No Stacks in RW9! Stacks5.App is coming!

You just reopened that one.

We all loved RW until some days ago.

You started this whole shit show.

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@dancounsell where is actually this post gone?

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Not correct. I think you refer to your own marketing disaster.

It started to blow up with RW Stacks users, when you announced the new RW9 API at the beginning of March. As you well know, this meant all existing plugins including Stacks, would not work without a total rewrite. 1000’s of hours for Stacks.

Faced with that bombshell, I believe that Isaiah made the wise and universally applauded decision to replace the fronend to Stacks, otherwise known as RW, with a stand alone App that did not have any dependence on RW. This was music to the ears of Stacks users.


Imagine how it would have gone if Isaiah had announced he’d bring Stacks to RW9 and that he was developing - now that would have been a win with zero complaints and only upsides for third-party stacks developers and customers.

Again forgetting the guy that put food on your table for the last 20 years.
I honestly don’t think you realise what you’re saying. Else you have no idea how thinly veiled your words are.

Clearly it would have been totally impossible for Stacks to survive as a Rapidweaver plugin, if Rapidweaver can convert stacks to run without the plugin

I wrote stacks for Yourhead Stacks, and I will continue to write stacks for Yourhead Stacks exclusively.
My mind could not be changed if RW9 turns out to be the best thing since sliced bread. It’s owned by a greedy bad egg.
Feel free to take a match to my bridge.


Literally no one would have an issue if this was the case. 2 separate and competing products would indeed have been good for developers and users alike.

The core issue though is that Elements didn’t seem to fancy that competitive aspect and instead looked to wipe the competition out by attempting to assume control of stacks and the Stacks user base.


@dancounsell Do you really not get it or is this smiling executioner situation going to continue? We’ve said in private and public many times over the past couple of weeks that no developer objects to Elements or RapidWeaver 9.

We object to Elements importing stacks and rendering the Stacks plugin impotent. That is not competition, that is not improving user choice or even continuity.

Even if RW9 and Elements do turn out to be better and would win a genuine user base, they will be tainted by what many will see as an unacceptable approach to business.

There is still time to turn this around and just stop the stack transpiler part of Elements. Let people write or re-write products for Elements and let stacks work with Stacks. Stop this fragmentation of the community.


My post on the RW Forum has been deleted. It was saying how disappointed with recent events I am and how I felt that @dancounsell was being unethical to be doing what he is doing.

I know I posted it (after Tavs post) but poof!! Vaporised!!

Edit: I have just had it confirmed by another user that they saw my post and now it isn’t there.

WTF? Dan… what the hell has happened to your moral compass?

@dancounsell Please listen to Tav. He speaks the whole truth without malice, prejudice, or even money to taint his view. His business acumen is razor sharp.

We don’t hate RW.
We don’t hate elements.
We don’t hate you.

But there seems few good reasons to read the Stacks API. From our vantage point it looks only like you’re trying to hurt someone who helped you a great deal. It’s not a good look.

Taking what I’ve built doesn’t seem to help you compete with wordpress. Worse, you’re destroying one of RW’s greatest assets, the developer community. You’re decimating your own army.

I am truly sorry it ended this way. I thought we would retire together someday as friends.



I know, my response is largely irrelevant for the debate here, but what are you linking to ? Something completely different !?

The Stacks 5 app is in the works. It will likely be months before either RW 9 or Stacks 5, the Stacks app, will be available.

If you type Stacks . app (without spaces) it will link the URL because .app is now a valid URL and markdown does auto-linking on any URL typed inline.

So I’ll be answering this question a lot for the foreseeable future. Or until that weird marketing startup goes belly up.

I’m not really a fan of announcements when there is so little to show people, but I felt saying nothing was too scary for users trying to figure out what to do.

You can find more answers here: The Stacks 5 App FAQ


Another opinion of not much weight, but for me too it will be goodbye to RW and hello Stacks app.

I’ve used RW since 2009, bought every upgrade and always been hopefully with every version, and “new great but secret things” types of announcements in the new versions…that never materialised, that RW would innovate in someway that made it a great tool to start with. It just continued to add few new features and keep having issues with it’s existing features.

@dancounsell I have said to you in the past that RW really needs to innovate to keep up with the competition and looks like you are with RW9 but essentially sacrificing everything else for the sake of your own survival.

The more of the behind the scenes info comes out the more distasteful Realmac’s approach becomes. It’s a great shame that couldn’t find a better way to work with Stacks, especially as it has been the main thing keeping RW going for some time. If there was no Stacks, I think RW would have gone the way of iWeb a long time ago.

I used to recommend RW but that has been very hard to do in the last few years as to do anything half decent in it required Stacks and stacks. Indeed even your own site is built with RW but actually needs Stacks and Foundry (you have Foundry in the tiny print at the bottom but notably no mention of the Stacks plugin) to achieve it.

I looked at other options, and they were significantly better than RW on it’s own, but the thing that has kept me with RW was Stacks and what it could enable. RW had become a very expensive jumping point to access Stacks and stacks.

@isaiah I’m looking forward to this new chapter for Stacks. I’ve always found you to be one of the good guys, so I hope that you succeed and deliver a great new platform.

Dan, I don’t wish you ill, good luck in your new direction. I just hope that for your remaining customers the hype of elements does deliver something of use to them and not vapourware.



