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Review Board 1.0.9 and 1.5 RC 1 released

Why, hello everyone. I hope everyone had a great 4th of July, whether it was a holiday or just any ol' Sunday. The 4th is now over, and I had hoped to get this ready before the day was up, but well, the 5th will do nicely.

I have two presents for you. Two fresh, new, shiny Review Board releases.

Review Board 1.0.9 is simple release that fixes a few random bugs (UTF-8 fixes for syntax highlighting, Subversion keyword collapsing problems, linkified text for bug numbers and paths, and the Starred Groups page), as well as switching the default memcached Python module to python-memcache. This new memcached release is more up-to-date, and is now installed by default along with Review Board. If you're upgrading Review Board, you shouldn't have to do anything.

Review Board 1.5 RC 1 is a much bigger release, and is hopefully the last release before the final 1.5. This release contains all the changes and fixes in 1.0.9, but also introduces many new enhancements and fixes.

The main enhancements include improved move detection, WSGI installation, and support for using the main web UI on the iPhone and iPad. It also improves the new web API by allowing callers to retrieve basic information on the active session, filtering review requests by date/time, and downloading patches or parsed diff opcodes.

At this point, we want to get the final 1.5 out the door ASAP. Much of our time will be spent on documentation updates and fixing any critical bugs that pop up. If you're planning to upgrade to 1.5 soon, it may be worth upgrading a copy of your installation to RC 1 soon to make sure you won't hit any show-stopping bugs. We'll be limiting the bugs we fix for 1.5, pushing things out to 1.5.x unless they're major regressions.

More information can be found in the 1.0.9 release notes and 1.5 RC 1 release notes.

Review Board 1.5 beta 2 released

After several months of hard work, we finally cut a release of Review Board 1.5 beta 2! This is a much more stable beta than 1.5 beta 1, and includes some new usability improvements, new features, many bug fixes, and a new public API.

One of the nicer improvements in this release include the new diff viewer comment flags, which span the range of lines that the comment was made on instead of only pointing to the first line in the range. This is much nicer looking and much more usable. They also no longer overlap the line numbers, so it's easier to see what line is being commented on.

The largest change in this version is the new REST API. We've had a public API for a long time that worked on a resource model, allowing third party applications to interface with Review Board, but it was hard to maintain and had many warts. The new API is actually a RESTful API, meaning that it's fully resource-based, uses standard HTTP methods and HTTP response codes, is largely self-documenting, and every resource links to related or child resources.

There isn't any documentation yet for this, but we'll be working on some before the final 1.5 release. We'd like to encourage developers using the existing API to begin supporting the new one. You can start browsing the resource tree by pointing your browser to your site's /api/ path. If you're using Firefox, you can use the fantastic JSONView extension to better browse the tree.

Many things were fixed in this release and I'd like to thank everyone for providing feedback, reporting bugs, and submitting patches.

Going forward, we may have a third beta in order to finalize some of our API code and fix most of the remaining bugs, and then we'll try to crank out the release candidate and then final release as soon as we can.

More information can be found in the release notes.

Clearvision integrates Review Board code review into UCM4SVN v2.2

We at Review Board are pleased to announce that Clearvision has released the latest version of their UCM4SVN (Unified Change Management for Subversion) product with out-of-the-box support for Review Board. From their press release:

In April 2010 Cleavision released version 2.2 of UCM4SVN which included an integration with the open source code review tool Review Board.

UCM4SVN is a lightweight process layer which sits above the open source configuration management tool Subversion and enables development teams to quickly and easily structure their code and work items.

UCM4SVN removes all of the complication within Subversion associated with branching, merging, release management, permission management, change management integration etc. by providing a single browser based interface.

