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Grab attention with @user! (bang) mentions

Posted by Andy Singleton on Fri, Feb 14, 2014

@mentions are the thing that make Assembla indispensable for us. They weave together ticket comments and responses into a conversation. Today, we gave them a little bang! to make them even more useful.

In any message, ticket, or ticket comment, create a mention with @, and add a ! at the end. When you add the ! on the end, it sends an email to that person or group.


@<username/group>! such as @andy! or @support!

Use this feature to get feedback from someone who does not log in to Assembla every day and check mentions.  It's useful for working with clients or people in other departments.

We got this from a customer:

We have plenty of users (QA, Designer, CEO), who will not be living in Assembla. They don't need to come check Assembla every day, and they certainly don't need a digest of the conversations happening between devs when 98% of the conversation doesn't concern them. It's a firehose. However, occasionally we want to ping them or give them an opportunity to chime in on a ticket. it's not always appropriate to assign a ticket to them since they don't _need_ to respond. @Mentions looked like the perfect solution ... [but it doesn't send emails].


Use mentions to bring other users directly into your conversation.  In any message, merge review, ticket, or ticket comment, type @ and start typing the name of the person that you want to bring in.  Assembla will pop up a user search form and you can select the user you want.  They will receive a notice, in real time, on their start page and in the little red box on the top bar of their Asembla app.  They can click through to your conversation, and respond.

Mention Tip: If your didn't know, you can create labels to mention different teams or groups like @marketing or @support. To setup lables, go to the Team tab and click in the “Label” column for any team member. Once labels have been added, such as support, you can type @support almost anywhere in Assembla to get the support team’s attention. Add a ! to email the entire group with your mention. 

For more information on @mentions, check out these articles introducing mentions and popup user search.

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Using Codebox as a Web-Based Code Editor for Assembla

Posted by adam feber on Wed, Aug 28, 2013

Using Codebox to edit Assembla Git repositories online is really easy with their recent Assembla integration. You and your team members can simply work on a clone of your Assembla repository, test the code and then push back to Assembla. 

1. Sign up for

You can easily sign up and log in with your Assembla account. 

friendcode 1

2. Import a Repository to Work On

Visit the repository settings page of your FriendCode account and select the 'Import' button for the repository you would like to import.

Note: If you already had a login to FriendCode and did not sign up via Assembla, you will have to connect your Assembla account on this page before you can import individual Assembla repositories. 

friendcode 2

After clicking 'Import', a modal will guide you through the import process. You can change the name, the description, and choose to import as a private repository. Note: You must not have any spaces in the name to successfully Fork. 

friendcode 3

3. Edit and Commit

FriendCode will now display the page of your newly imported repository, simply select the branch you want to work on (for exemple “master” or “dev”). You can also create new branches off other base branches.

friendcode 4

FriendCode has now created a full workspace for you to edit that branch : you can open files, edit them, save changes, and commit your changes.

friendcode 5

friendcode 6

4. Push to Assembla

When you are ready to push to Assembla, open the left panel and select the deployment solution “Push upstream” which will push your new commits to the original repository on Assembla.

friendcode 7

A logs tab will open to show you the result:

friendcode 8

And you will see the commit in your Assembla repository:

friendcode 9

Happy coding!

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Stop Burying your Important Tasks in your Backlog

Posted by Michael Chletsos on Tue, Jul 16, 2013

Have a large Backlog? Hate sorting the entire thing? Want to move fast and continuously? Then stop sorting your entire Backlog.  Just don't do it.

Instead, sort only the important tasks to the top of the Backlog, once those are done, or more appropriately, starting to dwindle, then sort the next batch of tickets to be used.  This ensures you are not wasting time by:

  1. Not sorting tasks that will never get done
  2. Sort only the priorities you can handle now
  3. Allows you to shift priorities quickly
  4. Keeps your tasks prioritized
  5. Allows you to create a Pull system
  6. Preventing work on not-ready tasks
In other words, you are not wasting efforts on predicting the future while keeping a nimble team and task prioritization. But how do you know where you have started/ended your sorting in your Backlog?  This is where the Ready-line is useful.

describe the image

The Ready-line keeps important tickets at the top of your Backlog in the Planner view, preventing them from getting lost. Drag-and-drop the bar to the desired location or drag and drop tickets into this area to separate work that is ready to be worked on from work that is still be flushed out.

