Announcing new abilities for team administrators

Nobody likes a cluttered dashboard. It makes it harder to see what’s left to review in a day, and can have an impact on how often people check for what needs a review.

Sometimes this happens because someone has left the company. Sometimes people forget.

One of the most frequent requests we’ve had is to give team administrators a way to manage the mess. Today, we’re happy to announce that this feature has finally arrived.

Team administrators now have the ability to modify, close or reopen any review request on their team. You can also leave a message in the close description saying, for example, that the original owner left the company, or that the change was committed to a certain branch.

When posting through RBTools, you’ll also be able to post changes on behalf of another user, by passing the --submit-as=<username> flag to rbt post (or post-review, if you’re still using that). This is very useful if you’re looking to automate creating review requests.

In the future, we plan to make it possible to grant these abilities to other members of your team without giving full administrator rights.

Read More

Announcing support for Beanstalk and Bitbucket Git

We’re happy to announce that we’ve added support for two heavily requested code hosting services: Beanstalk, and Bitbucket Git repositories.


Welcome, Beanstalk!

Beanstalk is a code hosting and development service with support for Git and Subversion. It integrates with a variety of services and offers easy deployment to servers. They offer a free 30 day trial, and have reasonably priced packages for teams and businesses of all sizes.

To add a Beanstalk repository to RBCommons, you first need to enable API support for your account. Log into Beanstalk and click Account on the top-right. Then scroll down to Developer API and enable it.

Then, on RBCommons, simply add a repository and choose Beanstalk as the hosting service. Enter your Beanstalk account domain (the mydomain part of, your repository name, and save. You’re set up!


Bitbucket Git is finally here

As of today, you’ll be able to use Git repositories hosted on Bitbucket. Before today, Bitbucket was only usable with Mercurial. You can simply add your repository like any other repository. Just choose Bitbucket as the hosting service, and Git for the repository type.

You will need to install RBTools 0.5.2 and use rbt post in order to post your diffs for Bitbucket Git repositories. Unfortunately, due to some limitations in the Bitbucket APIs, you cannot use git diff or older versions of RBTools.


To all new users

We have guides for helping you get set up quickly. Please see our Getting Started guide, and Posting Patches for Review.

If you’re signing up for Beanstalk or Bitbucket Git support, let us know! You can tell us where you came from when creating your team.

Read More

Site Update: New goodies and speedups

We’ve deployed some new updates to RBCommons that should please many of you. Let’s go through the highlights.


New “Depends On” field

When you’re working with several inter-dependent changes, it’s helpful to give your fellow teammates a heads up on what depends on what. That helps them prioritize what to review, and gives them some context on what they’re looking at.

We’ve added a Depends On field to review requests for listing the review request IDs your change depends on. Each listed review request will then show that they block your change. A small change, but one we’re sure will be helpful to many of you.


Performance Improvements

We’ve worked hard to improve performance for uploading new diffs. From here on, as you begin to upload and view more diffs, we collect more information on what files and revisions we know exist, and which we know don’t exist. We use this to avoid some of the lookups we used to do before against your repositories.

For those of you who are very active and use GitHub, this drastically reduces the API lookups we have to do, speeding up diffs, and making it even harder to hit the dreaded GitHub API rate limits.


Nicer dashboard refreshing

The dashboard used to do a full-page reload every so often to refresh your view, which was.. noticeable. It was also pretty nasty when your connection to the server was interrupted, or when it tried to refresh during an RBCommons server upgrade, as you would come back to an error page.

You won’t see these issues anymore. The dashboard intelligently refreshes itself without a full page reload, and is resistant to temporary outages.


And more

There’s also a handful of bug fixes and some interface polish, particularly around issue tracking. We hope you like this update.

Read More

Making RBCommons more inviting

We’ve just deployed a change that makes it much easier to get your team set up on RBCommons. Until now, if you wanted to add a new user, you’d have to register an account first, and then add the username in your team administration dashboard.

Going forward, instead of registering an account first, you can just add the email addresses of each of your teammates. They’ll get an email with a special sign-up link, and once they create their account, they’ll be automatically added to your team.


As usual, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to get in touch.

Read More

RBCommons: New and Improved

Tonight, we deployed a major update to RBCommons that brings with it an improved look and feel and an assortment of new features.

RBCommons, as you may know, is powered by Review Board. Historically, we’ve used Review Board 1.6 under the hood, but now we’re on 1.7, the latest and greatest.



The first thing you should notice when you next log in is that there’s a cleaner, smoother feel to the site. Fewer sharp edges. More consistent font sizes. We’ve strived to bring more consistency and to shed a lot of our older warts. This will only get better from here on out.

