This Week in Matrix 2019-06-14

2019-06-14 — This Week in Matrix — Neil Johnson

Matrix Live - Prof. Jon Crowcroft, Foundation Guardian 🎙

Matthew & Amandine talk with Prof. Jon Crowcroft, one of the new Matrix.org Foundation Guardians!

Matrix 1.0

The big news this week is that we declared ourselves to be out of beta. You'll want the full post for all details, but here's a taste:

We are very excited to announce the first fully stable release of the Matrix protocol and specification across all APIs - as well as the Synapse 1.0 reference implementation which implements the full Matrix 1.0 API surface.

This means that after just over 5 years since the initial work on Matrix began, we are proud to have finally exited beta!! This is the conclusion of the work which we announced at FOSDEM 2019 when we cut the first stable release of the Server-Server API and began the Synapse 0.99 release series in anticipation of releasing a 1.0.

As part of the 1.0 we also announced the Matrix.org Foundation.

For the full update on the Foundation, please check out the new website content at https://matrix.org/foundation which should tell you everything you could possibly want to know about the Foundation, the Guardians, the Foundation’s legal Articles of Association, and the day-to-day Rules which define the Open Governance process.

Thanks to everyone who has stuck with us along the way to make this possible.

Synapse

We released Synapse 1.0.0 this week to coincide with Matrix 1.0. As a release Synapse 1.0.0 focuses on security and stability which in turn builds a firm foundation for the performance improvements that you can expect to see over the Summer. Read all about it here.

Crypto

We have not one but two working end to end demos of device cross signing! This is going to be huge and is key step towards being able to make Matrix e2ee by default.

Cross Signing DemoAdditional Treats

But wait there's more! Pantalaimon not only provides a way for clients and bots to participate in e2ee rooms, it now provides the ability to search. Checkout this (relgious themed) demo.

Pattle

Pattle is going great guns at the moment. Here's Wilko:-

A new version of Pattle has been pushed to F-droid!

  • Add ability to create group chats!
  • Show chat creation events ('Wilko has created this group')!
  • Show emote messages correctly!
  • Handle display name changes! Display names of messages will now be as they were at time of sending.
  • Don't show invite and join events in direct chats This is only happens for the two initial users in the direct chat. If someone invites someone else to the direct chat (trough another client), the invitation will show up in the timeline.
  • Use the timeout parameter while syncing. This means that receiving new messages should be way quicker! (Thanks Mathieu!)
  • Store messages retrieved remotely (thanks Mathieu!) This means that scrolling up in a chat will be faster now, because the messages are cached.
  • Always show a date header above the oldest event
  • Show replies correctly in chat overview
  • Show sent state icon next to own message in chat overview
  • Show newly joined rooms at the top in the chat overview
  • Use a bit bolder font for chat names in overview To install this release, add the following repo in F-droid:

https://fdroid.pattle.im/?fingerprint=E91F63CA6AE04F8E7EA53E52242EAF8779559209B8A342F152F9E7265E3EA729

And install 'Pattle'.

Or download the APK from the link.

If you stumble upon any issues, please report them! You can now login via GitHub and Gitlab.com , so it's really easy to do!

Follow development here: #app:pattle.im!

There is now also a room for the Matrix Dart SDK (which is being developed for Pattle): #sdk:pattle.im

If you would like to support me, you can now do so via Liberapay and Patreon.

PattlePattle

RiotX (Android)

  • Crypto has been merged to develop \o/. We are still working on the feature, for the remaining actions: delete device, export and import keys, keys backup / SAS UI polishing, cleanup keys when signing out, and also fixing bugs…
  • A new screen has been added to create Rooms.
  • Animation of the Floating Action Button on the catchup screen has been improved.
  • Valere has started to work on notifications.
  • François is working on migration to Dagger2 (instead of Koin). It should improve performance and will allow us to implement multi-account support(!)
  • Copyright, Term and conditions, privacy policy and third party license screens are coming soon.
  • Progress indicator on Home for initial/catchup sync is coming soon as well.

Riot Android

  • Fix issue on SAS, to allow cross-signing.

Riot iOS

  • Work continues on edits and reactions - we'll have something for you very soon ...

Riot Web

  • Editing now supports editing unsent messages(!!), editing emotes, and lots of polish
  • Reactions now instantly cancel when you redact them
  • Redactions now instantly redact when you send them
  • Released v1.2.2-rc1 (up for testing at https://riot.im/staging/) - this release includes room breadcrumbs being out of labs, some fixes for inviting by email, fixes uploads in chrome canary / firefox nightly, config file validation, some fixes for the new emoji font and lots of other bug fixes.

Ruma

Jimmy reports that

New versions of the ruma-api and ruma-api-macros libraries were released, and work is underway to bring ruma-events up to date with client-server spec r0.5.0

Media

TravisR has this to say:

Both matrix-media-repo and Dimension have been updated to handle federation certificates. Please update, as you would for Synapse 1.0.0

Fractal

Alexandre Franke has fixed the regression he found last week. The team also did a bit of housekeeping with a few dependency updates.

