This Week in Matrix

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This Week in Matrix 2018-11-30

30.11.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Porting to Python 3 - Matrix Live S3E5

Longer than usual episode of Matrix Live this week. Amber talks to Neil about the works she's been doing over the last few months to port Synapse from Python 2 to Python 3. Recommended for anyone who's been following along the progress of Synapse, or who wants a good intro on the benefits of Python 3 over Python 2.

ZeroPhone

This week we learned about ZeroPhone, a fairly mature project aiming to build a working cellphone on top of a Raspberry Pi Zero.

an open-source smartphone that can be assembled for 50$ in parts. It is Linux-powered, with UI software written in Python. Currently, ZeroPhone is based on Raspberry Pi Zero, SIM800L GSM modem and 1.3" OLED screen and button interface.

&Adam was the first to bring it to our attention:

I stumbled across this blog post which mentions a matrix app in a project to create an open, hackable phone out of a raspberry pi. It's old news at this point I guess, but I don't think I've seen it mentioned here, so I thought it might be a neat thing worth featuring: https://zerophone.github.io/newsletter/ZeroPhone-Weekly-No.-16/

The creator of the Matrix app, derivmug also arrived to tell us about his work:

Hey everyone, I have been suggested to post about the Zerophone project here. I have written a basic matrix client for it. It's basically a simple phone based on a raspberry pi zero, focused on privacy, security and hackability.

The client app is built using the matrix-python-sdk, I'm also hoping to chat to derivmug as part of a future Matrix Live. Take a look at the code here.

Just to prove it's running on real hardware!

Spec / Foundation

  • Work continues on MSC1730 - Mechanism for redirecting to an alternative server during login https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/pull/1730
  • Foundation: Working with the Foundation lawyers on the CIC37 to register the Foundation as a Community Interest Company proper

The Federation (the-federation.info)

Jason Robinson is passionate about Federated technology, and has been working on his site at https://the-federation.info/ for some time. He recently added Matrix to the list of protocols he scrapes and lists:

Matrix (or more specifically, Synapse) servers are now visible on the The Federation info website at https://the-federation.info/matrix%7Csynapse. The website collects lists of servers for various federation protocols (like Matrix, ActivityPub, Diaspora, etc). If a server outputs usage information, it also shows some historical information for servers and projects. Currently the information available from Synapse on the site is just version, availability of registrations and (obviously) domain name. If you want to register your server, check https://the-federation.info/info for more details. Tips also welcome on how to register other Matrix server projects and how to get more data out of servers.

maubot

tulir has continued work on maubot:

  • I made a rss plugin for maubot and added a fancy log viewer in the maubot management UI.
  • mautrix-telegram 0.4.0 was released, though it has no changes since the release candidate. I also copied mautrix-telegram's HTML parser into mautrix-python. Hopefully it's now generic enough so that when mautrix-telegram switches to mautrix-python, it can drop most of the built-in HTML parser.

matrix-appservice-discord

Bridge-of-the-week this week is matrix-appservice-discord. Anyone in the dev room (#discord:half-shot.uk) will be very aware of this as Half-Shot and Sorunome have spent the day testing @room notifications.

Sorunome:

matrix-appservice-discord received a lot of work these past days. Not only the usual small bugfixes, but also some rather big changes: The parsers for both Discord->Matrix sending and Matrix->Discord sending were re-written completely to properly handle things (and thus, at the same time, crunch a bunch of edge-case bugs!). In addition, the long-awaited highlighting issues with @ everyone and @ here (on discord) and @ room (on matrix) were addressed. Some of these things are still in PR stage, but expected to be merged soon!

Half-Shot also provided a great screenshot of everything working well:

is just showing off having IRC+Matrix+Discord+XMPP plugged together. XMPP being the one purple is bridging

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy

Slavi reports that:

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy now supports configuring the matrix-synapse-ldap3 LDAP auth password provider. Thanks to @tvo6 for contributing this!

Riot iOS

  • User Agreement (GDPR) in now part of the registration flow
  • Reskin has started
  • New fixes for unexpected “Empty room”
  • We have PR templates

Riot Android

  • Realm store for e2e keys has landed
  • Riot reboot: support timelines merge in DB to avoid to trash data as less as possible when navigating through permalinks
  • New settings to choose ringtone for incoming call
  • We have PR templates also

SimpleMatrix

MTRNord, is working on the design for SimpleMatrix:

As I currently have less time for actual coding I am planning out the SimpleMatrix Design. You can find the Images of the Design (and a PDF file) at https://gitlab.com/Nordgedanken/simplematrixredesignimages Feel free to also join #SimpleMatrix:matrix.ffslfl.net to give feedback.

Synapse

  • This week our focus has been to work through some final bugs blocking 0.34.0 which will be our first official python 3 release. Expect a RC rsn. For a sneak peak see this week's Matrix Live video at the top!

Auf Wiedersehen…

That's it for this week. If you have anything to share with us, and you'd like to be included on the blog, please come talk in #twim:matrix.org!

In one month from now, many Matrix-acolytes, including myself, will be at 35c3. If you'll be there, come chat to us in #matrix-35c3:matrix.org!

This Week in Matrix 2018-11-26

26.11.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

A little delay to the release of this week's TWIM, expect us to resume normal schedule on Friday.

Spec & Foundation

  • Two workshops happened with the Foundation lawyers to work on MSC1318 - basically fleshing out a proposal for the details of the foundation governance in terms of how the Guardians (i.e. directors of the foundation board) should interact with the Core Spec Team to act as a back-stop - and working out how to port the MSC (once finished) into formal Articles of Association & adjunct documents. We'll get the workshop notes written up as a rewrite of MSC1318 very shortly.
  • New MSCs from vdH on:
    • MSC1721 Rename m.login.cas to m.login.sso
    • MSC1730 Mechanism for redirecting to an alternative server during login
  • …and an alternate to MSC1730: MSC1731 Mechanism for redirecting to an alternative server during SSO login.
  • These three SSO-related MSCs are derived from work being done for a large-scale Matrix deployment for a New Vector customer which we should be able to talk about in future. Improving SSO and other auth/identity work in Matrix is vital, and needless to say we're trying to ensure all the resulting work ends up in the spec to the benefit of the whole ecosystem :)

matrix-media-repo

TravisR reports that:

matrix-media-repo has received a lot of updates in the last few weeks. Although mostly bug fixes and improvements, there's added support for streaming downloads from remote servers. This is mostly useful when someone posts a 100mb video in a room: previously the media repo would download the entire thing then send it over to you. Now it'll send you the video while it also caches it.

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy

Big update from Slavi this week:

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy has received some updates in the past few weeks - fixing minor bugs, improving documentation, adding support for additional Synapse/Riot features, etc.

Most notably (in oldest to most-recent order):

I'm quite happy that the playbook is getting more contributions from others now and is improving in such diverse ways!

