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Review Board Power Pack General Availability

We're pleased to announce general availability of the Review Board Power Pack. The Review Board Power Pack is a set of advanced features to help you get even more out of your peer review system.

PDF Review

Source code is only one part of the software development process. PRDs, design proposals, end-user technical documentation, and patent disclosures are just a few of the numerous documents that get written, discussed, and edited along the way.

The document review extension brings the same powerful, lightweight review process to PDF files that developers have enjoyed for their source code. Documents are displayed right in the browser without a need for any plug-ins or extra software to be installed.

PDF Review

GitHub Enterprise Integration

For companies that use GitHub Enterprise to manage their source code behind the firewall, the Review Board Power Pack adds support for these repositories.

Configuration is simple: just tell Review Board the URL of your GitHub Enterprise server, and then link an account with a username and password.

Scale Up Your Installation

Most Review Board installations work fine running on a single server, but some very large installations with many thousands of users may require additional hardware for speed or fault tolerance.

The Review Board Power Pack includes facilities for storing auxiliary data like SSH keys in the database rather than on the front-end server's filesystem, which allows you to add capacity by spinning up additional servers as needed.

Getting The Power Pack

The Review Board Power Pack is licensed under a subscription model. The price per user is $8.33/month. If you'd like to arrange a trial of the Review Board Power Pack, or if you have any questions, get in touch at support@beanbaginc.com.

Review Board 1.7.21 released

Review Board 1.7.21 is out, with support for GitLab and Unfuddle, optimizations to diff generation, and several bug fixes.

GitLab is a self-hosted, open source alternative to GitHub that has grown popular recently. It had previously been difficult for people to get GitLab working with Review Board, but now it should be as easy as any other service.

Unfuddle is a Git and Subversion hosting service with an emphasis on project management and task tracking. Review Board now supports adding repositories on Unfuddle for either Git or Subversion.

Diff render time for large diffs should be a lot faster. Really large diffs that could take up to a minute to render now only take seconds. This is due to an optimization made to our diff algorithm. If you see any breakages as a result of this change, please let us know.

We also have additional API support for filtering lists of repositories, bug fixes for Beanstalk integration, and many other improvements.

See the release notes for the rest of the changes.

RBTools 0.5.5 released (updated)

Update January 14, 2014 at 7:40PM PST We put out a 0.5.5 release. We were missing a change for the Subversion repository name fixes in 0.5.4, and had a minor option we decided to backport to post-review. This came out very shortly after 0.5.4 was released.

RBTools 0.5.4 is out, with a handful of fixes for rbt patch, Subversion, and more.

rbt patch, one of our new tools introduced in 0.5.3, has had several bug fixes for Unicode commit messages and for applying commits under Git. There's also a compatibility fix that will be required for the upcoming Review Board 2.0 beta 2 release (stay tuned!).

We fixed an issue with looking up repositories using Subversion. When setting REPOSITORY = to a name instead of a URL in .reviewboardrc), rbt post would fail. rbt post would unintentionally pass this name to the svn commands, assuming it was a URL. This should no longer happen.

Those of you using rbt post with Git may have noticed that --revision-range no longer accepted arguments in the form of revision1:revision2 on RBTools 0.5.3. We're working on some major improvements for specifying revisions for the 0.6 release, and unfortunately some of this work prematurely landed. We've restored compatibility.

See the release notes for the full list of changes.

RBTools 0.5.3 is released

Happy New Year, everyone! We have a great RBTools release for you, with some new features and a whole lot of bug fixes.

rbt post has a new -u option that attempts to update an existing review request, instead of posting a new one. Previously, unless using Perforce, you would have to pass -r with a review request ID in order to update an existing review request. Now, when using -u, RBTools will look up possible matches and present them, confirming the update. We think this will be a major time-saver.

A new rbt setup-repo command makes setting up your repository much easier. Instead of writing a new .reviewboardrc file by hand, just run rbt setup-repo. It will prompt for the Review Board server, then attempt to automatically match up repository name, and then write the configuration file for you.

rbt patch has a new --print option for printing the patch instead of applying it, and --commit to apply and commit with the author's name and review request's description. --commit currently only works on Git.

rbt diff doesn't crash anymore! Huzzah!

Along with this, we have fixes and improvements for using third-party commands, Git, Bazaar, Mercurial, and Subversion.

See the release notes for the full list of changes.

