RBTools 0.7 is here!

RBTools 0.7 is packed with new tools and improvements for your workflow, making it faster to install, post changes to RBCommons, and land your changes.

There’s a lot here, so we’ll go into the major new additions.

Easy installation for Windows and MacOS X

We’ve improved the installation experience. If you’re on Windows or MacOS X, you can simply download the RBTools installer for your platform. In seconds, you’ll be ready to use the latest RBTools.

Land reviewed changes with one command

The all-new rbt land is the fastest way to take a change (in a local branch or a review request), validate that it’s been reviewed, and land it in your repository. It will format the commit message to include the review request’s description and testing information, and can even handle pushing the change upstream and deleting the local branch in one go.

(This is currently only available for Git repositories. Support for other repositories will come soon.)

Exclude files from review

Sometimes you’ll have modified files that you just don’t want up for review. Auto-generated code, for instance. You can now exclude these when posting changes for review by using the new -X option to rbt post, or by setting EXCLUDE_PATTERNS in .reviewboardrc.

Make your own commands with aliases

Ever find yourself repeating a group of options? rbt post -g yes -u HEAD, for instance? In 0.7, you can create an alias — a new RBTools command, basically — for those options.

You can even go a step further and make an alias that runs non-RBTools commands. Want to always run unit tests before posting code? Make an alias. How about merging the latest upstream changes into your branch before posting? There’s another alias!

See the documentation on aliases for more information.

Faster communication with RBCommons

We’ve sped up RBTools by caching results from RBCommons. This means lots of operations, such as posting changes, is faster than ever.

If you’re using the RBTools Python API to write your own integrations, you’ll benefit from this with no additional work on your end.

And lots more!

We haven’t even talked about rbt stamp, support for API tokens, or all the bug fixes and other feature improvements.

Check out the release notes for the whole list of changes.

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A new batch of feature and performance improvements

Tonight, we’ve released a huge set of bug fixes and feature improvements for RBCommons that should improve your code review experience.

Faster performance

We’ve fine-tuned many parts of RBCommons to give you a faster experience.

Editing Markdown text should now feel as fast as editing plain text. The lag that would sometimes appear has been fixed.

The dashboard now loads a lot faster when using the People, Groups, or To Me columns.

We’ve also improved performance in our API. RBTools and various operations on the site should be much faster now.

Markdown improvements

Markdown is now completely optional. By default, all text fields on review requests and comments on reviews will be in Markdown mode, as before. However, you’ll now be able to turn off Markdown while editing, saving as plain text.

You can also choose to disable Markdown by default for all fields in your My Account page. Simply uncheck “Always use Markdown for text fields.”

Note that if Markdown is enabled by default, then all fields will start off editing in Markdown mode. Any plain text will be escaped first.

Along with this, we’ve fixed a number of escaping and rendering problems with Markdown text, particularly for text coming from a commit.

Better clipboard support in the diff viewer

The diff viewer now supports selecting and copying the text within either column in the diff viewer, without that selection covering code from the other column.

Previously, selecting worked like it did for any table in a web page, in that the selection would span both columns, making it impossible to get the text out cleanly. With this new support, you can safely copy a block of text from the original or modified file and paste it into your editor.

Better e-mail control

We’ve reduced how much e-mail you’ll receive in certain cases. For instance, if a review request is updated to add new reviewers, without altering any other fields or introducing a new diff, only the new reviewers will be notified of the update.

We’ve also introduced an option to let you opt out of any e-mails triggered by your own actions. To opt out, head over to the My Account page and uncheck “Get e-mail notifications for my own activity.”

Numerous bug fixes

We’ve fixed nearly 40 bugs across the site, covering issues with repository compatibility, diff generation, usability, e-mail notifications, and more.

 

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RBTools 0.6.3 is released!

Today’s release of RBTools 0.6.3 fixes a handful of annoying little bugs across Git, Mercurial, Subversion, Perforce, and ClearCase. If you use any one of these (and there’s a good chance you do), it’s time to upgrade!

In past releases, failed post operations could leave behind incomplete review requests, which wasn’t always obvious. RBTools will now print out the review request after a failure, making it easier to fix things up without creating a new review request.

We’ve also fixed a bug in the Python API for Review Board that resulted in errors when performing HTTP DELETE operations.

See the release notes for the complete list of fixes.

While this is a fairly small and bug-oriented release, we’re happy to announce that RBTools 0.7 is coming soon, with several new features and native installers for Windows and MacOS X!

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Auto-closing review requests when pushing changes

We’ve launched a new feature today for simplifying your code review workflow.

If you’re using GitHub, Bitbucket, or Google Code, RBCommons can now automatically close your review requests when you push your commits to your repository, making use of the service’s “post-commit” hooks. You’ll no longer need to click Close -> Submitted, saving time and keeping your dashboard clean.

