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RBTools 0.2 beta 2 released

It's been a long time coming, but we've finally pushed out a release of RBTools 0.2 beta 2.

This is a large bug fix release, fixing several issues with ClearCase, Git, Mercurial, Perforce and Subversion. It also introduces several new features, such as installing post-review.exe on Windows.

This version is required if you want to use post-review against our own Review Board server, or any Review Board server using repositories on GitHub.

Full release notes are available.

Review Board 1.1 alpha 1 released

We've been hard at work since the release of Review Board 1.0 on our next major release, Review Board 1.1. Several several great features for users and administrators have been developed, with more to come.

Tonight, we've released Review Board 1.1 alpha 1. Highlights include:

  • Update notification bubbles. Little update bubbles appear in the bottom-right of the review request and diff viewer changes when the review request or diff has been updated, or when a review or reply has been posted. No more reloading the review request with the hope that somebody has responded since you last reloaded.
  • Better auto-complete. When auto-completing users or groups, the first name and last name are now searched along with the username. We also now show the first and last name in the results.
  • Upload screenshots by drag-and-drop. You can now drag-and-drop screenshots from your file manager into the review request to upload them. Right now, this functionality requires a modern version of Google Gears. (Note that, unfortunately, this is broken with Google Gears v0.5.32.0 when used with Firefox 3.5+, but they have a fix coming.)
  • HTML e-mails. The e-mails sent out for review request updates and review discussion now have an HTML version sent, which contains the portions of diffs or screenshots reviewed, much like the review request page. Users using e-mail clients set not to show HTML e-mails will see the original text-only e-mails.
  • Showing/hiding whitespace-only changes. Lines in the diff viewer containing only whitespace changes (such as removing trailing whitespace for a line) can now be hidden on-the-fly, making it easier to review some changes.
  • Easier repository configuration. Configuring a repository entry against Bitbucket, GitHub, Google Code or SourceForge code repositories is now really easy. You won't need to figure out the repository URLs for these services. We also make it easy to configure the repository with several different bug trackers, which include Bugzilla, Trac, and the bug trackers on Bitbucket, Google Code, Redmine and SourceForge.
  • Remote Git support. It's now much easier to configure Review Board with Git repositories. Instead of keeping a copy of the Git repository always up-to-date on the Review Board server, you can now configure Review Board to use gitosis, cgit, gitweb, GitHub, or another web front-end to fetch files from a Git repository.
  • Filterable server log. The Review Board server log can be viewed from within the Administration UI. You can sort by date or filter by date range and severity.

These are just some of the changes made in Review Board 1.1 alpha 1. See the release notes for all the changes.

We strive to make each release as stable as can be, but with any alpha release, there will probably be some bugs. We would love to see people beta test these releases, but please don't use this on a production server!

To install Review Board 1.1 alpha 1, you can run:

$ easy_install -f http://downloads.review-board.org/releases/ReviewBoard/1.1/ -U ReviewBoard

See Installing Development Releases for more details.

Summer of Code 2009 Wrap-Up

We had the opportunity this year to participate in the Google Summer of Code, a program that pays college/university students to work on open source projects for the Summer. While we've mentored students in the past for other projects, this was our first year as an actual organization accepted into the program. And we can't wait for next year.

We had three students this year, Eduardo Felipe Castegnaro, Helder Ribeiro, and Markus Knittig. They worked on several awesome features, many of which are making it soon into the upcoming Review Board 1.1 development releases.

Eduardo Felipe Castegnaro

Eduardo worked on three main features: Improved whitespace detection/handling in the diff viewer, move detection, and policy support.

The new whitespace detection/handling feature gives reviewers the ability to dynamically show or hide lines that contain only whitespace changes. If a diff contains many lines that have, say, trailing whitespace removed, those lines can be hidden in order to simplify the review process. This feature is in today for the upcoming 1.1 alpha 1 release.

The move detection shows when a block of code in a diff has moved within the file, instead of just showing adds/deletes. Indicators beside the code show that the lines have moved, where they moved to or from, and, when clicked, will jump to the original or new location. This feature is scheduled for the 1.1 alpha 2 release.

The Policy support change is designed to give organizations more control over the rules governing their review process. It will be used in a future release to allow these organizations to enforce, for example, that a change can only be submitted if three senior people sign off on the change. There's still much that needs to be done for this work, and it won't be making it into the 1.1 release, but it's tremendous progress for this much-awaited feature.

Helder Ribeiro

Helder worked on support for Web Hooks and some infrastructure changes needed to support it.

Web Hooks allow organizations to set up scripts outside of Review Board that will be notified when a review request has been published or updated and when a review or reply has been posted. These could be used to, for example, update the bug reports associated with the review request, providing a link to the review request. Web Hooks are scheduled for the 1.1 release.

Much of Helder's work has been to get our code set up in such a way where both the Web Hooks and existing e-mail support can be based on the same signals. It's also done so that more notification mechanisms can be added in the future, which wasn't really easy and clean before. Helder also worked on various other little fixes throughout the code.

Markus Knittig

Markus worked on Eclipse integration for Review Board. This support will make it possible to manage review requests directly from within Eclipse. This work is a bit separate from the main Review Board codebase, and will be continuing on his eReviewBoard repository on GitHub.

Wrapping Up...

This year was great, and we're certainly looking forward to participating again next year. Over the course of the Summer, we've learned what works, and what doesn't, and will be taking this knowledge into our next year in order to refine our processes and make the Summer of Code a great experience for everyone involved.

We'd like to publicly thank all of our students for working with us this year and producing such awesome work. We've sent special Review Board Summer of Code 2009 t-shirts to everyone involved, and hope they'll all continue to work with us on the project in the future.

Review Board 1.0.3 released

Last night's 1.0.2 release had two fairly critical bugs. The first being that, due to some code shuffle in the tree, the web server configuration templates weren't bundled with Review Board, making initial installations fail. The second bug only manifested if you had Django 1.0.2 installed. We required some functionality that only existed in 1.0.3 and higher, but didn't specify this requirement for the package.

The new 1.0.3 release is now out, and fixes these two problems. We now require Django 1.1 or higher. This brings with it a number of stability and speed improvements behind the scenes. It also gives administrators a new ability to batch delete items in the database, which can be useful when cleaning up spam or test comments. In the future we'll add new batch edit functionality based on this.

Full release notes are available.

Update: The upgrade to Django 1.1 broke the styles for the administration UI. A patch release is available which just fixes the styles in the administration UI.

Review Board 1.0.2 released

Over the past few weeks, we've been hard at work fixing many bugs impacting our users and improving error handling. Tonight, we bring to you Review Board 1.0.2.

This release contains fixes for 17 bugs. Many of these have impacted quite a number of end users and administrators since 1.0, so we highly recommend upgrading. This release will also help with diagnosing of new bugs that cause Internal Server Errors, as we do a better job of logging crashes.

Full release notes are available.