Additionally, the #matrix-docker-ansible-deploy:devture.com support room in Matrix is now bridged to the #matrix-docker-ansible-deploy IRC Freenode channel, making it easier for people to get support when they don't have a working homeserver.

libQMatrixClient

kitsune has been working on libQMatrixClient:

the work on lazy-loading in libQMatrixClient has advanced to the point when client authors may start trying to integrate it in their applications (welcome to #qmatrixclient:matrix.org for details - it's a bit rough around the edges yet).

Spectral

This week Black Hat has been working to give Spectral a more Material design oriented UI.

SMSMatrix

swedneck reports that:

SMSMatrix now has a room (#smsmatrix:matrix.org). SMSMatrix is a simple bridge between Matrix and SMS, developed by tijder. You install an android app and register a bot account which will invite you to direct chats under the name of anyone who sends you an SMS, which will then act as a normal SMS conversation.

I had a very quick play with this tool and it works great - a good way to quickly bridge SMS to Matrix.

Riot

News from the Riot teams:

  • Android rewrite is continuing in Kotlin - lots of infrastructure work over the last few weeks
  • E2E key backups landed in Riot/iOS develop (but no UI yet, as we finalise the implementation first on Riot/Web)
  • E2E key backups also landed in Riot/Web develop (but with placeholder UI)
  • E2E key backups in dev on Riot/Android too (using Realm for storage!)
  • Lots of work from uhoreg on E2E cross-signing
  • Work on the Riot/Web redesign paused for a week due to other commitments but as of Nov 26th we're back on the case again, making up for lost time.

Synapse

Most of the focus from the Synapse team this week has been on the new version using Python 3:

  • Py3 is finished, other than Debian packages - ongoing debate on whether they should use a virtualenv or depend on debian dependencies, and who should maintain them in a Py3 world…
  • Lots of running around on final Py3 bugs

matrix-appservice-purple

Half-Shot has continued work on matrix-appservice-purple.

Modular

Modular.im provides Hosted Homeservers for Matrix.

  • Modular now has full support for Custom DNS (letting you point your own SRV records at it)
  • Lots of work on a migration tool to allow folks to easily shift Matrix accounts between servers, as well as (in future) migrations from HipChat, Slack & others.

That's it!

Apologies for the delayed release this week - please expect an episode of Matrix Live in the week, and back to a normal schedule for TWIM as of Friday. As always, come talk to us in #thisweekinmatrix:matrix.org and tell us what you've been doing.

This Week in Matrix 2018-11-16

16.11.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Matrix Live S3E04

This week we continue Matrix Live Season 3 by talking to community member axx, Axel Simon from La Quadrature du Net, a French advocacy group that promotes digital rights and freedoms of citizens. We talk about the work La Quadrature du Net do, with a focus on the importance of decentralisation and how Matrix helps support this.

mxisd v1.2.0 released

Max has been giving updates on the road to mxisd v1.2.0, which was released this week:

A new stable version of mxisd is out: v1.2.0. It comes with:

  • The ultimate identity store that lets you run any command on the system to fetch info, making it the most generic yet. The sky is now your limit!
  • The ability to send email notifications about room invites when done using a Matrix ID regardless if their users is already provisioned on synapse, using emails found in an Identity store. Targeted at onboarding/migration to Matrix for any org/corp.

Spec

uhoreg:

TWIM: five(!) new MSCs so far this week, including a long-awaited MSC for displaying math(s) in messages: https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/pull/1722

matrix-appservice-purple

Half-Shot has been working on important work for his final undergrad year. Just kidding! He's been working on bridges as you'd expect:

I've been working on matrix-appservice-purple, and the community immediately rallied around and helped me get it into shape. We've got automated builds for both the bridge and the libpurple binding modules. In features land, group chats are now working at a basic level and I will be working on supporting profiles next.
#purple-bridge:half-shot.uk is now a room where you can tell me why your favorite protocol doesn't work with the bridge. (It's also used for updates.)

Informo

vabd:

A couple of SCS (Specs Changes Submissions) have been merged into the Informo specs, notably SCS #2 which introduces a complete technical description of the network's nodes and their expected behaviour, and SCS #4 which changes the duration of the call for public review period, shrinking it from 14 days to 7 days, in order to speed specs work up while letting a decent amount of time for people to give a look at new SCSs and voice their concerns.

Synapse 0.33.9rc1

Synapse has a new release candidate - 0.33.9rc1 - If you'd like to help us test it, you can get it here.

Koma

druig:

This week in Koma, I have been working on a correct implementation of the user registration process. Currently waiting for a small issue with synapse to get fixed
For kotlin programmer who might be interested https://github.com/koma-im/koma/pull/6

f-droid.org has set up a new matrix (synapse) server

Mathijs:

f-droid.org has set up a new matrix (synapse) server for internal conversation and to chat in #fdroid:matrix.org , which will obviously also get a :f-droid.org alias.

For now the server is private, only allowing core team members to get an account in order to keep the performance manageable.

mautrix-telegram v0.4.0

tulir released an RC for mautrix-telegram:

mautrix-telegram 0.4.0 release candidate was released. It's mostly a lot of bugfixes.

…and TravisR hosted it on t2bot.io:

as of a few minutes ago, the t2bot.io Telegram bridge is updated to 0.4.0rc2

Push-to-Talk for Jitsi calls in Riot

anoa:

An implementation for Push-to-Talk for Jitsi calls in Riot has now been completed and is in the review phase. This was a result of multiple weeks of work, with code changes across many different repositories. Will hopefully make a difference with background noise or many participants. Look forward to seeing it land in /develop sometime shortly! Works with both Scalar and Dimension setups.

gomuks progress

tulir:

gomuks development is slowly continuing. It now uses mautrix-go and I also added proper reply rendering.

More Things

Last week we mentioned that Julian Sparber has been working on Fractal UI. He has since published a blog post about the work, and also notes that Purism are beginning to sponsor Fractal development: https://blogs.gnome.org/jsparber/2018/11/10/purism-fractal-sponsorship/

Half-Shot: "The events API update for Slack was released on riot.im/develop a little while ago, which let you do more than webhooks could let you do. The UI scalar/integration manager bits were left on /develop for testing but got rolled out to /app this week."

If you have feedback about the matrix.org website (which you may be on right now!), we have a new room to collect and organise it: #matrix.org-website:matrix.org. Thank you to Aaron Raimist for much-needed chasing (of me) on this work…

This week I attended TADSummit in Lisbon to tell them about the excellent progress Matrix has been making this year. You can see more details of the conference (plus video) here: http://blog.tadsummit.com/2018/11/16/tadsummit-2018-web3/

That's all I got!

If you need more, come back here next week, for all the latest from This Week in Matrix! Also, join us in #twim:matrix.org to tell us what you've been doing.

