This Week in Matrix

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This Week In Matrix 2018-06-22

22.06.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Matthew Hodgson

[Ben is away today, so this week's edition is compiled again by Matthew]

libQMatrixClient 0.3.0.2 and Quaternion 0.0.9.2

kitsune writes:

libQMatrixClient 0.3.0.2 has been released - no new features, just small fixes including one for an unlucky typo preventing 0.3.0.1 from generating .cpp files with GTAD.

Quaternion 0.0.9.2 is out, another step towards 0.1. Aside from bugfixes and using the latest libQMatrixClient, it features an entirely new timeline layout similar to that of Riot (the old one is still around too). Also, you can now change some settings through the menu rather than by editing a configuration file or registry - including switching timeline layouts on the fly!

Loading Artist sticker packs!

TravisR says:

The Official Loading Artist sticker pack got added to Dimension ?

It also got added to Modular (aka Scalar), the default integration manager for Riot :)

releasetracker

Ananace writes:

Decided to actually start pushing code I've been slowly prodding at for the last while, ever since starting the Ruby Matrix SDK in fact. Working on a Sibbell like system that tracks new releases on GitHub projects, posting them into a specified Matrix room.

The release tracker now tracks both full releases and just regular tags, though only one or the other at the moment.

Spun up a proper room for the release tracker, in case people want to help development / feel like using hosted alpha-level software more than running it themselves. #releasetracker:kittenface.studio

jeon and jmsdk updates

ma1uta writes about his jeon Java HS, jmsdk and Matrix spec work:

I reorganized my projects and extracted the sdk from the api. So, today I have one project for the api (https://github.com/ma1uta/jeon), another for the sdk (https://github.com/ma1uta/jmsdk) but last is very early and non-usable.
Also I covered the code with the swagger-annotation and now I can generate the swagger schema from the code. There is an example: https://github.com/ma1uta/jeon/blob/master/client-api/generated/swagger-ui/swagger.json
And there is an example of the spec was generated from swagger: https://ma1uta.github.io/matrix-api.html (plain and without sorting or grouping, I'll maybe fix it).
Everyone can ask me in the #jeon:matrix.org (matrix api) or #mxtoot:matrix.org (matrix-mastodon bridge).
Then I want to cover the remaining api (appservice, push, identity but not federation because it isn't completed yet), write sdk (client, bot). And publish api and sdk on the maven central repository.

CI/CD for Plasma!

Nico gives updates on Plasma, the new Scala/Akka homeserver:

I've setup CI/CD for plasma HS. Now every time a push occur on the repo, the pipeline builds and deploys a plasma HS instance on a test server.
This test instance is reachable at http://matrix.beerfactory.org:9000. For now it is very modest and can only reply to a few C2S endpoints like GET /_matrix/client/versionsPOST /_matrix/client/r0/login and POST /_matrix/client/r0/register are also available for testing registration and login flow. POST /_matrix/client/r0/createRoom is also available with the TEST_TOKEN auth token value, but it's only a mock.
I'm now working on implementing the concept of room servers: each room will be managed by a dedicated room server (an actor), so they get fault tolerance and scalability by default (through akka clustering).
There's also a dedicated room for this project : #plasma:beerfactory.org

matrix-python-sdk 0.3.2

&Adam says:

v0.3.2 of matrix-python-sdk released. See the github release for list of changes. (v0.3.0 and v0.3.1 are substantially the same with small formatting errors). There are a lot of hugely annoying bugs fixed in this one, so upgrading soon is recommended.

There's also been a lot of work on adding E2E to the python-sdk from Zil0 and his GSoC project!

gomatrixclient

Black Hat writes:

I am currently writing a high-level API on top of gomatrix. As gomatrix is suitable for bots but not for clients, I decided to write a layer above it. (The motivation is to provide a backend for Matrique) It will have similar API as libqmatrixclient, but in Golang. It is currently under heavy development, and API breaking changes are frequent. Sources are available in Gitlab: https://gitlab.com/b0/gomatrixclientP.s. It is a library for writing clients in Golang. But it also provides useful APIs for basic functions, e.g. getting avatars.

Fractal 3.29.1

Tobias says: New Fractal release 3.29.1, which includes a Eisha's new image viewer [implemented as part of GSoC]!

It looks like this (screenshot being a screenshot of, uh, last week's screenshot, for maximum fractalception...)

Terraform Provider

TravisR writes:

I've been working on a Terraform provider for matrix. It is still a work in progress, however I plan to have the basics completed in the coming days. The provider gives you the opportunity to create users, rooms, and other objects on your homeserver, making your homeserver part of your infrastructure. This could be useful for people who want to set up a monitoring room, or for setting up default rooms on a homeserver instance. In particular, this provider will be used by the monitor bot (see last week's post) to set up the test homeservers for seeing how the bot scales with increased server counts. Source and information available on Github: https://github.com/turt2live/terraform-provider-matrix

mxtoot 0.4.3

ma1uta says:

I've fixed a few bugs and added some new commands (show status by id and show n-last statuses), and now mxtoot 0.4.3 (Matrix-Mastodon bridge) can send public, private, unlisted and direct messages. There are 4 features left to go:

  • show, add and remove follows;
  • show threads;
  • show notification, public and federated lines (and optionally merge them with the home timeline);
  • show account info by id.
Also I think to implement a bridge Matrix-ActivityPub as S2S. For example, a room - is a ActivityPub's actor. Room participants is a bot corresponds to actors you follow to. Room timeline is a Inbox+Outbox. Reactions is a likes/favorites. Pinning message is a boost. Replies will be very useful.

mautrix-telegram now puppets via user-specific relay bots!

tulir sneaks in at the last minute with:

mautrix-telegram now supports logging in with your own bot. It means that you can look almost like a real user and even use direct messages without logging in with your real Telegram account!

And finally...

On the core team it's been an irregular week; as mentioned in last TWIM we spent most of it in workshops working through spec issues as part of the mission to finally get to an 'r0' stable release of the spec across all APIs - not just the Client/Server API.  The majority of this was spent making up for lost time on the S2S API, analysing its various holes and designing solutions to them.  Things are looking promising - we're keeping the work under wraps though given the potential for abuse, although we should see more gaps being fixed in the coming days.  Meanwhile we're aiming to get the r0 stable release out by the end of August.  We also unblocked a few longstanding MSCs (.well-known URIs and media limits), although in the end the S2S stuff took priority.  On the client side we did a lot of design sessions on Riot/Mobile (working out how the new app design should work on Mobile - watch this space for details!) and also how to speed up app launch (the concept of Hybrid Sync; somewhere between an initial sync and an incremental sync - basically an initial sync which can be interrupted in order to let the user use the app whilst the initial sync is still ongoing) - we'll write up the notes and publish these asap.

We also announced the Open Governance work which we've been doing in order to extend control of the Matrix spec to properly include the wider Matrix community - the plan is to get the Matrix.org Foundation legal entity set up roughly around the same time as the r0 release of the spec in August, and formally decouple control of the Matrix spec from New Vector (the company we set up last year to hire the core team).

We'd also like to welcome mujx (developer of nheko) and kitsune (developer of Quaternion and libQMatrixClient) to the new core team as we start trialling the new governance structure (which mainly amounts at this point to getting review approvals on spec proposals and changes from the relevant domain experts on the new team).  This brings us to a full complement for the team: Erik (servers), richvdh (servers, crypto & clients), Dave (clients & push/identity) and uhoreg (crypto, general) from the current core team; and Anoa (servers, AS API), TravisR (integrations, AS API; acting with Dimension hat on), mujx & kitsune from the community.

