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New Beta Release: Review Board Power Pack

Until now, we've been running two separate beta programs for PDF Review and "Review Board Enterprise". We've decided to merge these together into a single product that we're calling the "Review Board Power Pack."

The major features of the combined package are:

  • Review PDF documents that are attached to review requests, commenting directly on the text, all in the browser with no extra plug-ins.
  • GitHub Enterprise support.
  • The ability to add capacity to your Review Board server by adding additional front-end servers.

Changes in the new preview

In addition to merging together the features of our two previous beta packages, there are some improvements and bug fixes for PDF Review in this release:

  • The outline mode in the sidebar now shows the tree structure of the table of contents.
  • When a document has a table of contents, the sidebar now allows switching between either the outline mode or the pages mode.
  • Scrolling behavior when using the mouse wheel or touch-pad gestures has improved significantly, making it easier to get all the way to the bottom of the document.
  • Non-PDF documents like .docx are no longer detected as PDF.
  • When attaching a PDF file with drag-and-drop, you can now click on the thumbnail to jump to the review UI to preview the document.
  • Several issues with PDF rendering have been fixed.
  • A fair amount of visual design polish.

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Getting the Power Pack

If you already signed up for the beta, you should have an email explaining how to install it (or upgrade from the first beta). If you haven’t signed up, but would like to participate, please fill out our sign-up form and we’ll be in touch.

Once we have a final release, these features will be available on RBCommons.com for our larger tiers.

Private beta for Review Board Enterprise

We've been working toward a set of enhancements to Review Board for larger installations that we're currently calling Review Board Enterprise. The functionality we're targeting initially includes:

  • Support for repositories on GitHub Enterprise.
  • Ability to scale across multiple servers, to handle larger numbers of consecutive users.
  • Faster diff viewer rendering. Diffs will begin generating immediately upon upload, outside the Apache process, and this can be scaled out as well.
  • Pre-built Review Board VMs for quick installation and scale-out.

Depending on interest, future versions may include:

  • Enhanced diff features. Due to the new way we can process diffs, we can start enhancing what the users see, speeding up their review process, and thus saving companies time and money.
  • Multiple SSH keys. Associate different SSH keys to different repositories.
  • Single sign-on. Integrate with existing SAML-based services.

These are changes we've been using on our hosting service, RBCommons, and are working to make available to a larger audience.

We're collecting sign-ups from anyone interested in giving this a try. We'll send out an announcement with a beta download once it's ready.

If you're interested, you can sign up here.

This will be a for-pay addition to Review Board, and will help directly fund the continued development of Review Board itself.

PDF Review Beta Released!

We're proud to announce that we've released an initial version of the PDF Review extension. This extension allows viewing PDF attachments directly in your browser, and you can add comments on the content.

If you're curious about how this works, we have an overview of the functionality over on our blog. If you'd like to get access to the beta, please fill out the signup form and we'll be in touch.

Private beta for document (PDF) review

Review Board has been a fantastic tool for software developers for many years now, but over time, we've seen people try to use it for reviewing things beyond code. We've therefore been working to make Review Board useful to a wider audience beyond just developers.

Lately, we've been working toward the first part of this, a Review Board extension to enable peer review of PDF documents. We'll be holding a private beta of this extension pretty soon, and are opening up a sign-up form for those who are interested in giving it a try and giving us feedback.

In order to help fund the Review Board project, we plan to make this a paid extension (but free for open source or educational use). In exchange for your comments and feedback, participants in this beta will be offered a discount off the list price once we hit 1.0.

If you'd like to participate, please fill out the signup form and we'll be in touch.

RBCommons End of Year Sale

For over a year now, we've provided professional Review Board hosting for businesses at RBCommons. It's been a very good year and change, and we're celebrating by offering an End of the Year sale.

For a limited time, new signups and upgrades on the Small, Medium or Large plans will receive 50% off the price for 3 months.

If you're looking to get started with Review Board and don't feel like hosting it yourself, give us a try. There's never been a better time!