This Week in Matrix 2018-11-09

09.11.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Matrix Live

We continue the new format for Matrix Live season 3 by chatting with Francois from New Vector, to get a sneak preview of the work he's doing on a new version of matrix-android-sdk, and how that will impact Riot:

Dendrite and Brendan

Welcome to Brendan, who has started working on Dendrite as his new day job at New Vector:

There's been some progress on Dendrite (?), with a couple of bug getting fixed along with some progress in the implementation of Matrix endpoints, such as the /backfill federation one (documented here), which has already been merged, and the /messages one from the client-server API (documented here) for which a pull request has been opened and is currently under review.

Python Matrix Client async API

Cadair:

I have pushed my asyncio wrapper of the Python matrix client api class to pypi, so I can use it in a few different projects while the PR to the Python SDK is in an unmerged state. It exposes all the methods on the MatrixHttpApi class as awaitables. https://github.com/Cadair/matrix_api_async and https://pypi.org/project/matrix-api-async/

These improvements will, in time, be merged back into the main Python SDK.

Discord bridge 0.3.0 released

Half-Shot is working on so many bridges that these days he just casually mentions a huge release like Discord bridge v0.3.0. Some of the many many new features:

  • #251 Support for Postgresql and a newer SQLite3 backend!
  • #182 Replace npmlog with winston, for logging to files and better logging overall.
  • #221 Add support for m.sticker.
  • #210 Discord-side moderation of matrix users.
  • #259 Show Matrix replies as Discord embeds.
  • #164 Bot will now mention name, topic and membership changes on Discord.
  • #175 Add special discord keys onto m.room.member for ghosts
  • #179 Add rooms to the directory when bridged.
  • #220 Messages are now deleted by a users puppet rather than the bot.
There are many more features and bugfixes on the release notes. Also:

Shoutout to our new member of the team, Sorunome who did a lot of the review work behind the scenes for this release. Also, thank you to everyone who submitted a PR or an issue!

matrix-puppet-slack v1.8.0 released

tom came out of the wild to tell us about matrix-puppet-slack:

TWIM (but actually over the last few weeks), thanks to the efforts of a new contributor, matrix-puppet-slack v1.7.0 and v1.8.0 have been released, fixing a number of old and new issues and adding support for new types of Slack events, including bidirectional @-mentions, Slack-to-Matrix typing notifications, fixing Slack-to-Matrix image/file uploads with comments, and more! The matrix-puppet-bridge projects have gotten relatively quiet over the past year or so, but there's still plenty of bridges with plenty of features to implement and plenty of bugs to fix (and, even more importantly, bugs to report!) for any would-be-contributors who'd like to use a trusted Matrix homeserver as their double-puppetting Slack/iMessage/Facebook/GroupMe/iChat/Skype/Hangouts/Signal/Tox client from which to brag to their friends on the other platforms about how great Matrix is.

The room for collaborating on matrix-puppet-bridge bridges is: #matrix-puppet-bridge:matrix.org

maubot management UI progress

tulir has been making big progress on his maubot management UI:

The maubot management UI has progressed well, but isn't quite ready yet. I think it should be usable by Next Week in Matrix. It can be used to set up and configure a maubot instance and plugins. Once it's ready, it should be possible to do everything except installing maubot itself through the UI: installing and updating plugins, adding matrix clients, configuring plugin instances, viewing logs, etc.

HK Bot is an anti-abuse bot

Coffee continues his streak of TWIM mentions by bringing a new bot to combat abuse:

HK Bot is an anti-abuse bot for public Matrix chatrooms. This is a bot that really shouldn't exist, but since some people just like to make others' lives more difficult, here we are. The purpose of this bot is twofold. It can automatically oversee rooms and respond to abuse, based on programmable pattern rules, providing a stop-gap measure in case no human moderators are nearby. It can also automate some tedious tasks via its command interface, the primary one being the complete redaction of all of an abuser's messages. HK Bot is still under construction and contains dangerous features. Use with caution.

X-SAMPA to IPA bot

Dandellion "made an X-SAMPA to IPA bot based on matrix-bot-sdk and discord's conniebot". This bot essentially lets you use ASCII characters to get an output in IPA. The advantage of this is that you can much more easily type and transmit pronunciation (because you don't need to find the characters).

I'll just have to make it a bit more configurable, but then I'll throw the source up When making constructed languages and talking about linguistics, it's nice to get an easily readable IPA representation of a word, but it's really hard to write IPA, which is why x-sampa exists as a way to input IPA with a normal keyboard!

Informo

vabd, the unknown organiser of Informo provided an update about the spec:

A handful of SCS (Specs Changes Submissions) to the Informo specifications have been happening over the last week and a half, with some of them still open to public review for at least a few days before being merged into the specs. The list of SCS open to review can be found here, and people can track new SCS and status changes to existing ones through our specs bot that's living in #discuss:weu.informo.network ?

Fractal

Julian Sparber has been working on message rendering in Fractal:

I increased message rendering performance in the room history. Also the history doesn't move it's position anymore when older messages are loaded, which results in a much better experience. All the changes are in master, but we didn't make a new release.

Video intro to Matrix and Riot in French

Nouts:

I have made a video about Riot which could fit in the Guides on matrix.org. It's for beginners, in French. It's 6 months old, but I just uploaded it on youtube. Also it's available on peertube.

More Things This Week

ma1uta introduces a new client built on JavaFX: no code yet, but it's built on the previous Java Matrix work he's been doing. "It will be cross-platform (linux,windows,osx I hope) client with supports of the multi accounts."

Half-Shot also continued work on bridging via libpurple: "I've nearly got group chats working, with invites (and hopefully people joining and leaving them showing up properly) as well as user's having profiles."

Work continues on Koma:

Since the last TWIM update, koma is updated to kotlin 1.3, experimental coroutines are replaced with stable ones. The changes are being tested and should be merged soon. A new contributor has joined, so expect development to speed up a bit.

Spectral, a Matrix client built using libqmatrixclient, runs great on macOS. I'm excited because I get to play with another client! Find .dmgs on bintray.

FIN

You made it, right to the end! Nice going! Come back here next week to find out what's been happening, or even better, come join us in #twim:matrix.org and tell us what YOU'VE been working on!

This Week in Matrix 2018-11-02

02.11.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

The Matrix.org Foundation

This week, the first steps were taken in the creation of the Matrix Foundation! Read our blog post from earlier this week for more:

in preparation for the upcoming Matrix 1.0 release, we've been moving ahead with the rest of the open governance plan – and we're happy to announce that as of a few hours ago, the initial incarnation of The Matrix.org Foundation exists!
Watch this space over the coming weeks as we announce the Guardians and finish bootstrapping the Foundation into its final long-term form! Meanwhile, any questions: come ask in #matrix-spec-process:matrix.org

Hello Matrix

Alex has managed the invaluable https://www.hello-matrix.net/public_servers.php for some years, but in two weeks time will be making some changes to the page:

Just wanted to let everyone know that changes are coming to the server list: I've put up a notice on the site that starting Nov 16th I will only show a curated list of servers I would recommend to join.
This reduces the workload for me quite a bit and avoids me becoming some kind of arbiter on what encompasses the Matrix universe… I think it is also more useful for users who are looking for a server to join.
And there is always matrixstats.org for those who are looking for a more complete-ish list of known homeservers.

