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Review Board 2.5 Release Notes

Release date: October 28, 2015

This release contains all bug fixes and features found in Review Board version 2.0.20.

Upgrade Notes

This release contains database schema changes to the following tables:

  • attachments_fileattachment

  • diffviewer_filediffdata

  • diffviewer_filediff

  • reviews_group

  • reviews_reviewrequest

This will take some time to migrate the database, particularly on large installs. Please test the upgrade on a copy of your database first, to ensure the upgrade is smooth and to time how long the upgrade takes.

Do not cancel the upgrade on a production system for any reason or you may end up corrupting your database.

Compatibility Changes

  • Upgraded to jQuery 1.11

    This release of jQuery offers performance and feature improvements that we rely on in the UI. If you’re an extension author, you may need to check that your extension continues to work properly.

New User Features

Design Update

Review Board’s visual design was starting to get a little long in the tooth.

These features have significant updates:

  • The dashboard

  • Review requests and reviews

  • The diff viewer

  • The New Review Request page

  • User pages

In addition to the large, obvious redesigns, several smaller pieces of UI have been polished up:

  • The highlighted chunk in the diff viewer now uses a highlight on either side of the view which doesn’t cover up any content or cause the page to “jump”.

  • The comment dialog has been updated to soften the look a bit, increase the default size (so you have more room to write your comments), and prevent visual jumpiness.

  • The old animated GIF spinners throughout the UI have been replaced with a modern icon-font based spinner that looks great on all screens.

  • The issue summary table on review requests has some visual polish and offers a better way to filter statuses.


Mobile UI

  • Most of Review Board’s UI has been updated to work better on small screens (such as those found on phones and tablets).

    The main navigation in Review Board is now accessible via a side menu, activated by tapping the hamburger icon. Through the mobile UI, you can read through your dashboard and participate in discussions on existing reviews while out and about.

    The diff viewer, review dialog, and attachment review experiences are not yet mobile-friendly. We’ll be unveiling updates in the future that will make it easy to review code and attachments from your phone or tablet.

    Based on work by Jason Tseng.

Review Requests

E-mail Changes

  • Sending e-mail is now optional when publishing review requests.

    Users now have the option of preventing e-mail updates from being sent when publishing a review request. This can be used to avoid spamming your teammates when all you did was fix a typo or make another small change.

    Based on work by Jessica Qian.

  • Added new headers for filtering review request e-mails.

    E-mails for reviews containing a Ship It! will include a X-ReviewBoard-ShipIt header. If the review doesn’t contain any other content (for instance, if it’s the result of the pressing the Ship It! button), it will also contain a X-ReviewBoard-ShipIt-Only header.

  • The “Fix it, then Ship It!” state is now shown in e-mail notifications. (Bug #3904)

    Patch by Sherman Cheung.

Archive and Mute Review Requests

Archive and Mute allow you to clean up your dashboard to show only the things that require your immediate attention. Like many e-mail clients, “archiving” a review request will hide it until there’s new activity, and “muting” a review request will hide it permanently.

Based on work by Chris Arnold.

Expandable Diff Fragments in Reviews

Fragments of diffs shown in reviews can now be expanded and collapsed, just like in the diff viewer. When hovering over the fragment, controls will be shown for expanding by 20 lines, expanding all lines, or expanding to the nearest function/class header.

Bug #2041


Improvements to the Review Dialog

  • Fields are now instant-apply.

    The review dialog’s fields are now instant-apply, meaning that you no longer need to save the draft after making changes. Instead, every field will save individually, just like fields on a review request.

    This helps to prevent data loss if the browser were to crash or the page were to close after making edits to the review, so long as any modified fields were saved after editing.

    The dialog no longer has individual Save and Cancel buttons. They have been replaced with a Close button.

  • Added Markdown previews for text.

    The text fields behave much like those for review replies. They now show the rendered Markdown content, rather than the source text, by default. Clicking the field or its pencil icon will allow the field to be edited.

