RBCommons 3.0 is Live!

Over the weekend, we deployed a new major version of RBCommons, offering many new features and laying the groundwork for additional ones we’ll be bringing you soon.

 

New code review capabilities, including revokable Ship-Its, general comments not tied to code or file attachments, and the ability to require verification before issues are resolved.

Discussions are now easier to follow. New updates, reviews, and replies are highlighted in blue, helping them stand out. Desktop notifications let your browser notify you when there’s new updates to the page. Images can be dropped into text fields to provide some visuals with your comment. Emoji shortcodes can be used.

New repository support for Bitbucket Server, AWS CodeCommit, and Gerrit. Host your code there, review it here.

Feature improvements are everywhere. Custom avatar images can be set on your account. There are handy buttons for quickly navigating between file attachments. High-DPI image attachments are scale to fit on your screen. Review requests can be re-assigned to other team members.

RBCommons is faster. Along with optimizations in the new version, we’ve also begun moving parts of our architecture onto new servers, with more coming this week. You should start seeing those benefits soon.

See all the new features available today!

 

Coming soon, we’ll be bringing integrations with Slack and Mattermost chat, continuous integration with Travis CI and CircleCI, support for searching review requests, and new billing improvements (separate billing contact and administrative roles, and CC’ing invoices to an address of your choosing). We’re still testing these internally, and plan to start rolling these out in stages over the next couple months.

We hope you like the new RBCommons! As always, if you have any questions or hit any problems, we’re only a chat message away ūüôā

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RBCommons updates have moved to the Beanbag Blog

For years, we’ve been maintaining three separate blogs for our products: the RBCommons Blog,¬†Review Board News, and the Beanbag Blog. It made sense at the time to keep these separate, but these days it’s usually more confusing than it needs to be, with release announcements and helpful guides scattered across the blogs.

We began the process of consolidating these last night, and started with merging the RBCommons Blog into the Beanbag Blog. Unfortunately, due to a glitch with our mailing list provider, an e-mail went out today covering last February’s CloudFlare-related security issue. If you received this, we’re very sorry — that shouldn’t have happened, and you don’t need to worry about some new problem affecting RBCommons.

We’ll be posting more articles here going forward, along with RBCommons updates and RBTools release announcements. We recently started a series of articles on new Review Board features that will soon make its way to RBCommons as part of a major update we’re gearing up for.

We’re also planning to move the Review Board release announcements here, so there’s exactly one place to look for everything we’re working on.

And with that, we’d like to thank you all for being such wonderful customers. Have a Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s to a great 2018 ūüôā

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RBCommons and Cloudflare: Don’t worry, be happy!

There was a major security breach announced this week by Cloudflare, a popular service used by millions of sites. This security breach affected customers around the world, causing passwords, API tokens, private conversations, and more to be leaked into search engines and people’s browser sessions.

You probably have a lot of passwords you’ll need to change this week, but don’t worry, RBCommons does not use Cloudflare, nor do the services RBCommons depends on. Your information is safe!

We recommend that you take the time to ensure you’re using strong, unique passwords (ideally stored in a password manager like 1Password or LastPass), and enable two-factor authentication on RBCommons to make your account even more secure.

To learn more about the Cloudflare security breach, and how it affects you, read their disclosure and see the list of sites using Cloudflare to see if you may be at risk.

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The New RBCommons is Live!

We’ve been hard at work these past few months on a major update to RBCommons. This update brings all the many improvements found in the latest version of Review Board.

 

A more refined look

New RBCommons UI

RBCommons has a new improved look. We’ve modernized the look, polishing things here and there, bringing a much fresher feel to the service. Don’t worry, though, you won’t have to relearn anything. We’ve kept everything familiar.

Along with the new look is support for mobile! You can now use RBCommons from the phone, letting you catch up on reviews and new changes while on the go. Mobile diff review isn’t there yet, but is something we hope to bring down the road.

 

Archiving/muting review requests

It’s easier now to stay on top of the review requests that really need your attention. By archiving/muting review requests, you can take control over your dashboard and help you get to Inbox Zero (or maybe Dashboard Zero).

Review requests can be archived, hiding them from the dashboard until there’s new activity. They can also be muted, hiding them completely from the dashboard until you opt into seeing them.

Learn more about archiving and muting.