Tickets above the Ready Line can be easily moved into your Current milestone or vice versa. This ensures that the most important tickets are next in the queue while giving a clear area for your developer's to pull work from.

To get a free Assembla Renzoku plan with the Ready-line, sign up here

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Keep Your Codebase Maintainable - Introducing Inline Comments in Merge Requests

Posted by Titas Norkunas on Tue, Mar 19, 2013

Code Review is an essential practice for teams that want to have a Maintainable Codebase. Some teams go as far as instituting peer programming, where two developers to work on a single computer on a single piece of code. However, most of us don't have this luxury. For everyone else, we present lightweight Merge Request reviews with inline comments.

Today, after much experimentation and input from customers like you we are ready to release the fruits of our labor. Merge Request now include inline comments. Thanks go to Kivanio Barbosa and Ghislaine Guerin for their contributions.

mr inline resized 600

Includes, but not limited to:

  • Add Inline Comment by clicking the green comment icon
  • See who participates in the discussion on a specific version of a file

  • Mention people when replying - bring their attention to your Inline Comment

  • Enable Code Review notifications in stream to get emails about comments

We are listening to your feedback. Let us know how we can improve Merge Requests to suit your needs.

Learn more about Assembla Repository features here.

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Here's the easiest way to collaborate with your designers and share your documentation

Posted by Titas Norkunas on Fri, Mar 08, 2013

What is your usual way of prototyping? Forget the file handoff and the email mess of sending those HTML prototypes. Collaboration with Designers is made easy in Assembla. Just check out the render button on any HTML document:

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  • render a file at any revision in Git, Subversion or Perforce
  • get fully rendered HTML page - with CSS and JS

This makes the full-blown HTML prototype be only a commit away and you never lose it, because it is in your repository!

Learn more about collaboration here 

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IAmA VP of Engineering at Ask Me Anything (AMA)

Posted by Michael Chletsos on Wed, Jan 23, 2013

Michael ChletsosI talk to many Assembla Customers in a day, I figure that others can benefit from this direct communication with the VP of Engineering at Assembla.  

I am hosting an IAMA this Thursday, January 24th between 1600 and 2000 UTC.  Please join me and Ask Me Anything.  I will answer as truthfully as possible by a human.

Some Topics that might be discussed:

  • How to use Assembla Code Review
  • How to integrate Tickets and Code Commits
  • How to use Stories and Tasks
  • What is the future of Assembla
  • What are the features of Assembla?
  • What does it do other than store code or track bugs?
  • Anything else you can think of.

So stop by and ask me anything: Reddit IAmA

 UPDATE: Thank you all who joined and asked questions, I learned a lot, I also really enjoyed it.  I will try to do another soon.  Those who missed it, feel free to read the past from the link above.

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Ruby 1.9.3 Gets Some Subversion Love

Posted by Michael Chletsos on Thu, Nov 08, 2012

At Assembla, we have been converting our apps over to Ruby 1.9.3 from 1.8.7.  We had the GC patches applied to 1.8.7 and were in no hurry to switch to 1.9.3 (See graph below).  One of our applications relied on Ruby SVN bindings, but the current Subversion project only supported Ruby 1.8.x. 

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Well with a little patch and some cooperation of the Subversion Team, we got it into trunk.

subversion commit

Ruby 1.9.3 has initial support in Subversion development branch now.  The tests still need some work, but overall its nice to have it finally.

A special thanks to Vincent Batts who did the original work on the patch and the bulk of the effort.  Thank you Philip Martin from the Subversion Team for working with us to get this patch accepted.


