Foundry or Foundation, what is more complete and future proof?

I am about to start changing my websites as themes I bought just don’t give me the flexibility I would like to have. I understood there is not much of difference between Foundation 6 and Foundry 2, as I have quite a few stacks and plugins like Formloom I would still like to keep on using them. What would you recommend, it needs to be complete as possible and have not a lot of issues with learning a new system. What will be the future? I look forward to your opinions!

Hi Ferry,

This is a difficult choice since both Foundation and Foundry are solid frameworks. I played around with Foundation 6 but went for Foundry 2 in the end. The learning curve of Foundation 6 is higher than Foundry’s. Foundry has a lot of tutorial video’s and a really good backup when you have questions or troubles. All of my stacks keep functioning in Foundry, so that is a huge plus as well. I use Foundry 2 along with PotionPack and ThunderPack. Works very well for me.

But then again, Foundation 6 is a very solid framework as well.

Hope you are happy with whatever choice you make.

Hans

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Thanks Hans for your reply. I just want to put my money in the most complete pack and starting to create my own templates for my website that has more my own signature. How complete are both Foundry and Foundation? Do you still need to keep on adding stacks to have the required functionalities?

Hi Ferry,

Over the years I bought a lot of stacks from various developers. If needed I can still use them in Foundry. This said, if I had known the possibilies Foundry offer (along with Thunder and Potion) I could have saved a lot of money. I regret I didn’t invest in Foundry sooner. You get a long way with just this combo. However, I still use RWLM (multi language stack), Joe Workman’s SEO Helper and some specifics like Booking. But you will enjoy the freedom of creating your own style with Foundry.

Check out the documentation, it will answer a lot of your questions (https://foundry.elixirgraphics.com/documentation/)

Cheers,

Hans

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Both are equally as complete as each other. As commented above, Foundation has a higher learning curve but gives more ultimate control (once you’ve learnt to use it). Foundry comes at things from a different angle; removing some control in an effort to make things easier get up to speed and work with.

I’m not sure how Foundation is sold, but Fourdry has some bolt-on packs, Potion and Thunder, which for completeness should be seriously considered. Then there is Alloy, the Foundry blogging and CMS system, which is just brilliant.

I build templates “starter” projects for several frameworks, this is my latest: Paris. It is pure Foundry, so a reasonable idea of what can be done. Although it should be said that Paris only uses a fraction of the native Foundry stacks, so lots more can be done.

Whether you need any third party stacks depends on what you want to do though. No one can answer that question for you.

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If you want to build websites for your own I would prefer Foundry. With Foundry you can build a website within one weekend, it is really easy to understand Foundry follows the RapidWeaver way of collecting, configuring and arranging stacks. The problem is the code in the backend of the site. Foundry produces too much code, but that must not be a real problem in the end.

If you want to build websites for customers I would prefer Foundation 6. For me it is the nearly perfect system, but the learning curve is high and it is something between a website builder and (nearly) hand coding. And there is the problem, that there is no written documentation beyond a lot of time consuming video tutorials. A lot of things you can only find out by trail and error.

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I’m a long time Foundation user but I’ve never used Foundry so I can’t really compare the two. I use the Weavers.Space community for Foundation support along with the twice weekly online sessions, the live stream on a Wednesday with is more like a presentation by Joe Workman and the Friday Hangout which is more of a group discussion and problem solving by Joe.

One of the criticisms of Foundation is that there isn’t a ‘written’ manual but there are very many video tutorials some just a few minutes long covering just one aspect of the framework . Foundation is in continual development and I learn best from practical demonstrations so the videos work well for me.

What I find amazing about being a Foundation user is the amount of time Joe gives us for free in the way of support. The live stream is about an hour long and is available as a recording if you miss it and the Friday hangout can go on for 2 or 3 hours or longer.

So yes, I guess I’m a bit of a Foundation ‘fan boy’ and it works well for me. What is great about Rapidweaver in general is the number of very clever and dedicated developers and the fantastic community that has developed around the product and the amazing number of add-ons that let us do exactly what we want with our sites.