Misc

Half-Shot reports that:

I wrote a bot to control ansible playbooks https://github.com/Half-Shot/matrix-ansible-bot. I'm informed such a thing already exists as an ansible module, but I failed to realise that and wrote a independent one in TypeScript.

tulir reports that:

I made a simple reminder maubot: https://github.com/maubot/reminder It's available at https://matrix.to/#/@reminder:maunium.net

For room admins wondering if they can upgrade their rooms to v5, I made a bash script that checks all the servers in a room and prints a nice summary of the number of servers and members on each version: https://gist.github.com/tulir/aa2df287a0d192b86e5b675687791d16

Atreatis reports that:

Currently grin is building a backend for matrixservers.net that will collect data and push statistics every hour to our website. Next to that I wanted to push forward that me and several others are looking into building a Code of Conduct that should help every new and existing home server. This code of conduct will be build and curated from scratch in-order to help and support the network or any general project.

Pneumaticat has this to say:-

My homeserver (potatofrom.space) is open for some public registration! Also on Atreatis's matrixservers.net.

They promise 'One nine of uptime guaranteed, or your money back' which sounds pretty like a bargain.

So that's it folks, until next week. Come and say hi at #twim:matrix.org

Introducing Matrix 1.0 and the Matrix.org Foundation

2019-06-11 — General — Matthew Hodgson

Matrix 1.0

Hi all,

We are very excited to announce the first fully stable release of the Matrix protocol and specification across all APIs - as well as the Synapse 1.0 reference implementation which implements the full Matrix 1.0 API surface.

This means that after just over 5 years since the initial work on Matrix began, we are proud to have finally exited beta!! This is the conclusion of the work which we announced at FOSDEM 2019 when we cut the first stable release of the Server-Server API and began the Synapse 0.99 release series in anticipation of releasing a 1.0.

Now, before you get too excited, it’s critical to understand that Matrix 1.0 is all about providing a stable, self-consistent, self-contained and secure version of the standard which anyone should be able to use to independently implement production-grade Matrix clients, servers, bots and bridges etc. It does not mean that all planned or possible features in Matrix are now specified and implemented, but that the most important core of the protocol is a well-defined stable platform for everyone to build on.

On the Synapse side, our focus has been exclusively on ensuring that Synapse correctly implements Matrix 1.0, to provide a stable and secure basis for participating in Matrix without risk of room corruption or other nastinesses. However, we have deliberately not focused on performance or features in the 1.0 release - so I’m afraid that synapse’s RAM footprint will not have got significantly better, and your favourite long-awaited features (automatically defragmenting rooms with lots of forward extremities, configurable message retention, admin management web-interface etc) have not yet landed. In other words, this is the opposite of the Riot 1.0 release (where the entire app was redesigned and radically improved its performance and UX) - instead, we have adopted the mantra to make it work, make it work right, and then (finally) make it fast. You can read the full release notes here. It’s also worth looking at the full changelog through the Synapse 0.99 release series to see the massive amount of polishing that’s been going on here.

All this means that the main headline features which land in Matrix 1.0 are vitally important but relatively dry:

  • Using X.509 certificates to trust servers rather than perspective notaries, to simplify and improve server-side trust. This is a breaking change across Matrix, and we’ve given the community several months now to ensure their homeservers run a valid TLS certificate. See MSC1711 for full details, and the 2 week warning we gave. As of ~9am UTC today, the matrix.org homeserver is running Synapse 1.0 and enforcing valid TLS certificates - the transition has begun (and so far we haven’t spotted any major breakage :). Thank you to everyone who got ready in advance!
  • Using .well-known URIs to discover servers, in case you can’t get a valid TLS certificate for your server’s domain.
  • Switching to room version 4 by default for creating new rooms. This fixes the most important defects that the core room algorithm has historically encountered, particularly:
  • Specifying the ability to upgrade between room versions
  • Full specification of lazy loading room members
  • Short Authentication String (Emoji!) interactive verification of E2EE devices
  • ...and lots and lots and lots of bugfixes and spec omission fixes.

That said, there is a lot of really exciting stuff in flight right now which sadly didn’t stabilise in time for Matrix 1.0, but will be landing as fast as we can finalise it now that 1.0 is at last out the door. This includes:

  • Editable messages! (These are in Synapse 1.0 and Riot already, but still stabilising so not enabled by default)
  • Reactions! (Similarly these are in develop)
  • Threading!! (We’ve planted the seeds for this in the new ‘aggregations’ support which powers edits & reactions - but full thread support is still a bit further out).
  • Cross-signed verification for end-to-end encryption (This is on a branch, but due to land any day now). We’ve also held off merging E2E backups into the Matrix 1.0 spec until cross-signing lands, given it may change the backup behaviour a bit. Once this is done, we can seriously talk about turning on E2E by default everywhere.
  • Live-tracking of room statistics and state in Synapse! (This is in Synapse 1.0 already if you check out the new room_stats and room_state tables, but we need to provide a nice admin interface for it).
  • Support for smaller footprint homeservers by reducing memory usage and stopping them from joining overly complex rooms.

