Serious problem with Stacks

I upgraded when it first was available, and am building a new site for part of my business, but the program keeps dropping pictures out.

I had to go through and open and close images the first day for them to show when simulated or published. Then added more than 20 pages with product pictures in an image stack or right floating image.

Today I opened the site to work on it and most of the images are either question marks or an open box to drop an image into. Even my banner, which is a stack in partials.

Images range from 30kb to 300 or so, 300 px to 500 px in width, in png or jpg format.

Now I have to look up a couple hundred images and put them in the right places, with no guarantee they will be there tomorrow. My only guide for finding them is what I published and uploaded to the site, which was up today as of a few days ago.

I’m using the standard simple blue RW theme, and running Monterey 12.4 on a 2016 macbook pro

So sorry to hear you’re having issues. We believe this is a bug with Stacks as the plugin stores some of the images in the temporary/cache area on macOS.

We’ve seen this issue in both RW8 and RWC when using the Stacks plugin. If you have any images on built-in pages or the settings area of your project, those files will still be there.

macOS will empty the cache from time to time, so if you leave a project open for extended periods (say overnight), your images will go missing. The problem arises if you then save the project, as it saves the “missing images” to the project.

Have you published the site recently, if so perhaps you have a backup of it on your FTP server?
More info on automatic project backup in the docs. Fingers crossed you have this enabled (it’s on by default).

Pinging @isaiah for his input on this one. @isaiah are you aware of this?

What have I not had this problem for the last 13 years of using RW, but now have it with classic?

It’s a more recent “feature” of macOS. Monterey is now particularly aggressive with cleaning out the cache (it can also happen if you use an App Cleaner while RW is open), much more so than previous systems :disappointed_relieved:

But if the project is saved, how can it delete images? Still not happy with what to do in the future, but this reminded me that I saved a backup on Friday, so only a couple of pages are lost.

Glad you had a backup. Phew. We’re really sorry you’re going through this and wish we could fix it, but it’s not a RapidWeaver issue, it’s Stacks :cry:

To avoid the issue, we always close the documents when we’re done working on them — we don’t leave them open for extended periods if the project contains a Stacks page.

We believe Stacks is storing the images in a temp location while you’re editing your site. If macOS clears the cache, those image references no longer exist. When you save your project, it saves all your images as missing images.

This issue only affects Stacks. The issue has been around for over a year and still needs to be addressed by @isaiah.

Sorry, we can’t do more.

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I’ve had this problem with a few projects as well for quite some time. The images are in the project, then on re-opening it after some time, they’re gone. I need to go through each page to double check when I work on one of these projects, esp when I make changes to the page structure (add pages or delete them) because that causes rw to republish all pages.
@isaiah can you please look into this?

My background images have all disappeared where I have set them from within any stack, like setting a color background or image. If an image was placed, those are gone. I do not think it is a “Stacks” issue. I created a very simple project with just a text box, etc and tried to place an image background in it. The button goes from “Browse” to “Clear” as if an image was actually placed, it no image is shown. This does not happen with my RW8 version, only in the most recent RWC update. The ability to place an image into even a basic stack is broken. Perhaps I will have to stick with RW8.9 for now.

I have never had these issues in the 8+ years of using Stacks. Perhaps reverting to the pre-Classic version of RW might help. And yes, I’ve been running Monterey for quite some time-no issues there.


There really is something wrong, and it is not an overnight thing. Today I created a page, stacks, with 3 images. one alone and two with images on the right. I checked the simulation, adjusted spacing, etc. Then saved. Came back an hour later, after dinner, and the images were visible in the work panes, but would not in the view or publish. double clicking on each image and changing the width from the standard 1200 to 600 for one and 300 for the others (images were already 600 and 200) made them show up.

For now, I published and closed the program til tomorrow, but something is not right.

Hey folks,
I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m working on resolving this issue. I expect to roll out a beta with some changes that will:

  1. hopefully resolve the issue
  2. make the images contained in your open projects a bit more accessible
  3. help folks understand what, exactly is going on the behind the scenes with images

I have the code 99% done – but I have to bring my plug-in build system back online.



@isaiah, That’s great news! Let us know if there’s anything we can help with :+1:

There is another issue with either this release of stacks, that has come up on this new site I’m building, and as I reviewed pages yesterday I found in several places, on several pages.

Both in text and right image stacks, on several pages but not all, and not all stacks on those pages, the text would show left aligned, but not when viewed or publish. Nothing I could click’s or even go to the menu to try to remove formatting, would get them to left align.

The only way I fixed those pages was inserting a new stack and pasting the text into it (and putting in the image on those).

This has never happened before.