I’m sure that whichever framework you go with, it will give you the freedom to create fantastic sites and the support you will get here and on other forums will help you to learn just how to achieve what you want.

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Thanks Ruyton, these inputs help a lot in deciding which of the two I would go for. As it’s time to create different website for different purposes, I have to make the step to a platform that gives me that freedom.

Till date a few of the websites I made need refreshments and a unique look and feel and some a complete do over, a few examples with the support of stacks and multithemes:



Thanks for your comments! I am not afraid to learn, I come from a time when ms-dos was still used :joy:

Thanks Michael for your advise! Most websites are mine but with different requirements so the more flexible I am creating them the better, so Foundation would in that case a better choice, but why?

I don’t think anyone can make the choice for you. You should spend some time looking at the various resources people have recommended and then look at some of the showcases for sites built with Foundation and Foundry to see the kind of sites people are building with them. It seems to me that both developers are in it for the long haul, so in the choice will be what suits you best.

Good luck!

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Thanks Rob, I wish things here are a bit easier as now both can be called blue and you can choose between blue and blue :smile:
What are the main differences between the two? Would I need more additional stacks with Foundry 2 or Foundation 6? For sure one website will have a “member section” that needs be logged in to have access to content, their own profile and reports.

Neither of both frameworks support that out of the box. You need something like Sitelok or aMember to do that. For Sitelok Joe Workman (Foundation) developed a set of stacks to make integration of RW sites with Sitelok easy/easier.

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thanks Erwin, I am looking into that at the moment. Would Joe’s Sitelock stack also work with Foundry?

Yes it does

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@fmonnee Sitelok is the key. Great product. Depending on how often and how many pages you need to protect the additional Sitelock stacks may or may not be a great investment. For me the additional Sitelok stacks are worth it as they make putting the relevant code in easier. This is useful for me when developing a course website where I add all the Sitelok code at the last moment before opening to course to about 40 pages at a time.

If you are only protecting 1 to 5 pages then it may be more worthwhile to learn how to enter the relevant code into each page: it’s not hard. But the mistake I made with a large number of pages is the code changes a bit depending on the level of the page (i.e. folders, subfolders, sub-sub folders).

Or if you are really afraid of code then it’s also useful to get the stacks.

Sitelok itself is sooo wonderful to work with.

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Thanks Mathew, I guess saving myself from errors TGR Joe’s stacks make sense. I am about to create a website that will have students for our language Institute that we recently started to have access to their material, progress, etc. Over time it will grow and we probably need cloud space, can Dropbox be integrated?

I’m not really sure what your question is about Dropbox. What are looking to do with it specifically?

A great stack for folks uploading and downloading materials is called Repository by @instacks. Works nicely with Sitelok. I use it all the time for both students uploading assignments and students downloading work/files that I have not already included on a specific learning page.

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It’s kind of question that is going to get you a bunch of opinions and not much help or a solid answer.

Most folks, even the ones that have answered here, don’t have both frameworks (Foundation 6, and Foundry 2) or have become more comfortable with one of them, so the answer is just an opinion.

I have both and can tell you you can create equally great websites with either of these. You can use almost any other third party stack with either, you mentioned Formloom it’s a plugin and all the frameworks only work with stacks pages. Formloom comes with stacks that can be used so you can still use it that way, but you can’t use any other page type. No built-in blog pages or any other page type, just stacks.

Foundation has no written documentation, it’s been promised now for over a year, but if you don’t like videos and have better things to do with your time, then “hang outs” and long winded weekly live streams you’ll probably find it more difficult to get up to speed with.

The videos with Foundation 6 are good, but it’s short-sighted not to have a well-written reference. When you are coding and learning, it’s tough to go through a full library of videos and try to figure out what one has what you are looking for and then watch a video to figure something out.

Foundry is the complete opposite with documentation. It has both excellent videos and a well-organized easy to use written reference. That would make it easier for you to learn and get going with.

