Dept of Status of Matrix 🌡️
Interesting paper analysing the impact of decentralisation (and particularly Matrix) on legislation around content moderation: https://www.thecgo.org/research/the-decentralized-web-and-the-future-of-section-230/
Dept of Spec 📜
Andrew Morgan (anoa) says
Here's your weekly spec update! The heart of Matrix is the specification - and this is modified by Matrix Spec Change (MSC) proposals. Learn more about how the process works at https://matrix.org/docs/spec/proposals.
MSCs in Final Comment Period:
- No MSCs are in FCP.
- No MSCs were accepted this week.
Off the back of the release of Matrix v1.5 last week (see the blog post if you missed it), work on the next release has now begun.
Continued review on MSC3706 (extensions to
/send_joinfor partial state) and MSC3852 (user agent information on /devices) by the SCT was seen. MSC3743 (standard error responses for unknown endpoints) was also merged to the unstable spec!
Special thanks to several contributors of fixes to the spec this week; including zecakeh, HarHarLinks, sumnerevans, johannescpk and DMRobertson!
Random MSC of the Week
The random MSC of the week is... MSC3896: Appservice media!
This MSC calls out the issue that today application services, especially those that bridge third-party networks, need to re-upload all bridged media to the homeserver in order for users to view it. This can create a large strain on disk resources for homeservers that bridge third-party networks and is a problem that is worth considering.
The approach the MSC takes to solving this is to allow application services to reserve an exclusive namespace for MXC URL's, such as
mxc://example.com/_discord_.*. When a user's client attempted to request a media item that falls within the exclusive namespace, the homeserver would request the media from the application service (which in turn could pull it from the third-party network's CDN) rather than the homeserver's local media repo.
Seems like a cool idea! Check out the MSC and leave your thoughts if you're interested or have suggestions.
Dept of Servers 🏢
Synapse is a Matrix homeserver implementation developed by the matrix.org core team
It has been a busy week for the Synapse team.
On Tuesday we released Synapse 1.72, including
- experimental support for relation-based redactions,
- A new admin API to lookup users by third-party ID, and
- further progress on the faster joins project,
plus a batch of bugfixes. As ever, we aim to cut the next release candidate for Synapse 1.73 on the coming Tuesday. It should include the work that landed on develop this week. Of note:
Dept of Bridges 🌉
An Email to Matrix bridge. 1 room = 1 mailbox.
Postmoogle v0.9.9 is here!
The biggest release so far. Hmm... let me try again
THE Biggest Release (so far)!
The last few weeks we at etke.cc enhanced and optimized Postmoogle to make it as close to common email services as possible (it's not a full Gmail/Outlook/%You-name-it% replacement for a regular user yet, some features are missing, but we're pushing it towards that goal!)
The most notable changes:
- automatic ban list (can be enabled by postmoogle admin) - no more nasty spammers will ever bother your host and if they will - Postmoogle will
cut the wiresdrop TCP connections before even talking with them
- automatic greylisting (can be configured by postmoogle admin) - good SMTP software must resend emails (and 99.99% of them do), RFC said.
- internal email queue to re-send failed emails (with 45x errors) automatically - because Postmoogle is good SMTP software and it follows RFC
- bridging email threads ⇿ matrix threads/reply-tos (for new emails) - that's a hard one. TL;DR: reply to email in matrix room (either by matrix thread or matrix reply-to) = email reply on email side, works both ways
- multi-domain mode with the ability to select a domain for sending emails per room/per mailbox (all other domains will act as aliases)
!pm sendand thread replies send multipart emails by default (both HTML from formatted markdown and plaintext in the same email)
- lots of other enhancements and fixes under the moogle
Source code and don't forget to say hi in #postmoogle:etke.cc
Dept of Clients 📱
Desktop client for Matrix using Qt and C++17.
You may have noticed it has been a bit quiet from our side lately. Partially that is because I was just busy fixing issues in our new features on the Synapse side (or implementing MSCs in Synapse). But we also just have been fixing boring old issues in our project, that have been not annoying enough to get attention. For example there was a warning when configuring the project with CMake, which now shouldn't happen anymore, but also is just really boring to talk about.
So maybe some more exciting stuff, in theory, if your distribution builds curl with the correct flags, Nheko now supports connecting to servers over HTTP/3. This in itself is not that useful, but it might improve how Nheko behaves when switching connections or when using mobile data.
Nheko now also shows a completer for /commands (stuff like /me, /react or /sovietflip).
You can also now invert the Enter setting, so that you can send using Shift+Enter (thanks to LordMZTE) and you can update your status message over D-Bus (thanks LorenDB), which allows you to show what song you are listening to or what project you are working on, if you enable the D-Bus API and implement that as an addon in your music player or IDE.