Then stuff which we haven’t yet started, but is now unlocked by the 1.0 release:

  • Fixing extremities build-up (and so massively improving performance)
  • Rewriting Communities. Groups/Communities deliberately didn’t land in Matrix 1.0 as the current implementation has issues we want to fix first. MSC1772 has the details.
  • Rewritten room directory using the new room stats/state tables to be super-speedy.
  • Super-speedy incremental state resolution
  • Removing MXIDs from events (MSC1228)

Just to give a quick taster of the shape of things to come, here’s RiotX/Android, the all-new Riot client for Android, showing off Edits & Reactions in the wild…



...and here’s a screenshot of the final test jig for cross-signing devices in end-to-end encryption, so you will never have to manually verify new devices for a trusted user ever again! We demoed a *very* early version of this at FOSDEM, but this here is the testing harness for real deal, after several iterations of the spec and implementation to nail down the model. + means the device/user's cross-signing key is trusted, T means it's TOFU:


So, there you have it - welcome to Matrix 1.0, and we look forward to our backlog of feature work now landing!

Massive massive thanks to everyone who has stuck with the project over the years and helped support and grow Matrix - little did we think back in May 2014 that it’d take us this long to exit beta, but hopefully you’ll agree that it’s been worth it :)

Talking of which, we were looking through the photos we took from the first ever session hacking on Matrix back in May 2014…

Whiteboard 1

...suffice it to say that of the architectural options, we went with #3 in the end...

Whiteboard 2

...and that nowadays we actually know how power levels work, in excruciating and (hopefully) well-specified detail :)

There has been an absolutely enormous amount of work to pull Matrix 1.0 together - both on the spec side (thanks to the Spec Core Team for corralling proposals, and everyone who's contributed proposals, and particularly to Travis for editing it all) and the implementation side (thanks to the whole Synapse team for the tedious task of cleaning up everything that was needed for 1.0). And of course, huge thanks go to everyone who has been helping test and debug the Synapse 1.0 release candidates, or just supporting the project to get to this point :)

The Matrix.org Foundation

Finally, as promised, alongside Matrix 1.0, we are very happy to announce the official launch of the finalised Matrix.org Foundation!

This has been a long-running project to ensure that Matrix’s future is governed by a neutral non-profit custodian for the benefit of everyone in the Matrix ecosystem. We started the process nearly a year ago back with the initial proposal Towards Open Governance of Matrix.org, and then legally incorporated the Foundation in October, and published the final governance proposal in January.

As of today the Foundation is finalised and operational, and all the assets for Matrix.org have been transferred from New Vector (the startup we formed in 2017 to hire the core Matrix team). In fact you may already have seen Matrix.org Foundation notices popping up all over the Matrix codebase (as all of New Vector’s work on the public Matrix codebase for the forseeable is being assigned to the Matrix.org Foundation).

Most importantly, we’re excited to introduce the Guardians of the Matrix.org Foundation. The Guardians are the legal directors of the non-profit Foundation, and are responsible for ensuring that the Foundation (and by extension the Spec Core Team) keeps on mission and neutrally protects the development of Matrix. Guardians are typically independent of the commercial Matrix ecosystem and may even not be members of today’s Matrix community, but are deeply aligned with the mission of the project. Guardians are selected to be respected and trusted by the wider community to uphold the guiding principles of the Foundation and keep the other Guardians honest.

We have started the Foundation with five Guardians - two being the original founders of the Matrix project (Matthew and Amandine) and three being entirely independent, thus ensuring the original Matrix team forms a minority which can be kept in check by the rest of the Guardians. The new Guardians are:

  • Prof. Jon Crowcroft - Marconi Professor of Communications Systems in the Computer Lab at the University of Cambridge and the Turing Institute. Jon is a pioneer in the field of decentralised communication, and a fellow of the Royal Society, the ACM, the British Computer Society, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

    Jon is a global expert in decentralisation and data privacy, and is excellently placed to help ensure Matrix stays true to its ideals.

  • Ross Schulman - Ross is a senior counsel and senior policy technologist at New America’s Open Technology Institute, where he focuses on internet measurement, emerging technologies, surveillance, and decentralization. Prior to joining OTI, Ross worked for Google.

    Ross brings a unique perspective as a tech- and decentralisation-savvy lawyer to the Foundation, as well as being one of the first non-developers in the Matrix community to run his own homeserver. Ross has been known to walk around Mozfest clutching a battery-powered Synapse in a box, promoting decentralised communication for all.

