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This Week in Matrix 2022-12-23

Matrix Live

Matrix Live will be back in the new year.

Dept of Spec 📜

uhoreg says

Spec

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

MSC Status

Merged MSCs:

MSCs in Final Comment Period:

New MSCs:

  • There were no new MSCs this week.

Closed MSCs:

Spec Core Team

Some of the spec core team have been on holidays this week, but we still finished FCP on one MSC, and merged another to the spec. As mentioned in last week’s update, progress will be slower over the holiday season, but we’ll be back in the new year, working to make Matrix better.

Random MSC of the Week

The random MSC of the week is… MSC2783: Homeserver Migration Data Format! If you’re running a homeserver using one implementation, it’s currently impossible to switch to a different implementation without losing data. This MSC proposes a file format for exporting data from one implementation and importing it into another.

Dept of Servers 🏢

Conduit (website)

Conduit is a simple, fast and reliable chat server powered by Matrix

Timo on Conduit ⚡️ says

Conduit

If all you wanted for Christmas is a new Conduit release, then I have great news for you:

Conduit v0.5.0 just released and it contains almost everything you wanted:

  • Feature: Restricted room joining !398
  • Feature: Call sd-notify after init and before exit !426
  • Improvement: V9 as default room version !400
  • Improvement: More efficient E2EE key claiming !389
  • Fix: All E2EE problems !393
  • Fix: Infinite room loading !388
  • Fix: Wrong notification rules !405
  • Fix: Wrong notification counts !408
  • Fix: Can’t rejoin rooms !399
  • Fix: Fluffychat login works again !391
  • Fix: Starting DMs with Synapse users !390
  • Fix: is_guest for appservices !401
  • Fix: Invites from Dendrite !416
  • Fix: Send unrecognized error for unknown endpoints !397
  • Refactor: Service layer !365

Conduit is getting a lot more usable with this release, the main missing feature is backfill over federation (loading room messages from before your server joined a room).
To update conduit, simply stop it, replace the binary and start it again.
Also feel free to join #conduit:fachschaften.org and ask questions there

Dept of Clients 📱

Nheko (website)

Desktop client for Matrix using Qt and C++17.

Nico announces

Nheko

This week we sped up search in rooms with a lot of history. We now also don’t block the UI during the search of local messages anymore.

Neochat (website)

A client for matrix, the decentralized communication protocol

Tobias Fella reports

Ho ho ho Matrix fans!

It’s that time of year again, and we have a special gift for all of you just in time for the holidays: Neochat now supports end-to-end encryption! This is made possible thanks to the release of libQuotient 0.7.

While this feature is still somewhat experimental, it’s a big step forward in ensuring the privacy and security of your conversations. Just keep in mind that if your only logged-in client is Neochat and something goes wrong, you might lose your messages.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try out the new end-to-end encryption feature, you can already get it from Flathub and some distros. We’re also working on supporting it in our Windows, Android, and macOS builds, so stay tuned for updates.

And in the spirit of the season, here’s a Christmas joke: Why was the JavaScript developer’s house cold? Because he left his closure open!

Merry Christmas and happy chatting, everyone!

Element Web/Desktop (website)

Secure and independent communication, connected via Matrix. Come talk with us in #element-web:matrix.org!

Danielle reports

Element Web/Desktop

Happy Holidays from us at Element! This is our last update for 2022, and it’s a good ‘un.

  • We’re still working on Notifications, reviewing how they work across platforms for new users, and planning the improvements we’re looking to make in the new year. While we look at this user experience holistically, we’re making some subtle changes to the product including removing the bold dot and ordering rooms by activity by default for new users.
  • We’re also continuing to improve the password reset flow so that user’s who can’t remember their passwords have a smoother experience regaining access to their account.
  • And, thanks to a contribution we now have the ability to multi-select members when changing users’ permissions in a room! Head to Room Settings > Roles & Permissions.

In labs (you can enable labs features in settings on develop.element.io or on Nightly):

  • Rich text editor improvements are still coming so be sure to check them out, including updates to emoji handling and inline code formatting.
  • Threads! Threads notifications and performance improvements are landing thick and fast. We’re nearly ready to enable the feature by default and we’ll be excited to do that in the new year.
    • Be sure to check that you’re still in the threads beta for this release as in fixing some bugs your setting may have been changed.

Element iOS (website)

Secure and independent communication for iOS, connected via Matrix. Come talk with us in #element-ios:matrix.org!

