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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.

Review Board 1.1 alpha 2 released

Just in time for the holidays, we've released Review Board 1.1 alpha 2. This is a pretty significant release with many new features that users have been asking for for some time. We'd like to get this release heavily tested, but remember that it is an alpha release, and is best set up on a non-production system.

Some of the new features in this release include:

  • HTTPS Subversion repository support
  • SSH-backed repository support for Bazaar, CVS, Git, Mercurial, and Subversion
  • Amazon S3 storage for screenshots
  • Captchas for new user registration, to reduce spam

Full release notes are available.

Going forward, we're hoping to have a beta out by mid-December. This may be pushed out to January, depending on holiday schedules and how much testing this release gets. We may sneak another feature or two for the beta, but after that the focus is on a solid release.

We'd also like to dedicate this release to Vinay Venkatesh, a good friend and co-worker of ours who passed away earlier this month. He was a long-time supporter of the project, helped us keep our sanity during difficult times, and helped with ideas and suggestions for the project. Thanks for everything, Vinay.

Review Board 1.0.5 released

Tonight we released Review Board 1.0.5, a small bug fix release that fixes a handful of issues reported in some installations.

The main issue fixed that affected most people was that a previous version of Djblets, one of our dependencies, broke compatibility with Internet Explorer 6 and up. Review Board 1.0.4 required this version, meaning that users of Internet Explorer faced problems with anything involving a text area. We now require the newer version, 0.5.5, which resolves this problem.

Binary files and diff expansion were broken in previous releases, but are now fixed in 1.0.5. There are a handful of other fixes for Active Directory, the administration UI, and large bug numbers.

The one new "feature" in this release is that we now inform users on the New Review Request page about the existance of post-review, with a brief description and a link to the documentation. We're hoping more people will start to use post-review, improving their experience with Review Board.

Full release notes are available.

Updated: A bug was found making the New Review Request page unusable. A 1.0.5.1 release has been made to fix this issue.

Security vulnerability found in Django 1.0.3 and 1.1

An announcement was made yesterday that the Django 1.0.3 and 1.1 releases contained a security vulnerability that may impact some users. We recommend that users upgrade to the latest version of Django immediately. This is especially important to open source projects with public Review Board servers.If you're running an older Review Board server with Django 1.0.x, you should download Django 1.0.4 and install it. If you're running a newer version, you can upgrade by typing:

easy_install -U Django

Once you've upgraded, re-run rb-site upgrade on your installed Review Board sites.

Review Board 1.0.4 Released

Google Chrome fan? You'll like this release.

Tonight we released Review Board 1.0.4, which brings one of the most highly-requested features: Google Chrome compatibility. On older versions, Chrome had numerous problems with text areas and the screenshot commenting feature, which are now fixed. Chrome users should now find Review Board to be much more usable.

Opera got some much-needed love as well. Newer versions of Opera had some problems with uploading diffs and screenshots, which should now work in this release.

That's not all, though. Several small bugs were fixed with diff caching, CVS, replies to comments on interdiffs, Active Directory, LDAP, and more.

Full release notes are available.

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 1.0.3.1 patch release is available which just fixes the styles in the administration UI.

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