However, if you have ideas on how to continue the project, or would like to step up and get involved in maintaining a list using data and tools from Hello Matrix, please contact me. Alex told me:

if you find someone willing to take up the project of a more automated, self-service and complete list at a later date, I am more than willing to hand over all the stuff I currently have and might also lend a helping hand myself (if I have time then).

maubot management API

tulir has continued work on the revamped, now-Pythonic maubot, and has added a management API:

The maubot management API I mentioned last week is now mostly ready. It should be possible to use it to set up a maubot instance and plugins without filling the database manually. There's no UI yet though, so it still means curling manually.
The management API also supports the fancy plugin reloading stuff which was the > reason I rewrote maubot in python: You can POST an updated plugin to the API and it'll install it without having to restart.
I also made a bunch of plugins while working on the API that I used to test the API: a dice rolling/calculator bot, a bot that replies with the MXC URI of images you send it, a simple echo/ping bot and an xkcd bot

Next steps are making the management UI, a few more plugins and making setup and development instructions so that other people could run it and make plugins

Announcing the Fractal Hackfest in Seville

Tobias Bernard officially announced the second ever Fractal hackfest:

there's going to be a Fractal hackfest in Seville in December https://blogs.gnome.org/tbernard/2018/10/26/fractal-hackfest-in-seville

matrix-client-core

Coffee continues his streak of weekly updates by introducing us to matrix-client-core:

My lightweight bot/client framework, matrix-client-core, received its first tag ever. Version 0.0.1 is relatively stable, and lies on the doorstep of some refactoring work (ongoing) which should keep the master branch backwards compatible for now, but could make things less stable as I add new commits.

It turns out this isn't strictly a new project:

[it has] been there all along, quietly powering FAQBot and all of my bots. ? Maybe I have failed to explicitly indicate it as such up until now. (oops)

Always good news to see more bot-creation tooling!

Synapse 0.33.8

Synapse 0.33.8 was released, and andrewsh made sure it was updated on Debian. Docker packages are also updated.

mxisd v1.2.0-rc.1

Max has updates on mxisd, Identity Server for Matrix:

mxisd v1.2.0-rc.1 is out with support of all features for the Exec Identity Store, allowing connectivity to totally custom/arbitrary backends. Feedback is extremely welcome!

Half-Shot interfaces with libpurple

It's a job that someone needed to do, and that someone was Half-Shot (who else?)

I've been reviving node-purple (a library for communicating with libpurple) and making a brand new bridge service to make use of it called matrix-appservice-purple. Today I got it to the point where you could link your XMPP account to your matrix user and have it bridge PMs over.
Work is ongoing to make it bridge group chats, profiles, contacts lists and support other protocols better in the coming weeks

NSFW image detection API (on Matrix)

Black Hat is often found working on Spectral (previously 'Matrique'.) This week, he has been building @nsfw:encom.eu.org, which is a bot designed to give scores for how likely an image should be classified as NSFW. It's a simple mechanism, you give it an image, it gives you a JSON object with the result. For example:

My avatar returned less than 1% probability of being NSFW, which I was actually a little offended by.

To talk more about the bot and it's development, chat in #nsfw:encom.eu.org.

Gaming Discord bridging

swedneck has been dutifully bridging channels from the Linux Gaming discord.

All but 3 channels on the linux gaming discord have now been bridged to matrix.

To find these channels, join the community at +linux-gaming:matrix.org and get chatting.

Other thoughts

  • kitsune is forced by his employers to use Viber, so is thinking of creating a Matrix bridge.
  • I spent some time this week repeatedly installing Synapse, then working with Stefan to create a new, hopefully definitive installation guide (available soon). I can also personally recommend Slavi's matrix-docker-ansible-deploy project, this is a great way to get a Synapse installation (and more!) running.
  • lately in #twim:matrix.org posters have been providing much clearer and atomic updates, which I like a lot

Matrix Live, season 3 episode 2

We continue the new season of Matrix Live. This re-booted season has a slightly different format to previous: in each outing, there will be a single deep-dive topic. This week, Matthew and recent-Matrix-arrival Nad discuss UX for E2E encryption key handling. This is an unsurprisingly complex design question, both in terms of how it should behave and how it should look. Nad shared his latest thinking in a blog post earlier today, and you can watch the video below.

Farewell

Enjoy your week. We'll see you back here next week, but if you are working on something using Matrix, come chat with us in #twim:matrix.org!

This Week in Matrix 2018-10-26

27.10.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

We have a LOT of updates this week, so let's dive straight in!

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy

We've covered the growth of this project several times in TWIM, but I wanted to give a little more attention to the work Slavi has been doing with matrix-docker-ansible-deploy. Synapse is a large Python project with many configurable options, and many optional components, so installing it has sometimes been a challenge. I have seen many reports that using Ansible and Docker, and in particular using these playbooks from Slavi, is a more sane way to install Synapse. The tools get a lot of attention and updates. This week, Slavi reports:

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy now has a self-check command that can help diagnose various configuration problems with the setup (DNS records being misconfigured, firewall ports not being open, etc).

For support and more info, come join the associated room: #matrix-docker-ansible-deploy:devture.com >

Late breaking news from Slavi:

One more matrix-docker-ansible-deploy update: the playbook can now set up Whatsapp-bridging via mautrix-whatsapp. Thanks to @izissise!

Dimension

Dimension is an integration manager for Matrix. It's written and maintained by TravisR, and allows you to an a pre-defined selection of widgets, bots and bridges to improve your self-hosted Matrix experience. Check out: https://dimension.t2bot.io/. This week, TravisR reports:

Dimension has received quite a lot of updates over the last week. Here's what's hot off the press:

  • 4 new bridges can be self-hosted and managed in Dimension: Telegram, Webhooks, Slack, and Gitter.
  • 3 new widgets are available: Grafana, TradingView, and Spotify.
  • Add your own custom bots for people to add to their rooms.
  • A dark theme has been added and is automatically applied if you use the dark theme in Riot.
  • The overall UI has been updated to be slightly more modern and less bright orange.
  • Various bug fixes and improvements (is it even possible to have a changelog without this?)
As per usual, if you find any bugs or have ideas for things to add to Dimension feel free to come by #dimension:t2bot.io

mautrix-telegram

tulir has been working on mautrix-telegram, and has made some massive performance improvements:

mautrix-telegram now uses the non-ORM part of SQLAlchemy for database tables that are used often. That change made the CPU usage on the t2bot.io instance drop from ~100% to ~7%

We have graphs to illustrate the improvements:

TravisR, who hosts the bridge on t2bot.io, reports that the bridge is now effectively instantaneous!

The bottleneck has returned to being synapse instead of the bridge

Discord Bridge 0.3.0-rc1

A tonne of work has happened on the Discord Bridge, and it has all been brought together in 0.3.0-rc1.