  • Dr. Jutta Steiner - As co-founder and CEO of Parity Technologies, Jutta is dedicated to building a better internet - Web 3.0 - where users’ privacy & control come first. Parity Technologies is a leader in the blockchain space – known to many as the creator of one of the most popular Ethereum clients, it is also the creator of two ambitious new blockchain technlogies, Polkadot and Substrate, that make it easier to experiment and innovate on scalability, encryption and governance.

    Parity has been pioneering Matrix enterprise use since the moment they decided to rely on Matrix for their internal and external communication back in 2016, and now run their own high-volume deployment, with end-to-end encryption enabled by default. Jutta represents organisations who are professionally dependent on Matrix day-to-day, as well as bringing her unique experiences around decentralisation and ensuring that Web 3.0 will be a fair web for all.

We’d like to offer a very warm welcome to the new Guardians, and thank them profusely for giving up their time to join the Foundation and help ensure Matrix stays on course for the years to come.

For the full update on the Foundation, please check out the new website content at https://matrix.org/foundation which should tell you everything you could possibly want to know about the Foundation, the Guardians, the Foundation’s legal Articles of Association, and the day-to-day Rules which define the Open Governance process.

And finally…

Matrix 1.0 has been a bit of an epic to release, but puts us on a much stronger footing for the future.

However, it’s very unlikely that we’d have made it this far if most of the core dev team wasn’t able to work on Matrix as their day job. Right now we are actively looking for large-scale donations to the Matrix.org Foundation (and/or investment in New Vector) to ensure that the team can maintain as tight a focus on core Matrix work as possible, and to ensure the project realises its full potential. While Matrix is growing faster than ever, this perversely means we have more and more distractions - whether that’s keeping the Matrix.org server safe and operational, or handling support requests from the community, or helping new members of the ecosystem get up and running. If you would like Matrix to succeed, please get in touch if you’d like to sponsor work, prioritise features, get support contracts, or otherwise support the project. We’re particularly interested in sponsorship around decentralised reputation work (e.g. publishing a global room directory which users can filter based on their preferences).

Finally, huge thanks to everyone who has continued to support us through thick and thin on Patreon, Liberapay or other platforms. Every little helps here, both in terms of practically keeping the lights on, and also inspiring larger donations & financial support.

So: thank you once again for flying Matrix. We hope you enjoy 1.0, and we look forward to everything else landing on the horizon!

- Matthew, Amandine & the whole Matrix.org Team.

Synapse 1.0.0 released

2019-06-11 — General — Neil Johnson

Well here it is: Synapse 1.0.

Synapse 1.0 is the reference implementation of the Matrix 1.0 spec. The goal of the release overall has been to focus on security and stability, such that we can officially declare Synapse (and Matrix) out of beta and recommended for production use. This means changing the default room protocol version used for new rooms to be v4, which includes the new state resolution algorithm, as well as collision-resistant event IDs, which are now formatted to be URL safe.

Synapse 1.0 also ships with support for the upcoming v5 room protocol (which enforces honouring server key validity periods), but this will not be used as the default for new rooms until a sufficient number of servers support it.

Please note that Synapse 1.0 does not include significant performance work or new features - our focus has been almost exclusively on providing a reference implementation of the Matrix 1.0 protocol. But having cleared our backlog on security/stability issues we will finally be now unblocked to pursue work around reducing RAM footprint, eliminating forward-extremity build up, and shipping new features like Edits, Reactions & E2E cross-signing support.

As part of the security work, Synapse 1.0 contains a breaking change that requires a valid TLS certificate on the federation API endpoint. Servers that do not configure their certificate will no longer be able to federate post 1.0.

It is also worth noting that Synapse 1.0.0 is the last release that will support Python 2.x and Postgres 9.4. For more information see here but the TL;DR is that you should upgrade asap.

This release has been a long time coming. Many thanks indeed to everyone who helped test the release candidates and provided feedback along the way.

Synapse 1.0 is just one component of a larger Matrix 1.0 release, which you can read all about here.

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, pick it up here. Also, check out our Synapse installation guide page

The changelog since 0.99.5 follows:

Synapse 1.0.0 (2019-06-11)

Bugfixes

  • Fix bug where attempting to send transactions with large number of EDUs can fail. (#5418)

Improved Documentation

  • Expand the federation guide to include relevant content from the MSC1711 FAQ (#5419)

Internal Changes

  • Move password reset links to /_matrix/client/unstable namespace. (#5424)

Synapse 1.0.0rc3 (2019-06-10)

Security: Fix authentication bug introduced in 1.0.0rc1. Please upgrade to rc3 immediately

Synapse 1.0.0rc2 (2019-06-10)

Bugfixes

  • Remove redundant warning about key server response validation. (#5392)
  • Fix bug where old keys stored in the database with a null valid until timestamp caused all verification requests for that key to fail. (#5415)
  • Fix excessive memory using with default federation_verify_certificates: true configuration. (#5417)