Otherwise, spec work has taken priority over writing software, with the exception of: APwhitehat doing as much federation work in Dendrite as part of GSoC as the current unstable state of the API allows; Michael (t3chguy) has been blitzing through P1 Riot/Web issues.  Next week should be back on the normal (if not better!) trajectory however.  No Matrix Live this week however, as we're all exhausted.

This Week in Matrix 2018-06-08

08.06.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

GSOC Updates

With the first evaluation date coming up, let's take a look at what some of the GSOC students have been working on.

Zil0 on the matrix-python-sdk

I am working on implementing end-to-end encryption in the Python SDK. As of now, I have done a good part of the encryption and decryption work with Olm and Megolm, enough to allow communicating with Riot in an encrypted room. My next goals include device list tracking and key persistence, which are the main steps left before the implementation starts being usable in a real environment.

apwhitehat on Dendrite

My aim is to achieve feature completion on Dendrite. Have got lots of help from anoa, for which I'm very grateful.

Features worked on this month:

  • we made a transactions cache/table for idempotency. So now dendrite will not reprocess events as far as client-server api is concerned.
  • added request authentication function which recognises an application service user (partially landed.)
  • username auto generation, which let's you register without username (will be used for guest access later.)
  • We also added a tokens library based on macaroons, however we might not be using it anytime soon. Since it's been known to be very problematic (on synapse).
  • Other small bug fixes not big enough to mention.

Clients

We are rich in client announcements this week!

palaver

Arne has announced v0.1.0 of Palaver:

More news from the JVM-world: I've just released the first Alpha version (v0.1.0) of Palaver, a Desktop client written in Kotlin: https://github.com/MrCustomizer/palaver/releases/tag/v0.1.0. As backend it uses the matrix-java-sdk, the GUI is written in TornadoFX, a Kotlin-Wrapper for JavaFX. The room for this client is #palaver:matrix.localtoast.de. The current features are listed in the changelog: https://github.com/MrCustomizer/palaver/blob/v0.1.0/CHANGELOG.md. And there is a little demo video on youtube, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuGuxAPuRIM.

I enjoyed this video enough that I'm embedding it here:

matrique returns

Black Hat is working on Matrique:

a matrix client using golang and QtQuick controls 2. It is not ready...Yet. PRs and issues are welcomed!

neilalexander has a new macOS Client: seaglass

neilalexander has begun work on "seaglass", a client for macOS using matrix-ios-sdk, he's only just begun, but for now see the screenshot below:

kitsune: GTAD and libQMatrixClient

kitsune has announced GTAD v0.6 and libQMatrixClient v0.3. We've covered GTAD before, but I think it's worth including this note from the readme:

GTAD (Generate Things from an API Description) is a generator of code from a Swagger/OpenAPI specification. Initially made to generate marshalling/unmarshalling C++ code for Matrix CS API, it can be extended to support other API descriptions and other programming languages with static type checking.

kitsune regarding the GTAD 0.6 release:

A new version of API code generator, GTAD, 0.6, has been released today, adding support of variant types, proper dealing with definitions referencing other files ($ref) and more options to override schema names - even defined inline. Most importantly, GTAD has got extensive README.md that describes (most of) the things needed to start writing your own templates! As usual, kitsune will be happy to help those who would like to try it (both with C/C++ projects and other languages).

libQMatrixClient has been benefiting from GTAD over the last 4 months or so - but this is the first release where GTAD is stable and feature-complete enough to be shared with other projects.

#gtad:matrix.org is the new room for GTAD chat and support.

and libQMatrixClient 0.3:

A new version of libQMatrixClient, 0.3, comes out this weekend. This is the first libQMatrixClient release to include (almost) all CS API requests and supplementary (non-event) definitions, thanks to GTAD 0.6. Notably, it now includes jobs to register users, manage devices and keys on the server (no local key management yet - E2E work has just begun). This version also gains centralised request error handling so that clients could deal with problems in a unified way, and support "Consent not given" errors of GDPR fame, so that client authors could automatically open consent pages. You can also trigger logging out of all devices through libQMatrixClient thanks to a very recent addition to CS API spec from TravisR.

Fractal

Last week we linked to Julian's blog notes on the User Settings panel - this has now landed in Fractal master.

nheko

nheko v0.4.3 is now available, from the release notes:

  • Overdue fixes for some regressions with regard to widget height introduced in the previous two releases
  • The matrix id will be shown on hover on the display name.

riot-web

Riot-web: released an RC for 0.15.5. This RC includes some small bugfixes.

riot-android

We have been working on Riot stability: fixing crashes and adding more tools to control code quality The community on android adds a more readable display of keys and a floating actions menu is coming.

riot-ios

Working on perf. On stability too (like killing build warnings). Users can now re-request keys when they have UTCs.

Other projects

anoa on dendrite

We've got a shiny new application service component which runs as a separate process (if you're doing multiprocess dendrite) that handles all outbound communication to application services. Last week I got event sending working. This week I'm hooking up an internal API for other components (roomserver, c-s api) to talk to the app service component, as we occasionally need to ping AS's to ask about existence of rooms or users. Getting those two endpoints covered is the goal of this week.

ma1uta Full Spec Implementation in Java

ma1uta appeared with an extremely ambitious piece of work. His goal:

I want to create a full spec's implementation on java (all 5 specification). After that I want try to write a homeserver (2 variants: distributed on java+kafka and simple which can run on a light vps). But it's a long-term goal.

So far work has begun on an implementation of the Matrix API in Java:

https://gitlab.com/ma1uta/jeon - another java implementation of the matrix api (client-server, server-server, application server, push server, identity server) using jax-ws. It corresponds the specification on https://matrix.org/docs/spec. On the next step I want dive deep into synapse to parse it's api and fill the gaps of the spec with sending pull request. May be I will write something like a TCK (test compatibility kit).

And an SDK for which there is a sample bot for mastodon:

Also this project has a very early sdk (client, bot). I will fix it after finishing works with the spec. https://gitlab.com/ma1uta/mxtoot - matrix-mastodon bridge. With this bridge you can invite a bot and read your home mastodon's timeline, post messages, reply and boost messages.

There are rooms to follow progress on these projects:

Also find updates on Mastodon: [email protected]

The Continuing Adventures of Half-Shot and the Discord Bridge

Half-Shot has been at work on matrix-appservice-discord, and has made a v0.2.0 release! Looong feature list below is taken from https://github.com/Half-Shot/matrix-appservice-discord/releases/tag/v0.2.0:

  • Support Node v10
  • Option to disable @here and @everyone on the bridge - Permission based mentions coming soon.
  • Sending large files over the Discord limit now sends them as URLs
  • Added support for external and animated emoji - Thanks @Sorunome!
  • Initial support for m.sticker
  • Sender avatars are now thumbnailed - Thanks @turt2live
  • Support for message edits. Thanks @anoadragon453
  • Support for custom and animated discord emoji parsing M->D. Thanks @anoadragon453
  • Throw discord.js logs into our logging to help debug connection issues
  • Warn when turning on encryption that the bridge will no longer work.
  • Clarify where to specify protocols in the registration config. Thanks @anoadragon453
  • Add attachments into the event store and fix up some of our Inserts. Thanks @eeeeeta
  • Fail if the event.content.url is not present.
+ lots of testing and fixes

t3chguy matrix-search including e2e

t3chguy, straight out of exams, went back to working on matrix-search, now with a working release, including e2e chats!

a local Full Text Search engine for Matrix, which will index the events locally and then provide a search api interface for matrix clients to query it matrix-search mimics the standard /search API

toml has already been looking at this and has created a docker container for it: https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-search/tree/toml#to-run-in-a-docker-container

Ananace on Kubernetes

Switched the Kubernetes-oriented Synapse image over to running on the official one as a base, seems to still work quite well. Even if there were some issues at first due to Alpine and busybox.