From the release notes, this is just a subset of the features:

  • #251 Support for Postgresql and a newer SQLite3 backend!
  • #182 Replace npmlog with winston, for logging to files and better logging overall.
  • #221 Add support for m.sticker.
  • #210 Discord-side moderation of matrix users.
  • #259 Show Matrix replies as Discord embeds.
  • #164 Bot will now mention name, topic and membership changes on Discord.
  • #175 Add special discord keys onto m.room.member for ghosts
Go check out the full release notes if you're interested in the Bridge as there are many more changes. Half-Shot also noted:

Shoutout to our new member of the team, @Sorunome who did a lot of the review work behind the scenes for this release. Also, thank you to everyone who submitted a PR or an issue!

Slack Bridge 0.2.0 released!

We covered progress on the Slack Bridge previously, but Half-Shot has now declared it ready for 0.2.0 final! The bridge is reportedly running and very stable - go try it out now!

https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-slack/releases/tag/0.2.0

Spectral

We just missed out on this update from Spectral last week. Black Hat says:

Spectral now provides an AppImage along with Flatpak build. Also, thanks to the notification codes from nheko, Spectral can show icons in notifications, and now enters corresponding room when clicking on the notification. It also gains several UI/UX improvements.
P.s. I have resubmitted Spectral to Flathub.

FAQBot

Coffee featuring two weeks in a row in TWIM:

FAQBot has been set free at last! Find its code at https://gitlab.com/Matrixcoffee/FAQBot, and its room at #faqbot:matrix.org.

FAQBot sits in various public rooms and answers common Matrix questions. Very useful for demonstrating the product to newcomers!

Also, if anyone wants to help write answers for FAQBot, https://gitlab.com/Matrixcoffee/matrix-knowledge-base is the place.

Strongly encourage people to go take a look at the knowledge base and see what can be improved.

New communities

swedneck has created a new gaming community on Matrix:

we just bridged the linux-gaming community from discord to matrix, with a matrix community and individually bridged rooms/channels and all main room is #general_linuxgaming:matrix.org community is +linux-gaming:matrix.org

i've set up an instance of matrix-appservice-discord, which is bridging some select rooms from the linux-gaming discord server to +linux-gaming:matrix.org

The Linux Gaming community has gotten a proper matrix community (+linux-gaming:matrix.org) with a fair few rooms in it, all of which are bridged to a discord channel via my matrix-appservice-discord instance.

#prismo:matrix.org and #anfora:matrix.org have also been bridged to discord.

Matrix for Ansible notifications

If you are using ansible, jcgruenhage has a useful addition that will allow you to get notifications from matrix:

After over a month of waiting, the matrix notification module has been merged on to ansible devel which will be released as ansible 2.8 early next year. Src: https://github.com/ansible/ansible/pull/45823

mxisd v1.2.0-beta.3

Max:

mxisd v1.2.0-beta.3 is out with the start of a brand new Identity store based on arbitrary executable, to connect to anything and everything. Authentication is implemented at the moment (see doc). Feedback is very welcome to improve as much as possible for v1.2.0

MSC1695 Message Edits

Discussion of message editing, in particular for how message edits from Bridges are handled has progressed. Nothing is final yet so check out https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/pull/1695 for the latest.

Quaternion translations: German and Polish now available

Last week we had an update from kitsune to say that there was a new Lokalise project to allow Quaternion translations. This week, we learn that the first translations are now available:

First couple of translations - German and Polish - have made it to the released Quaternion 0.0.9.3 - thanks to krombel and krkk for their contributions! Swedish and Russian translations are in the works.

Fluffychat

We anticipated it last week, but here it is:

The first stable release of the #matrix messenger #fluffychat is out now. ? Get it from: https://www.fluffy.chat
Thanks to all who have helped me. Thanks to regionetz for hosting the ubports.chat homeserver, thanks to @matrix for the awesome work, thanks to @Ubports for this awesome platform and to fabiyamada, advocatux, wayneoutthere, lionelb, Diogo, mithgarthsormr, mark, and all the awesome people from the community!!
With your help, Ubuntu Touch is still alive and has got a new stable messenger!

Informo: new bot for spec changes

Informo is an ambitious project hoping to be a "decentralised news network, making information accessible". The project lives at https://github.com/Informo, but for now you can join #discuss:weu.informo.network to get their latest news.

This week, vabd reports:

We made a Matrix bot that shouts about updates to change submissions to Informo's specifications. It basically processes all changes made to the list of labels for each issue and PR of a GitHub repository's, and generates a notice message that it sends to the configured room(s). We made it because we wanted the people that are interested in Informo to know in real time about any change made to the state of proposals, along with the calls for public reviews. We just set it up in #discuss:weu.informo.network, and published its source code along with a built binary here: https://github.com/Informo/specs-bot
It might also be worth noticing that, although we designed it to shout about updates to Informo's specifications proposals, we also made it compatible with other projects, e.g. the Matrix specs

Push-to-talk functionality with Jitsi on Riot

anoa has been making improvements to Video Calling on Riot:

I've been working on global push-to-talk functionality with Jitsi on Riot. I've got toggle on/off functionality working, but still trying for walkie-talkie mode. To do so, I need to get this library working with Riot: https://github.com/WilixLead/iohook
If anyone has experience with native Node modules and/or Electron, please hit me up! @andrewm:amorgan.xyz

Greetings from Mozfest

Mozfest is a tech-focused event happening this weekend in London. Neil and I have been along tonight and we've been chatting to a lot of people about Matrix, decentralisation and all those things we love! Check out our very short and sweet video below!

This is the start of Season Three of Matrix Live. Matrix Live seasons are variable in length, based on the data available so far. From this season, Matrix Live with change the format slightly, based on feedback. The videos will try to be a bit more interesting, varied, and deep. With this video being the start of a new season, it was meant to be more substantive with us talking to Mozfest-ites, but I lost track of time, so this shorter but still energetic video will hopefully convey the idea.

This Week in Matrix 2018-10-19

19.10.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Bridges and SDKs

Slack Bridge 0.2.0-rc1

Half-Shot, master of the bridge, has been working with Cadair to produce a new RC for bridging Matrix and Slack.

We've got a Slack RC out at long last! Rejoice! It's absolutely massive and full of features.

Half-Shot even provided this explanation of how it works:

Integrations manager > sign into slack > click your channel > ??? > channel bridged :)

See release notes:

This is the first release of the Slack bridge. 0.1.0 has been the version number for previous efforts but was never an official release.

To test this integration, use Riot on https://riot.im/develop and select the "Event Bridging" when adding the integration.

maubot Python

tulir's maubot bot system:

The maubot Python rewrite I twimmed two weeks ago is now complete. The plugin system seems to work well and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to implement proper plugin reloading now. Next I'll implement plugin config storage and some way to manage maubot and plugins (maybe a plugin to manage plugins?)

