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Review Board 1.5.3 released

Another release tonight! This time, Review Board 1.5.3.

After our 1.5.2 release, some users hit issues with the new SSH infrastructure. In particular, Windows users, CVS users, and Bazaar users hit different problems. We've ironed them out and put together a new testing infrastructure here to make sure they keep working. If you've been bitten by 1.5.2 and SSH, please try this release out and let us know how it goes.

Along with this, we've updated our API so that RBTools 0.3.1 (and any other clients) can use a repository name instead of a path when creating a new review request. This greatly simplifies setting things up when there are lots of possible repository paths involved. See the RBTools 0.3.1 release announcement for some more information on this.

There are also a few other fixes thrown in. See the release notes for more information.

RBTools 0.3.1 released

RBTools 0.3.1 is out the door, with an important crash fix for users running Review Board versions older than 1.5.2, and a brand new feature sure to make administrators a bit happier.

Starting in 0.3.1, .reviewboardrc has gained a new configuration option, REPOSITORY. This can be used to override what repository information is sent to the Review Board server when creating a new review request. You can give it a different path, or, with the upcoming Review Board 1.5.3, you can give it the name of the repository (the same name you'd see for it in the New Review Request page).

This is particularly useful when repositories are SSH-backed and include a username. If you have more than two possible paths to a repository, you can choose the one to send to the server with this setting. Your upstream repository you want to use may be svn+ssh://bob@example.com/var/lib/svn, but your users may be using their own usernames instead of "bob." In these cases, you can set something like the following in your project's .reviewboardrc:

REPOSITORY = 'svn+ssh://bob@example.com/var/lib/svn'
Or even:
REPOSITORY = 'My Repository'
Assuming "My Repository" is what it's named on the server. For more information, see the release notes.
RBTools 0.3 released

Tonight we released RBTools 0.3, the latest and greatest update since 0.2. RBTools, aka "That thing post-review lives in," supports the new API in Review Board 1.5.x and contains fixes and enhancements for CVS, Subversion, ClearCase, Mercurial, Perforce, and more.

The are so many improvements in this release, but two big highlights I'd like to point out are the support for the new Review Board 1.5.x API, and the addition of Plastic SCM support.

Review Board 1.5.x's new API is extensive, and we're working to make RBTools take advantage of it. To start with, we've updated post-review to make use of it, which is important because the old API is going away in the upcoming Review Board 1.6 release. The plan is to introduce new scripts alongside post-review that call into the new API, replicating nearly all of the web UI's functionality from the command line. At the same time, we'll have a Python API that developers can use to talk to Review Board. All this will happen for the RBTools 1.0 release.

As I mentioned, we received Plastic SCM support by way of Dick Porter, one of the Plastic SCM developers. This is a new cross-platform DVCS provided by Codice Software, with professional and community editions. It's meant to work with the Plastic SCM support going into Review Board 1.6. If you're using Plastic SCM, you should be able to start using Review Board and Plastic SCM together soon.

There was also a big push for improvements to ClearCase, Mercurial, and Perforce. I'd like to thank Jan Koprowski for the ClearCase work, Dan Buch for Mercurial, and Ben Hollis for Perforce. And of course, there were many other contributors with critical bug fixes and enhancements in this release.

For the full list of changes and contributors, see the release notes.

Please note: If you're using Review Board 1.5.x and after upgrading to RBTools 0.3 you can't log in, you may have an incompatible WSGI configuration. Please see the FAQ entry on fixing this.

Review Board 1.5.2 released

Happy New Year, everyone! Hopefully everyone's had a good holiday and start of the new year. We've been hard at work through the holidays on many improvements to Review Board, and tonight have released 1.5.2.

Review Board 1.5.2 is a fairly substantial and critical feature and bug fix release. It fixes many of the problems developers have encountered with the new API we introduced in 1.5, particularly with authentication. Developers working with our API should consider the 1.5.2 release to be the minimum requirement from here on out.

If you're using WSGI, it's very important that you read the release notes for updating your configuration, or you'll hit problems with the API in the future.