I've been building slightly specialized Synapse docker images since 0.25.1 - and running them on my Kubernetes cluster at home. Moved them to being based on the official images now instead of building them on CentOS as I used to.

Synapse 0.31.0 and 0.31.1 released

Changes for Synapse 0.31.0

  • Most notable change from v0.30.0 is to switch to python prometheus library to improve system stats reporting. WARNING this changes a number of prometheus metrics in a backwards-incompatible manner.
  • There are still many changes being made relating to the Python 3 migration.
For Synapse 0.31.1

v0.31.1 fixes a security bug in the “get_missing_events“ federation API where event visibility rules were not applied correctly.

andrewsh has been packaging synapse for Debian.

Guides index

I'm going to start making a list of guides from around the web to be linked from https://matrix.org. If you have, or know of, useful guides relating to matrix, please let me know or share in #twim:matrix.org.

New rooms

other points of interest

The end is nigh...

And here it is. As you may have noticed, I'm leaning much more toward quoting wherever possible, rather than trying to paraphrase. The aim is to keep the content authentic and community-driven, rather than a narrative from one fairly naive observer. The risk is it makes the post awkward to read as it switches voice too frequently. Come to #twim:matrix.org and let me know if you have opinions on this.

Check out Matrix Live:

This Week in Matrix 2018-06-01

01.06.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

GDPR

It's over. It's once again safe to check your email, and we got some fairly good jokes out of the experience.

Projects

Synapse

hawkowl is technically new to the Matrix Core team but is already integrated and storming the codebase like an old pro. She and notafile have been ramping up on work to the make the Synapse codebase work with Python 3.

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy can now set up your homeserver using the official Matrix Synapse Docker image

@slavi:devture.com sent great news: matrix-docker-ansible-deploy can now set up your homeserver using the official Matrix Synapse Docker image. In his words:

Using this Ansible playbook is probably the easiest way to set up a fully-functioning Matrix homeserver on your own machine. The setup includes Matrix Synapse and some related services required to actually make it useful (automatically-managed HTTPS; STUN/TURN server for audio/video calls; Postgres database for Synapse; optionally riot-web; optionally Amazon S3 storage support)

matrix-registration

Helpfully named Zeratax?utf8=✓ has released matrix-registration, an application which allows you to "easily create tokens to invite users on your homeserver without the need to open up public registration". There is a public demo here: https://zeratax.github.io/matrix-registration/demo.html

Says Zeratax:

my personal problem was: i didn't want to open up registration for everyone i didn't want to register every account manually and have to worry about seeing passwords etc now i can just share a link, e.g: https://zeratax.github.io/matrix-registration/demo.html?token=JargonGingerYankee

and my friends can register.

these token can be restricted as one time usable only or by an expiration date.

dendrite activity!

anoa writes about progress on dendrite:

Last week dendrite was filtering events from user's into separate queues for each application service to eventually be given. Sending these events requires batching them up into transactions and then sending them to an HTTP endpoint on the application service. I'm happy to report that from today, that functionality is now implemented, along with graceful handling of both server and application service downtime.

Fractal

Alexandre Franke from Fractal reports:

Fractal got the beginning of a revamped directory (from one of our GSoC interns), as well as misc bugfixes and performance improvements. It has also been added to Damned lies, the GNOME platform for translations.

neo 0.06

neo v0.06 is out now, release notes:

Beautiful new file upload dialog, with previews, captions and the option to cancel. Making 1on1 chat look a bit nicer.

added: file upload dialog room canonical alias fallback for name 1on1 room now shows avatar+name of partner

changed: getting room name/image in initialSync instead of on render, still not optimal better image/video scaling better local echo various bugfixes

Articles and blog posts

Riot Jouni blog post

Riot is undergoing a visual redesign, thanks to Jouni Helminen. Take a look at the redesign work on the Riot blog. The changes are not radical, but will help standardise and modernise the Riot interface. Early feedback I've seen has been mostly positive.

Julian on Fractal work

Julian is a GSOC 2018 student working on Fractal. He's been working to improve the user account setting panel, and has made progress as described here.

The user can now change the following settings: Avatar, display name, add and remove email addresses and phone numbers. Also, they can see the homeserver and their own MXID.
We will probably make some more small changes on the way to make the UX as good as we possibly can.

Fedora Magazine mention of Fractal

Fractal was featured in Fedora Magazine this week, just a little introduction. I notice the article barely introduces matrix: not sure if that's an oversight or a belief that the audience will already know it!

New Riot theme from MTRNord: blueshine

MTRNord has started work on "a secondary Dark Riot Theme named blueshine". Lots of screenshots are available on the PR, and take a look below too. If you'd like to try it out, TravisR has hosted a Riot instance with the theme included here.

blueshine riot theme

Spec Proposals

Still posting about spec proposals. To get involved in the spec development process, take a look at the Matrix Spec Change Proposals page to find out what's happening, read the proposals, then talk about it in #matrix-spec:matrix.org. One proposal looking for attention and a good place to start:

Interactive Key Verification: Spec proposal from uhoreg

Long-time contributor uhoreg joined the matrix.org core team this week, and is requesting feedback on a spec proposal relating to Interactive Key Verification. Reminder that the list of spec proposals is tracked here, and to join the discussion in #matrix-spec:matrix.org.

nheko packaging

nheko openSUSE packaging

It's now possible to install nheko as a openSUSE package - great to see that there is enough demand for a community package to appear.

nheko 0.4.2-1 package now in Debian

uhoreg provided Debian and Ubuntu packages for nheko 0.4.2-1: https://packages.qa.debian.org/n/nheko/news/20180530T135401Z.html.

New Rooms, also rooms which happen to be new to benpa

That's about all for now…

… and that's plenty for the week! Take a look at Matrix Live below, and join us in #twim:matrix.org if you have something which should be included.

This Week in Matrix 2018-05-25

25.05.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

GDPR

HAPPY GDPR DAY EVERYONE!!!!1!

  • Our long-awaited new privacy policy & term & conditions for the matrix.org server are here - Phase 1 is complete!
  • Folks are already accepting the new policies - thanks.
  • We're going to start requiring acceptance to access the matrix.org server on Tuesday (May 29th).
  • We're already receiving our first GDPR requests… :|
  • Erasure and Right-to-be-forgotten work (Phase 2) is next up so we can action the requests in a timely manner.
  • It looks like we will go ahead on removing MXIDs on events as a Phase 3 (although for now we do warn people that this is effectively a technical limitation of Matrix, albeit one that we're working on).

Client Updates

mtxclient E2E progress

Big E2E progress from mujx, developer of the nheko client on his project mtxclientAs of this week, mxtclient is able to decrypt group events. When writing (that is, sending encrypted messages) is complete, the idea is to migrate this work back to nheko, though mujx points out this library could be used in any client.

Fractal

Back to work after the HackfestFractal have released version 0.1.30, featuring:

  • Translations support
  • Number of members in the room in the members button
  • File storage configuration support
  • Gold and Silver tags for admins and moderatos
Some coverage of the Fractal design thinking from last week, nothing new but a decent signal boost.

gomuks

tulir came in with some late breaking news about gomuks, the terminal client written in go. New features:

  • A fancy quick room switcher by Evidlo
  • A few basic UI options (hide user/room lists)
  • Plaintext view to be able to click long links and such
  • Fixed some bugs

Riot/Web

  • GDPR-capable release! 0.15.4 out today
  • Various bugfixes and performance regressions.