Clients

Riot Web 0.17, Riot Android 0.8.18: Lazy Loading

This week saw the launch of Riot Web 0.17, and two bug-release updates (0.17.1 and 0.17.2) to fix issues on the Windows desktop app. This version is substantially faster due to its use of Lazy Loading room members. Read more here.   Meanwhile, Travis continues his foray into 'first impressions' bugs - including an initial implementation of .well-known URI support!

Riot Android 0.8.18 is also available from the Play Store and F-Droid, with Lazy Loading option available in the Labs menu (but still has a few bugs left).

Riot iOS meanwhile is busy implementing incremental server-side E2E key backups, and there's generally been a huge amount of work on E2E encryption UX across the board in preparation for all-new E2E on Web and iOS.  More details will be coming soon!

With this done, Riot is now getting a lot more attention on the impending redesign, with Bruno starting to merge code to the experimental branch.

Quaternion 0.0.9.3

After being in RC for a week, Quaternion 0.0.9.3 is ready and will be released over the weekend. Most importantly, you can now translate it into your language! Just head over to https://lokalise.co/public/730769035bbc328c31e863.62506391/, register (you can optionally reuse your GitHub account), ask in #qmatrixclient:matrix.org to add your language to the list (if it's not there yet) and start translating!

Coffee on Matrix Console for Android

Coffee rolled a natural twenty for bravery this week.

I have decided to take up maintainership of the Matrix Console for Android client. This is still the only multi-account capable Android client, but it is unmaintained and growing long in tooth. In particular, the API endpoints it uses may be removed from Synapse soon. I will not be developing new features for it, but I will integrate reasonable patches if others want to take that on. My own goals are to remove GCM and analytics, and get it added to F-Droid. And of course to switch to the latest API. As part of this work, I have been fighting Gradle and its bugs to get matrix-android-sdk to build together with matrix-android-console as a git submodule, so it's no longer necessary to inject the precompiled sdk into the source code. I did not win yet.

FluffyChat stable release creeps closer

Ubuntu Touch fans will know that FluffyChat has been progressing rapidly, and the project is approaching a first stable release. You can find current features being tested as part of the release here.

nheko

mujx has decided to stop maintaining nheko. Since many people are using it, we hope that someone will step in to continue his work. Thanks to mujx for his work so far.

If you like blog posts about Matrix (and if you're reading this, you may well do), then you'll be interested to see that Matrix was featured on the Mozilla Hacks blog: Decentralised, Real-Time, Interoperable Communication with Matrix. The article was also picked up by Hacker News.

Raiden Network uses Matrix for transport - this article explains it

The Raiden Network enables fast payments for Ethereum. From their website:

The Raiden Network is an off-chain scaling solution, enabling near-instant, low-fee and scalable payments. It's complementary to the Ethereum blockchain and works with any ERC20 compatible token.

To help explain their use of Matrix in their solution, they have prepared an article: Raiden Transport Explained.

Synapse 0.33.7

Soon, so soon, there will be a full Python 3 release for those running Synapse in worker configuration, but this one is not it. Check out Synapse 0.33.7 changes here.

Synapse on kubernetes update

Ananace:

tracking the latest synapse release on my K8s optimized image. Got no real time to work on things due to deadlines at work, but that should end come November, so expect more odd Ruby stuff after that point.

"Odd Ruby stuff" will hopefully include a return to the Matrix Ruby SDK!

mxisd v1.2.0-beta.2

Max continues work on mxisd:

mxisd v1.2.0-beta.2 is out, fixing bugs found during beta.1

Cadair at GSOC

Cadair was at the GSOC 2018 Mentors Summit in Mountain View last week:

I attended the GSOC mentor summit. I had some great conversations with people who are using matrix and with people about bridging in different chat services. A lot of matrix stickers all vanished off the overloaded sticker table. I have lots of ideas for GSOC next year, and plan to try and get many more community projects involved. Finally, I dont need to eat chocolate for a month.

GSOC chocolate: GCHOC

Until next week

Next Friday /me is going to be at MozFest 2018, promoting Matrix, Open Source, decentralisation etc. (all the stuff we know and love), so I may change the schedule a little next week.  We're also going to reboot Matrix Live, so consider this a hiatus before Season 3 begins next week!!

This Week in Matrix 2018-10-12

12.10.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Matrix Spec updates

  • MSC1695 Half-Shot has a newly released proposal relating to Message Edits: "The key difference to this proposal is that it's only the event schema which is based off the relates stuff. It does NOT do any kind of aggregations but simply is a format to allow bridges/clients to specify edits in the metadata."
  • MSC1693 Erik has been thinking about state res v2 in the case of rejected events

libQMatrixClient 0.4.0

We mentioned libQMatrixClient progress last week, but this week kitsune reports:

libQMatrixClient 0.4.0 has just been released: CS API 0.4.0, local echo, caching avatars to disk and more - check the release notes at https://github.com/QMatrixClient/libqmatrixclient/releases/v0.4.0!

Thanks for the work also go to Black Hat (who is using libQMatrixClient to author Spectral) and delijati.

Informo

vadb, back again with news about Informo:

The Informo specifications documentation is out! ? It now lives right here: https://specs.informo.network
As a reminder, we were working on "phase 1" of this documentation, which goal was to outline how Informo was going to work. This is basically the foundation for a more complete technical documentation, which shall come later.
The idea is to enable people to give it a look as soon as possible, and to enable them to contribute to Informo as early in the design process as possible. The spec is entirely open, with a process for contributions documented and all its source files available on GitHub here: https://github.com/Informo/specs
The online version I initially linked is a live version from the repo's master branch, which is updated each time commits are pushed to it (including on merging a PR).
If people have any question or remark regarding the specs, or Informo in a general manner, we'll gladly answer them in #discuss:weu.informo.network (or on the #informo IRC channel on Freenode, which is bridged to the Matrix room)! ?

mxisd v1.2.0-beta.1 (beta release)

Max has continued work on mxisd, an Identity Server:

mxisd got a new beta release v1.2.0-beta.1.
It adds the ability to send email notification about room invites to existing accounts in Identity store that might not have been provisioned in the homeserver yet as users never logged in, or for users' profile that are not auto-populated with 3PIDs. This is especially targeted for onboarding/enrolling times when adopoting Matrix in groups/corporations or for custom setups.
We would love to hear about your experience with it!

matrix-trello-bot

TravisR has been working on matrix-trello-bot:

matrix-trello-bot has received quite the overhaul. It's gone from a small bot that had pre-determined notifications for board activity to a much more capable bot. The bot now supports managing boards (yes, you can create a board from within Matrix!), lists, and cards including creating, moving, archiving, assigning, and querying.