Synapse 1.0.0rc1 (2019-06-07)

Features

  • Synapse now more efficiently collates room statistics. (#4338, #5260, #5324)
  • Add experimental support for relations (aka reactions and edits). (#5220)
  • Ability to configure default room version. (#5223, #5249)
  • Allow configuring a range for the account validity startup job. (#5276)
  • CAS login will now hit the r0 API, not the deprecated v1 one. (#5286)
  • Validate federation server TLS certificates by default (implements MSC1711). (#5359)
  • Update /_matrix/client/versions to reference support for r0.5.0. (#5360)
  • Add a script to generate new signing-key files. (#5361)
  • Update upgrade and installation guides ahead of 1.0. (#5371)
  • Replace the perspectives configuration section with trusted_key_servers, and make validating the signatures on responses optional (since TLS will do this job for us). (#5374)
  • Add ability to perform password reset via email without trusting the identity server. (#5377)
  • Set default room version to v4. (#5379)

Bugfixes

  • Fixes client-server API not sending "m.heroes" to lazy-load /sync requests when a rooms name or its canonical alias are empty. Thanks to @dnaf for this work! (#5089)
  • Prevent federation device list updates breaking when processing multiple updates at once. (#5156)
  • Fix worker registration bug caused by ClientReaderSlavedStore being unable to see get_profileinfo. (#5200)
  • Fix race when backfilling in rooms with worker mode. (#5221)
  • Fix appservice timestamp massaging. (#5233)
  • Ensure that server_keys fetched via a notary server are correctly signed. (#5251)
  • Show the correct error when logging out and access token is missing. (#5256)
  • Fix error code when there is an invalid parameter on /_matrix/client/r0/publicRooms (#5257)
  • Fix error when downloading thumbnail with missing width/height parameter. (#5258)
  • Fix schema update for account validity. (#5268)
  • Fix bug where we leaked extremities when we soft failed events, leading to performance degradation. (#5274, #5278, #5291)
  • Fix "db txn 'update_presence' from sentinel context" log messages. (#5275)
  • Fix dropped logcontexts during high outbound traffic. (#5277)
  • Fix a bug where it is not possible to get events in the federation format with the request GET /_matrix/client/r0/rooms/{roomId}/messages. (#5293)
  • Fix performance problems with the rooms stats background update. (#5294)
  • Fix noisy 'no key for server' logs. (#5300)
  • Fix bug where a notary server would sometimes forget old keys. (#5307)
  • Prevent users from setting huge displaynames and avatar URLs. (#5309)
  • Fix handling of failures when processing incoming events where calling /event_auth on remote server fails. (#5317)
  • Ensure that we have an up-to-date copy of the signing key when validating incoming federation requests. (#5321)
  • Fix various problems which made the signing-key notary server time out for some requests. (#5333)
  • Fix bug which would make certain operations (such as room joins) block for 20 minutes while attemoting to fetch verification keys. (#5334)
  • Fix a bug where we could rapidly mark a server as unreachable even though it was only down for a few minutes. (#5335, #5340)
  • Fix a bug where account validity renewal emails could only be sent when email notifs were enabled. (#5341)
  • Fix failure when fetching batches of events during backfill, etc. (#5342)
  • Add a new room version where the timestamps on events are checked against the validity periods on signing keys. (#5348, #5354)
  • Fix room stats and presence background updates to correctly handle missing events. (#5352)
  • Include left members in room summaries' heroes. (#5355)
  • Fix federation_custom_ca_list configuration option. (#5362)
  • Fix missing logcontext warnings on shutdown. (#5369)

Improved Documentation

  • Fix docs on resetting the user directory. (#5282)
  • Fix notes about ACME in the MSC1711 faq. (#5357)

Internal Changes

  • Synapse will now serve the experimental "room complexity" API endpoint. (#5216)
  • The base classes for the v1 and v2_alpha REST APIs have been unified. (#5226, #5328)
  • Simplifications and comments in do_auth. (#5227)
  • Remove urllib3 pin as requests 2.22.0 has been released supporting urllib3 1.25.2. (#5230)
  • Preparatory work for key-validity features. (#5232, #5234, #5235, #5236, #5237, #5244, #5250, #5296, #5299, #5343, #5347, #5356)
  • Specify the type of reCAPTCHA key to use. (#5283)
  • Improve sample config for monthly active user blocking. (#5284)
  • Remove spurious debug from MatrixFederationHttpClient.get_json. (#5287)
  • Improve logging for logcontext leaks. (#5288)
  • Clarify that the admin change password API logs the user out. (#5303)
  • New installs will now use the v54 full schema, rather than the full schema v14 and applying incremental updates to v54. (#5320)
  • Improve docstrings on MatrixFederationClient. (#5332)
  • Clean up FederationClient.get_events for clarity. (#5344)
  • Various improvements to debug logging. (#5353)
  • Don't run CI build checks until sample config check has passed. (#5370)
  • Automatically retry buildkite builds (max twice) when an agent is lost. (#5380)

This Week in Matrix 2019-06-07

2019-06-07 — This Week in Matrix — Ben Parsons

Dept of Spec 📜

We are sooo close to Matrix 1.0. So close! The PR which annouces the arrival of v1.0 exists already.