The new integration with Review Board will allow developers, team leaders and project managers to perform code reviews as part of the natural but managed process instigated by UCM4SVN. The high level steps are as follows;

  • Via UCM4SVN a team leader assigns development ‘activities’ which either originate from one of the integrated change management tools (IBM Rational ClearQuest, Atlassian Jira, Trac) or as a UCM4SVN created activity;
  • Via UCM4SVN the developer accepts the activity and UCM4SVN performs a Subversion checkout;
  • The developer uses their preferred Subversion IDE (Tortoise, Eclipse, command line) etc. to work on the change set or file for the activity and eventually completes the work and performs a final SVN commit;
  • The developer, via UCM4SVN chooses to perform a ‘Close’ or ‘Deliver’ action and integrate the activity of changes into a common integration branch;
  • The act of ‘Close’ or ‘Deliver’ automatically creates a ‘Review Board’ request ticket for the team member acting as a reviewer;
  • The reviewer, via UCM4SVN, can decide to perform a review by selecting the ticket. Such action automatically opens Review Board and from this point Review Board manages the review process and stores all review comments;
  • The interaction between Review Board and UCM4SVN is most valuable when a reviewer decides to fail a review. Under these circumstances, a UCM4SVN change request is automatically created and assigned to the original code developer to ensure the code changes are implemented;
  • UCM4SVN manages the entire process to ensure the original activity and the code change requests from Review Board are implemented into the final integration branch.

Through the integration between UCM4SVN and Review Board the reviewer’s comments and requests to improve the quality of code are never forgotten or misplaced, a full audit trail is clearly recorded.

The natural development process managed by UCM4SVN is strong and agile enough for companies of all sizes.

Clearvision initially considered developing their own code review tool however, after researching the market and evaluating a number of similar products, realised the Review Board product was an ideal fit and matched Clearvision’s goal of producing simple but effective applications.

Clearvision would like to give special thanks to all those involved in Review Board.

Clearvision provide Subversion training, subversion consulting, subversion support and a range of subversion products including integrations between ClearQuest, Jira, Trac, Subversion, Git and a variety of migration tools. UCM4SVN will shortly be extended to provide Application lifecycle Management for the open source configuration management product Git.

For any questions related to open source development within the software change and configuration management arena please contact www.clearvision-cm.com or sales@clearvision-cm.com.

Review Board 1.0.8 released

Tonight we put out a small bug fix release that fixes a few small bugs, including some dashboard rendering issues when adding/removing columns. It also allows support for handling log rotation, so that the web server doesn't have to be restarted in order to resume logging after a log rotate.

We're focusing our efforts now on wrapping up the 1.5 release. Beta 2 will be out soon, and barring any regressions, we likely won't put out any more 1.0.x releases for a while.

More information can be found in the release notes.

Google Summer of Code 2010

We've been fortunate enough to participate once again in the Google Summer of Code. This is an opportunity for students from around the world to work on interesting open source projects. This is our second year participating. Last year's efforts resulted in the upcoming Move Detection in the Diff Viewer, whitespace display toggling, Policy rule support (coming in probably 1.7), WebHooks (coming in 1.6), and Eclipse IDE integration.

This year we've selected three students with very exciting proposals:

  • Distributed Version Control System support to allow for reviewing patch sets and checking remote branch status.
  • Identifying repeated changes in a diff and summarizing or collapsing them, making it easier to review code where a function or variable has been renamed or changed in a consistent way throughout several files.
  • Work on the Extensions branch to help get our in-development Extensions support into better shape for a release.
  • A Linux installer making it easier to install Review Board on a variety of Linux distributions and keep it up-to-date.

We'd like to thank everyone who submitted a proposal this year, and we'd especially like to thank Google for once again accepting us into Summer of Code! Finally, we'd like to welcome our students into the project this year. It should be a great Summer.

Review Board 1.0.7 released

It's release night! We have yet another one for you. We just released Review Board 1.0.7, which is a fairly small release with some further performance improvements for the dashboard.

After getting feedback from users of the 1.0.6 release, we discovered that, while the dashboard speed improvements did make a difference, the dashboard was still slower than it should have been on large deployments. We investigated this and found some further improvements we could make, which have massively reduced loading times on these large deployments.

It also restores compatibility with the betas of Django 1.2. Careful readers might note that we announced compatibility in 1.0.6, but as luck would have it, the following day we were broken again. We fixed the latest breakage, and hopefully won't see another.

More information can be found in the release notes.

RBTools 0.2.0 released

Tonight we released the final build of RBTools 0.2.0. The is the first official stable release of RBTools and is compatible with both Review Board 1.0.x and the upcoming 1.5 release.

RBTools is a collection of a tools for working with Review Board. Right now, there is only one tool, post-review, which makes it easy to create and update review requests. It's useful for end users, automation, and as a way to integrate with other products.