Review Board 1.7.20 released

Review Board 1.7.20 is out. It's primarily a small bug fix release, fixing a couple crashes, reducing constraints on usernames, and fixing the annoyance with JSON fields in the administration UI.

It's a small release, but as always, we recommend it. The JSON fixes in the administration UI alone should solve a lot of issues people have been hitting.

See the release notes for more information.

Review Board 1.7.19 released

Review Board 1.7.19 is out, with some bug fixes and support for GitHub's two-factor authentication.

In recent days, there's been a large number of attempts to compromise accounts on GitHub. By activating two-factor authentication, you can better protect your account.

Review Board was lacking support for their two-factor authentication, which was a problem when linking an account for a repository for the first time. The workaround was to temporarily disable two-factor authentication, but that's no longer necessary. When linking an account with two-factor auth for the first time, GitHub will send you an access code, which Review Board will prompt you for.

If you have already linked a GitHub account, you won't have to do anything more. We use revokable OAuth tokens when talking to GitHub using a linked account, which is separate from your auth credentials.

Along with this, there's a page caching improvement for review request pages, some usability fixes, and other bug fixes.

See the release notes for more information.

Review Board 2.0 beta 1 released

Just over 11 months ago, we released Review Board 1.7, which was a major evolution to the product. It introduced features like the extensions, a new administration UI, file attachment reviews and thumbnails, an issue summary table, and quite a lot of UI polish.

It was a pretty good release, but we’re announcing something better. Review Board 2.0 is coming.

We’ve released the first beta today, and would like to encourage people to give it a try. (Please do not try with a production install or database, though.)

Here’s some of the highlights for this release.

  • Create review requests from existing commits

    The “New Review Request” page has been completely redesigned. On supported repositories and hosting services, a list of branches and their commits will be shown. Each commit can be quickly put up for review with just a single click. If your team commits changes to a branch for review, this will help tremendously.

  • Markdown in text fields

    All text fields (Description, Testing Done, comments, reviews) now accept Markdown. This makes it really easy to show off sample source code (with syntax highlighting!) right in comments, or to express things with bullet points, add links, add emphasis, or to just in general structure your review requests or reviews better.

    This won’t have any negative impact on any of your existing review requests or reviews, or your commit messages (when posting with rbt post or post-review). Only newly entered text will appear in Markdown.

  • All new diff file index

    When viewing a diff, you’ll now get a much better idea of the complexity of the changes before you even look at code. The files are now each shown with a complexity graph, which is a little ring showing the relative number of inserts, deletes, and replaces, with the thickness of the ring indicating how much of the file has changed.

    Along with this, little color-coded dots are shown for every chunk, linking to the matching chunk. It also shows whether the file was renamed (and what its old name was), and whether it’s a newly introduced file or a deleted file.

    In our testing, we’ve found this very useful to help gauge how complex a change is before even digging into the change itself.

  • More intuitive revision selector

    Our old revision selector was a hold-over from the early days. Not very nice to work with, and it took too long to switch revisions.

    The new one is much more intuitive, and works as a slider. Simply drag the handles to the revision you want, or the revisions for an interdiff, and the diff will immediately load below. It’s fast and simple.

  • Less messy interdiffs

    Interdiffs are fantastic, but can become a mess if there have been other changes to a file between revisions that aren’t related to the change going up for review. Update your tree, post another change, view an interdiff, and you’ll see junk.

    No more. Interdiffs will, with few exceptions, only show what’s actually in your changes, making them more reliable than ever.

  • Smarter moved code detection

    When moving code around a file, the diff viewer now does a better job both finding and showing blocks of code that have moved. They now appear as groups of moved lines, instead of a bunch of individually moved lines. It’s also better at not showing trivial moves.

  • More polished, faster UI

    We’ve applied a lot more polish to the UI. The diff viewer, for instance, is a lot cleaner-looking. Many of the icons have been redone, and Retina versions have been created, so those of you on a MacBook Pro with a Retina display, you’re in for a treat.

  • More powerful extensions

    Extension developers have a few new abilities to help in their creations. We’ve made it easy to package and test with static media files, right out of the box. We’ve also begun adding JavaScript-side extensions and hooks, which will make it easier in time to tie into more of the UI and operations in the browser.

  • Better performance

    We’ve done a lot of work to reduce the amount of HTTP requests when accessing Review Board, to reduce reloads of pages (such as when publishing a reply or changing diff revisions), and reducing database queries throughout.