    This gives a much more accurate idea of how the review will look when published.

Deeper Bug Tracker Support

This release adds the foundation for deeper bug tracker support. Currently, this supports JIRA, GitHub, and modern versions of Bugzilla.

When a repository is configured to use a supported bug tracker, hovering over a bug number will show an info box containing the bug’s summary, status, and description.

In upcoming releases, we’ll be adding support for additional bug trackers, such as Splat, our new friendly bug tracker service currently in development.

Based on work by Tomi Äijö.

Bug #193

Easier Diff Updating

Updating a review request with a new diff through the Review Board UI has become a lot easier. The Update Diff dialog has been redesigned to mirror the abilities of the New Review Request page.

To upload a new diff, you can either drag-and-drop it onto the dialog, or browse your file system. The diff will be automatically checked, showing any errors or requesting additional information (such as a parent diff or Subversion base path) if needed.

Markdown Improvements

  • The Markdown editor now provides syntax highlighting support for:

    • CoffeeScript

    • CSS

    • Go

    • HTML

    • JavaScript

    • Perl

    • PHP

    • Python

    • ReStructuredText

    • Ruby

    • Shell scripts

    • SQL

    • XML

    • YAML

    This can be used by specifying the language when using fenced code blocks. For example:

    class Foo(object):

Post-commit review request support for Bitbucket

The New Review Request page now shows all branches and commits for repositories hosted on Bitbucket. Clicking a commit will post it for review, making it easy to review changes made prior to using Review Board or to review changes sitting on another branch.

Diff Viewer

  • Smarter detection of file types for syntax highlighting. (Bug #337)

    The diff viewer now displays more accurate syntax highlighting for files, based on the contents of the files, rather than simply making a determination based off the file extension. This means smarter highlighting for specialized XML files, HTML templates, Objective C++, and more.

  • Allow double-click to create a comment.

    Double-clicking anywhere on a line in the diff viewer will now create a comment on that line. You can still click-and-drag the line numbers to select multiple lines, but for a quick one-line comment, a double-click may be faster. It’s also more familiar to those coming from services like GitHub or Bugzilla Splinter.

    Patch by Mike Conley.

  • Comment bubble tooltips now show rendered Markdown.

    The comment bubbles on the line numbers have always had a tooltip to preview the comment text. These tooltips now contain the rendered Markdown text rather than raw Markdown, showing how your comment will look when published.

    Patch by Wu Di.

File Attachments

“Live HD” Thumbnails

In an era of high-resolution screens, the old postage-stamp size file attachment thumbnails with lots of knobs and buttons looked pretty outdated.

File attachment thumbnails are now shown as large, clean images. These thumbnails will show some UI options when hovering the mouse over them, and will also scroll to reveal more of the image.


Revisioned File Attachments

File attachments on a review request can now be replaced without having to delete the old attachment before uploading the new one. Simply hover over an attachment thumbnail and click Update to replace the attachment. The new attachment will take the place of the old one.

Reviewers can view every revision of an attachment, and can diff between these attachments.

Deleting a file attachment removes all revisions from that review request.

Based on patches by Ryan Done and Vlodymyr Lyubinets.

Bug #800

Diffs for Image Attachments

As mentioned, you can now diff between file attachments. This includes images! You can compare any two revisions of an image and leave comments on the comparison.

There are four comparison modes available:

  • Difference: Color differences between the two images will be shown. Every pixel that’s the same between the images will be shown in black. Added pixels are shown in their original color. Differences in pixel values are also shown.

  • Onion skinning: By using a transparency slider, you can see subtle changes made between the images. The slider will change the transparency of the modified image. This helps to see if any pixels move, disappear, or otherwise change.

  • Split: The images will overlap, and a horizontal slider will control how much of each image you’re seeing, allowing you to compare the images incrementally.

  • Two-Up: The images will be displayed side-by-side, unaltered. You will only be able to select regions to comment on the modified file, but that same area for both will be shown in the review.


