I’ve assumed that RW keeps its own internal check/manifest on what it expects to find there
Nope. Whatever is in the addons folder when you launch RW is what is used. There’s no magic here.
there is a new Addons installer
This is inaccurate.
RapidWeaver uses a very standard macOS plugin mechanism (just like the System Preferences app, among others). That means you can always just drop a plugin into the addons folder and re-launch RW and it load up that plugin. That’s it.
Over the course of RW’s history a few more conveniences were added. In RW4.5 you could double click on plugin and RW would put it into the addons folder and re-launch itself.
Later, in RW6 the “.stack” extension was added to the list of file-types that will get auto-moved to the addons folder. (just prior to this, there was a short-lived “Stack Installer” that I created and a few developers shipped with their stacks – but it’s lifetime was only about 6 months long, so i’ll leave it at that)
RW6, 7, and 8 have all had progressively nicer integrated addons window for inspecting which addons you have in your addons folder.
In RW8 the addons window allows you to uncheck whether a plugin, theme, or stack is active. In reality, it just moves that plugin to a “disabled” folder when it’s unchecked.
So is there a “new installer” – maybe if you squint and stretch the meaning of all of those words. But, at least in my view, it’s the same as it ever was – just with a much improved addons window.
Case in point: How do you install a stack: double click it, or drag it to the app icon, or control click it and choose “open” or “open with…”, or drag it into your addons folder yourself. All of these methods have worked for more than 5 years. Dragging to the folder has been around more than 10.
If it’s now safe to move Addons around
It is and has been since I created the first RapidWeaver plugin in 2005. Just make sure to do the moves when RW is NOT running.
I assume you’d suggest moving everything out except those four (viz FormSnap , Houdini , Translate and the Text Stack)?
The goal is to simplify as much as possible. So remove all the 3rd party plugins, themes, and stacks that you can remove. Don’t remove the stuff that’s built in to RW or Stacks – those are very difficult to locate, and the app will likely not even launch if its guts are rearranged.
It was also b/c I’d read of others experiencing the same or a similar phenomenon that I posted, assuming that it was a shortcoming of version 8.
There are always growing pains when a large app, with tens of thousands of active users, has a major update. There have indeed been some preview bugs. But they are largely confined to specific use cases (large projects with huge pages that use CSS heavy frameworks). If you’re not using a slow framework (you don’t seem to be), don’t have a huge project (two pages is the opposite of huge), and you’re working on fast hardware (your machine is one of the very fastest) – then you, like me, should experience preview times of a few seconds at worst.
Anything else suggests that there is something amiss in your environment.
So the goal of the experiment above, is to try to identify what is slowing RW down. Once found it can probably be eliminated or repaired and you’ll have a nice fast app again.