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Assembla's Social Collaboration Pack Makes Real Time Feedback Fun

Posted by Andy Singleton on Thu, Oct 25, 2012

social collaboration assembla

Over the past few months, Assembla has been improving the way team members communicate with each other.

As a result of these efforts, we have seen measurable increases in traffic and collaboration activity by Assembla teams and throughout the system. 


A few months ago, we released @mentions which allow you to type @<user name> in tickets, messages, commits, code reviews, etc. and draw the attention of a team member. 

I can not live without this feature. I have one place to promptly respond to any questions or requests. Apparently our users enjoy it as well with almost half a million @mentions since implementation - and the numbers continue to grow.  

We have made improvements since the first release:

  • Type @ and start typing a team members username OR first name and a drop down selector lets you quickly choose from a list
  • @mention your entire team by typing @team
  • @mention a specific group of team members by typing in @<label name> - example: @designers. You can label team members from the Team tab. 
  • We have added @mentions to your start page

In addition, we have added system notifications in the top bar next to your mentions notifications box. If the triangle lights up yellow, you have a system notification waiting for you. 

Top Bar Assembla

Stream Messages

What if you just want to post an update or send someone an @mention without posting a ticket? You can put a short message, up to 140 characters, directly in the stream using the new data entry box located at the top of the stream. It’s like Twitter or Yammer, but inside an Assembla team space. Want to see what everyone is talking about outside of project tool activity? Just use the filter to only show Stream messages. 

stream messages assembla

Customized Email Alerts

Now the email alert settings under "Stream > Email Notifications" allow you to select a different email alert frequencies for each type of event.  So you can see messages "when an event happens" and reply, but get a daily email summary of commits - you choose what you want to be emailed about and when. Learn more about this update

Improved Search Bar and Simple Shortcuts

In August we upgraded search, so you have more ways to find content using the search field on the top right of every page in a project space. Now, you can use the same form for some other actions:

  • “@andy” will take you to the user report for “andy”
  • “#99” will take you directly to ticket number 99
  • “% This is a stream message for @andy” will make a stream message, with an @mention for user andy

message search assembla

In the future, we will be doing more to turn the search box into a true command bar. For example, the FTP tool and our upcoming SSH deployment tool look at stream events to decide what to do. If we give them a little bit of parsing intelligence, you will be able to type “%deploy production” in the command bar and get what you want.

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Control Your Alerts with Notifications For Each Event

Posted by Michael Chletsos on Mon, Oct 01, 2012

You can now select the frequency of email alerts for each type of event.  You can have an Hourly Summary for your Ticket Events while having your Messages sent immediately and a Daily Summary for Team Code Reviews.  

In the past, I could only select one event frequency.  I like this feature  for myself because our teams have many updates on tickets, which would flood my inbox, so I want a summary for this, but I want to receive my messages alerts immediately and separately from this hourly summary of the tickets. 

events stream individual frequencies

We have copied over the frequencies from your previous settings for the Events you are notified on and maintained the frequency of "Never" for events that you were not subscribed to before.

Thank you Vitalie Danu for updating this feature and allowing us all to control our email once again.  I find this an extremely valuable addition to Assembla.

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@mentions Popup Search - Hot Way to Get Attention

Posted by Michael Chletsos on Thu, Jul 12, 2012

Getting mentioned on Assembla just became a whole lot easier.  A couple of weeks ago, we released a feature that allows you to send @mentions to other team members (@mentions blog posting).  Want to mention someone now?  Just start typing @<name>

You will see a dropdown search

mentions dropdown

This will work in a ticket description, message, standup, etc.  You can search the username, firstname, lastname, or email address of the team member.

We hope you find this as useful as we do.  We have found it to help with our workflows on a daily basis.  I get thousands of emails a day and its hard for me to keep track of every ticket, I like to use @mentions to ask questions or know that someone else wants to get my opinion on a ticket or message, though it was not assigned to me.  It has made my life so much better and our process has less hiccups now.  You should try it yourself and see how easy it is to get someone elses attention.

Thanks Vlad Gurdiga and the rest of the team in developing another great tool that is easy to use and very powerful.

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