TravisR said:

Work towards 1.0 is progressing nicely - still on track for a Monday release! View our progress at https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/projects/2?fullscreen=true

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse

Neil, who oversees the creation of Synapse:

Quiet week, not much happening, the only real progress has been shipping a Synapse 1.0 release candidate :) Joking aside we’d really appreciate your help in testing it ahead of the full release next week. Get the RC here https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/releases/tag/v1.0.0rc1

Also friends don’t let friends operate a Synapse install without a valid certificate on the federation API. Post 1.0, servers that are not compliant will be locked out of the federation. While the copy needs updating to reflect 1.0’s imminent release, our handy FAQ (https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/blob/master/docs/MSC1711_certificates_FAQ.md) has all the details.

Construct

Construct, a C++ homeserver has been doing testing this week:

I'd like to give special thanks to Ddanyspin97 (Danilo Spinella) for working on building construct with the musl C library so we can enjoy extremely small VM images, as well as Black Hat for building on Alpine linux also using muslc and Thomas Lewis for starting work on the FreeBSD build.

Ruma

Ruma, a homeserver written in Rust, has a new surge of activity following the Rust language syntax developments last week. This Week in Ruma received it's first edition in ~6 months!

Jimmy, project lead:

the ruma homeserver is now targeting stable rust, which means the entire project is now on stable rust

New project: load balancer for synchrotron workers

Soru:

[I] wrote a proof-of-concept load balancer for synchrotron workers....well, proof-of-concept because it isn't tested much, yet!

It routes users to synchrotrons based on their user ID to maximize performance, as per worker docs and, if a synchrotron catches fire it'll also automatically start shuffling workers around.
The repo can be found here, for support just poke soru wherever she is

Contributions are welcome!

Join the newly created room at #matrix-synchrotron-balancer:sorunome.de to discuss.

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Ruby SDK

Ananace:

Just released version 1.1.0 of the Ruby SDK, which includes a few more and improved CS API endpoints, better room alias handling, lazy loading of join rules and guest access, and the forgotten - oops - handling of room avatars.

And released version 1.1.1 of the Ruby SDK too, fixing another embarassing mistake with not including the S2S API methods correctly, which lost the server version retrieval method (The only currently implemented part of the S2S API)

Dept of Clients 📱

RiotX

Are you in the know about Matrix? If not, prepare to learn about RiotX, a completely re-written Matrix client for Android. This new version has a Kotlin SDK.

Benoit, from the team:

Many things to announce this week on RiotX:

  • Crypto is starting to work! We can now decrypt message and send encrypted messages. The whole feature is not implemented yet, but we will merge the PR at the beginning next week before going further. Thanks François for the great work!
  • On the timeline, message composed by only emoji are now displayed bigger (as in other Riot clients)
  • We can now see details and actions of each message, including state event.
  • We can also see the detailed list of reactions for a particular message, and reaction display rendering has been improved. More details of what has been improved by Valere can be found in this PR description: https://github.com/vector-im/riotX-android/pull/168.
  • Local echo on message edition has been improved
  • The 3 main themes has been implemented (Light, Dark Black). Status theme is still there but has not been tested yet. There are still some little issues which will be fixed in the next coming days.
  • The new Home is on develop, composed by a catchup tab, a direct message tab and a group room tab. The drawer is now used to display the groups hierarchy.
  • A debug signature has been added to the git repository, so the APK built by buildkite can now be installed and replace a previously installed APK.

There is still lots of work to do, but we are quite confident to deliver a first alpha version of RiotX to a larger audience at the end of June.

famedly talk

We've heard about Famedly before, and here they are with an announcement about their new client:

After some months of work our app 'famedly talk' is now able to send and receive messages. We are now concentrating on implementing the most important functions in a stable manner.

famedly talk screenshot

continuum

yuforia:

fix some missing avatars and names of rooms. Normally continuum saves all useful data to disk when syncing, but the previous version missed some of it, the newer version will query the server for the missing pieces

Fractal

This week in Fractal: Alexandre Franke noticed nightly was broken on all three of the computers he was using it on. He bisected and found out when the regression was introduced, but still needs to figure out why it broke and how to fix it.

The symptom is syncing forever on startup and never actually syncing. The commit introducing the borkage is this one.