Danielle says

Element iOS

For our last iOS update of 2022…

  • Element 1.9.14 has been released to the App Store. It enables threads by default for all users and adds a notifications badge to your spaces button.

    • As always, there’s some bug squashing in this release too.
  • ElementX has also seen a lot of improvements this week:

    • We now have support for timeline day separators and read markers
    • There’s an improved and simpler UI for playing videos
    • Connectivity indicators have been added, to show up when the network is offline
    • Along with many others…

In labs:

  • Voice broadcast and the rich text editor are seeing some improvements, be sure to test them out and keep us posted on your feedback.

Element Android (website)

Secure and independent communication for Android, connected via Matrix. Come talk with us in #element-android:matrix.org!

Danielle announces

Element Android

Happy Holidays! Here’s what’s happened this week:

  • There’s been some bugs and crashes keeping us hard at work this week. Along with some exciting improvements to both Element and Element X. On Element:
    • There are updates to voice broadcast features and users can sign out of other sessions.
    • The colours for pills have been updated and work better in both light and dark mode.
    • Threads improvements have been made and we’re looking forward to enabling this feature by default for all users in the new year.
  • On ElementX we’re moving ahead fast and this week focused our efforts on the Settings pages and the bug reporting functionality (including rageshake detection and screenshot management)

Dept of SDKs and Frameworks 🧰

libQuotient (website)

A Qt5 library to write cross-platform clients for Matrix

kitsune reports

libQuotient 0.7

It took us (yes, us – there’s more than one person actively working on the project!) a very long time but libQuotient 0.7.0 is out, with a huge wall of release notes. Big, big, BIG thanks to Carl Schwan and Tobias Fella for their contributions and early adoption of this release in NeoChat (NeoChat maintained compatibility with libQuotient’s development branch, along with the stable branch, for quite some time by now). A short summary of most significant things:

  • Requirements: C++20, Qt 5.15 or 6.x
  • E2EE code is now in beta quality, features:
    • sending/receiving new messages
    • getting historical messages where Megolm keys are already loaded
    • encrypting/decrypting attachments
    • device verification (to-device flow only, no in-room verification yet)
  • Individual APIs for m.fully_read and m.read markers
  • Client-Server API backend uses Matrix 1.5 API definitions
  • A complete rewrite of the event types framework to make it truly extensible; you can now add both base classes and specific event types on the client side without touching the library code (the library still provides standard ones)
  • Account registry for multi-account usage; account access tokens and pickling keys are stored with Qt Keychain
  • Sticker events support
  • Pinned messages support
  • First-class support in Network Access Manager for mxc: URLs, to enable showing inline images in messages
  • A lot of code tightening, bug fixing, performance improvements

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to those who observe those – and hopefully I’ll get to my senses and release 0.8 sooner than in another year 🙂

Dept of Bots 🤖

MTRNord reports

Matrix Spam ML

As part of the efforts for working on detecting spam using ML I started to write a moderation bot.

This bot is written from scratch with some design decisions that hopefully will improve usability for both newcomers and seasoned admins.

These decisions are:

  • If an action can be done using a reaction, then it will be done using a reaction.
  • There is a private admin room and a public room for warnings, where admins issue actions. This is meant to serve as a human-readable ban list if admins want to provide this to their users.
  • The bot will at a later point be able to issue reports to server admins via email and matrix easily by allowing admins to just react after doing a ban. The bot will initially ask how to contact a server if it didn’t issue a report to the server before. The bot will remember the setting supplied last time for a server and allows updating the settings if they change. These reports will contain a warning that it was issued from the bot and that replies are necessary for it to be properly relayed back to the admins for further questions. These replies will end up as threads in the admin room. Also, as part of the report, the event JSON for the report will be sent with the report to allow server admins to review the case themselves. (This is still WIP)

The warnings also contain a “false positive” action. This is meant to be used to feed back into the used model for further training and improving it.

All in all, I hope to simplify the process of moderation based on what I experienced as an admin. Feel free to chime in at #matrix-spam-ml:midnightthoughts.space to suggest ideas for the bot. At the time of writing, it is still very much a prototype/demo.

The code can be found at https://github.com/MTRNord/matrix-spam-ml/tree/main/bot

Documentation can be found at: https://mtrnord.github.io/matrix-spam-ml/bot

Dept of Ping

Dept of Ping will be back next week.

That’s all I know

There will be no TWIM next week, but we’ll be back in the new year. Be sure to stop by #twim:matrix.org with your updates!

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