Django 1.3.2 compatibility issues with Python 2.4

Yesterday, we released Review Board 1.6.11, which required the new Django 1.3.2 security release. Unfortunately, as some users have noticed, Django 1.3.2 breaks Python 2.4 compatibility. We have filed a bug against Django, but in the meantime, if you're using Python 2.4, you may need to downgrade back to Django 1.3.1.

To downgrade, first locate the Django-1.3.2*.egg directory in your Python path. Delete that, and then install 1.3.1 by doing:

$ sudo easy_install Django==1.3.1

We are hoping this will be addressed soon, at which point we'll update our 1.6.11 package with a hotfix that requires the new version.

Status Update on GitHub with Review Board

As previously mentioned, GitHub is transitioning to a new API and will be soon deprecating the version that Review Board speaks. We've been hard at work on this move (which brings with it a better repository configuration experience and the groundwork for tighter integration with GitHub and other services).

In the meantime, new users have been unable to link with private GitHub repositories, since GitHub no longer supplies the required API Token anywhere on the account page.

But good news! There is a workaround. If you have curl installed (common on Linux), you can request your API token by doing the following:

    $ curl -u github_username https://api.github.com/legacy/token

Enter your password when prompted. The result should show you your API token, which you can paste right into your repository configuration page.

We'll be sending out a release soon that will make it easier to get your API token when configuring the repository, followed by a new release with the GitHub API v3 additions in the following week or two. We want to make sure it's rock-solid first.

If you have any questions, we're always available on our mailing list.

Important update regarding GitHub and Review Board

Hello everyone.

GitHub has recently announced that they will soon be removing their older version 1.0 and 2.0 APIs, in favor of the newer version 3 API. This is scheduled to take place on May 1st, 2012.

Some users have already noticed that they have removed the API Token field, meaning that new GitHub Private and Private Organization accounts can't be accessed by Review Board today. We are in contact with GitHub and I'm hoping we'll have a solution to that.

Review Board uses the version 2.0 API to fetch files from GitHub, meaning that any installations using GitHub will stop working on May 1st. We are hard at work on moving to the version 3.0 API, and will have an update as soon as we can verify things are working properly. This will be Review Board 1.6.6.

There will be some manual steps required to get your GitHub repositories working again in 1.6.6. It will involve editing the repository entry, re-selecting GitHub, and authorizing an account. This will fetch the new OAuth2 API tokens from GitHub. Once you've done this, your repository will work again.

Further details will be provided as soon as we have a release.

Review Board 1.5.x users will need to upgrade to 1.6.6 in order to use their GitHub repositories.

Please contact our mailing list if you have any questions or concerns.

Fixing the Dashboard counters

Those who have upgraded to Review Board 1.6.0 have no doubt noticed some problems with a few of the counters on the side of the Dashboard. Several may be set to 0, or in the negatives. This is an annoying bug, and many have reported it to us.

Don't worry, though, we were prepared for such things! You can reset your counters by typing:

rb-site manage /path/to/site fixreviewcounts

The counters should fix themselves the next time you're signed on. Now, any users who haven't logged in since the upgrade may find themselves hitting this bug again. Just re-run the same command and it'll solve it.

The upcoming 1.6.1 release will fix the bug and will perform a counter reset on your install. This should take care of it for everybody. You can expect that this weekend.

Where is Review Board 1.6?

Those paying close attention may have noticed we haven't released Review Board 1.6 yet. And you may have wondered what's holding the release up. Well, there are two main things.

First, some of our users have hit problems upgrading to Review Board 1.6 RC2 from previous 1.6 betas. This seems to be limited to some subset of our users, and it's not clear whether it's a bug on our end or not, but I want to understand the circumstances surrounding this problem before we perform the actual release.

Second, the 1.6 manual isn't finished yet. We try to fully update the manual before the release, but this does inevitably delay things. We're working on getting someone who can in the future help out on documentation updates, in order to speed up the releases.

Once we're satisfied with the above items, we'll do a release. In the meantime, if you're looking to start using 1.6 sooner, you certainly can! The RC 2 release is largely what we're shipping in 1.6, excluding a couple of small fixes. However, please do a test upgrade on a copy of the database to ensure you don't run into the problem above. And if you do run into it, let us know! More data will help us to solve this faster.

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