Riot/Mobile

  • GDPR-capable releases!
  • Sticker sending is ready modulo some CSS bugs; we'll get it pushed shortly.

Bridging

JonTheNiceGuy bridging video

JonTheNiceGuy produced a helpful video describing how to use bridges for IRC, Slack and Telegram, showing the difference between the different bridges. I found this to be really clear and well-paced for following the many practical details of bridging. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNEzgYRLj8g

Discord bridge

anoa and half-shot have been working on the matrix-appservice-discord bridge:

"finished edit passing between Discord and Matrix, as well as support for discord's custom emojis (though UX is a bit manual until TravisR's proposal goes through ?)"

matrix-puppet-facebook-1to1-fixer from Brendan

Brendan shared a project he's been working on this week: matrix-puppet-facebook-1to1-fixer. This project fixes a UI issue Brendan had with the Facebook Messenger Bridge, namely that activity in 1:1 rooms was not clear enough.

This small tool will take the local part of the room ID created by the Matrix<>Facebook Messenger bot once the friend has joined it, identify th friend, and grab their avatar and display name to set the room's.

mautrix-telegram

Lots of progress on mautrix-telegram this lately including v0.2.0 RC. As reported by tulir:

  • A dockerfile by jcgruenhage
  • Option to whitelist/blacklist automatic bridging of specific chats
  • Fixed many bugs

matrix-appservice-sms

eta has been working on matrix-appservice-sms this week:

I have managed to do the first phase of a massive refactor that makes it way more reliable (temporarily store SMS in the database before delivery)

this makes it more resilient to synapse hiccups, as well as general failures

Other Projects

matrixboard, from betz

betz runs the https://hackerspaces.be/ matrix server and has this week, inbetween repairing his Synapse install, been working on a project called matrixboard. This tool is used to output the last five messages from a given room to displayed as HTML, the idea being to display output from a specific room as a website widget. You can see an example using #matrix-dev here.

opsdroid room state connector

SolarDrew implemented a database modulefor opsdroid to allow Matrix room state to be used to persist chat bot memory. (Suggestion apparently came from Cadair, the human not the place.)

The idea of using the room state to encapsulate bot data per-room was well received, discussion in #TWIM:matrix.org suggests this is an estabilished practice for some developers.

matrix-python-sdk

No general GSOC round-up this week, &Adam shared the news that GSOC-student Zil0's first PR towards E2E in matrix-python-sdk landed on master. These PRs are working from efforts previously contributed by pik.

Ruma

Work continues in the Ruma space. This week saw the release of

  • ruma-events 0.10.0: ruma-events contains Serializable Rust types for the events in the Matrix specification. 0.10.0 sees a major update with code provided by mujx, and contains many breaking changes.
  • ruma-api-macros 0.2.2, and ruma-client-api] is also updated to use the new macro.

f0x account migration helper

f0x has started work on a tool to help migrate accounts - including across homeservers. Right now he's working on the GUI, but check out progress at https://github.com/f0x52/matrix-migrate.

DSN Traveller by Florian

Florian reports:

As part of my master's thesis, I wrote the DSN Traveller bot, which is crawling the matrix federation to measure the shape and size of the matrix network, and how distributed it currently is. The bot is already in a smaller number of rooms for testing, and will join the remaining rooms over the next days. All details at https://dsn-traveller.dsn.scc.kit.edu/, room at #dsn-traveller:dsn-traveller.dsn.scc.kit.edu.

Synapse

  • GDPR policy management is welcomed in by Synapse 0.30
  • Means we get server notices too!
  • Explosion of Python 3 activity from notafile & Amber (hawkowl)
  • andrewsh has prepared a Debian package for the 0.30 release.

Dendrite

  • Anoa is on the case, having joined the core team on Monday - Dendrite is already sending events to ASes! Meanwhile APwhitehat is hacking away on his GSoC projects!

Spec

The Matrix Spec Change Proposals list is populated, popular, and under discussion at #matrix-spec:matrix.org. There are multiple issues ready to review, for example: TravisR is calling for attention on MSC1256: "Custom emoji and sticker packs in matrix".

New Rooms

GSOC

Last week I promised an update on the state of the various GSOC projects in the Matrix Ecosystem. There is activity happening but other than what's been discussed above we'll wait a week or two for more detailed updates.

See you soon

As always, if you have things to say, projects to advertise, or anything else, ping me or visit #TWIM:matrix.org. I'm keen to get everyone included and keep this community enthused about all the work going on in the Matrix ecosystem.

Check out this week's Matrix Live:

This Week in Matrix 2018-05-18

18.05.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

On the Web

Enter the Matrix

Brendan produced a really, really informative article introducing Matrix. As someone who is still very new to the project I found this writng to be very clear and informative, so thank you! The article made it to the top of Hacker News, where you can find a discussion of both the article and Matrix itself.

Presentation about Matrix

martinkrafft presented about Matrix at wossat a New Zealand Open Source show and tell meetup. His talk can be seen here, and focuses on the benefits of Matrix for users.

Spec Proposals

As you may have seen from the previous blog post, we have a new drive to advance the Matrix Specification itself. Part of this is https://matrix.org/docs/spec/proposals, which lists all the spec change proposals we've accumulated so far, and describes the flow for getting new proposals merged. There is a new room, #matrix-spec:matrix.org for discussion, please join if you want to get involved in this process. Check out the page and the blog post for more detail.

Next up: try to turn some of the many WIP proposals into Spec PRs...

Fractal Hackfest 2018

Fractal Hackfest 2018: was super successful and productive by all accounts, and there were many! Check out reports from Daniel García Moreno (Day 1, Day 2), Eisha Chen-yen-su, Adrien Plazas, Julian Sparber, Tobias Bernard and Alexandre Franke.

A major topic at the Hackfest was a discussion of splitting the Fractal client into two UIs for the different behaviours of messaging apps. For anyone interested in product design thinking this is a genuinely fascinating topic. I encourage you to read "Banquets and Barbecues", Tobias' excellent coverage of the latest thinking. The different chat personas are very well explained and the post brings up some of the immediate technical challenges too.

Projects and Products

mxisd v1.1 RC1 available

Max reports on mxisd, a Federated Matrix Identity server for self-hosted Matrix infrastructures:

mxisd v1.1 RC1 is out, addressing various privacy issues and being more GDPR-friendly overall. Testing and feedback from the community is very much appreciated

Dimension

Dimension, an open source integrations manager for matrix clients from TravisR, now supports sticker packs.

Ruma

Rust-based Ruma has new activity, starting with the release of ruma-api-macros 0.2.0. This moves ruma-api-macros from dependency on hyper to using types from the http crate. This will give more flexibility about library and framework choices for ruma-client-api and ruma-client.

Federation Tester Graphical Frontend

f0x produced and shared a graphical frontend for the federation tester, already getting some use. Check it out at https://neo.lain.haus/fed-tester/ and see the source on GitHub.

Synapse

  • Synapse 0.29 out - pretty much a maintenance release.
  • Chunk PRs are landing, providing a long-term solution to the ‘depth' issue which is still impacting #matrix and #matrix-dev.
  • Lots and lots of GDPR work - you can follow progress at https://github.com/vector-im/riot-meta/projects/7.
  • Fixes SYN-1(!!!) - server notifications in general.
  • ...and a last minute update from Andrej Shadura that the official Debian packages for Synapse are now up-to-date in Debian Unstable!!

