Tool for "scanning" a web site for RW elements?


(Rob Mustard) #1

Hi, folks. I’d done some web site design with RapidWeaver 5 & 6 several years ago, but had kind of gotten away from that world for a while. I’m back now, and doing a new site with RW 8 (and all of the up-to-date stacks, add-ons and themes, of course). It seems that once upon a time there was a tool of some sort that would “scan” or “interrogate” a web site – all you needed to do was provide the URL as a target – and this tool would scan through all of the pages and report on what RW themes, stacks and other elements were used.

Does such a tool still exist?

Thanks in advance!


(Jason Bostick) #2

I am not aware of a tool. A manual bit of a workaround - if you right-click and select ‘View Page Source’ you can usually get a list of stacks used in the head of the code.


(James Bond) #3

Such a tool did exist, from memory it was free too, but I’m pretty sure it stopped working around the time of RW7.


(Keith Flanagan ) #4

It was a java script called “Weaver Detect” it still kind of works but you have to have the develop menu on in Safari and allow Java Script from the Search Bar.

javascript:void((function()%7Bvar%20e=document.createElement(‘script’);e.setAttribute(‘type’,‘text/javascript’);e.setAttribute(‘charset’,‘UTF-8’);e.setAttribute(‘src’,‘http://weaveraddons.com/weaverdetect.js’);document.body.appendChild(e)%7D)());


(Raimo Karhunen) #5

The page to get the “bookmarklet” is here http://weaveraddons.com/utilities/weaverdetect/ complete with instructions

Unfortunately it is not very accurate anymore, just tested it on a few sites, and it misses some stacks entirely, and misidentifies others…


(Rob Mustard) #6

Thank you, Raimo, WeaverDetect may well have been what I was thinking of. I wonder if anyone is still doing anything with that? Their web site doesn’t appear to have been touched since 2013. The Twitter and Facebook accounts have gone quiet, too.

Thanks again, though, everyone. I appreciate your follow-through!


(klaatu) #7

It really would not take much to spin up a Flask app in AWS to ingest the raw html of a page using something like BeautifulSoup then parse out any stack classes or ids into a table - maybe even with a link (if one is provided) in the meta, or we just link based on name back to the dev site.

Is there really an appetite or need for such a thing?

Or, would a tutorial on how to inspect and read source html be the way to go?


(Rob Mustard) #8

Thanks, klaatu, but I really don’t even know what language you’re speaking there! Way out of my league…

The real reason I was asking about that RW “scanner” thing was because I’d love to learn more about how those amazing Stacks, Themes and other Add-on designers are building the “demo” pages on their web sites. I go out to lots of those vendor sites, see the cool ways they’re using a particular stack, buy the thing and put it in on one of the pages in my RW project – and it never looks the same. My suspicion is that the stack that’s being presented is often nested in and/or combined with other unidentified stacks, so I really can’t replicate what I’m seeing there… The “demo project files” offered on many of their web sites aren’t a great help, either, as I don’t have all of the other stacks used in that project file (though they ARE clues as to what other stacks are being used!).


(klaatu) #9

@RobMustard
Right, apologies for that. Basically I was speculating on a potentially simple solution which would allow people to go to a simple site, paste in a URL and get back a table of all the stacks that were used on the page residing on that URL. I think it would be pretty straightforward.

But now that you have articulated what you really need its possible to be a bit more helpful (hopefully).

Firstly, I completely understand where you are coming from. The demo pages for stacks and things can look, somehow, just beautiful, then when you go and try to recreate it - even with the same stacks… you end up, if you are anything like me, with a dogs breakfast.

Annoying.

The explanation, I think speaks to the difference between a web/ui designer and a draggy/droppy Rapidweaver or other WYSIWYG jockey. Just because you can drag a stack onto a page, that does not make you a designer, or at least, a good one.

The people who are putting those nice pages together have some skills, such as an understanding of space and compositional rhythm. How to use colour and styles to create pleasing elements which flow together effortlessly. No stack or theme can teach you this as far as I know.

I have three suggestions:

1/ Study, as much as possible, pages or sections which ‘work’ for you. Take the time to deconstruct what the designer has done to create the effect. Ask yourself why it works for you… For me (personally) its usually because the content is styled tastefully with no garish twirling flashing crap and is easy to consume.

2/ Practice. Take the time to recreate - very very carefully, layouts and elements from example sites you liked. Take your time and experiment with padding/margins/colours/gradients/textures/fonts/outlining/smoothing techniques/overlays/one-page-one-effect and so on. One thing I used to do was go to ThemeForest: https://themeforest.net/ look at the best selling themes then every couple of days try to recreate one of those theme layouts or pages in a scrap RW project. You learn fast that way!

Often you can make a project much better by removing crap you just don’t need. You have to keep at it. Practice and get feedback.

3/ Cheat. Well, sort of. Have you seen these?:
http://rapidweavercentral.info/modules/

They are some of the best Rapidweaver work ever produced, to my mind. These modules are ideal for you to reverse engineer, exploit and learn from. Marten is doing stuff in these modules that a few short years ago was proper ruddy awkward to do in RW. Mr Duck’s next-gen stacks might have had something to do with that too :wink:

Never give up. Never surrender.


(Rob Mustard) #10

Thank you, klaatu! Very good advice here. Obviously, it isn’t going to be a quick process, and the number of different tools involved make for a steep and sometimes roller-coastery learning curve.

I really appreciate your telling me about those two reference sites, too. I’m not doing anything with Wordpress at the moment, and frankly I’d forgotten about RapidWeaver Central, but I’ll definitely get back in there are start exploring! Very cool stuff there.

Thanks again, klaatu.