 

Usage is simple

Once you’re set up (and we’ll go into that in a minute), all you need to do is include the following in your commit message:

Reviewed at https://rbcommons.com/s/<your-team>/r/<id>/

Or:

Review Request #<id>

Just commit, and your review request will be automatically closed, along with a message containing the commit revision and which branch it was committed to.

 

Setting this up

Setup depends on which service you’re using for your repositories, but we’ve worked to make it pretty simple.

We’ve added some new buttons to your Team Administration -> Repositories page. You’ll see a “Hooks” button next to any supported repository. Click that, and you’ll see instructions on turning this feature on for your repository. In just seconds, your repository will be set up!

This feature is still new, but has been undergoing testing for several weeks. If you hit any snags, let us know and we’ll help get you going.

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RBCommons and this week’s security news

This has been an interesting week on the Internet, security-wise. A vulnerability in the Bash shell (named “Shellshock”) was announced that allows remote execution of code on unpatched servers with certain configurations. Separately, an undisclosed vulnerability in Xen forced AWS and Rackspace to announce mandatory reboots of many of their customers’ servers. (See Amazon’s announcement and Rackspace’s announcement for more details.)

We’d like to give an overview of how all this is affecting RBCommons and, in turn, you.

We keep a close eye on all security updates available for the software and libraries we use, and are quick to patch our servers as fixes roll out. We’ve also performed many tests to ensure that malicious Shellshock HTTP requests do not impact us. Your data is safe.

Some of the services we use were affected by the mandatory AWS and Rackspace reboots. Earlier today, our mail provider, Mailgun, was temporarily down during the outage, which may have resulted in missing or delayed e-mails for those working on Sunday.

We’ve had a few rare DNS lookup failures, resulting in errors when visiting pages or otherwise interacting with RBCommons. There have only been four so far, and are temporary. If you see a random error loading a page, please just try again. We know this failure has affected a number of other AWS customers as well.

Tonight at 11PM PST, Amazon is scheduling some of our servers for a 6 hour maintenance window. This isn’t the first set of our servers to have undergone the mandatory maintenance, and we aren’t expecting any interruption to RBCommons during this time. However, we may be running at reduced capacity for about 20-30 minutes. We will be monitoring things closely.

If you are repeatedly hitting problems with RBCommons, please contact us!

We’ll post further updates if there’s anything to report.

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Announcing unlimited repositories, PDF document review, and 30-day trials!

We’re very happy to announce some exciting improvements to the plans offered on RBCommons.

 

Unlimited repositories!

We’ve removed the restrictions on the number of repositories your team can set up. You can now add as many repositories s you need without hitting a limit, and at no additional cost. Add all your Git repositories, your forks, open source projects you contribute to, or whatever you like.

This applies to all plans from Starter to Enterprise. If you’re running on the old Micro 2012 or Small 2012 plans, you’ll need to upgrade in order to add unlimited repositories.

 

Upload your PDFs for review

We’ve also introduced support for reviewing PDF documents. Simply drag-and-drop a PDF file into your review request and wait for the PDF to be processed. Reviewers will be able to read through the PDF and comment on any section, just like they can already do with code and images today.

This feature is available on Medium and higher plans. If you’re on a smaller plan, you can upgrade to take advantage of PDF review by changing your plan in your Team Administration page. If you’re interested in trying out PDF review first, contact us and we will temporarily enable it for your team.

 

More time to try RBCommons

For the new teams out there, we’ve increased our trial period from 14 days to 30. This should give you more time to get set up and comfortable with RBCommons.

If you already have a trial subscription, we’ve already gone back and increased your trial to 30 days. You should have received an e-mail from us already. If not, please let us know.

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Welcome to RBCommons 2.0!

It’s here!

We’re so excited to announce the all-new RBCommons 2.0. This is a major update that improves the service in so many ways that we won’t be able to fit it into one post. It’s faster, more reliable, easier to use, and full of polish.

Let’s go over a few of the new features.

 

A super-charged diff viewer

The first thing you’ll see in the new diff viewer is a new file index. At a glance, you’ll see not only what files were changed, but the complexity of the changes. The ring icons beside each file show the proportions of inserted lines, deleted lines, and replaced lines. The thickness of the ring shows how much of the file has been modified.

 

 

In most diff viewers, indentation-only changes look just like any other changes. You have to spend time checking to make sure that the content didn’t actually change along with the indentation.

Not here! Now, indentation-only changes are shown with little markers, which show exactly how many spaces or tabs were used. You won’t have to spend any time looking at whether the text in the line has changed. You’ll know at a glance.

 

 

We’ve also improved the quality of interdiffs (especially when dealing with merges), made moved line detection much smarter, and added an easy-to-use revision selector to quickly jump between diff revisions and interdiffs without reloading the page.

 

The new “New Review Request” page

We’ve completely rewritten the New Review request page, making it simpler to upload your diff and check it for errors. We’ve also gone further and added one-click posting of committed changes for review. Simply select a branch, browse through your commits, and click to post. In seconds, it’ll be up and ready for review.