On top of all that, the bot respects that not every room will want to receive every possible notification and offers commands to pick and choose which events it should notify about on a per-board basis. Feel free to give it a spin and check out the massive help menu with !trello help. Please send bugs and suggestions to GitHub :)

The help menu really is massive! Travis provided an image to highlight the scope of functionality provided (click for larger version):

Clients

Riot 0.16.6 Released

Fixes only these two issues:

  • Firefox private mode being broken > (https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-react-sdk/pull/2195)
  • Breakage when mixing /app and /develop use (issue #7432)
As both fixes are not relevant for electron, we didn't release 0.16.6 as the electron app, but rest assured 0.17 will of course be released as electron.

Fluffychat

We missed this last week, but FluffyChat (client for Ubuntu Touch) v0.6.0 was released, with LOTS of new features:

  • User profiles
  • Design improvements
  • Audioplayer in chat
  • Videoplayer in chat (only audio at the moment)
  • Imageviewer
  • Edit chat aliases
  • Edit chat settings and permissions
  • Kick, ban and unban users
  • Edit user permissions
  • New invite page
  • Display and edit chat topics
  • Change chat avatar
  • Change user avatar
  • Edit phone numbers
  • Edit email addresses
  • Display and edit archived chats
  • New add-chat and add-contact pages
  • Display contacts and find contacts with their phone number or email address
  • Discover public chats on the user's homeserver
  • Registration (currently only working with ubports.chat and NOT with matrix.org due captchas)
  • Register and login with phone number
  • Edit identity-server
  • Add in-app viewer for the privacy policy

Construct Docker image

mujx has created a new Docker image for Construct, the C++ homeserver:

Construct has a new docker image (https://github.com/matrix-construct/docker-construct) which will ease the process of deployment

Translations for Quaternion

If it didn't seem that kitsune was busy enough, he also announced translations for Quaternion (the original client based on libQMatrixClient):

Quaternion is now localisable! The web platform for translation will be set up in the nearest days; meanwhile those who can't wait can just take the repo, look how the German translation is made and copy!

That's all we can tell you!

Safe travels to Cadair, who is off to represent Matrix at the GSOC 2018 mentors summit. Check out Matrix Live below:

This Week in Matrix 2018-10-05

05.10.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Bridges

Half-Shot is supposedly back at university, but he's productive enough to have THREE updates this week (delivered in ascending order of interestingness):

matrix-appservice-irc 0.11.2:

https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-irc/releases/tag/0.11.2 is just a hotfix release containing a few things we fixed in develop so yay.

matrix-appservice-node v0.3.5:

https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-node/blob/master/CHANGELOG.md#v035 is a long overdue update that just updates dependencies so we are no longer exposing lots of vulnerabilities
Updated body-parser, express, morgan and request packages to fix security vulnerabilities.

matrix-appservice-bridge 1.7.0 released:

matrix-appservice-bridge is out! Bundled in this version are major updates to dependencies (to stop the warnings), a logging component for quick setup of pretty winston logs and a provisoner "validator" to allow bridge admins to curate which bridges can be linked into the same room to stop the dreaded double bridge issue.
More details can be found at https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-bridge/releases/tag/1.7.0

Informo news project

Informo is an ambitious project hoping to be a "decentralised news network, making information accessible". The project lives at https://github.com/Informo, but for now you can join #discuss:weu.informo.network to get their latest news.

vadb provided an update:

Hey there, here's a quick update to let you know that we're making great progress towards the completion of phase 1 of Informo's specifications' documentation (i.e. general outline without going to much in depth into the technical specifications)! I've also updated the board to cut the big "Basic spec" task down into smaller tasks to give a more precise insight of our current progress
Once that phase 1 is done we'll publish the whole thing and migrate our work to a public GitHub repository so people can get to know Informo a bit better and contribute towards making the doc better if they want

Riot

riot-web 16.5 released, with matrix-js-sdk 0.11.1:

Go see the latest changes and make sure to start using room member Lazy Loading with the latest matrix-js-sdk.

Libraries

Black Hat is writing an Olm wrapper for Qt:

I am writing a Qt wrapper for Olm. It has APIs similar to python-olm

kitsune and Black Hat are working on libQMatrixClient:

libQMatrixClient is nearing its release 0.4.0, with low-level support of CS API (coincidentally) 0.4.0 added this week. Another very useful addition is caching avatar images to the disk, not only in memory, relieving the network from dozens of extra requests when a client powered by the library is restarted. All thanks for the avatar caching PR go to Black Hat!

SDKs

tulir on mautrix-go and mautrix-python:

My gomatrix fork is now mautrix-go and the basic client API stuff in mautrix-python is starting to be usable enough for me to start the rewrite of maubot in Python.
For a bit of background, maubot is a dynamic plugin-based bot system. It's currently written in Go, but due to many limitations in the Go plugin system, I decided to rewrite it in Python. matrix-python-sdk doesn't have asyncio or a maintainer, so I decided to make a new framework that combines my existing mautrix-appservice-python framework with a more generic client API layer. (tulir)

Homeservers

Max introduces his new server, Gridepo:

mxhsd work has resumed via a new project, Gridepo, which will be a Matrix/Grid dual-stack server. While mxhsd focused on researching the protocol and reverse-engineering the spec, Gridepo will follow whatever is specced in its Matrix compatible mode.

Synapse 0.33.6 released: >

It's literally the previous blog post!

we've been focusing on fixing a whole host of federation bugs to improve reliability and latency. Additionally we've squashed some py3 bugs, improved lazy loading and been working hard in the background to improve our CI infrastructure. Finally, we cleaned up the Docker file, the image is now half the size of 0.33.5.1's standing at 58 MB.

As ever, you can get the new update here or any of the sources mentioned at https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse. Note, Synapse is now available from PyPI.

DevOps and Hosting

Slavi on matrix-docker-ansible-deploy:

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy has received some more improvements lately. They're mostly about the ability to tweak things affecting performance: Synapse cache factor configuration, the ability to enable/disable user presence tracking. The logging situation has also been improved for all Docker containers, so that their output would not get logged twice (once by systemd's journal, once by Docker) - something which was previously causing unpredictably-high disk usage for long-running containers.

ananace, Synapse for kubernetes:

Updated the K8s tweaked packaging for Synapse 0.33.6 (And added a preliminary Python 3 version there as well)

swedneck (literally) on IPFS:

swedneck is hosting riot on IPFS: https://riot.swedneck.xyz, see also https://riot-all.swedneck.xyz for all the versions currently hosted there.

Bots

TravisR, always working on bots:

Through use of the https://emoncms.org API, the makerspace I help run now has power monitoring statistics available from within matrix.

Rooms

Coffee, maintaining #synapse:matrix.org:

#synapse:matrix.org became an official Matrix room! It also had a small face lift, changing from "Synapse Community" to "Synapse Admins", hopefully making its purpose and intended audience clearer.

That's all for now

That's all for now. No Matrix Live this week, but we'll be back next week with more Matrix news and another episode of Matrix Live!

This Week in Matrix 2018-09-28

28.09.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

DSN Traveller

If you've spent any time using Matrix public rooms, you've probably seen the bot DSN Traveller. This is a post-grad project from Florian Jacob, an informatics student at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology. This week, Florian handed in his thesis on Matrix!

