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RBTools 0.6 Release Notes

Release date: April 7, 2014

Compatibility Notes

RBTools now requires Python 2.5 at a minimum.

We advise everyone to upgrade to Python 2.7. We will be deprecating Python releases over the next few major RBTools releases.

New Features

Easier Posting of Revisions

We have completely redone how you specify revisions when posting using rbt post or diffing using rbt diff.

Previously, posting individual commits (on systems like Git or Mercurial) required the use of --revision-range and --parent, often leading to verbose command line arguments. This has all changed in 0.6.

Now, to specify a revision or a range of revisions, just pass the native revision or revision range syntax for your type of repository on the command line. You don’t need to use --revision-range or --parent anymore.

For example, when using Git:

$ rbt post HEAD
$ rbt post 1c83ba9
$ rbt post main-dev..feature-branch

Or Subversion:

$ rbt post 123:126

Specifying a single revision will upload that commit’s changes to Review Board, generating a parent diff if necessary. It’s all behind the scenes now. Likewise, specifying a revision range will take care of generating any parent diffs that may be needed. --parent is still available, though, and works as it did before.

Extra arguments passed used to be interpreted as files to include in the diff, instead of revisions. This behavior has been replaced with the new -I arguments described in the section below.

Filtering of Files When Posting

rbt post and rbt diff now support -I (or --include) arguments to specify exactly which files should be included when posting or diffing the change.

This argument can be specified multiple times. For example:

$ rbt post -I README -I setup.py

Automatic Guessing of Fields

It’s no longer necessary to pass -g (or --guess-fields) to rbt post in order to automatically fill in the Summary and Description fields. This is now done automatically for brand new review requests.

By default, new review requests will have the Summary and Description fields filled in, and updating an existing review request will leave your existing fields as-is. You can force the fields to be updated by passing -g on the command line. You can also disable guessing entirely for a post by using --guess-fields=no.

Furthermore, you can set the default behavior to never guess, always guess, or guess only for new review requests through the GUESS_FIELDS setting in .reviewboardrc.

See the documentation on guessing for more information.

Better Guessed Fields

We made a couple changes to improve the guessing of fields.

  • The order of commit descriptions has been reversed. (Bug #3163)

    When we will be using a range of commits, the first (oldest) commit in the range is now used for the summary and the top part of the description. This helps when updating a branch of commits that are just fixing up things in the first commit.

  • The summary is no longer included in the Description field.

    We no longer duplicate this text, reducing what users have to read.

Improved Mercurial Support

Our support for Mercurial has greatly improved in this release, thanks to the efforts of Gregory Szorc.

  • Added support for --parent and --tracking-branch. (Bug #3067)
  • It’s now faster to post changes against a Mercurial repository, particularly in large repositories.
  • Fixed several issues with guessing the summary and description from commits.

Perforce Shelved Changes Support

Users can now post changes from a Perforce shelf without first having to unshelve those changes. Likewise, you can diff changes using rbt diff.

Bug #2044

Commit ID Fields

Review Board 2.0 has a new field for showing the ID of the commit that has been posted.

Now, when posting against a Git or Mercurial repository, this field will reflect the ID of the commit that was posted.

Posting with Markdown Content

Review Board 2.0 supports Markdown-formatted review request descriptions. By default, any commit descriptions posted will be automatically escaped, so that they won’t be unintentionally interpreted as Markdown.

If you happen to write your commit messages using Markdown, you can pass --markdown (or set MARKDOWN = True in .reviewboardrc) to prevent the text from being escaped.

Repository Hook Scripts

RBTools now bundles a couple of hook scripts for Git for improving workflows and interaction between Git repositories and Review Board.

The git-hook-set-submitted hook is a pre-receive hook that will automatically close review requests when commits that reference them are pushed.

The git-hook-check-approval hook can block pushing code if the commit is not reviewed or doesn’t yet have approval. This works with the new “approval” feature in Review Board 2.0 to allow companies to decide under what conditions a change is allowed to go in.

Hooks for Mercurial and other types of repositories will be coming in future releases. Much of the functionality is now part of the RBTools Python API (in rbtools.hooks), and can be used to more easily implement custom hooks.