Administrators trying to set up SSH-backed repositories, particularly private GitHub repositories (both standard and GitHub Organizations) should now have a much easier time getting going. We've introduced SSH key management to make it easy to generate new SSH keys, upload existing ones, or view the public key for an existing key. Review Board will be able to use the configured SSH key to access SSH-backed repositories without having to change the home directory for the web server's user.

There are many other fixes in this release. I've only mentioned a couple of them. See the release notes for everything else in this release.

Review Board 1.5.1 released

Review Board 1.5.1 has been released. It's a small bug fix release that fixes a few small problems, including lighttpd installation, serialization problems with the API's XML output, breakages with SCons files, and better error reporting for Git repositories with incorrect permissions, to name a few.

It's a pretty small, safe release with no real emergency fixes, but it's worth an upgrade, particularly if you're affected by one of the problems.

Full release notes are available.

Review Board 1.5 Released!

At long last, after just over a year of development, we present to you for your consideration... Review Board 1.5!

Review Board 1.5 is a major release with many new features for users, administrators, and third party developers. We have improved usability, improved error feedback and logging, and made it easier to review changes.

Users will see notification bubbles when a review request is updated and improved e-mails with fragments of diffs and screenshots. They'll see when code blocks have moved in the diff viewer, see which class or function a block of code is in, and better control how they see whitespace. Comment regions are more clear in the diff viewer. Reviewing on an iPhone and iPad now works. Screenshots can be uploaded by dragging them from the file manager into the page. Auto-complete matches first and last names, and group names.

Administrators can more easily create and manage repositories and bug trackers on various services. They can decide which ones are shown and which are not. They can view and filter the Review Board log file when diagnosing problems. Offload uploaded data to Amazon S3. Write custom management commands for administering Review Board.

Remote Git repositories are now possible. Repositories over HTTPS or SSH can be added and accessed without complex workarounds.

Third party developers have a much more powerful, flexible, and manageable API for integrating Review Board into their applications and services. They can do most of what Review Board's own web UI can do. They can even implement custom diff viewers if needed.

This is just part of the feature set of Review Board 1.5. See the full release notes for all the great things in this release.

At this point, all of our work will focus on 1.5 and the upcoming 1.6. The goal is to keep the 1.6 release shorter with a smaller feature set. We likely won't be releasing any 1.0.x releases unless major security problems are found.

If you are using Review Board 1.0.x, performing an upgrade will automatically install 1.5. You can upgrade by typing:

$ easy_install -U ReviewBoard

If you want to stay on the 1.0.x branch, you need make sure you upgrade to the exact version you want by specifying it during package installation. For example:

$ easy_install -U ReviewBoard==1.0.9

Thanks to everyone who helped make this release possible! That includes all those who have helped spread Review Board in your organization. If you use Review Board and would like to come celebrate with us, please let us know through this simple form.

Review Board 1.5 RC 2 released

We can see the end of the tunnel, and it's bright and full of marshmallows!

Tonight we released Review Board 1.5 RC 2, the (hopefully) final RC release before 1.5 goes live. After our testing with RC 1, we're pretty confident we're at a good point to ship the final release soon. How soon? Why, next week, if all goes well. But you didn't hear it from me.

1.5 RC 2 fixes some remaining compatibility problems and usability problems found in RC 1. It smooths out the new API quite a bit as well.

Some of the key highlights include:

  • Python 2.7 packages
  • Compatibility with PyLucene 3.x
  • Support for review requests without a diff (for reviewing screenshots)
  • Improvements to screenshot drag-and-drop to make the experience a bit more reliable
  • Some various authentication fixes for NIS, LDAP and Active Directory.

As usual, full release notes are available.

If you are at all planning to use Review Board 1.5, please upgrade to RC 2 and let us know if there are any major regressions. At this point, the goal is to release very soon, with any non-showstopper bugs being targetted for 1.5.1.

We always like to hear from our users, so drop us a line if you're using it, and with your permission, we'll add you to our Happy Users list.

We're planning a release party in the Silicon Valley, California area for some time in October. Details are still being worked out, but if you live in the area and would love to join us and some fellow users for dinner and drinks, contact us on the mailing list with your general availability (preference for week day vs. weekend, when you could tentatively make it) and we'll let you know when the plans are set.

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.

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