Reflection on RW, Stacks, Triads

I’ve been uneasy about the fate of RapidWeaver and some of the comments about the app. For all its faults, I’ve produced many successful websites that would have been either impossible or extremely difficult without RW, Stacks and some key creators.

Looking back, the first RapidWeaver site I produced was in 2004 - long before Stacks - and it drove me to learn CSS so that I could manipulate the few themes available to look the way I wanted.

2007 - I’m now CSS competent and Blank Theme became my default starting point.

At that time, the only other vaguely adaptable tools were ExtraContent, Theme Miner, Plus Kit or Theme SDK. (Later came RW MultiTool and RapidThemer.)

2009 - I jumped in with Isaiah Carew’s Stacks 1.1.4. Coupled with what I’d learned about CSS in previous years, we now had the closest thing to a white-page approach to web design - just as I’d been working in other media for 30+ years.

But RW had been handed a new level of users they didn’t understand. I wrote on their forum that they should consider a “pro” version which unsurprisingly received a total blank.

Stacks had opened up a whole new community of like-minded individuals interested in the possibilities of great web design without template boundaries.

However, the full potential of Stacks was still to come and that year I produced three sites in WordPress - entrenched on my brain, I still have the nightmares!

2010 - Joe Workman was the vanguard for me with his Fancy Image, Tabulous and PageLime stacks in 2010 followed by Lightbox and Gyro a year later. (They were simpler times!)

2012 - I started using my amended version of Bootstrap 2 coupled with Stacks within A Blank Theme to get closer to a basic freeform framework.

2014 - Joe’s Foundation release for RW was a shot in the arm that gave RW yet another lease of life. WordPress and Bootstrap hacks mercifully confined to history.

2015 - TopBar Surgeon arrived from a new bird on the pond - BigWhiteDuck. Together with a 40 page Instruction PDF.

Yes, 40 pages! Who could be so conscientious in our hubbly-bubbly creative universe to do this; let alone expect it to be read?

Tav, who else? Andrew has consistently created an amazing body of work for the community without recompense or limits for which we have all profited and are wholeheartedly grateful.

Isaiah, Joe, Andrew: My heroic triad that has kept the RapidWeaver app relevant for years.

I’d be very disheartened if Rapidweaver didn’t find a new life. I think we’d be poorer in every respect without the unique synthesis of Isaiah, Joe and Tav.

I’m not rich but I would happily invest in a situation where Stacks and its universe of creators could continue to weave.


Totally agree with your post, and your experience is very similar to mine, except I went down the world of pain that is WordPress and at one time had 60 WP clients. Not happy times for me. Happily I only have a handful now and still work on converting them over back to RW. Of course now having a freakout over the thought it may not last much longer if the rumours about it being on the market are true. Unless somehow our brave aforementioned heroes can stump up the cash to buy it!

1 Like

Um…what? This is the first I’ve heard of this. Where are these rumours coming from?

Not rumors, but that might not be a bad thing either. If someone with a deep knowledge of Stacks users were to purchase it, the future might be very bright.

Is RW on the market?

Is it official then?

@Neil This is something I heard about a while back. Evidently others knew as well, as @dave has confirmed.


@Geoff There should be some sort of Lifetime Achievement Award for Tav for his TBS stack with 40 page documentation.

1 Like

First let’s see how many pictures he did use :-)

I soon learnt my lesson.
I came from a background where people wanted to learn and understand how things worked. I soon realised that what was required was just to make examples for people to drop in and use - no one cares.

It was a complete document with text, diagrams and images.


@tav True. I’m one. But after the basic learning curve, I went back and read the manual and used it to learn some more. I’m sure others did. And that encouraged more learning. Ther fact you added the ability to use custom classes made me learn about CSS as well. Your Font Pro taught me more than I thought I knew about fonts. It also created in me a bit of an obsession with them. Blueprint inspired me to rethink basic layout design. It really did, suddenly the restrictions that I had been frustrated with for so long were banished.

I could go on, I’d happily list all the ways that my professional life has been improved immeasurably by your hard work. I know for a fact that I would never have achieved what I wanted for my sites without your input.

Everything comes to an end, and I get it, you’ve had enough. But please remember the positives. I owe you a lot, my friend.


Without Stacks and the Frameworks (remember FreeStack from Blueball!) RapidWeaver would no longer exist today. It would have been a toy

Isaiah, Joe and some other guys should buy RW and develop a Pro version…