Also lots of boring cleanups going on behind the scenes still, so expect cool stuff to be slower for the next few weeks.
A client for matrix, the decentralized communication protocol
Tobias Fella says
You might be aware that we, the NeoChat team, are currently working on implementing end-to-end encryption in NeoChat. If you're interested in that work, you should read the blog post i've written about it at https://tobiasfella.de/posts/neochat-e2ee/
Hydrogen is a lightweight matrix client with legacy and mobile browser support
Back after a bit of a hiatus working on call support (coming soon!) and non-hydrogen things which we're wrapping up now. Today and last Friday we've added sticky date headers to the timeline, which just got released in 0.3.5. Check it out if you haven't already at https://hydrogen.element.io
Element Web/Desktop (website)
Secure and independent communication, connected via Matrix. Come talk with us in #element-web:matrix.org!
Danielle 🦺 announces
- We’ve recently made improvements to the password recovery flow, meaning that you no longer choose your password before verifying your email… We now follow a more conventional approach (and have parity with mobile flows) that will make it easier for those struggling to sign in.
- We’ve also continued to add tests and increase overall test coverage!
In labs (you can enable labs features in settings on develop.element.io or on Nightly):
- Rich text editor: We’ve been working on lists and ‘ctr+backspace’ support
- Threads: Improvements to performance and notifications continue but this week we’ve mostly put our efforts on testing as we’re prepping for the release of Threads out of Labs!
Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰
Trinity is an experimental bot framework written in Rust and using matrix-rust-sdk, as well as commands / modules compiled to WebAssembly, with convenient developer features like modules hot-reload.
This week, a tritiny update:
- we have experimental support for using Trinity as a library, thanks to @gnunicorn! So experimental that the public API may break at any point without warnings, and it hasn't even been published, but if you feel adventurous, take a look.
- Flaki from Suborbital and Yours Truly have had a small and cozy chat about Trinity, where we talk about WebAssembly and Matrix, try to set up a new instance of the bot (!), find a bug (!!) but at the end it works (!!!). Youtube link if you're teased!
If you're interested to follow the project, feel free to join #trinity:delire.party or get the code on Github.
Matrix-Webhooks goal is to provide Rich, Embedded webhooks for Matrix as an alternative to Discord Webhooks, it's compatible with discord payload and API, so very easy to integrate into services like github, gitlab, grafana, uptime kumi etc ...
- You can find the source code here : https://github.com/rednaks/matrix-webhooks
- Or you can try it or use it here : https://matrix-webhooks.com/
- You can also join our Matrix space where we share announcements, and have general discussions about matrix-webhooks inorder to improve it : https://matrix.to/#/#matrix-webhooks.com:matrix.org
Next-gen crypto-included SDK for developing Clients, Bots and Appservices; written in Rust with bindings for Node, Swift and WASM
It's been a busy week for the matrix-sdk team. As the week before, a lot of time was (well) spent on fixes and smaller improvements for mobile integration, during which a few bugs and problems where discovered and squashed. While this is ongoing, some of them already found their way back into mainline or at least have PRs pending for it: Like the bug in the read marker tracking which sometimes caused a crash 1 2, a problem with timeline construction being async or some minor fixes on the new xtask for swift. We've also noticed a significant regression in the automatic retry mechanism, which would just continue to spin for ever if the server gave a fully warranted error code back - if you experienced this, this PR should be solving it for you.
A significant milestone was achieved this week on Async UniFFI. After getting a first PoC ready the week before, Ivan packaged it all up and sent a draft PR upstream with async python code calling an async rust code over FFI and interpreting the rusty result. So cool! Swift and kotlin targets are next.
👉 Wanna hack on matrix rust? Go check out our
help wantedtagged issues and join our matrix channel at Matrix Rust SDK.
A Qt5 library to write cross-platform clients for Matrix
As that blog post by Tobias mentions, releasing libQuotient 0.7 is the immediate next step - and in line with that, 0.7 RC has been published! Not much has changed since two betas; despite a very big piece of E2EE introduced in 0.7 release cycle, things have been mostly ironed out earlier in the year. Packagers are welcome to try their tools on the new release. Be mindful though that E2EE has just been introduced and wasn't widely tested; besides, a few pieces are still missing (read the blog post!); so while it's probably reasonable to switch E2EE on for packaging libQuotient, it's NOT recommended to do the same in client applications, unless accompanied by warnings and disclaimers all over the place. The release notes are still shallow and boring - the longer text will come with the final release.