Hi Richard,
This seems like an issue that is likely unrelated to the some of the others on this page (with regards to missing data – images in particular – in particular after the machine sleeps with a project file open)

From the sounds of it you are publishing a project that migrated from RapidWeaver 8 to RapidWeaver Classic. My guess is that it is merely a publishing issue (that RapidWeaver has misplaced the info about which files have been published and which have not). If a CSS style file which needs to be published somehow was not it would have the exact sorts of symptoms that you’ve described.

This sort of thing can happen when you migrate from one version to another, move to a new machine, or recover from a backup – when the meta-data about a project and the actual state can become misaligned.

The good news is this can usually be easily remedied by choosing Re-Publish All Files from the File menu. This is different than just publishing – it forces RapidWeaver to republish every file.

This will republish the missing CSS file. Give it a shot and let us know how it goes. My hope is that it’s an easy fix. :slight_smile:

If you still seem to be experiencing problems, then I think we need to look deeper at the issue and I’ll ask to see some of your project files so that we can have a look and see what is going wrong.

Good luck. :slight_smile:

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(copied from the other forum – just to make sure everyone see this)

I’m going to roll things out in a couple parts.

The first is a tiny point-fix for Stacks v4.2. This will be v4.2.5, a free update, and the beta should be on our servers in an hour or two.

The second is a larger update with new features and improvements. This will be a paid update and will be out in a week or two.

Let me talk about this first point fix and what we’re testing in the beta.

This beta version will come with one minor bug-fix that I think may be all that’s necessary. But I wanted to go a step further.

Since writing the file handling code of Stacks v2 back in 2012 we’ve had a few secret debugging modes that we could enable for users that were experiencing data loss or file corruption.

  1. The first simply exposes the Stack Image Backup. Stacks uses this cache to store a “hard-link” of the images in your loaded pages. This is a just-in-case backup that Stacks keeps if the project file is moved or renamed and the links that RapidWeaver provides become stale and no longer work.
    This is rarely (ever???) a problem anymore. But when I wrote this file handling code for Stacks v2 in 2012 this happened anytime the file was renamed.
    You might be worried that this is creating a lot of extra data on your hard disk – but you don’t need to. These images aren’t real “copies” they’re hard-links. ← I linked a wikipedia page about them there.
    Hard links are just another icon that points to the same data on your hard drive. If the original icon is trashed or moved – then my hard-link “copy” remains pointing at the data. It’s a way to backup data without actually taking up more space on your disk. Cool, right!?
    The cache also houses the images that you drag into Image stacks or into the sidebar settings. Again, stacks uses this as a backup in case the original image gets moved or renamed. We’ve now exposed this folder to you, so you can have a look and see what images Stacks knows about – and even try confusing Stacks by deleting the cache if you feel compelled (please do testing on a non-critical file or a backup of your original).
    Between the original image you dragged in to stacks, the Image Backup, and the data in the file – there should always be a redundant copy of every image, just in case. When Stacks saves your project it will fall back to the Image Backup if your original file data or the project data is unavailable for any reason.
    The backup folder is designed to make a system that was quite faulty (in 2012) completely fail-safe. So any sort of failure just caused a fall back to the backup.

In this beta version you can get to this folder by clicking an arrow in the Stacks Prefs (check out the screenshot below)

  1. Normally a new folder is created in the Image Backup every time you use Stacks. Then this same folder is cleaned up when RapidWeaver Quits (there’s some longer term cleanups too).
    But I’ve disabled the clean-ups in this version. It will just keep adding new folders – just while you’re using this beta. We’ll clean them up normally when we finalize the release.

  2. Lastly, this beta version will delay pruning any images from the project. If the issue is related to Stacks making poor decisions about which images are in use and which have stopped being use, then this debug mode will keep everything just in case.

My hope is that the fix, combined with the three debug modes will correct any issues that people have been seeing related to missing data. I would appreciate hearing back from folks whether it fixes things or not.

If it does, we’ll remove the debugging modes and make the changes permanent. Once we’ve verified that everything is still working we can roll the changes out to everyone.

If you have any questions, fire away. However I may not reply immediately… I have to go get a root canal at 3pm (in two hours). Not fun. :frowning:

But I’ll try to get the beta posted before the dentists hauls me away (kicking and screaming like a child – LOL).

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update: it’s 2:30pm. i have to leave for the dentist and unfortunately the build is still waiting for Apple notarization.

so… it will have to wait until after the root canal. :frowning:
but, it will certainly be ready whenever i get back. wish me luck at the dentist – it is my least favorite place in the whole world.

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That’s great news about these Stacks updates I haven’t experienced the images issue but I’m excited about the paid upgrade in a few weeks. Looking forward to hearing more news about this.

If I find it again, I’ll try the republish all. What I found I replaced the stacks with new ones that worked.
This is a completely new project. Started the day I bought classic. I did bring over a dozen of the 70 pages (so far) from an older project, but have not have not had issues with them.


I also never experienced any problem like this. So it must be a rare problem maybe.

Kind Regards