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Review Board 1.6 beta 1 released

Finally, definitive proof that when I don't sleep, good things happen.

Tonight (this morning?) we've released Review Board 1.6 beta 1, and there's a lot of awesome things for users and administrators alike.

Prior to 1.6, administrators that wished to limit access to repositories for different users (say, main engineering and contractors) would need to set up different Review Board deployments, which means double the maintenance and upgrade work. Anyone with access to a Review Board server had access to everything on it. No longer.

1.6 introduces access control, allowing administrators to create invite-only groups, hidden groups, and limit repository access to certain users/groups. These are all set up on the Group and Repository database pages in the administration UI. Now, you can ensure that people have access only to what they're allowed access to.

We've put together a special form of access control: Local site divisions. This is a special feature still undergoing development. it allows a single Review Board instance to be split up into different divisions that each have their own list of users, repositories, groups, and review requests. Handy for giving QA, engineering, and contractors their own separate sites, for instance. Users can only view their site (and therefore the dashboard, review request lists, groups, repositories, etc.) if they belong to that site, and it's up to administrators to decide that. This is an experimental feature and will undergo continued development over the next couple releases.

On top of all that, we've greatly enhanced our authentication backend support. Companies or organizations who have developed custom authentication backends in the past know how much a pain it is to use them with Review Board. We've fixed that in 1.6. Review Board now scans for authentication backends that comply with the new API and shows them in the list alongside Active Directory, LDAP, etc. Authentication backends can provide their own settings forms, can list the things they support (changing e-mail addresses or passwords, for instance), and then handle those types of changes.

Not to be left out, we have some great features for users as well. One-click Ship It!, collapsible reviews, Plastic SCM support, improved user pages, and user info bubbles, just to name a few.

For the full list of features in 1.6, see the release notes.

Our goal is to get through the beta cycle fast and get the final 1.6 release out the door in a couple months time. If you're planning to beta test 1.6, please let us know if you run into any problems (or even if things are working well).