Diffs for Text Attachments

Text-based file attachments with multiple revisions can be compared as a diff. This includes showing diffs of Markdown file attachments (for both the source and rendered output).

Working with text-based diffs is very similar to using the diff viewer. You can leave comments across multiple lines, see indentation-only changes or moved blocks of lines, and more.

Movable/Resizable Image Comments

You can already leave a comment on a region of an image, or a PDF file (if using Power Pack). Now, you can move or resize that comment before you publish it. This makes it much easier if you want to edit a comment to cover a different area of the image.

Patch by Stanley Yeo.

Miscellaneous User Features

  • See all reviews by a user at a glance.

    The user page now has a tab for showing all reviews of a change that were posted by the user.

    Patch by Tami Forrester.

  • Smarter pagination for lists of users. (Bug #829)

    The “Users” page, which displays a list of all users on the server, now has a smarter alphabetical paginator. This makes it much easier to jump to users whose usernames start with a specific letter, number, or symbol.

    Patch by Ryan Done.

  • Improved support for trophies.

    There’s now a permanent record of all trophies received by each person. It’s also possible for extensions to create new types of trophies. We’re planning to add support for viewing all of your trophies in a future release.

  • The display name for a group is now shown on the group page. (Bug #3945)

    Patch by Kristina Vandergulik.

New Administration Features


Review Board now has support for configuring webhooks.

Review Board can be set to post review request information to specified URLs when publishing review requests, closing them, or reopening them.

It also supports sending review API payloads for publishing a review or a reply to a review. The payload will include all comments filed on the review.

The payloads can be sent in JSON, XML, or HTTP form data formats. They can also be completely replaced by a custom template, powered by a subset of Django’s templating language. This can make use of the original payload’s contents as variables, allowing any custom payload format to be sent.

The HTTP requests will contain a X-ReviewBoard-Event header that lists the event name, and a standard X-Hub-Signature header which contains a HMAC signaure of the payload. If the webhook is configured with a “secret,” that secret will be used as the key for the HMAC digest.

Webhooks can be configured to be global across all repositories, tied to specific repositories, or to review requests/reviews not associated with a repository. They can also be tied to any number of events.

See the documentation for more details.

Support for Review Board Gateway

Review Board Gateway is our upcoming standalone service that wraps your Git repositories with a fully-featured API, making it easier to integrate them with Review Board. Git repositories backed by Review Board Gateway include full support for browsing and posting commits in the New Review Request page. Future releases will provide even deeper integration, making it easy to manage all your repositories.

Review Board Gateway is not yet released. We’ll make an announcement as soon as it’s ready.

Patch by Jessica Yuen.

Support for Assembla

Assembla is a repository hosting and project management service that supports Git, Subversion, and Perforce repositories.

Review Board now supports configuring Subversion and Perforce repositories hosted on Assembla. Git is not supported, though, due to missing API features.

Miscellaneous Admin Features

  • Widgets on the administrator dashboard can now be added or removed.

    This allows the dashboard to contain only the information useful to the administrator. To remove a widget, simply click the X. To add, click the Add Small Widgets or Add Large Widgets link in the desired column.

    Patch by Stephanie Su.

  • New options for targeting e-mails to groups.

    E-mail updates from review requests can now be sent both to the configured mailing list of a review group and to all members of that review group, instead of just one or the other. This can be configured separately for each review group.

  • Added support for OpenStack Swift for file storage.

    Swift is an alternative to Amazon S3 for private clouds. When configured, all new file attachments will be uploaded to Swift instead of on the Review Board server. This helps when scaling Review Board out to multiple servers, and reduces load on the Review Board server.

    Patch by Omar Ali.

  • Add new users to groups by default.

    Groups have a new setting to add new users by default. Turning this on will cause newly-registered users to be automatically added to the group.

    Patch by Stanley Yeo.

Performance Improvements

  • Reduced the amount of work needed to compute settings on each request, speeding up responses.

