Stacks 4 — 5 Big Features – 5 Little Features

5 Big Features — 5 Big Videos

The Stacks 4 beta is almost ready – next week, I think. So everyday next week I’ll post a new video showing off one of the 5 big new features. Don’t worry, I’ll keep the videos nice and short.

I’ll post updates to this thread as more info, downloads, and betas become available.

But I want access right now

And you can have it too, but only if you really really want it. (see explanation/details in next post)
Get early access: YourHead Patreon

5 Little Features

For now, here’s a video of 5 Little Features:

When is the release version?

If you’re waiting for the full release (i.e. non-beta) version, hang in there. Now that we’re moving into the public beta phase, it shouldn’t be too much longer.


OK, let me take off the marketing hat for a little bit…

I get a lot of passionate requests for access to the private betas. All this enthusiasm from the Stacks community is amazing. You guys make it easy to put in the long hours to bring Stacks 4 to life. Thank you so much!!! :pray:

Unfortunately building early releases, updating bug-lists, and writing release notes requires a ton of extra time and energy. I’d love to let everyone have access, but it would bury me in support and support costs.

But I would love to… :blush:
But I can’t… :sob:
But I really want to… :stuck_out_tongue:
But I shouldn’t… :pensive:


I’ve created a patreon account. If you join you’ll help us cover these costs. In return it gives you early access to videos, early beta releases, and for the adventurous, you can even download the developer-only private beta release.

Yes, that means you can download Stacks 4 right now.
and, yes, obviously this does cost a bit extra.

I don’t expect this to be for everyone. In fact it’s probably just a few – and that’s perfect – limiting it a bit is the whole idea. But if you are passionate about Stacks we’d love for you to join in and come along for this ride.

Stacks 4 is getting pretty nice… :star_struck:
And I’m getting so excited!!! :partying_face:
And I think you’re going to love it. :heart_eyes:

Warning: This really is a developer release. It really is buggy. And I really recommend keeping it away from important work. This should be used for testing only.
Download: Stacks v4.0.0 dev beta 20


If a person becomes a patron does that affect update costs from Stacks 3 to Stacks 4?

Just wondering.


Stacks Pro Tier Discount Update: I decided the right thing to do was to give back the difference between the Power User tier ($10) to the Pro tier ($25). If you were planning on upgrading to Stacks 4 then it’s almost like the Pro tier costs nothing.

Details: Pro tier users can go here: to grab a $15 discount code.

// thanks go to @davidfreels for suggesting a discount. :slight_smile:


News and Updates about Stacks 4 Beta Test


I would rather you did it that people could just buy the upgrade now. I understand needing cash flow… It seems like a fair way to give people early access without having the capacity to bug you with questions. General questions could be answered by others in this forum… You would give a special email address to people you want giving you feedback and bug reports.

If something major came up here in the forum you would hear about without the need to answer people directly. Any forum member could comment on issues people were having… or you could make one post and fill everybody in. What a great way to save time and have money coming in.

I wish you the best… I look forward to purchasing the Stacks 4 upgrade.

support for a beta test is different than the usual help-folks-learning type of support.
these are bugs that must be fixed. and that means i need to dig through each one. well, unless everyone else wants to open up Xcode and lend a hand debugging. :nerd_face::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: LOL

we used to beta tests out in the open on the forum. it’s definitely wild and fun, but there’s a sort of inherent problem – a forum just doesn’t “fit” beta testing well.

beta tests need:

  • rational calm bug reports
  • forget and move on once solved

forums bubble up the most viewed and most posted threads and forget nothing forever.

and nothing gets views like a good argument and hurt feelings. :face_with_monocle::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
worse, those will be the top results in searches years after the bugs were fixed.

unfortunately i’m speaking here from WAY WAY WAY too much experience on this subject. i’m still licking my wounds from the Stacks 2 beta test 8 years ago. :upside_down_face::sob:

so we’re giving this patreon thing a shot. it might fail. i dunno. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
but so far it’s working out perfectly! a handful of our most experienced long-time users signed up and have been testing for 24 hours.
i suspect we’ll get a few more at the end of the week when we release a more stable beta
and a flood when the beta becomes public.

that’s exactly right. just what i was hoping for. :smiley:


Ok… Makes good sense. I feel bad for using up your time on my bad idea. I wish you the best with finalizing Stacks 4. Thank you for your time.

it’s a great question. perfect, in fact.
i’m sure it was on the minds of many. thanks for giving me the opportunity to clear that up.


This morning we added another new video:

Stack 4 – Big Feature 2 of 5 – Library Customization

Stacks 4 has a whole new UI for customizing Library Groups

This video is currently for patrons but will be released for everyone next week.


You have to pay to access a beta? That is certainly a novel approach.

Making a release should be one-click.
You need to update your bug-list anyways.
Nobody reads release-notes.

As developer I’m grateful for each beta-tester who donates some of his/her free time.


I’ll release a FREE public beta, like always. This isn’t that. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear.

What I’m giving access to is private one-on-one TIME.

For over a decade I’ve run a private mail-list (now a Slack channel) where developers could get FREE copies of ALL my software, ask questions, and… just chat. It’s a great thing.

But I know not everyone is a developer, some professionals work with Stacks every day, and could use this same level of support. I wanted a way to open this service up to those folks – without it burying me.

Oh, and BTW: It worked out perfectly. A perfect number of users have joined. They’ve asked great questions. It’s all win, all the way down. :+1::+1:

YES!!! :100:

I automate everything from compile → production deployment.
Build, test, release-notes, eve-ry-thing!!! All handled by the CI system on GitLab and runs hands free on a dedicated build server.

Check it out!!! :nerd_face:


Well, I do. :face_with_monocle:

Stacks has a large user-base in the 10s of 1000s, so even a couple percent represents a bunch of people. I can tell how many from analytics. Not huge, but I think you’d be surprised. :yum:

Me too. Beta testers are the best!

Those are good comments. I appreciate you letting me explain all these meticulous nerdy details. I rarely get to talk about my build system. :yum::nerd_face:



Love, love, love these new five small features and preference. Look forward to upgrading!



Thanks for the explanation. This makes much more sense.

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