Partials/Externals update

First: Why did my last thread about partials get locked?

I’ve been doing some house keeping. These two images say it all really.

110MB, or 60% total file size, was pure junked. Not added to the projects by me.

I use the RW backup feature to store a copy of projects on my server. On one of my client servers with 40 sites, I’m gonna guestimate I’m paying for about 2GB of storage, just for storing this junk.

RW and Stacks need to get their heads knocked together and sort this out. It’s not acceptable.

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@TemplateRepo I don’t think the externals issue will get solved between RW and Stacks Pro. I’m guessing it will get resolved when Stacks Pro appears but not sure. Unfortunately externals seem to be eternal! But some of us have found ways to eliminate the external “stuff”. Takes a bit of surgery and you want to be careful … but may be worth an experiment on your part.

This is something that shouldn’t be a “it might be fixed with XX”. It exists today, with what users are using today. it needs sorting.

What is appearing to work for me is to first NEVER open two projects at the same time. Which is a major ballsache. But instead to open projects one at a time and clean them. ie. remove all the unwanted exernals, templates and partials. Then save as a new version.

Once two projects have been cleaned, they can be opened at the same time.

I’ve checked the folders in the addons folder, and the additional externals etc. don’t appear there. So there seems to be nothing more to do. So far, this approach is working. No idea how long it’s going to last though.

Yep, what you are doing definitely works also.

It’s the opening the “infected” file alongside the good/regular file that creates the situation where things get passed along like a virus.

Since Isaiah is deep down the rabbit hole in terms of working on Stacks Pro I find it to be a 0.5% likelihood that he’ll fix this in Stacks. Hopefully he’ll just get rid of the externals feature completely in Stacks Pro. While I agree that he “should” fix it now, the reality is it just ain’t going to happen. So finding a short term workaround is the only way to go at the moment.


It will not be solved in the current “Stacks is a RW plugin” situation. Never ever. We have to wait for Stacks Pro therefore.

I accept that. But to just walk away form the problem makes all the developers involved (Realmac and Yourhead) look bad.

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We empathise with your frustration as this bug is currently impacting the Realmac Site, and the situation is worsening over time – especially considering the high number of customer test projects on our system!

We receive numerous support requests regarding this issue, to the extent that we have created an FAQ specifically addressing the bloat problem.

We genuinely wish for a resolution to this issue; however, it is beyond our control. As we mentioned in yesterday’s thread, this is not something we can address in RapidWeaver (it needs to be fixed in Stacks) 😢

@TemplateRepo good content on the old forum: Random partials in my projects, but they are not mine! - #10 by isaiah - Stacks - RapidWeaver Forum

Good find @Jannis - This post from @Isaiah is also worth reading on the topic: Bug with Templates and Externals? - #14 by isaiah - Stacks - RapidWeaver Forum

I’ve pointed this out a number of times in different places, but nothing has been done about it. And it’s really not acceptable. But it is a Stacks problem. And when the junk is cleared out, the file size difference is even more dramatic — a 45mb document becomes 5mb. Really, without this bloat, RW documents would rarely be above 4mb.

I don’t know how many people use Externals — I never use them, and don’t see the point of them — but the feature is broken, infects documents where Externals are not used like a virus, and is not trivial to remedy (requiring pasting of stacks, page by page, into a clean document). To my mind Externals should either be fixed, or scrapped. They certainly shouldn’t have been migrated from Stacks 4.x to Stacks 5 without this being fixed. Isaiah seems to resist accepting this as a bug, but it is a huge and deeply annoying bug, and failing to remedy it seriously affects confidence in Stacks Pro.

I didn’t find it. It was your support Dan.

Which is even older, from 2019.

Maybe you should wait until Stacks Pro is released until you make any predictions?

Soon to be solely your problem and something firmly in your control, with the claimed compatability of RW projects running in Elements. Looking forward to see how to will deal with this “issue” when for example, a RW Stacks project contains Externals, Temlates or Partials, as many many RW Projects do, is loaded into Elements.

Or as is widely anticipated, it will be added to the already long list of project file incompatabilities that will be another show stopper for running RW Project files in Elements.


You’ll be pleased to hear when we convert projects over to Elements we clean up the project file and remove any unused images.

Elements goes from worse to worse. So Elements will have a RW Project file import process that delets images and then saves the Project file in a new format, that will no doubt be impossible to revert back to be used within a version of Rapidweaver.

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I don’t understand how this now seems to have become a Rapidweaver problem. It’s clearly a fault in Stacks. Realmac can’t be made responsible for something that only happens when a third-party add-on starts bloating files.

I’m not expecting StacksPro to be the thrilling software launch I’ve been waiting all my life for. But I’m not blaming Isaiah for not producing upgrades to previous versions of Stacks with thrilling new features: he’s done a good job of making a solid little product that gave Rapidweaver wings it wouldn’t have otherwise had. And if StacksPro does what Rapidweaver/Stacks can currently do, without Rapidweaver, it will have achieved its objective. Likewise, if Rapidweaver Elements achieves what RW/Stacks can currently do, without Stacks, it will have achieved its objective too.

I’ll stick with Stacks, as I have a lot of sunk costs in stacks, although I’m frustrated that, after so many years, everything I do with RW/Stacks still seems to involve so much problem solving and fix-making. It’s always two steps forward, one step backwards. And sometimes that step backwards can take days to overcome. I sense that, not so far down the line now, a new generation of AI powered web-builders is coming which will go far beyond what Stacks Pro, RW Elements or Blocs can currently achieve. If Chat GPT can write competent programs in a whole range of programming languages, and is improving in leaps and bounds with each iteration, there will be a line of its offspring that will code up entire websites using the whole range of what HTML, CSS, JS and PHP, and their descendants, can do. And I look forward to them.

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My expectation is that it will become a problem for RM to solve. Reading RW Stacks project files containing Partials, Externals or Templates, into Elements, will require correct handling of those Stacks features.

I wish them well reverse-engineering that without infringing copyright 😜

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I think things in the past were a bit murkier than the recent posts would suggest.

In RW7 all was well, RW8 changed things and the partial issue started to appeared. However, I seem to remember some rather terse/dismissive comments from a (former?) RW developer to isaiah, to do with changes made to the RW API which were not documented/published and not being shared to plug-in developers. So this made it trickier to troubleshoot Stacks issues.

I don’t know if this has changed and all RW8/RWC API info is documented and freely available to devs so that Stacks could be fixed?


I’ve recently reviewed several projects and found that, on average, they contain about 90 MB of data in the shared folder. Most (virtually all) of these images don’t belong there, as I usually warehouse everything. Can I delete those images directly from the folder (I’m guessing not)? I have multiple sites on my DreamHost server, and although I appreciate their service, I would prefer not to spend unnecessary money. Like you, Steve, I’m looking for the best approach here.

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