Weird stack paths, losing all stacks

Hi. This is a RW8 issue. Basically when I open up RW8, it is losing all of my stacks. I keep getting an alert to update Stacks (3.6.9), do so… relaunch, and get the alert again. Upon launch, only the base stacks are available. Worse, open up an existing site, and all my custom stacks show up as missing. I am on OS 10.13.6 High Sierra. I was in the process of updating an old RW6 site to RW8. OK with upgrading to Stacks4, but don’t want to compound the problem.

It looks as if the Stacks updates are all going into the Addons folder, and not down one level into the Stacks folder. Also, there are multiple copies of Stacks loose in the adding folder. Guessing it is a paths thing. It is now occurring on all my RW8 sites. I was briefly able to open my sites and have my stacks load in by clicking on the site and then selecting “Open with RW8”. Anyone else run into this?

Also, it looks like the stack updates are going into a folder in the addons called “.Update Checker”, which is not visible in the folder (but you can follow the path by using the Library/reveal in Finder. Don’t want to muck about like a bull in a china shop, but something is amiss.

PS: I re-downloaded RW8 and my sites seem to open up with the Stacks showing up as long as I don’t try to update Stacks from the Add-on update window that pops up (to Stacks 3.6.9). Weirdness.

What version of stacks are you using?

What message are you getting(a screenshot would be great)?

You can download and install the 3.6.9 version here:

You will probably need to reenter The serial number.

If you don’t have the serial number you can look it up here:

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Looks like Stacks 3.6.6 currently. It is prompting me to update to v3.6.9 (Build #4242).

I am a little reluctant to try, first it won’t update and keeps prompting to install it again upon relaunch. Secondly, it loses the directory path and loads in a base set of stacks only (and then all my stacks won’t show or load).

It is functional now, but some stacks won’t load in or be recognized. One was version two of Nick’s Superflex, which I am undating to the newer version anyhow (and then will redo the site using Foundry).

I am OK updating to Stacks4, and will do that in the long run. Just reluctant to add in another variable when things are behaving badly. thanks!

PS: thanks for the download link!

When the RapidWeaver updater fails like this, it’s usually time to have a manual look through your addons directory to see if there’s anything strange happening in there. Choose Reveal Addons Folder from the View menu in RapidWeaver. This will open up the folder in the Finder and you can just have a look.

I’ve seen cases where multiple copies of Stacks are installed and confuses the RapidWeaver addon updater.

Make sure to remove any plugins that you’re not actively using. Even if you’re not using them, they can still partially load into RapidWeaver and potentially cause problems. So if you’re not using them, just remove them – keep them in a safe spot in case you want to reinstall them.

You are likely reaching the end of the line (if you haven’t already) with Stacks 3. Plugins and the main RapidWeaver app work closely together. Each new version of RapidWeaver makes at least a few changes to the plugin API – and sometimes A LOT MORE than a few changes. This means that plugins and the app need to be well synchronized.

  • Stacks v3.6.4 was an update specifically for RW 8.1 compatibility.
  • Stacks v3.6.9 was an update specifically for RW 8.4 compatibility – and the final version of Stacks 3.

Using the current version of RapidWeaver with v3.6.5 seems like you’re probably going to run into a few problems.

Using v3.6.9 should be a little better, but I think there are still going to be problems when using on RW 8.5 and 8.6

People do need to run older versions of Stacks from time to time for a variety of reasons. In these cases I recommend trying to run them with RapidWeaver and macOS of a similar era. Try to keep the RapidWeaver, Stacks, and macOS versions to within about year of each other if possible, and within two years at most.


Sage advice and greatly appreciated. There were indeed multiple copies getting installed, and I cleaned them all out. I have it stable as long as I don’t update Stacks to the latest version of 3. I am about to migrate to a new computer running Catalina, and will make the jump to Stacks4 too. Thanks again!

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Quick Stacks4 question, does it overwrite the Stacks stack, or can it run con-currently? Also, is there a link or guide for the best practices for updating from S3 to S4? Can I pull the stack contents from a S3 container into a S4 container? Cheers.

I’m not an authority on this bit. Stacks does NOT update itself.

  • RapidWeaver updates Stacks (the plugin)
  • Stacks (the plugin) updates all of the stacks (the layout elements in the Stacks Library)

When RapidWeaver updates Stacks it is supposed to replace it and then immediately restart itself. However in the past year or so there have been MANY users with exactly your symptoms mentioned above. It suggests that there is some automatic process that is causing this. The RapidWeaver updater seems the most likely culprit.

We don’t document Stacks upgrade as it doesn’t usually upset things very much. But I can offer some general tips for any transition you are feeling a bit unsure of…

A Backup

Often folks make full-disk backups. Sometimes to off-site super-safe places. Those are great – but I might recommend something a bit simpler and more easily accessible. Perhaps just a copy of your project files and the RW Addons folder to a safe place. Put them in a safe folder, Ctrl-Click and choose “Compress ‘Backup’” from the popup menu. Now you have a nice safe zip file of everything.
Should there be even the most minor bug you can unzip everything, replace the files and be back to your stable v3 in a few seconds. No harm, no worry. :smiley:

Stack Updates

We always make major versions 100% backward compatible. So updating your files and existing stacks is a non-issue.

That said some stacks explicitly require Stacks v4. This means that after you update to Stacks v4 there might be some more updates available to you. But there is no need to rush into updating those immediately.

I can tell you value stability (so do I) – so I’d recommend taking things slowly. Update to Stacks v4 first and check your projects, make sure everything went as expected.

Then you can update other stacks as you like. One update at a time, or perhaps in bite-sized chunks of one stack-author at a time.

Taking it slow is fine. And feel free to ask questions along the way.
Let us know how it goes.


Isiah, first off thanks for such a detailed response.

Good to hear about the backward compatibility, as the thought of reworking every stack container on every site I do was a bit daunting. I do expect some glitches though, and some manuevering will probably be required.

There are a few odd hints (other than the multiple copies of stacks, and the complete disappearance of all the custom stack installs) that make me think there is some RW path awareness confusion. If I click to open RW from the app icon or from the toolbar, sometimes is opens a different version (but same build), and I can see one open in the toolbar (and the other one unopened in the toolbar). Also, there are some stacks that just don’t want to load in at all (SuperFlex2, but SuperFlex3 is Ok). I try and not do automatic updates, as I like to keep track of what is being installed and when.

I did redownload both RW and Stacks, which helped a bit. I also make tons of backups, but the compression one is a great idea. It stops some of the behind the scenes mucking about that may occur. I am whacked about stability, to a fault. I had held off on updating the OS beyond High Sierra on my one workstation as it housed my Aperture3 library. It literally took several months to transition away from Aperture, and move the library to a new workstation (I also culled my library down from 220k images to under 100k, and reduced the library size in half as well. Painful!). It helps to be moving everything over to a new OS, and new workstation, as it should help kill off some of the deeply embedded weirdness. I am just trying to get all my sites updated, and running in a stable manner first so I don’t create compound problems.

Thanks again!

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