Foundation 6 is one package of $99. Currently, there aren’t any addons, although I think there’s an additional swatch package close to being released. F6 works differently than anything else in the world of RapidWeaver. It’s totally different from even its own predecessor Foundation 1. You don’t have finite styling controls like boarders, backgrounds, padding, etc, etc on every singles stack. Instead, with F6, you do all the styling on a separate stack called a swatch.

The Swatch is the hard part for most RW users to get the head around. It totally separates styling from content. It gives F6 its power and also can make it harder to pickup for RW users who are used to styling every single stack for every single styling change. This (the swatch) makes making changes particular global changes much easier. Let us say you set up a site with every other or every third section to have a different color scheme. Maybe a super dark blue background with white text. It looks good so you apply that styling to 30 pages. Now you show it to the client and they say I like it but I want a really dark purple background instead of the dark blue. With most RW frameworks, you would have to into every one of those 30 pages and find each individual stack and change the color scheme.

Now with F6 you did the styling with the swatch stack. You gave it a class name and applied the class name to each section you wanted to apply that scheme to. You put the swatch in a partial and now to make the change, you simply change the swatch(es) to make the scheme and done.

Foundry has its base set $89. It also has two addition addon packs thunder and Potion about $35 each. It works much more like traditional stacks you’re used to work. You apply most of the styling like boarders backgrounds to each stack. With the base set and the two addons, you have quite a lot of fallibility, but it’s not as flexible as Foundation 6 is as it limits you to what the developer has built. F6 you have to build a lot of things like Navigation element yourself. That gives you a lot more flexibility in how the work and look, but requires more work on your part. So if you want a drill-down menu on small screens and a vertical menu on Large screens, you build it that way. Luckily, F6 has a great Template package (free) that gives you demo of how to build most of the common stuff.

As for the technical differences between the two

Foundry was based on an early beta version of the Bootstrap 4 framework. Bootstrap is still the most popular framework out for traditional hand coded websites. But it is only based on Bootstrap 4, and not the real BS4 framework. And they based it on an early beta version. Right after Foundry came out, the Bootstrap 4 beta changed dramatically and switched from the old way of responsive layout using float and Clearfix’s making things wrap to the newer Flexbox layout. The float and Clearfix was really kind of a “hack” that developers used to allow support for older browsers, while things like Flexbox and CSS Grid were being implemented in modern browsers. Bootstrap 5 is now being beta tested.

Foundation 6 is using Zerb’s Foundation 6 Framework as its base. It was the second most popular Framework out. The RW implementation is pretty pure to the traditional Zerb Foundation 6 framework. It’s based on the latest release of F6 and uses the more modern Flexbox for responsive layout.
Foundry as mentioned earlier uses the traditional stack layout. That produces to additional internal HTMl divisions for every stack you place on the page. If you have ever looked at the source code generated by a standard stack, you notice every stack has and two extra divisions before you even get close to the content.
they look something like this:

<div id="stacks_out_33," class="stacks_out">
   <div id="stacks_in_33" class="stacks_in”>

Now the end user on a web browser doesn’t see this. But it is there and gets loaded. So that adds a bit of weight to the page. You also need to consider that over half of most web traffic today is non-human (bots), indexing, and reading the pages source code. Now it’s more the norm that you will have stacks put inside of other stacks put inside of other stacks, and this can go on many levels deep. Each normal stack will wrap its children with, at a minimum, these two wrapper divisions. That can mean that you might get many levels deep before you actually hit the content.
Foundation 6 doesn’t use these wrappers. The Foundation 6 stacks use an inline stack and those old stacks_out and stacks_in divisions don’t get created. So your pages are cleaner and lighter, they look about the same as if you coded them by hand.

As for the venders

Both venders are one person shops. They both work on RapidWeaver full-time. Many other venders are one-mane operations and work only part-time on RapidWeaver. They might be website developers or have full-time jobs or work on other products. Adam and Joe both have great reputations for support. They both have their own support forums and both will answer all questions on this forum as well.

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That is great to hear, for now we will not need that much of space for our students anyway, I could always increase the space on my domain. I thought maybe with DropBox the standard docs could be shared and integrated in Sitelok, was just a thought.