In summary, I could show that Matrix has few large but many small servers. Large servers reduce the overall network load, but a significant fraction of the load is concentrated in them. Introducing more small servers would further increase the load concentration. The Matrix event graph as a Conflict-Free Replicated Data Type showed to be well-suited for reliable messaging and history synchronization, and is applicable beyond Matrix.
I'm now working on a scientific paper on the results, which will boil down the more than 80 pages of the thesis to something much more digestible. ? You'll hear it in TWIM when that is finished!

Room for discussions: #dsn-traveller:matrix.org
Website with more information on the DSN Traveller: https://dsn-traveller.dsn.scc.kit.edu/

This really is exciting stuff! The thesis will be made available online in the future (we'll post it here.) Florian is also hoping to continue his work into Matrix research:

I'm currently in the process of trying to secure funding for a doctorate with Matrix as the topic, as that's where I can proof experience.

#open-science:matrix.vgorcum.com

All this talk of academia led Mathijs and Cadair to create #open-science:matrix.vgorcum.com, room for discussion of Open Science topics.

Half-Shot IRC Connection Tracker

As you may know, although he's now back studying for the final year of his Computer Science degree, Half-Shot will continue to dedicate some time to bridge maintenance. He's been working on IRC Connection Tracker, the next gen bridge for Matrix-IRC:

The IRC connection tracker has had yet more code and love applied to it. The headline changes are:

  • We now have a fully working IRC client that can connect to an IRCd, join channels and chat. These client's persist over > the lifetime of the service.
  • There is a tool included with the service ircctl which allows you to spawn and use connections en masse. It also lets > you list the state of the currently connected clients.
  • Work has just begun on a client library for connecting this up to the bridge, but should be swiftly completed thanks to…
  • A brand new spec website in the works for describing the protocol (thanks Brendan for pointing me in the right direction)

Spec docs: https://half-shot.github.io/irc-conntrack/ Repo: https://github.com/Half-Shot/irc-conntrack/ Room: #irc-conntrack:half-shot.uk

Fractal

Alexandre Franke has the handle on Fractal, the Matrix client for GNOME:

This week in Fractal, more refactoring and small bugfixes. About 50 commits by 5 people, one of which made their first contributions this week (congrats Rasmus!).

Julian Sparber, who was part of GSOC 2018 on the Fractal team, has been working on Room History:

The room history refactor I was working on for fractal is upstream, now we can start to improve how messages are displayed and make the loading of older messages better.

Julian is also pleased to still be heavily involved with Fractal outside GSOC.

Synapse

Synapse 0.33.5.1 was released with Py3 beta support:

0.33.5.1 is an interesting release. On the one hand it contains the usual bug fixes and performance improvements of a point release, but it also our first versioned release where monolith installs can be run under Python 3.5 and 3.6! Python 3 support is very much in beta, so please be cautious but if you would like to try running under a py3 environment we'd love to get your feedback.

Check out https://hub.docker.com/r/avhost/docker-matrix/tags/ for Python 3 docker images of Synapse, look for the v0.33.5.1.dev.py3 tag.
Says Mathijs:

it is functional, but much like python3 support it is still a work in progress, hence the larger size

Matrix on Hyperboria

jcg has set up hypertrix.ovh:

I spent last night setting up hypertrix.ovh, a matrix server only listening on Hyperboria, a cjdns based end-to-end encrypted IPv6 overlay mesh network. I'd be glad if someone could be found to peer and federate with me there! Registration is open, but your client needs to be connected to Hyperboria to be able to talk to the server.

If you are currently using Hyperboria, go join hypertrix.ovh, or start your matrix server listening on it, and go chat to JC!

Seaglass

Lots of discussion about this project, specifically the question of how to efficiently render Rich Text. macOS does not make this easy, so a solution being considered is to use a WebKit for room rendering:

WebKit has the advantage of being super super fast on macOS, and also very low overheads
The current approach uses Cocoa NSTableViews and it's horrible because Apple clearly couldn't decide how they wanted them to work and therefore it's not very optimised
Moving to WebKit only adds about 16mb to the RAM usage and redraws far faster than the NSTableViews can when resizing etc, and we'll save a lot on the text formatting too which currently is a bit of a mess

Cadair and Half-Shot on the Slack Bridge

Cadair has been helping Half-Shot with bridge maintenance, specifically by contributing to matrix-appservice-slack.

matrix-appservice-slack is a Node project, built on matrix-appservice-bridge, which is designed to bridge messages and metadata between Slack and Matrix. These updates:

  • Improves pills substitutions to use the new slack mentions
  • Add Gitter style edit bridging
  • Adds a config option to specify the directory the user-store.db and room-store.db files go in
  • Converts slack snippets to inline code dumps in matrix

ma1uta tests for client

ma1uta has been adding tests to jmsdk.

Spectral

Black Hat has been working on the client formerly-known-as-Matrique: Spectral:

I added elevation shadows for some components, such as message bubble, panels, etc.

Native Tor onion service enabled for matrix.org and riot.im

Cloudflare now provide Onion routing, this service has been enabled for matrix.org and riot.im. Cloudflare have a thorough explanation which is worth reading: https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-onion-service/.

We just turned on the new native Tor onion service support for https://t.co/vidAnPoIo2 & https://t.co/UIjS6gDkvf in cloudflare; feedback welcome! https://t.co/keXC4bjo5F pic.twitter.com/nTRmGHCt8P

— Matrix (@matrixdotorg) September 28, 2018

Spec

September was mainly spent cleaning up loose ends on the Spec after all the releases at the end of August, and catching up on the never-ending maintenance burden of improving Synapse.  However, in October the plan is to to go back again to working full out on the S2S r0 release. Wish us luck...

Riot

  • Lazy loading members is now on by default on riot.im/develop - reducing Riot's RAM by 3-5x.  Please give it a go and test it before we ship it in Riot 0.17 (probably next week) so we can iron out any last bugs (which will probably look like user profiles going missing)
  • Lazy loading also ships by default in Riot/iOS in Testflight 0.7.4 - if you want in on Testflight let us know in #riot-ios:matrix.org and we'll share an invite link!
  • Lazy loading in Riot/Android coming real soon now; it's behind a labs flag on the develop branch if you want to experiment.
  • Travis has started attacking the Riot/Web 'First Impressions' project (starting with unbreaking onboarding in Riot/Web when GDPR consent is enabled)
  • Lots and lots of UX work from Nad on E2E, Communities, Onboarding and the overall redesign, complete with a redesign workshop with Jouni.
  • Aiming for end of Oct for first cut of redesign to be live as an experimental branch on riot.im.
  • Lots and lots of E2E implementation work in general; backups, cross-signing, and verification.

The end is nigh!

But only for this blog post! Check out Matrix Live below, and we'll see you back here next week. :D

https://youtu.be/zo4IH4nUQ9w