Riot/Web

  • Riot/0.15 is out! With Stickers, Electron 2.0, Firefox E2E speed ups and lots of polishing
  • Working on GDPR now - cookie warnings have already landed on /develop, for instance. Remaining is the consent flow, and the deactivation/erasure flow.
  • Currently on a blitz to mop up P1 bugs
  • Accidental mission to replace Draft with Slate to make the RTE robust.
  • Upcoming: enabling Jitsi everywhere; E2E cross-signing; member lazyloading.

Riot/Mobile

  • Sticker sending is almost done!
  • GDPR work in progress
  • Released a fix for unreliable notification (and bg syncing) on Android 8 on Fdroid (released on Wednesday - please update!)

Neo Alpha 0.05

neo alpha 0.05 was announced by f0x, go take a look at https://github.com/f0x52/neo/releases/tag/alpha0.05. From the changelog:

features to bridge better with telegram, like Replies and Stickers, general ui improvement with fontawesome icons added: Replies Receiving stickers

and more

Discord Bridge

Half-Shot and anoa are working on the matrix-appservice-discord, and have embarked on bridging Discord edited messages to Matrix

headed up by anoa, feedback for this is useful as it's early days, https://github.com/Half-Shot/matrix-appservice-discord/pull/131

They've been writing tests and crushing bugs along the way. This is all in aid of the coming 0.2.0 release.

gomuks

A gomuks package was added to added to NixOS nixpkgs, shows interest in the client: https://github.com/NixOS/nixpkgs/pull/40510.

CromFr doge bot

CromFr has been working on a doge bot, which he describes as a hack over the hyper / haiku bots", and is hosted on TravisR's https://t2bot.io/. Go try it out in the test room #test-doge-bot-crom:matrix.org.

Independent Client-Server interactions

Lots of excitement at the variety of independent clients and servers able to interact over the matrix protocol. The images above show The Construct (server) and gomuks (client), and then mxhsd and Fractal. A fundamental part of matrix is to be an open protocol, so it's great to see entirely independent implementations liaising together! While implementing mxhsd, Max has been documenting spec omissions in a branch of the spec - we're hoping he will contribute these back!

Honourable mention for mujx, who was sending messages with nheko and Ruma a year ago!

Matrix Core team expansion

  • Stève - 17th May (yesterday)
  • Amber - 21st (Monday)
  • Anoa - 21st (Monday)
  • Hubert - 28th May
  • Half-Shot - 4th June ...and one more community member, hopefully (just sorting paperwork currently!)
Heads up that we're consciously trying to hire a mix of folks from the Matrix community as well as those outside it - and avoid hiring the whole community, both to ensure diversity of viewpoint & experience in the core team, and also to avoid cannibalising folks who working on their own commercial projects on top of Matrix. We'd prefer Matrix to be as decentralised and heterogenous as possible, needless to say - and instead try to support folks in building on Matrix without hiring them into the core team (where we'd expect them to focus on the core project for everyone's benefit). This may change once we have Matrix set up as a separate foundation, once we've got out of beta, of course.

New Rooms

Next week in Matrix

Next week I'll take a look at Matrix-related GSOC 2018 projects, what the plans are and how the first few weeks are going.

So Long...

That's all for now! Join us on #TWIM:matrix.org if you'd like to make an announcement and be featured in this series.

Check out this week's Matrix Live below, and we'll see you next week!

This Week in Matrix 2018-05-11

11.05.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Fractal Hackfest 2018

The talk of the town in Strasbourg this week was the arrival of Fractal Hackfest 2018! Event is still ongoing, and I'm sure they will provide a report of the progress on https://wiki.gnome.org/Hackfests/Fractal2018, though Alexandre kindly sent us a photo of the group in action

Fractal Hackfest 2018

Home Assistants

Wonderful things are happening and being discovered regarding IoT and Home Automation. uhoreg was the first to point us to tinloaf's project to build a Matrix Chatbot component for Home Assistant:

This component allows you to send messages to matrix rooms, as well as to react to messages in matrix rooms. Reacting to commands is accomplished by firing an event when one of the configured commands is triggered.

(this is not the same as notify.matrix https://www.home-assistant.io/components/notify.matrix/, which is used to deliver messages from Home Assistant to a room.)

Enthusiasm for this work led to jfred discussing his past adventures in Matrix, including a component for sibyl, 'a python chatbot with a focus on XBMC' allowing Matrix communication.

All this excitement led to Cadair creating #homeautomation:cadair.com, which has started a more thorough discussion. I'm eager to see more non-chat applications of Matrix, #twim:matrix.org came up with others with projects in progress.

On GDPR

GDPR has been a favourite topic for a while now. If you didn't already, take a look at the latest thinking from the Matrix Core team here: https://matrix.org/blog/2018/05/08/gdpr-compliance-in-matrix/

It's worth noting that we feel that GDPR is an excellent piece of legislation from the perspective of forcing us to think more seriously about our privacy – it has forced us to re-prioritise all sorts of long-term deficiencies in Matrix (e.g. dependence on DNS; improving User Interactive authentication; improving logout semantics etc). There's obviously a lot of work to be done here, but hopefully it should all be worth it!

TravisR on GDPR

TravisR has also been thinking about GDPR, and how it relates to his Voyager bot. In his words:

TWIM: I've mostly been working on figuring out how GDPR affects t2bot.io for the last couple weeks. One of the things running on t2bot.io is Voyager - a bot that tries to join rooms it sees mentioned in people's messages, graphing them on https://voyager.t2bot.io. With the increase in talk about GDPR and more bots starting to wander the federation, the recurring topic of whether Voyager should change its approach to finding and listing rooms.

With the current approach, Voyager reads messages and tries to find room aliases to try and join. Individual people can opt-out of this tracking to stop Voyager from reading/parsing their messages (opting back in at a later time, if desired). The room moderators can kick or ban the bot to completely remove their room from the graph, and can invoke a 'soft kick' if they'd like to have their room remain listed, but don't want the bot in the room. Voyager will make sure to only show information for public rooms and will update the graph if the room flips between public and private.

If anyone has feedback on how this approach could be improved (or if it should be left as-is), please come by #voyager:t2bot.io on matrix to start the conversation.

Translations

I was surprised and excited to learn that a Russian translation of the Matrix FAQ has been produced by a group of Russian-language users. ma1uta reported:

There are a several Russian-speaking users spontaneously decided to unite and help Matrix. We created a room where translated FAQ using the embedded etherpad widget. Some of us are here: Magnolia and Fenneko is a Good Girl for example. Anybody can join to us #perevodators:matrix.org and helps. We accept any help.
Preview: https://ma1uta.github.io/index.html

They've provided a PR which I will presently merge (though of course, as I don't speak Russian I will need to trust that it's really a translation of the FAQ!)

Projects and Updates

Matrix Ruby SDK

Ananace reports that work has begun on a Matrix SDK for Ruby 'with a design based heavily on the Python one'. Doing a lot of sysadmin work, Ananace has been working a lot with Ruby, and also wants to get going using the SDK to write bots.

neo

Neo from f0x released Alpha 0.04.

Added two very ux-improving features, local echo and tab completion. User list, eslinter, auto-retrying requests

Take a look at the changelog for more.

matrixstats.org

a13xmt came to use with https://matrixstats.org, a bot-powered room directory

Public catalog for matrix rooms announced: matrixstats.org. The place where you can find a lot of rooms and sort them by ratings or categories. Presented rooms are collected from different homeservers; some of rooms have detailed statistics. The homeservers itself can be explored without the registration. The project is currently in beta stage, so some features may be missing. We would be glad to receive any feedback and ideas for further improvement. Additional info available at https://matrixstats.org/about, related discussions at #matrixstats:matrix.org.

