Some testing is remaining

  • Check out the progress here

End to End Encryption with matrix

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

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

Dept of Servers 🏒

Synapse

Neil reported:

We have a new RC out, edited highlights include

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

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

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

Expect 1.19.0 to land early next week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conduit

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

timo reported:

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

  • Resolve room aliases over federation

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

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

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

2020-08-14-bRuiV-Screenshot_20200814_125755.png

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

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

Other news:

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

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

Thanks to everyone who supports me on Liberapay or Bitcoin!

Dendrite / gomatrixserverlib

Dendrite is a next-generation homeserver written in Go

Neil Alexander told us:

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

Changes this week include:

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

  • Support for server ACLs has been added

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

  • A number of improvements to device list handling

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

  • Deleted devices are now propagated correctly over federation

Spec compliance is improving:

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

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

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

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

Sytest

Neil Alexander reported:

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

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

Synapse Deployment πŸ“₯️

YunoHost

Pierre reported:

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

Synapse integration had been updated to 1.18.0

Element Web integration had been updated to 1.7.3

Kubernetes

Ananace reported:

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

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

and then:

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

Dept of Clients πŸ“±

Nheko

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

Nico (@deepbluev7:neko.dev) said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Element-Android

benoit said:

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

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

SchildiChat for Android

SpiritCroc said:

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

It includes following changes since the last TWIM:

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

  • Push notifications have been enabled for the Play Store variant

  • Some theme fixes for old Android versions

Hydrogen

Bruno told us:

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

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

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

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

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

Hydrogen

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

Element-iOS

ismailgulek offered:

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

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

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Ruma

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

iinuwa announced:

Lots of exciting things happened in Ruma this week:

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

Special thanks to @agraven and @q-b!

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

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

a server.

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

much easier.

New Contributors

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

Thanks for your help!

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

#ruma:matrix.org!

Great to see new contributors here.

Dept of Ops πŸ› 

Support for Ansible collections from Famedly

JCG told us:

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

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

Dept of Bots πŸ€–

Cody

carl said:

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

Chat with cody: @cody:bordum.dk

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

2020-08-14-cody.png

Seems to work well!

Opsdroid

Cadair reported:

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

Dept of Interesting Projects πŸ›°οΈ

Privee

terry_hello said:

Hi All,

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

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

This is an early-stage project (hence starting on KickStarter.) While exciting and ambitious, I encourage everyone to do their own research! Learn more and chat with terry_hello (who has done a good job handling questions already!) in #Privee:matrix.org.

Dept of Ping πŸ“

Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server. Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.

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

That's all I know 🏁

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