Difference between stacks, addons, plug-ins?

Typical newbie question: what’s the difference between a stack, an addon and a plug-in? To me, they’re all the same…

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Addon’s are item you add to RW
Plug-in’s are a form of Add-on
Stack is a Plug-in
stacks are tools used inside of Stacks
That is mostly right…heheh

So, a stack is a plug-in is an addon… :slight_smile:
My guess that all are the same is right?

Not really. :sunglasses: A stack is a stack (lower case) that works inside the Stacks (upper case) plugin in. Without the Stacks plugin you can’t use a stack.

Let me have a go:


This is the umbrella term we use to refer to any 3rd party extras you add on to RapidWeaver. So add-ons include things like plug-ins and stacks, but also things like themes, snippets, and styles.


Plug-in: This is an add-on that changes the way RapidWeaver works by adding binary code. Plug-ins can fundamentally alter the way RapidWeaver operates (like PlusKit) but usually just add another page type when you click the + Add button.


Written capitalized and plural usually refers to the Stacks plug-in from Yourhead Software (that’s me) that allows you to build page layouts by stacking components on a page. The Stacks.rapidweaverplugin file lives in your RapidWeaver add-ons folder.


Written singular and lowercase this refers to one of the components for the Stacks plug-in. A stack can be something simple like a button or complex like a framework. A file like button.stack should go inside the Stacks folder which lives in your RapidWeaver add-ons folder.

I know it can be terribly confusing to newcomers. But please don’t hate me for this twisted nomenclature. It came completely organically.
Stacks v1.0 never referred to a “stack” – and used other terms entirely – but users took the “stack” file-extension and just ran with it. In Stacks 2.5 or so I finally gave up fighting and “paved the cowpath” so to speak and it’s been stuck like this since. :upside_down_face: LOL.


Thank you Isaiah for your explanation. It’s a joy to read! :blush:
There is another thing that came up, while making my websites, but I will put that in another question about the stacks of RW.

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@Isaiah Your explanation is very good, I’ll have to borrow that and add it to the RapidWeaver Knowledge base for future new users to read!