  • And much more…

    A faster-loading Review dialog, better Git diff support, Markdown file review, file attachment thumbnails on comments, and many bug fixes.

We’re really excited about this release. It’s going to be amazing. This isn’t even all we’re doing for the release. By the time we ship 2.0, we expect to have support for image diffs and for extension-provided binary file diffs in the diff viewer. We’re working on a better layout for review requests. More extension support.

So give it a shot (on a test server!) and let us know how it goes!

For installation instructions and a full list of changes (with screenshots), see the release notes.

Review Board 1.7.18 released

Unfortunately, yesterday's otherwise fantastic 1.7.17 release had a packaging snag that broke many installs. It's one we've seen before, and was due to a third-party tool we were using for building our JavaScript bundles, which has had a couple broken releases.

The new 1.7.18 release switches to using UglifyJS for JavaScript minification. This build should restore your installs to perfect working order.

Release notes are available.

Review Board 1.6.21 and 1.7.17 released

We have a couple new releases of Review Board tonight. These both fix a couple security vulnerabilities discovered last night, and from this alone, we strongly recommend upgrading immediately.

The new 1.7.17 release also provides better GitHub integration, Local Site permissions, Extension improvements, and various bug fixes throughout the product.

Those using GitHub will have an easier time setting up new repositories (no more having to configure SSH keys!), and if anything goes wrong in the setup process, Review Board will do a better job of telling you what may be wrong.

If you're using the Local Sites feature, there's some improvements for you as well. Administrators of Local Sites will now have the ability to edit, close and reopen review requests, as well as post under another user's name, just like full-on administrators. These permissions are limited to Local Sites, of course.

We've also fixed some bugs around extensions. Enabling, disabling or changing an extension's settings will now cause the browser to re-fetch pages, instead of using old cached versions. Furthermore, extension customization now works with subdirectory installs.

The improvements in 1.7.17 are covered in more detail in the release notes.

If you're using the new Review Board Power Pack extension, or are looking to try it out, we recommend you update to 1.7.17. There are some fixes in this release that improve the interactivity with Power Pack.

If you're upgrading to 1.6.21, be sure to specify the version on the command line:

$ sudo easy_install ReviewBoard==1.6.21

Release notes:

Review Board Power Pack Release Candidate

Updated 30-October-2013, 12:05PM PST: Fixed the minimum Review Board version required. You'll need 1.7.14 or higher.

We're pleased to announce a release candidate for the Review Board Power Pack. While previous beta releases have been limited to people who signed up for our beta program, his release candidate is public, and anyone who is using Review Board is welcome to try it out.

The Review Board Power Pack is a set of advanced features to help you get even more out of your peer review system. If you'd like to check out what's included, see the Power Pack page.

Installing and activating the Power Pack

If you're running a previous beta of the Power Pack, you should have received an email with detailed instructions on how to upgrade. If you're a new user, use the following instructions.

To get started, make sure you have Review Board 1.7.14 or newer installed. Then install the Review Board Power Pack by running:

easy_install -f http://downloads.beanbaginc.com/powerpack/ -U ReviewBoardPowerPack

Once that's installed, reload your web server, then browse to your administration interface and click "Extensions." You should see a single extension. Click "Enable" to activate it.

Once the extension is activated, you need to install a license. We've created a trial license which will keep things going until January 1, 2014. You can download this license at http://downloads.beanbaginc.com/powerpack/powerpack-trial.lic

Once you have the license file, click "Configure" on the extension. You should see a field where you can upload the license file to your Review Board server. Once you do this and save, you should see a trial license installed, and the Power Pack features will be enabled.

Using the Power Pack

Any PDF files that are attached to a review request (with "Upload File") will then have a "Review" button which will take you to a document viewer. To add comments, simple drag across a region of a page like you would with an image attachment.

To add GitHub enterprise repositories, go to the "Add Repository" section in the admin interface. You should now see a new hosting service called "GitHub Enterprise". Configuration works just like GitHub.com, but you'll put your GitHub Enterprise server name in the form.

Setting up multiple front-end servers is a complex task, and we're working on some documentation about it. In the meantime, if you're planning on using the Power Pack for this, get in touch and we'll help you out.

We'd like to hear your feedback, good and bad. If there are any features that would be important to your organization, please let us know that too.

For any questions or comments, you can reach us at any time at support@beanbaginc.com.

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