  • Reduced storage and processing requirements for stored diffs.

    We’ve changed the storage mode used for diffs, reducing their storage requirements by an average of 80%, and reducing both diff generation and uploading times. This will also help reduce database upgrade times in the future.

    Existing diffs will be converted on-the-fly when accessed. Running rb-site manage /path/to/site condensediffs will convert all stored diffs to the new format. Newly-uploaded diffs will be stored in the new format, and visiting existing diffs will automatically convert them to the new format as well.

Usability Improvements

This release contains numerous usability improvements for both desktop and mobile devices as part of the new visual redesign. See the Design Update section above.

  • The username in the navigation bar at the top of the page now links to the user’s profile page instead of the preferences page.

    Patch by Jessica Qian.


API Tokens

Users can now configure multiple API tokens, which are a more secure way of authenticating with the web API. API tokens don’t require the user’s password, and can be easily revoked at any time.

Tokens can restrict the client’s access to the API. Through a simple drop-down menu, an API token can be set to allow full read/write access to the API, read-only access, or a custom policy.

Custom API token policies allow for very fine-grained access to the API, limiting what methods can be performed on exactly which resources, even down to the resource ID level.

To add API tokens, simply open the My Account page, click API Tokens, and then Generate a new API token. That token can then be configured and used immediately.

See the API authentication documentation for instructions on using API tokens with the API.

RBTools 0.6.3 and higher support authenticating with API tokens.

Other API Features

  • Added support for returning only certain fields or links in the API.

    API resources now support a couple new query arguments for limiting the results in a payload, in order to reduce database queries and payload sizes.

    The ?only-fields= query argument limits the returned fields in the payload to the comma-separated list of field names. If the value is blank, then no fields will be returned, leaving only links.

    Likewise, the ?only-links= query argument limits the returned links in the payload. It behaves exactly like ?only-fields=.

  • Added Hosting Service List Resource for accessing information on registered hosting services.

    This resource exposes information on each hosting service that can be used with Review Board. Right now, the information is pretty basic, but it will be used down the road to provide access to information and functionality on the hosting services.

    It also links to all associated hosting service accounts and local configured repositories.

    Note that this resource’s payload data is not yet considered stable, and is subject to change in future releases.

  • Added Remote Repository List Resource for listing all available remote repositories on a hosting service.

    Repositories can be filtered by the owner, type of owner (organization or user), and service-specific filters.

    Note that this resource isn’t available for all hosting services, and the API is not yet considered stable.

  • Hosting Service Account List Resource now allows for filtering by username or hosting service ID.

    The list resource now takes ?username= and ?service= arguments for filtering the resulting list by the username and/or service ID.

  • Added API Token List Resource for working with your user’s list of API tokens.

    This resource makes it easy to fetch your user’s list of API tokens, to create new tokens, update existing tokens, and delete tokens.

    This resource is only accessible if using a username and password for authentication, and cannot be accessed if using an API token. This is to prevent a client with a valid read-only token to fetch the list of tokens and swap out the one used for authentication.

  • The File Attachment Resource now contains a revision field. This is used for Revisioned File Attachments.

  • The Repository Resource now contains a bug_tracker field.

    Patch by Halvor Lund.

  • In the Review Request Resource, the depends_on and blocks fields now include the ID of the review requests being linked to. (Bug #3863).

  • Added a WebHook Resource for managing webhooks. See Webhooks for more information on this new feature.

  • Added a review_requests.trivial_publish API capability.

    Clients can use this to determine if they can publish review requests and reviews without sending e-mail.


New Hooks

  • Added a hook for creating widgets in the administration dashboard.

    AdminWidgetHook allows extensions to register widgets to be shown in the administration UI. These hooks will be available for administrators to add to the dashboard. Widgets are automatically removed when the extension is disabled.

    Patch by Justin Maillet.

  • Added a hook for adding capability flags to the Web API.

