Hello, @Norm and everybody,
This is only my second thread since I joined this forum. I can not consider myself even a newbie in Blocs world. I am below that level. But, as a person who has a considerable amount of experience with RapidWeaver (far from being a master, though), I would like to share my findings about Blocs in comparison with that other app. This may upset some people, but others may find this post interesting. I certainly do not want to offend anybody. Please, do not think I am motivated by anything but the desire for a friendly conversation. If I am off on any topic due to my “Blocs ignorance”, please, correct me. And do not ban me right away…
Without a doubt, Blocs has much more to offer than RW out-of-the-box in the area of layout. Without ‘Stacks’ (3rd party plugin, purchased separately) RW is clunky, out-of-date and unable to produce anything resembling an attractive layout. As a matter of fact, I stated repeatedly on RW forum that ‘Stacks’ are the only reason for RapidWeaver to exist. However, the addition of ‘Stacks’ plugin opens a door for nearly unlimited possibilities in both layout and functionality. Personally, I have yet to stumble upon a task that would be impossible to achieve in RW. Naturally, individual stacks that enable those tasks add cost and learning curve (but there’s also a wealth of wonderful free stacks). As a matter of fact, all the layout tricks afforded by Blocs are possible to match and even surpass with all-free stacks in RW.
On the other hand, I see that Blocs have a rather limited functionality (local fonts, warehoused fonts, multiple columns, accordions, mega menus, CSS-grid, cookie managers, members-only areas, multilingual capabilities, photo galleries and a multitude of other features are staples that are taken for granted in RW). What Blocs excels in is ease of creating basic websites and those that call for visual flashiness, but I haven’t seen yet any really deep designs or those that offer extended functionality.
Which brings me to the topic of API.
I think that Blocs development should actively seek participation of 3rd party developers who would bring in a lot of more advanced functionality to the table. This, of course, needs to be thought out very carefully and wisely, to prevent proliferation of redundancy and conflicts. From other posts it looks like Norm has this thing under consideration. I also know that some 3rd party developers are genuinely interested in developing for Blocs (not me—I am not a coder).
There is no need to fear new add-ons and additional costs. Those people who do not need them, can still build their sites with just the features of basic Blocs. Those that do need extended functionality, will gladly pay for it. I am one of the latter. Until addons start coming, I will probably just dabble.
I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts—from anyone who’d care to comment.