Patch by Anselina Chia.

New Configuration Changes

  • Removed the dual-meaning of the --repository-url and REPOSITORY settings.

    Previously, these two settings could be used both for looking up repository names against Review Board, and for specifying the remote repository URL to perform operations against (such as in the case of Subversion).

    Now, there’s two sets of options: --repository-url/REPOSITORY_URL (for specifying the URL to communicate with for operations), and --repository/REPOSITORY (for specifying the repository on Review Board to match against).

    If you were using one of these flags in a script, you may need to update your script.

  • Added a BASEDIR setting to configure the default base directory for Subversion.

    Patch by Dieter Tschanz.

  • Added a GIT_USE_EXT_DIFF setting to allow external diff commands to be used with Git. (Bug #1524)

  • Added a PUBLISH setting to control whether -p is implied. (Bug #3271)

Other Changes

  • Organized the help output, to make it easier to see what various options are used for.

  • Improved the usefulness and readability of log output when using --debug.

  • rbt post now shows the URL to the posted diff. (Bug #2929)

    Patch by Iines Piesala.

Removed Features

  • Removed post-review.

    post-review has been deprecated for a while, and now, it’s finally gone. Everybody should be using rbt post to post new changes to Review Board now. This is better designed, maintained, and has a number of usability improvements over post-review.

  • Removed --revision-range in favor of the new revision syntax.

Performance Improvements

  • Fewer API calls are needed when posting against Review Board 2.0 servers, speeding up most commands.

  • Sped up posting changes against large Mercurial repositories.

    Patch by Gregory Szorc.

  • Optimized guessing of summary and description on Mercurial repositories.

    Patch by Gregory Szorc.

  • Optimized checking vob UUIDs on ClearCase repositories. (Bug #3177)

    Patch by Nicolas Dély.

Bug Fixes


  • The commands no longer silently ignore failures for repository types if the command line tools aren’t installed. Instead, it logs debug information. (Bug #3187)
  • Fixed locale issues when running external commands. (Bug #3253)

rbt close

  • Fixed a typo when attempting to close an already closed review request.

    Patch by Anselina Chia.

  • rbt close no longer requires a working directory with a .reviewboardrc file if passing --server on the command line. (Bug #3249)

    Patch by Thom Gerdes.

rbt post

  • Using -u wasn’t working if the repository was being matched based on a configured Mirror Path.

    Patch by Bradley Baetz.


  • Fixed the wrong text appearing in the Description field when guessing commit descriptions. (Bug #2959)


  • Private files are no longer included when posting changes. (Bug #3178)

    Patch by Nicolas Dély.

  • Fixed issues in multi-site mode. (Bug #3183)

    Patch by Nicolas Dély.


  • Fixed issues when core.bare wasn’t set, or was set to 1. (Bug #3213)

    Patch by Nicolas Dély.

  • Fixed issues with parent diffs with git-svn and git-perforce. (Bug #3273)

  • Error messages during diff generation are no longer included in the diff.

    Patch by Chris Eagan.


  • Fixed issues with guessing the description from commits. Patch by Gregory Szorc.


  • git-p4 support now respects the P4PORT environment variable.
  • Fixed conflicts in Perforce settings when using a .p4config file and passing --p4-port or other Perforce-specific options. (Bug #2712)
  • Perforce file path names are now normalized in order to work better on Windows. (Bug #3221)


  • rbt post no longer incorrectly detects copied files when posting changelists containing only modified files. (Bug #3248)

    Patch by Vlad Romascanu.

  • Fixed posting filenames containing @2x in the name (for Retina images). (Bug #2702)

  • Fixed issues with directories brought in using svn:externals. (Bug #2545)

  • Fixed issues with posting fully replaced files, where a file is removed and a new file with the same name is added.

    Patch by Alexey Neyman.


  • Alexey Neyman
  • Anselina Chia
  • Bradley Baetz
  • Chris Eagan
  • Christian Hammond
  • David Trowbridge
  • Dieter Tschanz
  • Gregory Szorc
  • Iines Piesala
  • Nicolas Dély
  • Thom Gerdes
  • Vlad Romascanu