 

 

Detailed change histories

When you’re working on large changes with several iterations, it’s important to know exactly what changed. We’ve always provided change histories, but they were pretty basic. Now, they’re anything but.

 

 

A slicker dashboard

We cleaned up the dashboard navigation and layout to help you jump between your incoming and outgoing review requests. The sidebar is less cluttered and confusing, and actually useful.

We’ve also addressed two of our most-requested features: Issue counts in the dashboard, and batch closing of review requests.

The Ship It column now shows the number of open issues filed against a review request, if any. These always take precedence over any Ship Its, helping you know at a glance if there’s any feedback you need to address.

 

 

The all-new “Select Rows” column in the dashboard lets you select multiple review requests and close them in one go. It’s very useful when trying to clean up your dashboard if you’ve gotten behind in closing review requests, or if a former teammate leaves. Simply click the pencil in the top-right of the dashboard to add this column, and drag it where you want it.

 

Lots more!

This post is getting pretty long, so we’ll wrap it up. Basically, a lot has changed, and we only touched upon a few of the features. Some others include:

  • Markdown support in all text fields
  • Faster posting of review requests from RBTools
  • Retina icons
  • New support for reviewing different text-based file attachments
  • Reviewers can close issues they filed
  • Easy download of files in the diff viewer

In the coming weeks, we’ll go into more detail on some of the more useful additions in this release, including tips and tricks on how to get the most out of RBCommons 2.0.

This was a pretty major release, so if you have any issues, please contact us immediately so we can resolve them!

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RBCommons 2.0 is coming this weekend!

Updated Saturday, 1:50AM PST: We had some issues with one of the new servers, and had to roll some things back temporarily. This is extending our maintenance window. Hopefully nobody will be too badly affected, but we’ll be down until approximately 5AM PST.

 

We’re making a huge update to RBCommons this weekend. The site will be down for up to 4 hours starting Friday at 11PM PST, as we begin our upgrade to the all-new RBCommons 2.0.

This new update is based on Review Board 2.0, and brings some major improvements to the dashboard, diff viewer, review request change histories, performance, and more. A few of the new features you can expect include:

  • Fewer full-page reloads
  • Faster load times
  • Better, more accurate interdiffs
  • Markdown input for all text fields
  • Indentation markers in diffs
  • Smarter moved line detection in diffs
  • A nicer dashboard, which better displays when changes are approved, or if they have pending issues still open
  • Bulk-closing of review requests through the dashboard
  • Easy posting of existing commits on your GitHub or Subversion repositories, right from the New Review Request page
  • Faster posting of changes using RBTools
  • Better display of exactly what changed in updates to review requests
  • High-DPI icons for those on Retina or equivalent displays
  • Review of text-based file attachments

That’s just a few of the features that this release will bring. We’ll go into more detail after everything’s deployed.

On top of this, we’re moving onto much faster servers, which should help with some of the growth spurts we’ve been hitting lately.

So wrap up your work before this Friday at 11PM PST (Saturday, 6AM UTC). We’ll be shutting down the servers for up to 4 hours as we move to the new servers and begin the upgrade. It shouldn’t take the full 4 hours, but we want to allow for any issues that come up.

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This weekend’s upcoming server maintenance

This weekend, we’re beginning a series of upgrades to our infrastructure that should resolve some stability issues we’ve periodically hit with our database server on AWS. It should also help to improve performance across the site.

This work will start Sunday, August 17th at 6AM UTC (that’s Saturday at 11PM PST for those in California). We’re blocking off two hours for the work, at which point the site will be down. It shouldn’t take nearly that long, though.

Going forward, we’re gearing up for a big update to RBCommons. Along with this, we’re planning some further hardware upgrades that should do a lot to further improve performance. We’re planning this for some time in the next two weeks. We’ll announce the details when we’re closer.

If you are worried that your team is going to be horribly impacted by this maintenance window, please let us know!

Updated Sunday, 12:33AM PST: Maintenance is complete, and we’re back up and running!

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RBCommons 2.0 Beta!

A few months back, we finished up the release of Review Board 2.0, a major release offering features such as Markdown text editing, an improved diff viewer, easy posting of existing commits for review, open issue integration in the dashboard, and more.

We’ve been working to update RBCommons for the Review Board 2.0 codebase, and are happy to announce that the first public beta is ready! We’re trying to squash any remaining bugs, so please play around with it and report back to us.

A few important notes:

  • Your review requests and reviews will not sync between the beta server and rbcommons.com. Don’t use it for production work. Your data will be lost when we switch over.
  • The database is from August 4th. Your review requests and reviews made since then will not be there. This is normal!
  • DO NOT make any changes to your billing or cancel your team or user account on the beta! This will affect your main RBCommons account.
  • If you signed up in the past week and your team or user account is not available on the demo server, contact us, and we’ll get you set up.

With that in mind, give it a try at beta.rbcommons.com! Please send us any feedback you have.

We’re planning to switch over by the end of August. We’ll give a heads-up before we go live.

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