Riot Web

  • Working on polish for reactions and edits
  • Improving configuration of the default homeserver
  • Added Albanian and West Flemish languages thanks to translation contributors

Riot iOS

  • Working on reaction local echo.
  • Working on message edition.
  • Restrict reactions to room messages.

Riot Android

Nothing special this week.

DID YOU SEE THE RIOTX UPDATE ABOVE?

Dept of Bridges 🌉

matrix-appservice-irc 0.12.0 released

Half-Shot:

matrix-appservice-irc got a release 0.12.0. This is a smaller release, as it's based upon 0.12.0-rc2 which was released back in March (when exams hit). In the meantime, working towards a speedy 0.13.0 release :)

Changelog for 0.12.0:

The bridge now supports upgrading rooms, and will follow room upgrades to the new room.
Added support for the RoomLinkValidator, which allows admins to manually configure rules about plumbing rooms.
A dockerfile is now included.
Add support for "feature flags", allowing users to dynamically enable/disable bridge features for their account.
Add command "!bridgeversion"

High-level plan for 0.13.0:

Fix the most serious P1 bugs like not dropping messages, handling PARTs better, dropping support for older versions of node, and generally better UX.

Dept of Services 🚀

matrixservers.net

Atreatis provided an update to matrixservers.net:

I've open sourced the website of https://matrixservers.net and I am open to contributions towards the website through the github repository: https://github.com/Atreatis/matrixservers
Currently I have refactored matrixservers.net from Hugo to Jekyll which was totally worth it at all times

Join #matrixservers:novaim.com for more.

www.matrix-wiki.org

sanlox:

I launched https://www.matrix-wiki.org as a place to collect information, lists, guides and manuals related to matrix. I hope as a community we can work together on this to create a central knowledge base for the matrix protocol.

Final thoughts 💭

I spent so much of my week migrating matrix.org to a great new design (from Nad), and am really happy with the result. I'm also really happy with Gatsby, the SSG we've chosen. All these things have flaws but overall it works well.

That's all I know 🏁

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

This Week in Matrix 2019-05-31

2019-05-31 — This Week in Matrix — Ben Parsons

Matrix Live - Half-Shot and Sorunome discuss the Discord-Matrix Bridge 🎙

Dept of Spec 📜

TravisR:

Alongside Synapse’s 1.0 release, the Matrix Specification is also getting a 1.0 on June 10th. In practice this means a fresh release of the Client-Server, Server-Server, Application Service, and Identity Service specifications. The Push Specification is just so simple it hasn’t needed an update yet.

Work has been happening to get all the specs in shape for 1.0 - follow along at https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-doc/projects/2?fullscreen=true

Dept of Servers 🏢

Synapse

Main news in synapse-land this week is that we released Synapse v0.99.5.2, which fixes a big performance regression which was introduced v0.99.5. Folks who are currently on v0.99.5/v0.99.5.1 are advised to upgrade asap.

Otherwise, work has been continuing apace towards a v1.0 release on 10th June.

Construct

Construct is a homeserver implementation in C++:

  • Construct has added support for Server Access Control Lists (m.room.server_acl). The exact behavior of the implementation is configurable by the server administrator, and is even more comprehensive than Synapse. In Construct, ACLs can be configured to cover incoming EDUs, outgoing events, and indirectly fetched events.
  • The GraphicsMagick library has been utilized to implement the media thumbnailing feature called for by the specification. This is an optional dependency written in C and offers a rich API which as been extremely fun to work with. In the future, expect your Construct to be capable of things like annotating images with the Server Command Line which can be used to generate memes in your chatroom or write custom text on top of stickers!
  • On the backend we have devoted significant effort to getting the most out of dynamic-linking to simplify the architecture of a large and modular free-software project. This effort makes adding features and contributions to Construct extremely straightforward. I will enumerate the basics for those familiar with developing C software: We are now loading all modules at runtime with the flags RTLD_GLOBAL|RTLD_DEEPBIND|RTLD_LAZY and we build with the flag --weak-unresolved-symbols; during execution we hook the error handling in ld.so to throw our own C++ exception directly from the PLT slot of a missing symbol. In summary this allows features to be added to Construct by simply creating an interface in a header and definitions in a loadable module, while still enjoying optional loading and unloading of the module at runtime. This is a significant feat that remains unrealized in most existing projects around the free software ecosystem!

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

Dept of Clients 📱

nheko 0.6.4 and 0.7.0 roadmap

red_sky updated us on nheko:

Just wanted to pop in and mention that 0.6.4 is out this week. It comes with a decent number of bug fixes.