    WebAPICapabilitiesHook allows extensions to register custom capability flags to show in the API’s Root List Resource. This helps clients of the API that support the extension to query its capabilities without loading a custom resource.

    Patch by Justin Maillet.

  • Added new extension hooks for manipulating the recipient list for review and review request e-mails.

    The new EmailHook allows an extension to designate new lists of recipients for all the review/review request e-mails that Review Board sends. They can update both the To and CC lists for any e-mail.

    These take lists of signals the hook should listen to for the various events (such as review_request_published). As a convenience, callers can make use of one of the subclasses for specific events:

Extension Web APIs

  • API resources provided by extensions can now add specialized serialization of links.

    Subclasses of WebAPIResource can implement a serialize_<linkname>_link() function to provide the desired information for the link. This is useful for links that need to contain additional metadata about the link that would be helpful to the consumer.

Bug Fixes


  • Fixed the “Submitter” column to not wrap lines when usernames contain wrappable characters such as hyphens.

Diff viewer

  • Fixed some problems with interdiffs resulting from rebased changes.

  • Fixed displaying trophies on the diff viewer page.

  • Fixed caching issues with interdiffs.


  • Fixed Unicode errors when sending e-mails with UTF-8 content. (Bug #3926, Bug #3943)

  • Image comments now contain absolute URLs, instead of relative URLs. (Bug #3944)

    Patch by Daniel Arteaga.

  • Fixed an issue with the “Get e-mail notifications for my own activity.” (Bug #3895)

    This setting was not working when posting a change against both a target group of which the user is a member and another target user, and then posting a review on that review request.

File Attachments

  • Fixed commenting on text-based file attachments.

  • Fixed sensitivity of the “Upload” button on the file attachment form when no file had been selected. (Bug #3829)

    Patch by Vincent Le.


  • Fixed an error when invoking a repository hook for closing review requests when the referenced review request was not yet published.

Review Requests

  • Fixed some syntax highlighting issues with entering Markdown in text fields.

  • The issue summaries on a review request no longer show raw Markdown source.

    Patch by Teresa Fan.

  • Fixed downloading raw diffs with commas in their filenames on Chrome. (Bug #3704)

    Patch by Chester Li.

  • Opening and closing editors no longer results in review request or review drafts.

  • Fixed the review reply draft banner sticking around in memory and listening for events after publishing a reply.

  • Fixed the review request update bubble appearing below other elements on the page.

  • Discarded review requests in the “Depends On” field are now shown with a strikethrough. (Bug #3758)

    This previously worked for submitted review requests, and has been expanded to all closed review requests.

    Patch by Yorie Nakayama.

New Review Request

  • Default reviewers are now added when posting commits for review using the web UI. (Bug #3900)

    Patch by Xutong Liu.

  • Fixed posting commits from GitLab for review when the commits were lacking a commit message.



  • Fixed Unicode errors when normalizing keywords in CVS diffs. (Bug #3931)


  • Fixed Unicode errors when parsing SVN diffs containing accented characters in the revision strings.

    Patch by Maxime Besson.


  • Repository paths containing invalid ports no longer generate cryptic error messages. (Bug #3891)

    Patch by Justin Wu.


  • Barret Rennie

  • Brett Kochendorfer

  • Chester Li

  • Chris Arnold

  • Christian Hammond

  • Chronicle Yu

  • Daniel Arteaga

  • David Trowbridge

  • Halvor Lund

  • Jason Tseng

  • Jessica Qian

  • Jessica Yuen

  • Justin Maillet

  • Justin Wu

  • Kristina Vandergulik

  • Mark Russell

  • Maxime Besson

  • Mike Conley

  • Olessia Karpova

  • Omar Ali

  • Ryan Done

  • Sherman Cheung

  • Stanley Yeo

  • Stephanie Su

  • Tami Forrester

  • Teresa Fan

  • Tomi Äijö

  • Vincent Le

  • Volodymyr Lyubinets

  • Wu Di

  • Xutong Liu

  • Yorie Nakayama