Quaternion

says kitsune:

TWIM: Quaternion 0.0.9.1 is out, with building/packaging fixes; those who use 0.0.9 need not upgrade (https://github.com/QMatrixClient/Quaternion/releases/tag/v0.0.9.1)

Riot/Web

  • New release due monday - whether it's 0.14.3 or 0.15 depends on whether we can make the sticker picker fast enough to launch!
  • Lots of other polish; E2E is now as fast on Firefox as it is on Chrome!

Riot/Mobile

  • Almost all of France has been holiday this week…
  • ...although we've got sticker sending mostly working on iOS & Android anyway!

Synapse

Spec Proposals

Much-needed work has begun to classify and present the spec proposals for the Matrix specification. We've tagged up the all the issues in GitHub, new page will appear on matrix.org at the start of next week if I can just stop preening the generator.

Around the Web (and more)

Another week, another article on the front page of Hacker News. The author is focused more on Riot than Matrix, still it's great knowing how much interest there is in the wild.

Happily, I was at an unrelated event in London earlier in the week, and had my first IRL experience meeting someone who already knew (and then enthused) about the project. Feels good.

Rooms of note

TTFN

Do you have a suggestion for this series? What could we be doing more of? I have a nascent plan to do 'deeper' conversations with people or projects that aren't necessarily in the normal run of things, but are interesting uses of Matrix. Does this sound like something you'd want to read on a Friday afternoon? Drop a line in #twim:matrix.org or ping benpa.

This Week In Matrix – 2018-05-04

04.05.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Project Updates

Clients

nheko

nheko, Qt desktop client announced release v0.4.0. From their own changelog:

  • Basic member list
  • Basic room settings menu
  • Support for displaying stickers
  • Fuzzy search for rooms
https://github.com/mujx/nheko/releases/tag/v0.4.0 for more information.

mujx - https://github.com/mujx/nheko - #nheko:matrix.org

Fractal

Fractal have released v0.1.28 - couple of new features plus fixes.

Fractal of course have their in-person meeting coming up soon, and are looking forward to GSoCers getting onboard.

https://gitlab.gnome.org/World/fractal - #fractal-gtk:matrix.org

neo

f0x is keeping the pace up on neo. New version (alpha0.03), new website!

Rollup of changes since last week includes

  • settings menu
  • mentions
  • unread counts
  • room invite handling
  • video thumbnails
and a lot more.

f0x - https://github.com/f0x52/neo/ - #neo_client:matrix.org

gomuks

Ever modest, tulir has been tearing through issues and fixes over on gomuks. I'm quite excited to have a matrix-native console client getting up to speed so fast.

tulir - https://github.com/tulir/gomuks - #gomuks:maunium.net

Journal

One of the riot developers, luke has a fun side-project called Journal, this being a blogging platform built on matrix.

Says Luke:

The big news this week being that I'm going to redesign the interface to focus on the personal blog use-case, optimising for easy setup and easy blog post sharing. And hopefully push a 1.0 release that I'd be happy to use as my own personal blog.

Worth noting that the linked project page (Journal) is itself a blog using journal (the url might give you a hint of this!)

luke - https://journal.ldbco.de/#/journal/journal:ldbco.de

Bridges and other projects

synapse-diaspora-auth

Po Shamil reports an update for synapse-diaspora-auth. New documentation on how to integrate with mxisd, plus email syncing from diaspora.

Po Shamil - https://git.fosscommunity.in/necessary129/synapse-diaspora-auth

matrix-appservice-discord

matrix-appservice-discord is now at v0.2.0-rc1.

There are several changes moving this project along, but checking out the change list I can see there were a bunch of contributors to thank, (eeeeeta, Sorunome, TravisR), which is super-cool to see.

Half-Shot - https://github.com/Half-Shot/matrix-appservice-discord

GTAD

This week kitsune has been focused on 'GTAD (Generate Things from API Description)', which is a code generator for C++, taking API description in Swagger/OpenAPI as it's source. Now at version 0.5, apparently GTAD

can generate correct buildable (and runnable) code to convert data structures used in CS API between JSON and C++ - for the entirety of CS API calls. That basically means that libqmatrixclient gains (so far low-level) C++ CS API for all calls in The Spec and will follow updates to it.

This is super-exciting, especially as we are going to see discussion and progress on the spec...

kitsune - https://github.com/KitsuneRal/gtad/commits/master

Riot/Web

  • We shipped 0.14.2 as an incremental release
  • Jitsi by default on the horizon…
  • Trying to work our way through the regressions which keep stacking up
  • Lots of work on improved UTs for Groups and Replies; discussion about flux stuff
  • Next up is E2E verification (at last).

Riot/Mobile

  • Replies
  • Sticker sending
  • Android is now Kotlin enabled!

Synapse

  • Handling abuse of the depth parameter; short-term fix deployed and longer term coming along shortly.
  • This destroyed progress on the algorithmic perf improvements.
  • Half-Shot PRs for negotiating size limits
  • Amber is inbound!

Dendrite

  • We're behind on PRs - sorry Thibaut :(

Matrix.org Ops

  • Ansible stuff is being refactored based on our experiences trying to use it in the wild status.matrix.org is coming soon!

Spec

  • Loads of work happening to build the Spec Proposals website, tracking workflow for all the proposals in flux and putting them into a formal RFC-style process. It should help community participation in the spec process massively whilst we finalise the longer term governance model for Matrix.org
  • Also looking at publishing formal roadmaps for Synapse, Dendrite and Riot (at last!) - we have them internally these days but need to just chuck them up on the web and maintain them.
  • Finally, GDPR work is in full swing.

New(ish) Rooms

This section is scraped manually from #newrooms:matrix.org, though there has not been much activity there this week. Meanwhile, there are a couple of rooms suggested by Creak which deserve some love:

Before we go

New Core team member

Amber Brown of the Twisted project will be joining the Matrix core team in a few weeks. She'll be focusing on Synapse implementation work, and will bring a lot of Python experience with her. Having someone working full time on synapse will increase others bandwidth for homeserver and spec work.

Matrix Live

Matrix Live is now available, where among other things you can see this blog post being written!

This Week In Matrix – 2018-04-27

27.04.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Big News

GSoC students

Google Summer of Code acceptees were announced, and we're really excited to have FIVE Matrix-related projects to look forward to!

Three of the students will be mentored by matrix.org folk, and two more will work on Fractal under the GNOME org.

Fractal Hackfest 2018

Fractal Hackfest 2018 will take place next month in Strasbourg, hosted by Epitech. They'll be planning a roadmap for the year, and working on their current focus areas.

https://wiki.gnome.org/Hackfests/Fractal2018

Coverage of French Matrix adoption

After the blog post on matrix.org yesterday, lots of attention developed around the news. Take a look at this Hacker News thread with lots of discussion, which has stayed on the front page for nearly 24 hours, and a megathread on Reddit/r/linux: nearly 1000 upvotes and growing.