Now this reply actually makes sense and rings sincere. I hope we’ll continue this path. Do you think you and Isaiah can bury the hatchets? You both hold pieces of something potentially wonderful. Of course you can each do it on your own, I don’t doubt your skills. But together you’ll get there faster. Will it be easier? Maybe, but only if you get your values aligned, you know the stuff we hold dear that drives motivation.

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Relevant part of this comment:
You can also get good info/updates on his Twitter account.

Non-relevant part of this comment not meant to derail anything :
I swear I already followed Isaiah but apparently I hadn’t. And when I clicked on his profile to follow, it turns out he’s also followed by… Barack Obama! Lol. You should share that story some day.


Ha! Yeah, me and the big O go way back.

LOL. No, not really. It’s a lot less interesting than you’re imagining.

I think President Obama’s twitter account follows back any account that follows him, or it did at one time.
It’s mostly apolitical, but very progressive account now that tweets a lot about about his charity work in Chicago for underprivileged kids – something that’s pretty important to me.
I don’t think I follow it any longer, but it’s worthwhile follow. Recommended. 👍


This is not merely a disagreement about terms or worry over competition.

After working with Dan for 17 years he seems to be trying to end my company and co-opt the community of stack developers as his own – and all seemingly for little more than personal gain.
I’m certain he has his own noble reasons for these things, but the end result is the same: I’m forced to pivot to completely to new app to save my career and feed my kids.

However there’s much more:

  • It seems to me that the techniques for achieving RW9’s new features were less than ethical. I’m choosing to keep this mostly private for now, in just the developer slack/discord. If I’m lying or embellishing, I hope the stack developers hold me to account.

  • While Dan claims that the changes to the RW API were done only to improve RW. To me, many changes seemed targeted specifically to frustrate me and make more work for me. I said as much in private developer forums on Feb 24th SIX DAYS BEFORE DAN ANNOUNCED ELEMENTS TO ANYONE:

Feb 24, 1:15pm -- Isaiah Carew:
if i manage to make the transition to RW9 it will take a herculean effort
and there's absolutely zero guarantee that they won't change again a 
day later. it's an untenable situation.

Little did I know that they would announce a competing product six days later. But I was at the end of my wits trying to work around all the little roadblocks that have been installed. No matter what Dan says, it strains credulity that this was anything but purposeful.

  • And lastly, they fein offers of assistance in public if I were only to send them my code. However in light of them building a Stacks API “on the fly transpiler”, it strains belief that their intentions were benevolent or honorable as they were building a competing product when they asked for my code.

I try hard to maintain a professional demeanor, focus on the great potential for the Stacks 5 app, and let all this BS pass around me. But please don’t mistake this for a lack care about these things. I do care a great deal. In private I’m apoplectic with anger, so deeply sad about the community that he’s shattering I can’t begin to enunciate it, and frustrated beyond belief at his unwillingness to take responsibility for what he’s doing.

Every time you see me make a polite response, please keep in mind there are a dozen of these that come along with it.


Someday we will perhaps be able to look back and forgive, but it’s early yet, the wound is still bleeding.
Perhaps rather than burying the hatchet today, I think the best thing now is to move forward and focus on building a new app and a new community so we can keep working together for a long time to come.


I bought RW in 2014 and have bought each upgrade. Each upgrade never really upgraded anything very much. I also remember one of the upgrades I bought on release took ages to sort out because it was so full of bugs effecting my workflow (until I reverted back to the older version). “The automatic save” function after every change was ridiculous and not grounded by someone who used the program everyday. That was rolled back after a whole barrage of complaints.

I use nothing of the RW options other than the basic site info you need to input and the CSS box. All the rest I regard as baggage.

I’ve invested too much money and time in buying developer stacks and if some of them aren’t onboard for RW9 then I’m out.

Roll on the Stacks app and let me use all my existing stacks with confidence.

@dancounsell I think you’ve shot yourself in the foot mate.


@isaiah I’m 100% with you. It’s a sorry state of affairs for sure and I’m not going to go over old ground but I really do feel for you. Stay strong and try not to let all this get you down.

You know that you have a highly supportive group of users and developers that will continue to support you through this crazy period.

I heard a good suggestion the other day. I appreciate that the Stacks app is a little way off but I’m sure that there are users who would want to support you by buying in to any early Beta release and then having that fee deducted from the full price when the Stacks app is ready for the public release.

You might not want to go down that route as it might generate more support requests than you would want, but something to think about and a source of income while you are working on the app.

I’ve been using RW since v4 and Stacks since v2 and I’ll be with those first in the queue for the Stacks app. However, RW9 is not on my shopping list!

Thanks for keeping us updated and try to stay positive.



I would be in, for sure.


I’m pretty inconsequential to some of the folk commenting here.

@dancounsell I want you to succeed. You have a great product that has been fun to use and produce great results. You have a great British business and god knows, we need that.

I have no stake in the game. I just want a product that works well and makes we design easier.

This is being discussed all over social media as well as here. You’re not coming out of this looking good, in fact I’m struggling to think of anyone coming out on your side.

I truly hope you know what you’re doing: with Blocsapp firing on all cylinders, more and more Wordpress editors cropping up, I fear this could finish you.

Again, I truly hope that’s not the case.