Our UCOSP 2013 and Open Academy 2014 Student Teams

We thought it was long past time to show off some of the excellent work our UCOSP Fall 2013 students have been doing, and introduce you all to our Open Academy Spring 2014 students.

UCOSP Fall 2013

In Fall of 2013, we had a batch of great students from across Canada: Elaine, Natasha, Edward, Behzad, and Alissa. We met up at Mozilla in Toronto and got everyone set up. From there, they flew through the semester, adding some great improvements to Review Board.

  • Elaine wrote an extension for effectively using checklists for code review.

  • Natasha put together an experimental project for auto-suggesting reviewers on new review requests based on the files that were modified, in order to target those people who may know the code best. We're hoping to optimize this (some database changes may be needed on our end) and get it into a future release.

  • Edward rewrote our search support for 2.0 to use Haystack, which is a lot easier to set up than PyLucene.

    He also improved RBTools by adding rbt setup-repo, adding the --commit option to rbt patch, and adding the --update option to rbt post. These are all part of the latest RBTools releases.

  • Behzad did a bunch of work to get our new trophy system in place. We still have some work to do to integrate it, which we're hoping to do after 2.0, but the end result will allow for new types of trophies, a trophy case to see which trophies you've collected, and extension support.

  • Alissa added a new page in the Administration UI for doing a security screening of the site. It can help highlight known configuration issues on the server that need to be addressed to keep things secure. This is going into 2.0.

We put a little demo video together with our Winter team showing off all their work. Check it out!

<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/86276463" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe>

It was a fantastic team, and we're very thankful for all the great work they've done!

Open Academy Spring 2014

We participated in Open Academy this year for the second time, and were once again privileged to have another fantastic group of students, spanning schools across the globe. This semester, we have Anselina, Bhushan, Edwin, Iines, Joonas, Mirai, Olessia, Stephanie, Tami, and Tomi working with us.

We met up at Facebook HQ in February for a fun and intense weekend of hacking. There, we got to know each other, ate some donuts, figured out projects for the semester, went bowling, and got to hacking.

Open Academy 2014 students

(Here are some more photos of the event, taken by Tami herself!)

They're all well into their projects at this point. There's a lot of great stuff coming:

  • Anselina and Bhushan are working to add official support for pre-commit and post-commit hooks for Git, Mercurial, Subversion, GitHub, and other services.

    These will be able to close out review requests when the commits are pushed, and enforce approval before pushing changes.

  • Edwin is making the contextual diff fragments in reviews a bit nicer by allowing you to expand them to get a better idea of where the comments were made without having to jump into the diff viewer.

  • Iines is working on making it easier to link to specific lines in the diff viewer.

  • Joonas and Mirai are performing some usability research and development on improving our mobile experience.

  • Olessia is expanding our support for hosting services. She's adding Review Board 2.0's post-commit support for more hosting services, and providing a lot of the base work needed to revamp the repository configuration experience.

  • Stephanie is making the widgets in the Administration UI reorderable, and allowing admins to add and remove widgets. She'll also be adding extension support for custom admin widgets!

  • Tami is improving the user page to be more flexible. It will be updated to let you see all the reviews made by that user.

  • Tomi is adding deeper support for bug trackers. With this work, it'll be possible to update bug reports when the status of review requests change, and to show information on a bug when mousing over a bug number.

They've been making great progress so far! They also all have work going into Review Board 2.0 or RBTools 0.6. Not a bad start!

Here's a few of our students to tell you about their experience at the sprint at Facebook:

<iframe width="600" height="336" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zHHM-oMrzEE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Here's to another exciting semester!

Review Board 2.0 beta 3 released

Diffed Text Fields

Review Board 2.0 beta 3 is out! This is an amazing release, with over 15 new user-facing features, over 40 bug fixes, nearly 20 new API and
extension improvements, and some significant performance and usability enhancements.

This is a huge beta, but it's also expected to be our last beta. We'll be moving on to RC next, with a final 2.0 release (hopefully) around the corner. If you're planning to upgrade to Review Board 2.0 (and why wouldn't you?), you should give the beta try.