Project Updates

Clients

libqmatrixclient

kitsune reports a new release of libqmatrixclient, v0.2.1, this is mostly a bugfix release, fully backwards-compatible with v0.2. Check out the release notes for details.

kitsune - https://github.com/QMatrixClient/libqmatrixclient - #qmatrixclient:matrix.org

Quaternion

Staying in QMatrix-land, there is a pre-release of Quaternion available. Take a look at v0.0.9, improvements include "redactions, file downloading, room creation and settings editing, better timeline visualisation and much more"!

kitsune - https://github.com/QMatrixClient/Quaternion - #qmatrixclient:matrix.org

neo

f0x has been beavering away on neo, and has announced that Alpha 0.01 is available now. neo is a webclient in React, it feels really light and fast. I asked f0x about the uptick in work, and he mentioned he got started with React recently, but likes it a lot.

f0x - https://github.com/f0x52/neo/ - #neo_client:matrix.org

Fractal

Fractal released 0.1.27 with many new features and bugfixes. Lot's going on but I'm most excited to see Markdown support land.

https://gitlab.gnome.org/World/fractal - #fractal-gtk:matrix.org

Bots

matrix-trello-bot

Says TravisR: "I've whipped together a simple Trello notification bot for matrix: matrix-trello-bot. Future plans include the ability to create/update/delete cards and more granular control of what is notified about. Currently it acts very similar to how the Github notifications bot works."

TravisR - https://github.com/turt2live/matrix-trello-bot - #trellobot:t2bot.io

Others

Matrix DSL

MTRNord is working on a "matrix DSL", basically a config file language that generates a project Template in multiple languages. The project is just now at the discussion stage, so join #matrix_dsl:matrix.ffslfl.net to check out what's going on. (DSL = Domain Specific Language.)

MTRNord - #matrix_dsl:matrix.ffslfl.net

urllib-requests-adapter

Says Coffee: "urllib-requests-adapter has been updated to work with matrix-python-sdk 0.2.0. urllib-requests-adapter is a lightweight replacement for requests and its dependencies, currently standing at 126 SLOC."

Coffee - https://github.com/Matrixcoffee/urllib-requests-adapter

mxisd

mxisd, the Identity Server from kamax, saw a v1.0.2 release, following the big one-point-zero last week. Changes include de-duplicated directory search results, plus bugfixes.

Max - https://github.com/kamax-io/mxisd

matrix-stfu

Missed this one last week, but matrix-stfu from xwiki is a message filtering tool released recently, it can "mass remove everything which was said by a particular user in a particular room". XWiki use matrix as their internal chat system for the ~30 people at the company.

xwiki - https://github.com/xwiki-labs/matrix-stfu - #xwiki:matrix.xwiki.com

Riot/Web

  • We're committing to 2-weekly releases come what may, to avoid another massive gap like the one between 0.13 and 0.14.
  • RCs will get cut starting from Wednesday; actual release then happens on the Monday having given folks a chance to test the RC on /staging (and to iterate on the RCs).
  • Obviously this is flexible if we need to rush out fixes sooner.
  • On that note, 0.14.2-rc1 was cut on Wednesday! Please test it at riot.im/staging. It's mainly bugfixes but also the full relayering between riot-web and matrix-react-sdk.
  • Dave's working on finally hooking in Jitsi as the default conferencing system
  • t3chguy's been working on Replies, which continue to look awesome
  • Next up: E2E cross-signing (at last!!!!)

Riot/Mobile

  • New releases are out! Mainly preparing for sticker viewing and trying to fix the Android push notification situation. PLEASE TELL US IF YOU ARE STILL HAVING ANDROID PUSH NOTIFICATION PROBLEMS!
  • Lots of review of Android by Benoit - adding in Kotlin support as of today and establishing a formal roadmap for Android work (we'll show the blog post when we have it)
  • Lots of Matrix-for-French-Government stuff.

Synapse

  • Synapse 28.0 was released! A major bump mainly thanks to lots and lots of contributions from the wider community.
  • Massive experimental work on GDPR in progress - doing the thought experiment of pseudonymising MXIDs throughout Matrix on a per-room basis so that it's possible to redact MXIDs in the event of a “right-to-erasure” GDPR event. Rich vdH is leading the work.
  • The good news is that introducing an MXID abstraction layer like this could help us enormously with some of Matrix's longest-term architectural issues - i.e. account migration and portability; improving on PERSPECTIVEs for managing server identity; future support for P2P Matrix; solving the domain name reuse problem; etc.
  • The bad news is that it would obviously be a very significant change to the Matrix spec, although we'd be doing it in such a way which minimises impact to client implementers and keep the CS API looking as similar as possible.
  • We're not sure whether we need to rush this through or not yet; still waiting for final GDPR clarification from lawyers, but it feels like this might be a good opportunity to force us to finally tackle some of these harder problems.
  • Meanwhile, Erik's Delta State Resolution algorithm work is continuing well; we're hoping to finish & merge it asap in order to get back headroom on the server.
  • Thankfully the matrix.org synapse itself has been relatively stable this week, other than being completely overloaded causing Freenode to be almost unusable.
  • We've started using Ansible in production, although the playbooks need some iteration before we're fully happy to announce them & recommend folks use them as an official way of running Synapse in production.

try-matrix-now

There is a update out on try-matrix-now, matrix.org's central listing of projects. Try filtering and see whether benpa mangled the metadata for your project. Submit any changes as markdown PRs on the repo.

Spec

benpa is currently working on a Proposals page for the Spec to properly stack spec proposal status, at last!

Articles around the web

Riot: A Distributed Way of Having IRC and VOIP Client and Home Server

uhoreg pointed to some charming coverage over on https://itsfoss.com: Riot: A Distributed Way of Having IRC and VOIP Client and Home Server, by Shirish. The article covers some details about riot-web and the open source ethos of Matrix, but my favourite quote by far:

"Without Matrix, Riot would be like a body without a soul."

Shirish - https://itsfoss.com/riot-desktop/

Service notifs with Matrix

Half-Shot shared an article he wrote, Service notifs with Matrix, about using Matrix and Riot to deliver automated notifications to different types of end-user at his company.

Half-Shot - https://dev.to/halfshot/service-notifs-with-matrix-3fb5

New Rooms roundup

  • #matrix_dsl:matrix.ffslfl.net As mentioned above, MTRNord is looking at creating a DSL for matrix. In his words: "A room to discuss about making a Matrix DSL to allow non coders to write simple as and bots. I would love to see some people discussing about syntax with me as this is my very first DSL and very first time trying JetBrains MSP. Anyone with Ideas what it should allow to do and how to have the syntax a welcome to join (and people who want to follow of course too)"
  • #trellobot:t2bot.io (from above) TravisR: "a discussion/developer room for Matrix Trello Bot (https://github.com/turt2live/matrix-trello-bot). This is a bot that notifies rooms of changes to tracked Trello boards, similar to how the Github bot works. Future enhancements include being able to create, update, and delete cards from within Matrix."

Lastly...

Matrix Live - Season 2, Episode 17: Apr 27th is now available!

This Week in Matrix is printed fresh every week! There will be another post before you know it, so if you'd like to be included join us in #twim:matrix.org and let us know what you've been working on. See you next week!

This Week In Matrix - 2018-04-20

20.04.2018 00:00 — This Week in Matrix Ben Parsons

Project Updates

Drupal matrix_api module

Updated the Drupal matrix_api module to pass the auth token as a header instead of as a GET param... the GET param was leaking the token if there was an http exception thrown.

(John) - https://cgit.drupalcode.org/matrix_api

mxisd

v1.0.0 has been released and is now stable, making it the first community Identity server and first open federation one.

(Max) - https://github.com/kamax-io/mxisd

nheko

0.3.x of nheko was released! There is progress towards e2e encryption in mujx/mtxclient. Once this encryption is working there, it can eventually be included in nheko.

(mujx) - https://github.com/mujx/nheko

Fractal

Fractal 0.1.26 was released this week, which includes an animated scroll to bottom animation, fixed MacOS compilation, and bug fixes. Since then markdown support and many other commits have been spotted...

https://gitlab.gnome.org/World/fractal/

libqmatrixclient

kitsune released 0.2 of libqmatrixclient a couple of weeks ago, which he says is "the first one more or less functional and stable"!

