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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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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Tonight’s round of improvements for teams

We deployed an update tonight that makes some small but very useful changes throughout the site.

Your account menu at the top of every page has been tweaked to show your username, instead of your first name. We found that people sometimes forgot which username they registered with, which this should help a lot with. Inside the menu, you’ll see a little card showing your gravatar, name, and e-mail address, along with the usual menu items for changing your account profile and logging out.

Next to your account menu is your new Team menu. Here you’ll see your team and a menu item for creating new teams. If you’re an administrator, you’ll also be able to get to your Team Administration page from here. If you’re a member of more than one team on RBCommons, it also offers an easy way to switch between them.

This menu also gave us the opportunity to make another change. When you visit RBCommons.com, you’ll now be taken directly to your dashboard, skipping the old and shabby “home” screen altogether.

One last thing, for administrators. The interface for adding or editing review groups in the Team Administration page was not up to par. We’ve revamped this, and it’s much nicer, particularly for user selection.

And that’s it! Enjoy, and keep the great feedback coming.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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