 

Trivial publishes for review requests and reviews

When you’re making a small change on a review request or clarifying something small on a reply, sometimes you don’t want another e-mail to go out to your team. We’re all busy, and every e-mail we add is one more thing to look at.

RBCommons allows for trivial publishes of review requests and replies. The green draft banner for review requests and replies contains a “Send E-Mail” checkbox, checked by default. To prevent sending an e-mail to your team, just uncheck it before hitting “Publish”.

Learn more about trivial publishing.

Expandable diffs in reviews

Inline Diff Expansion

Ever want to see just a bit more of a diff when reading a review, without having to jump into the diff viewer? Now you can! Just hover over the little snippet of the diff to see the new expansion controls. From there, you can start exploring more of the diff, without ever having to leave the page.

 

Live HD thumbnails for file attachments

Thumbnails now show more of the content you want to see.¬†They’re no longer just tiny previews of a file. Now they’re big and vibrant, and come to life when you hover the mouse over them, scrolling through the file to show you even more.

Learn more about Live HD thumbnails.

 

Revisioned file attachments

RBCommons now tracks every revision of a file you upload. Make a change to a graphic, or a PDF document? Simply update the existing file attachment by hovering over the thumbnail and choosing “Update.” Reviewers will be able to go view any revision, and for some files, they can even diff between them!

 

Diffs for text-based and image-based file attachments

Hey, we were just talking about this!

Image and text file attachments with multiple revisions can now be diffed. You’re seeing one example of this here, with a split diff of two images.

Image diffs make it easy to see how a graphic has changed over the revisions. You can view this in several different modes: Two-Up, Difference, Split, or Onion Skin modes.

Text files can be diffed as well, and this works exactly like the diff viewer.

Working with Markdown? Now only can we diff the source text, but the rendered output as well!

Learn more about diffing file attachments.

 

New review group setting to auto-add new users

Got a review group or two that you’d like everyone to be a part of, automatically? We’ve got a new option for that! Pull up the settings for a review group and toggle “Add new users by default.” Any new user you invite to your team will be automatically added to the group.

 

Browsing and posting Bitbucket commits for review on the New Review Request page

New Review Request

Bitbucket users, rejoice! You can now browse for commits in the New Review Request page. If you work in a “post-commit” model, where you push commits and then post for review, you’ll find your workflow’s just gotten a lot easier.

 

WebHooks for integrating with other services

RBCommons can now talk to third-party services and scripts through WebHooks.

WebHooks are used to notify HTTP services on certain actions (new review requests or updates, new reviews, new replies, etc.). You can use this to interface with in-house tools in response to new diffs or discussions, forwarding them on to other services or automating code reviews.

Learn more about WebHooks.

 

API Tokens for safer authentication

If you’re working with scripts or services that need to talk to Review Board, you can now create API Tokens and hand those out, instead of handing out a password. These are safer, and have the added benefit of letting you limit what can be done in that API session.

Learn more about API Tokens.

 

There’s a lot more, but those are the main feature updates. We hope you’ll like the new RBCommons. We know we’ve been looking forward to using it¬†for a long time now.

If you have any questions or hit any problems, you can reach out to us through the “Need help?” button (bottom-right of any page on RBCommons), or e-mail us at support@beanbaginc.com.

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Introducing new special user permissions

As a team grows, it often becomes the case that more developers need to assume more specialized roles in the code review process. Not just that of developer and reviewer, but also that of a manager of sorts, helping to keep the review process going and to keep the process tidy.

We’re introducing a few new special user permissions, designed to give users a subset of an administrator’s abilities. These can all be set in the Team Administration page by clicking the pencil icon next to team member.

 

 

The first permission, “Can close or reopen review requests from other users,” enables a user to help keep the list of review requests tidy by toggling whether a review request is currently open. If you’re not auto-closing review requests, if you have review requests open from former team members, or if you’re managing an open source project on RBCommons, this can be quite handy.

The second permission, “Can edit review requests from other users,” allows a user to modify a review request on someone else’s behalf. They can upload diffs, edit fields, and so on. The changes currently appear as if they’re from the owner of the review request.

The final permission, “Can post review requests as other users,” is most useful for scripts. In cooperation with RBTools (using rbt post –submit-as), a script can post a review request on another user’s behalf, perhaps when a change is committed to a special branch, or after a sandbox operation passes.

We’ve been piloting these permissions with some projects for a while now. Please let us know how they work for you, and if you have any questions or problems.

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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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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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