Highlights include redactions support, files transfer (both ways), rooms creation, account data (tags, direct chat flags). Also there are a few things making libqmatrixclient clients stand out compared to, e.g., Riot: one can set per-room names/avatars, and also the best estimate for the number of unread messages can be taken from the library and shown in the client application."

(kitsune) - https://github.com/QMatrixClient/libqmatrixclient

matrix-monitor-bot

#monitorbot:t2bot.io is a bot to measure latency between homeservers (as perceived by users).

It's able to report metrics to Prometheus and has it's own built-in dashboard (see https://lag.t2bot.io/ for some horrendous times). In the coming weeks it'll become more production-ready, however in the meantime if people are looking to help iron out the scalability issues, please run an instance on your homeserver.

(TravisR) - https://github.com/turt2live/matrix-monitor-bot

uMatriks

thrrgilag wrote on behalf of uMatriks, to say that v0.10 was published to the openstore this last week which now includes unread counts for rooms. Those not already familiar, uMatriks is a native matrix client being developed for Ubuntu Touch.

https://github.com/uMatriks/uMatriks

Construct

There looks to be lots of activity on Construct (jzk's fork of the charybdis ircd which adds in a C++ homeserver implementation) based on the commit log at https://github.com/jevolk/charybdis. jzk's work there has been highlighting some of synapse's nastier problems (e.g. thundering presence bugs), and it looks like the federation support is progressing steadily, including handling EDUs (presence & typing data). (jzk) - https://github.com/jevolk/charybdis

matrix-puppet-maxs

tyler shared his "horrifying" project, for people that want to use Matrix to send an SMS via an XMPP bridge to their Android phone, in order to provide SMS and call notifications inside Riot.

(tyler) - https://github.com/tfreedman/matrix-puppet-maxs

matrix-register-bot

krombel built a bot to have a two step registration to synapse, check it out:

(krombel) - https://github.com/krombel/matrix-register-bot

picard

Cadair reported that he and SolarDrew have written a bot to bridge a whole slack team into a matrix community. It basically handles all the room admin for you including:

  • Invite the slack bot to the channel
  • Creating matrix rooms
  • Setting users as admins
  • Setting room name and room avatar and as publicly joinable
  • Setting up the link with the slack AS
  • Creating and adding rooms to the community
  • Inviting all members of the communtiy to the rooms
It does these things on a 1 min cron, to pick up new channels as they are created on the slack side.

(Cadair) - https://github.com/SolarDrew/skill-picard

opsdroid connector

Cadair also mentioned that picard uses the opsdroid connector for matrix, also written by himself and SolarDrew, and has had recent updates.

(Cadair) - https://github.com/opsdroid/connector-matrix

matrix-python-sdk

Release v0.2.0 of the python sdk. Highlights from this release are a workaround for https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/issues/3054 and use of connection pooling via a requests session.

(&Adam) - https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-python-sdk

matrix-twitch-bridge

MTRNord is at the early stages of working on a twitch bridge for Matrix, written in golang.

(MTRNord) - https://github.com/Nordgedanken/matrix-twitch-bridge

IdleRPG

remaeus wrote in to say "we (+rpg:verse.im) just launched an initial build of #idlerpg:verse.im (now also available at #idlerpg:matrix.org) — an automated RPG that rewards you for staying online (via the presence API). It's an initial test case for prototyping out a bot framework called "doorman" with multi-service support, but focused on Matrix as we are using it as a "backbone" for our p2p app framework."

(remaeus) - https://github.com/FabricLabs/doorman

URI protocol scheme

kitsune started working on a design proposal for the Matrix URI scheme, with the ultimate goal to have the scheme passed through IANA so that we're no worse than IPFS and others. The document is here (alpha quality but comments are already welcome): https://docs.google.com/document/d/18A3ZRgGR-GLlPXF_VIHxywWiX1vpMvNfAU6JCnNMVuQ/edit

There is also a spec proposal room: #uri-scheme-proposal:matrix.org.

(kitsune)

Riot/Web

  • The Great Relayering landed - almost all of Riot/Web's code is now gathered together in one sensible place (matrix-react-sdk). No more duplicate PRs or CSS & JS living in different repos!
  • Folks with open PRs against the riot-web repository will need to reopen them against matrix-react-sdk (or more likely, merge them into their existing equivalents on matrix-react-sdk)
  • Michael (t3chguy's) Replies work has almost landed and is looking fantastic!
  • Next up: improving test coverage slightly; fixing regressions in 0.14; and a few other minor bits and bobs before we land 0.15.

Riot/Mobile

  • New releases on the horizon for both iOS & Android
  • Welcomed Benoit to the Android team, acting as lead android dev!
  • Finalising all new UX for configuring push notification permissions…
  • Final touches for Sticker viewing (including animated stickers!)
  • Fix embarrassing crash on iOS on certain shapes of Riot/Web URLs...
  • Supporting French Government Matrix activity

Synapse

  • Operational firefighting continues: stopping malformed events from impacting federation; investigating thundering herds of presence EDUs; trying to keep Freenode joins from lagging;
  • Meanwhile, Erik has been working hard on the problem of Incremental State Resolution (the big algorithmic win which could massively improve HS performance, especially for Synapse); this is looking promising and has ended up taking the form of a formal mathematical proof that the proposed algorithm works: https://matrix.org/_matrix/media/v1/download/jki.re/hSmkLkFGVUnrXjtYcjsCUsyS (aka https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/pull/3122) is where that's happening! Warning: contains maths.
  • ...and also wrote a Rust testjig for state resolution to help reason about it: https://github.com/erikjohnston/rust-matrix-state
  • Official Ansible playbook repository dev is progressing on the develop branch at https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-ansible thanks to massive work from Michael K. We'll blog properly about this when ready for use in earnest.
  • Dave has been doing an interesting experiment in syncing user profile data from HSes into ISes (useful for folks running a private federation with its own IS who want to use the IS as a global user directory); almost complete - we'll see how this goes.
  • GDPR work is in progress. We're seeing how far we can push the envelope on improving privacy, including a very interesting thought experiment on pseudonyimsing MXIDs to provide 'perfect' right-to-erasure. vdH is on the case. Warning: this may well require a major federation protocol bump if we go through with it.
  • More Python3 port PRs are landing from NotAFile - thanks! They're getting slightly lost behind everything above.

Dendrite

  • Still stuck behind Synapse work.
  • Barring disasters we have at least 2 new folks starting fulltime in the core team (both synapse & dendrite) to help backend progress at the end of May however!
  • Lots of PRs coming in from APWhitehat though - thanks!!

Spec

  • uhoreg has been looking at the .well-known URI proposal again
  • Spec work on the core team is currently stuck behind Riot/Web and Synapse work, sadly, on the basis that burning implementation problems are more visible and harming to the project than burning spec problems.

Matrix in the News

Tom's Hardware provided a great article on about Matrix in the French Government.

Next INpact produced two articles, one from last week introducing a project from the French government to use an open messaging platform, then a follow up provided an extremely thorough story covering Riot & Matrix following the announcement of the French Government encrypted messaging project. (Article is in French, but will Google Translate nicely!)

Huge thank you to nouts who produced a great intro to Riot and Matrix! Check it out! (Note that is also in French.)

New Rooms roundup

And Finally...

Check out Matrix Live, now available at https://youtu.be/EstVaVUWkdw

Thanks for reading the very first This Week in Matrix! There will be another post next week, so if you'd like to be included join us in #twim:matrix.org. See you next week!