Dept of Ops 🛠
Matrix server setup using Ansible and Docker
matrix-docker-ansible-deploy has received lots of optimizations to cut down playbook runtime, sponsored by the etke.cc managed Matrix hosting service. The etke.cc Ansible playbook (which is an extension of
matrix-docker-ansible-deploy) is growing to support more and more services (besides just Matrix), so the Matrix playbook being leaner prevents runtimes from becoming too slow and improves the customer experience.
The playbook now runs about 2x-5x faster, thanks to:
- various optimizations (using
import_tasksin all Ansible roles)
- the introduction of additional install-only tags (
--tags=install-COMPONENT) which skip slow and often unnecessary to run uninstall tasks
To learn more, see this changelog entry
Dept of Bots 🤖
The moderation bot for Matrix
Hi everyone, we have released Mjolnir v1.6.1 (via v1.6.0)
Always echo policy list changes. List changes are now always enabled, whereas before they where only shown with
config.verboseLogging. Mjolnir now no longer hides changes made by the same mjolnir account, providing the user with feedback for changes they have made to policy lists after using the ban/unban commands.
Policy lists created by mjolnir will now be done so with support for MSC3784.
Mjolnir now supports specifying the config file with the argument
--mjolnir-config. It is highly recommended that you do this as opposed to relying on the environment variable
NODE_ENV. The documentation for running with docker and from source have been updated accordingly.
Fix the WordList protection which was matching every message.
Rework the banning and unbanning of entities in PolicyLists.
- Unbanning no longer searches for rules by
state_keybut by entity.
- Users with longer mxids can now be banned.
- Mjolnir no longer waits for the next client sync before applying server ACL and member bans after using the ban command
Improve the clarity of the unban command. Users marked as banned by the
FirstMessageIsMediaprotections can now be unbanned with the ban command. Using the unban command without
truewill now warn the user that room level bans will not be overridden.
config.protectAllJoinedRoomsleaking into explicitly protected rooms and mjolnir trying to protect watched lists in some circumstances. You would only have been impacted by this if you ran
Dept of Events and Talks 🗣️
Matrix Community Summit Berlin 2022 Podcast (German)
The Community Summit 2022 in Berlin was a lot of fun and we've gotten to know a lot of community members and their projects. Some of these people we were able to interview and will release the recordings as a weekly podcast. From now on, each Friday an episode will be released for a total of 8 episodes.
Today (18th November), we're starting with Alex and Valentin. We talked about the summit, what went well and what activities to add next time. Furthermore, the two shared their passion for home server performance. Give it a listen!
RSS feed: https://anchor.fm/s/cdb34188/podcast/rss
If you don't speak German, stay tuned for English episodes in some of the following weeks, Yan and Christian
Chaos communication family
December 27-30 2022
A part of our chaotic decentralized intergalactic community will be a meeting in the rooms of "ETI Schauspielschule Berlin" at Hacking in Parallel//// this year.
There are several units and indiduals who will be there spread (into) the matrix ... You can enter proposals until 2022-11-27 23:42 (Europe/Berlin). https://pretalx.c3voc.de/hip-berlin-2022/cfp
The Matrix space for the event is a good general place to get in touch. https://matrix.to/#/#hip-space:1312.media
We also prepare for having a Matrix Operation C~~enter~~haos at the Chaos Communication Camp in Summer. This will take place from August 15 to 19, 2023 at Ziegeleipark Mildenberg near Berlin, Germany. If you want to join forces of the and need a ticket voucher for the HIP. Drop in at: https://matrix.to/#/#matrix-moc:datanauten.de
If you can / will not make it with you physical body to Berlin. No worries. You should start connecting the dots.
The XRevent.Labs Operation Group invites you to xrelog22. Discussions, lectures, music, art, performance and the joint creation of independent multiverses will take place from December 28 to 30, 2022. We not only want to raise socio-political, ethical and creative questions, but also actively develop own spaces and content for an interactive, cross-reality live experience.
Anyone who is interested in joining or visiting us can do so either with pre-registration for the real stage at FTZ - Digital Reality at HAW in Hamburg or virtually in the digital-twin at XRevent platform, or the Intergalactic-Chaos-Communication-Broadcast-Studio, aka icc|bs. Your contributions can be pre-recorded, streamed live via a conference tool or presented in the real space on site. Either way, get in touch and we’ll find a solution. Please test yourself and wear a mask if you visit us in person.
Furthermore we offer:
- weekly workshops in advance
- recordable LED pixel walls
- Thirdroom Research Lab
Dept of Ping
Here we reveal, rank, and applaud the homeservers with the lowest ping, as measured by pingbot, a maubot that you can host on your own server.
Join #ping:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.
Join #ping-no-synapse:maunium.net to experience the fun live, and to find out how to add YOUR server to the game.
That's all I know
See you next week, and be sure to stop by #twim:matrix.org with your updates!