Some of the highlights of this release include:

  • Issue tracking in the dashboard

    See at a glance which changes are ready to ship and which still have work left to do.

    You'll never see a Ship It! if there are any issues still open.

  • Better review request updates

    Changes to the Description and Testing Done fields are shown as diffs, making it easy to see what changed.

    New diff uploads list the modified files and the complexity of the changes.

    New file attachments are shown as thumbnails, and can be reviewed right from the box.

  • Indentation markers in diffs

    Your indentation changes are now shown clearly without distracting from your other changes. Unlike most diff viewers, we don't clutter your view with inserts, deletes, or replaces.

    Super useful for Python files.

  • All new My Account page

    It's now easier to find and join groups!

    This is also a great place for extensions to provide per-user customization.

  • Customizable "approval" for review requests

    Extensions can decide if a review request is approved, and API consumers (such as pre-commit hooks) can enforce those decisions.

    We're working on some hooks that can take advantage of this.

  • Improved post-commit support for Subversion

    Non-standard repository layouts now work a lot better with the New Review Request page.

And much, much more.

If you're an extension author, you'll have a lot of new goodies to play with. An assortment of new hooks, better static media support, per-page JavaScript extensions, and easier extension initialization, to name a few.

Be sure to check out our release notes for the full list of changes, including some pretty screenshots showing off many of the new features. Be sure to read the installation instructions and upgrade notes.

RBTools 0.5.7 released

Last week's RBTools release brought a lot of great improvements to Perforce, but it also brought an obnoxious bug along for the ride. To post a review request or run any of the other RBTools commands, you had to be in the root of your Perforce checkout.

RBTools 0.5.7 corrects this bug. If you're a Perforce user, you'll want this release. Otherwise, upgrade if you like shiny new version numbers, but you won't see any differences.

See the release notes for the same information.

RBTools 0.5.6 released

We just released RBTools 0.5.6, which fixes several bugs with Perforce.

A couple of the new commands, such as rbt status, would crash when used with Perforce repositories. These have been fixed, and you should now be able to use rbt status, rbt diff, and others without any problems.

We also fixed a long-standing bug with matching Perforce repositories. In previous releases, if $P4PORT was pointing to a server where you had an active client, RBTools could end up matching that client's repository instead of the one in the current directory. For example, if running inside a Bazaar repository, or (in some releases) in a Git repository. That should no longer happen in this release.

There's also a fix restoring Python 2.4 compatibility in rbt setup-repo. While the 0.5.x releases support Python 2.4, 0.6.x will not. If you are running Python 2.4, we recommend upgrading.

See the release notes for the complete list of changes.

Review Board Power Pack trial licenses are now available

Last week, we announced the release of the Review Board Power Pack, an add-on product for Review Board that provides PDF document review, GitHub Enterprise integration, and scalability improvements.

Starting today, we've made it easy to try it out. Simply fill out the form and a 30 day trial license will be sent to your e-mail address. You can then follow the instructions for installing Power Pack.

We'd love to hear your feedback. We're working on some exciting new features for Power Pack that we know our users will love. We'll talk about those more in the coming months.

Review Board 2.0 beta 2 released

This week has been full of great releases, but we're not done yet. Today, we're excited to announce Review Board 2.0 beta 2!

This long-awaited beta is almost a major release by itself. Let's check out the highlights:

  • New look-and-feel for review requests, review UIs, and the login/registration pages.
  • Ability to review any text files, just like diffs, complete with syntax highlighting and multi-line commenting.
  • Bulk closing for review requests on the dashboard.
  • Enhanced Markdown file review.
  • Rewrote search support, making it very easy to install. No more PyLucene!
  • Security checklist to help catch some common security vulnerabilities.
  • A new rb-site management command for compressing your database up to 50%.
  • Whole lot of new extension features and API additions.
  • Performance improvements.
  • Several bug fixes.

That's just the summary. The release notes cover all the exciting changes in this release. We think you're going to like it.

We have one very important note for upgrading. We always say this, but back up your database! This release uses a whole new mechanism for automated database migrations, and it's possible there are still bugs to work out. If you do have a problem, please contact us and let us know.

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.

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