As an example, look at how a review request used to look:

Old Look and Feel

Compared to how it now looks:

New Look and Feel


Improved Issue Tracking

It can be hard to keep track of all the issues your teammates want you to fix, especially if there’s a lot of reviews. Sometimes things just get missed. That would happen to us, at least, so we decided to fix it.

A summary of all opened issues is now shown right on the review request, making it easy to see how much work you have to do. You can filter the list or jump down to the relevant comments with one click.

Issue Summary Table



Moved Files in Diffs

If you’re using RBCommons with Git or Perforce, we’ll now show your moved files intelligently, instead of one big delete and one big add. That means you can move a file, make some changes, post it for review, and you’ll see those changes show up. Much easier to review!


Better File Attachments

We used to support uploading both screenshots and arbitrary file attachments, and you had to tell us which it was. Pretty ugly. It’s much simpler now. Just drag-and-drop your file onto the review request, and it’ll be attached. We’ll even show a preview of the file if we can (currently this supports images, MarkDown files, ReStructured Text files, and generic text-based files).

Just like before, you can review images, just like diffs. We’re going to be adding this ability for other types of files in the future.


Like it? Hate it? Have questions?

Let us know!

Read More

Adding Multiple Team Admins

We always had the ability for your team to have multiple administrators, but that’s been something that we’d have to set for you. This has been one of our more common requests as of late. So we’ve made it easy for you to assign new administrators to your team.

In your Team Admin page, you’ll now see a little pencil next to each of your users. Click the pencil and you’ll see a dropdown with an Administrator checkbox.


Assign an administrator


Guess what happens when you check it?

Read More

Announcing Default Reviewers

Find yourself typing the same reviewers over and over, for every new review request? Us too. You don’t have to deal with that anymore.

Administrators can now decide what groups or users will be assigned by default for new review requests. There’s a lot of flexibility here. You can determine the default reviewers based on file paths (which are based on regular expressions), and these can be configured across all repositories or just one or two. Create as many configurations as you want for all your needs.

To configure these, just go into your Team Admin page and click Default Reviewers on the left, then Add a default reviewer.

Tip: If you’re a small team, you can have all new review requests automatically assigned to a group. Just:

  1. Add a default reviewer.
  2. Leave your list of specific repositories blank. This way, it’ll apply to all of them
  3. Set the File regular expression field to: “.*” (without the quotes)
  4. Choose your group and save.
  5. Post a review request to test it out.

If you have any questions on configuring these, contact us at any time.

Read More

Announcing Easy Plan Changes

As RBCommons grows, more and more of you have grown with it, and have outgrown your old plans. While we’re just an e-mail away (say hi sometime!) and have been happy to switch your team to more roomy plans, that’s just frankly taking up more of your time than you deserve.

Starting today, you can switch your team’s plan on the Account and Billing section of your Team Administration page. Just find the plan that best suits your needs and click Change Plan. After a few seconds, your team will be all set with the new plan. You can change at any time, and your account will be prorated for the month.

Of course, you’ll only be able to switch to a plan that’s big enough for your team.

If you’ve discussed an educational plan with us for a class, please contact us before switching your plan.

Read More

Improving Team Administration

We just landed a large and improved change to the Team Administration pages that we hope will make things much easier for you administrators out there. We had a couple main focuses:


Navigation and Layout Improvements

Understanding and navigating the Team Administration section is now a breeze. We’re no longer showing all your information and configuration on one long page. Now you’ll have a clear list of administration pages you can access, which are listed on the left-hand side of your administration pages.

We’ve modernized the style of Team Administration pages to both be less bland and to be more consistent and clear. You’ll see improvements across all your pages. For example, the list of users in your team will show their gravatars, if they have one set, while the Account and Billing page will give you a clear display of the important information on the credit card you have on file and will clearly display if your card has expired.


Payment History

A very common request was to make it easier to see your past payments. We send out e-mails with this information every month, but it’s handy to be able to look it up, especially if an e-mail ended up in the spam folder by mistake.

You’ll now find a handy “Payment History” page showing every month’s payment you’ve made since signing up for RBCommons. Clicking on the link for the month will show you the invoice for that payment.

There’s still some work to do here. We’ll be rolling out coupon/discount information in your invoices soon, for those who have had coupons applied to their accounts.


Easier RBTools Configuration Info

We used to have a section on the Team Administration page showing you roughly what was needed for an RBTools (post-review) .reviewboardrc file. It was per-team, though, and not per-repository. We’ve fixed that. Go to your Repositories page, and you’ll see an “RBTools Configuration” button next to each repository with exactly what information is needed to set it up with post-review.


Coming Soon…

We have a few more changes that will be trickling in over the next month to make it easier to create new groups, invite users, and generally get set up.

Read More