On the road to 1.0
We’re getting very close to feature freeze for Review Board 1.0. The last couple of major features are up for review. These consist largely of a UI rewrite that simplifies a lot of Review Board’s operations and moves us over to using jQuery. This will go in once it’s been reviewed and tested in Firefox 3, IE 6/7, Opera and Safari.
There are some preliminary screenshots up of the UI rewrite. Some things will be changing before this goes in, but it should give a good idea as to the major changes (if you’re already a Review Board user).
In the meantime, we’re working to get some other fixes and small features in, and I’m beginning work on a user manual. I’m not sure how much will get done for 1.0, but with any luck I’ll have a decent chunk done.
Twittering the night away
I’ve just set up a @reviewboard user on Twitter that I’m going to try to keep up-to-date as progress is made. This should give people a decent way of passively keeping track of updates if they’re Twitter users.
Britt Selvitelle of Twitter fame just sent me a great screenshot of a barter system for Review Board. Can’t get someone to review your code? Offer them something in exchange!
As some people know, we’re planning to have extensions in the next major release (1.5 or 2.0). This would be a fun little extension to have 🙂 Maybe I’ll write it as part of a tutorial.
I’ve often felt the need for a tool exactly like reviewboard, and from a first use it seems great. I tried to install it on my server to use it for reviewing gedit patches but it did not work very well (not sure what the problem was). It would be great to have a reviewboard somewhere on the gnome website to be used by gnome modules like gedit.
Could you use identica in addition (or even instead of) twitter? It’s Free Software, a Free Network Service, and even includes a twitter bridge. http://identi.ca Thanks!
@Jesse: Can you describe what issues you were hitting? If there’s a problem we can fix, I’d like to fix it 🙂 As for a gnome Review Board server, I’d also love that, but I don’t have the resources to provide it. If someone else does, I’d definitely help set it up and maintain it.
@Craig: This isn’t the first time someone’s told me I should move to identica because it’s free software, but truth be told, I like Twitter, know people there, a lot people use it, and it works well for me. I can look into maintaining an identica account later on, but I’m probably not going to switch over entirely. Free software is important to me, but I don’t believe that everything I use absolutely must be free.
I think it was mostly a memory issue (I have a small virtual server only). I just tried to install it again (saw that it now has easy_install and rb-site utility). I’ll try to see if the same thing happens again. One thing I noticed was that the rb-site script crashed for me two times, first time because I did not have memcache installed, second time because I did not create the db user yet. It would be great if some checks here could be added (because now I had to type in all the information three times).
@Jesse: There’s definitely some things we need to improve with rb-site. It’s very young. Would you mind filing bugs on any issues you hit? I’ll see what I can do before 1.0.
Ok, I filed the bugs. I left the site running for a while (not accessing it) and the memory in my virtual server kept increasing steadily, until after some time all memory was used (normal memory use level is 60%). I have 256MB guaranteed +- 768MB ‘dynamic’ RAM. Is there a way to reduce the memory footprint?
Is the memory usage from memcached or the web server? What web server and python loader module is being used? We’ve found mod_python to work the best and fastcgi to trigger memory problems.
I’m using mod_python and from what I could tell it was apache (e.g. probably mod_python) which was memory hungry.
There might some tweaks you can do to Apache itself. I recommend posting to our mailing list and asking about that. I believe David Trowbridge would be able to give you more information on what we’ve done to reduce our memory footprint at VMware.
Review Board does require a not insignificant amount of memory to run, depending on the size of the install. This is not due to Review Board being bloated, but rather the operations we perform are just memory intensive. Generating side-by-side HTML diffs based on fetched files from repositories and the uploaded patches applied to them, rebuilding them once they’ve fallen out of the cache and are requested again… It’s not cheap, memory-wise or CPU-wise. In the future, we might be able to optimize it further, but the main thing is that we must cache all this data, which takes memory.
Yes I gathered that much, one of the reasons why I’d like to see a place on a gnome server somewhere (it’s not feasible for me to run it myself). I can’t really complain, the server I use just does not have a lot of memory. Thanks for the quick replies and explanations!
Can you give an example of how this enlarged “task bar” at the top right would interact with a very long “Summary:” line? i.e., on a smaller screen size a large summary line would intersect with the “task bar”. I imagine it will just float the whole subject line down underneath it?
@ErikSJ: Yeah, it pretty much just floats down to the next line. Later on, I’m going to adjust it to not do that if you have a certain amount of horizontal space. Since a lot of people run with a maximized browser, it should be more than enough.
I’ve played around with just having the whole Summary portion be down under the bar, but then there’s this big blank area in the top-left. I haven’t come up with a good solution for that just yet.