And then:

Nheko 0.7.0 roadmap is out: https://github.com/Nheko-Reborn/nheko/milestone/2
Also, Nheko-Reborn has a new team member, with MonokelPinguin joining the team : https://github.com/MonokelPinguin. (goes by Nico in the #nheko-reborn room)

el0 pointed out that nheko is available on flathub: https://flathub.org/apps/details/io.github.NhekoReborn.Nheko

continuum, JavaFX client

yuforia:

continuum modified the JSON parser to save a copy of the source. Now fields that are not standard or not yet supported are displayed when you right-click to view the source. For example, "age" and "transaction_id" are not used by the app, but are available when viewing the raw JSON

continuum screenshot

Neo

f0x has been working on Neo:

Neo can now finally fetch old backlog, with a fancy css loading animation

The Neo room has moved to #neo:pixie.town, and the site+deployment are being moved to https://neo.pixie.town

Fractal 🦶

Alexandre Franke:

Fractal got initial support for being kicked, implemented by first time contributor Isaac Curtis.

We also joined the new call at https://stopthemingmy.app

Riot Web

Continued work on edits and reactions. Also ongoing work on sdk-level support for cross-signing. Released Riot 1.2.0 (and 1.2.1).

Dept of Bridges 🌉

mautrix-telegram, mautrix-facebook, mautrix-hangouts, mautrix-whatsapp

Can you believe it, tulir had a busy week working on his various bridges:

mautrix-telegram now has native Matrix edit support in both directions and basic Prometheus metrics. I'll probably start making 0.6.0 RCs after improving the metrics a bit.

mautrix-facebook and mautrix-hangouts got some bugfixes and options to configure the displaynames of the ghost users on Matrix (like adding (FB) or (Hangouts) suffixes).

mautrix-whatsapp's Matrix puppeting was finished (meaning typing notifs, read receipts and presence updates can now be bridged to WhatsApp) and unexpected disconnection handling was fixed (automatic reconnections should now usually work again). Backfilling needed some hacks to work with Matrix puppeting. The problem is that the real Matrix users have rate limits and can't send timestamp-massaged messages. I decided to just invite the default ghost user to the room while backfilling and make it leave afterwards so that private chat room names and such would stay intact. Some clients like Riot Android/iOS sometimes do weird things, such as moving the room out of "People", but that shouldn't be too bad.

Dept of Ops 🛠

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy makes Synapse optional

Slavi:

matrix-docker-ansible-deploy has seen some work in becoming more flexible.

Synapse is not a requirement anymore. People can now use the playbook to install any of the other services, wiring them to a Synapse instance installed in another way. This is mostly useful for installing bridges or other auxiliary services without going "all in" on the playbook. Not having Synapse as a fixed requirement also opens the door for installing alternative homeservers, when such become available in the future.

On a similar note, to ease maintanability, all bridges have been moved to separate Ansible roles (outside of the matrix-synapse role). There have been lots of improvements related to bridge configuration with even more likely to come soon.

0.99.5.2 kubernetes-optimized images

Ananace had 0.99.5.2 kubernetes-optimized images ready to go very quickly.

Dept of Services 🚀

Matrix User Documentation launches 🎉

Aaron (formerly known as Aaron Raimist) has been a major help to the Matrix project, and has recently launched something new:

I have started another Matrix documentation project, Matrix User Documentation. I know, there are several however none of them aim to actually be a handbook for using Riot or any other clients. I would like for this to become a place where you can find "The (unofficial) Riot Handbook" or "The (unofficial) Quaternion Handbook" as well as a place where you can find answers to more of your FAQs.

It's still very early, only a few answers are written so far and none of the handbooks have been started but I would welcome any community assistance. You can view what I have so far at: http://mud.raim.ist/en/latest/

You can contribute some documentation at: https://github.com/aaronraimist/matrix-user-documentation and join our room: #matrix-user-documentation:raim.ist

matrixservers.net

We welcomed Atreatis to Matrix recently. They are creating a new directory service:

Someone mentioned earlier that there is a need for a list of public servers on Github so people can find and add their public matrix servers. Which combines well with what I am building at the moment. Hopefully you guys don't mind helping me out on creating the list and spreading the word. The repository can be found here: https://github.com/Atreatis/matrix-servers

Final thoughts 💭

Matrix Shell Suite is a promising looking project which could deserve more attention.

Thank You to PyConWeb and especially to Hardy for letting richvdh and myself host TWO Matrix sessions at your event last weekend - was a great time and I hope everyone enjoyed the presentations and workshops.

That's all I know 🏁

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

Synapse 0.99.5.2 released

2019-05-30 — General — Neil Johnson

0.99.5.2 contains a critical performance fix following a regression that was introduced in 0.99.5. Affected servers will have experienced increased CPU and RAM usage with a knock on effect of generally sluggish performance.

Separately, we are also looking into reports relating to further performance degradations that may have been introduced as part of 0.99.5, though consider the 0.99.5.2 fix to be a significant improvement on previous 0.99.5.x releases.

Please upgrade asap.

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, pick it up here. Also, check out our Synapse installation guide page.

Synapse v0.99.5.2 Changelog

Bugfixes

  • Fix bug where we leaked extremities when we soft failed events, leading to performance degradation. (#5274, #5278, #5291)
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