Users of previous versions will find some good bug fixes in the final release. In particular, a couple crash bugs and a UTF-8 encoding bug in RBTools 0.2 RC 1 have been fixed.

We have many plans for future versions. Some new tools will be added for querying review requests and otherwise working with review requests. RBTools will also provide a Python module, allowing custom tools to be written. These new tools will likely require Review Board 1.5.

More information can be found in the release notes.

Review Board 1.0.6 released

We have a pretty good point release out for everybody running Review Board 1.0.x. We just put out 1.0.6, which, among other things, has some huge performance improvements for the Dashboard, and what we believe is a solution to that pesky stale settings bug many of you have encountered.

The Dashboard has never been the fastest part of Review Board, and some companies have hit some serious speed issues with increased loads. During the 1.5 release cycle, we've looked hard into the problems plaguing the Dashboard, and have made many performance improvements. Not only do these increase loading times of the Dashboard, but it reduces stress on the web server and database server, which should contribute to overall performance of the site.

The stale settings bug has been a problem for many users. Depending on the server setup, setting changes in the Administration UI wouldn't necessarily take effect for all users until the web server was restarted. This has been an elusive problem, but we think we've identified a couple subtle bugs in the caching code used to synchronize the settings across across the web server threads/processes. We're going to watch carefully over time to see if new users still hit this bug, but for now, we think we've fixed it.

There are several other fixes as well, such as for the broken screenshot comment thumbnails problem some users have encountered.

More information can be found in the release notes.

Review Board 1.5 beta 1 released

Happy Valentines to everyone with someone special to share the day with. For the rest of you, spend the day with the all new Review Board 1.5 beta 1 release! Because Review Board <3 you.

What happened to 1.1, you may ask? The original intent was for the 1.1 release to be fairly small, with just a few new features. However, after our 1.0 release, we received a surge of new feature requests and enhancements, and had a few of our own that we wanted to get in as well. So over time, the release grew, and we decided that 1.5 was more appropriate.

There are many new, exciting features in this release, and we hope people will provide some good feedback on them as we get closer to the final 1.5 release. Among them are:

  • Move detection in the diff viewer. The diff viewer will now show whether a block of code has moved within the file, instead of just showing inserts/deletes. This feature is still young and may need some fine-tuning before release, but it's already proving to be a powerful aid in code review.
  • Function/class headers in the diff viewer. When looking at a collapsed section of a diff, the diff viewer will now show the function or class that most closely precedes that section, in order to give you some idea as to where you are in the file. These headers are also shown in the comments on a review and in the HTML e-mails. This supports C, C++, C#, Objective-C, Java, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby files.
  • Screenshot drag-and-drop for HTML 5-capable browsers. Newer HTML 5-capable browsers, such as Firefox 3.6, support the ability to drag-and-drop files from a file manager into a webpage. We can take advantage of this to allow users to upload screenshots by drag-and-drop. This has so far only been tested with Firefox 3.6, but we'd welcome some help in testing with other newer browsers.
  • Support for private GitHub repositories. It's now easy to link up a Review Board installation with a private GitHub repository. See the release notes for more information.
  • Speed improvements in the diff viewer and dashboard. Much work has been done to reduce the overhead in the diff viewer and dashboard, leading to speed improvements in many cases.

More information can be found in the release notes.

RBTools 0.2 RC 1 released

RBTools 0.2 RC 1 is now available for download. This is one of the last releases before the final 0.2 release, and everyone should upgrade to it soon, particularly if you're using the Review Board 1.1 alphas or nightlies.

Git users will benefit from the improved branch detection in this release. Previously, diffs were generated based on "master," regardless of whether the current branch was even based on "master" or whether "master" was tied to the right origin. Now post-review properly determines what the branch is based on. The new --tracking-branch option can be used to explicitly specify the branch as well.

post-review has gained a new --diff-filename option for specifying a diff file to upload, instead of generating a new diff. This can be useful for automation and third party integration purposes. Passing "-" as the filename will cause post-review to read from stdin.

There are also various bug fixes and compatibility improvements for Mercurial, Subversion, and Perforce.

This release is essential if you're using the 1.1 alphas or nightlies. It has some API compatibility changes that will be needed for one of the upcoming Review Board betas.

Full release notes are available.

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