Hi there, very excited to start working within the new Online Store Design Experience. We currently manage a handful of Shopify stores and are anxious to prepare for the upcoming themes overhaul. While we've been able to start taking a look at the code changes, the documentation is still very thin and with no way to access to the new Theme Customizer UI it is difficult to fully grasp all of the changes.
Is there a timeline yet for a preview of the new Theme Customizer UI? Or a timeline for the new Online Store Design Experience to be publicly launched?
Glad to hear you’re excited to get started with the new online store design experience! Currently you can test out the new theme file structure and content model with a developer preview store, however, the Theme Customizer UI is still in development.
We will be announcing a timeline for the partner release in the coming months, which will ensure that developers have ample time to prepare in advance of the full merchant release. We are also frequently updating the Section themes REST API changelog, so I’d recommend keeping an eye on this forum post.
Hope this helps,
Shopify | Developer Advocate
Hi @TH We've actually just implemented new changes to the Content Schema model, and these are currently live in the developer preview. The changes include updating the Content Schema to allow for more flexible content combinations. The sections and overrides properties of the REST API have been updated to reflect the new content structure and the REST API endpoint to create master pages has been removed. Master pages are now created automatically (one per type).
Please let us know if you have any questions and we'll keep you updated here with new developments.
@Liam, great to see another update coming in!
We'd really like to test the features in detail. However, we're wondering how we're supposed to do that without having access to the theme editor. If I'm not mistaken, the editor is still not available in the developer preview.
So the question arises how to get data into the sections for testing without it. Especially since the way the data is stored is supposed to change and the settings_data file will only be used for the legacy sections.
We've developed our own in-house theme (not in the theme store), which we've been using and constantly improving for years. Obviously, it needs to be updated to the new experience and the sooner, the better.
So we ask ourselves: is it still (documentation) reading-time only or can we somehow start to actively migrate and test something? 🤔 Maybe we overlooking something that has been mentioned – we just don't want to waste any time.
Thanks for your feedback, right now the options for migration are limited and the developer preview does not have access to the theme editor. Since these are significant changes, we are rolling them out incrementally so that partners can familiarise themselves with the new directory structure and schema model. The next step will be to introduce the theme editor to the developer preview, and we'll also be publishing migration guides to assist partners when you're updating your themes. Thanks for your patience and we'll keep you updated here!
I don't know if I'm the only dev that feels this way, but it's EXTREMELY frustrating that you guys launched this new "developer preview" without any way to actually USE it. Sure, we can look at the raw templates, but how is the new content handled? If we can't use the theme editor, how are we supposed to test content in the site? Without being able to use it, I haven't been able to grasp what these new changes you "rolled-out" almost 6 months ago actually mean. And all we get is "later this year!" Well it's December, and my company is growing and has big plans for next year. I'm really hesitant to develop anything new, only to find out that everything has changed. But obviously "later this year" isn't working out, so will it now become "sometime next year"? With the random new info you've given us, it's impossible to plan for the future.
On a grander scale, this has been a recurring frustration of mine with Shopify. You guys seem so excited to launch new things that you don't actually finish them before you do. This new Unite 2019 is only the latest example.
You guys launched metafields a few years ago, but incredibly didn't give us a native GUI to actually manage them. There was a very tone-deaf blog post you guys posted soon after, titled something like "The Secret Metafield Editor You Wish You Knew About", which walked you through the super convoluted and complicated way you can manage all your metafields by sending them through a query string to a hidden page in the backend. I see it's been pulled down, so I assume that you finally realized that a "secret" editor wasn't actually something to be proud of. Now your docs just say that we need to install a 3rd-party app to manage metafields, or build your own API proxi. Unfinished.
Then, you guys launched the very buggy script editor, which on the surface sounds like an amazing thing. Until you realize that it's super janky, throws generic random errors (only in production) that are impossible to troubleshoot, and you can only run ONE script at a time, making your actual published script a behemoth of new and old code that you just pray will somehow hold it together. I was once told by your dev support a while back that, "Well, it's still technically in beta, so there are things we still need to work out". Unfinished.
There are a lot of things Shopify does well, mainly on the shopping cart side, but I really wish there was more of a commitment to finishing big updates before you launch them. At least finish them at some point. It's hard to get excited about the new theme environment when we're having to wait so long for any real, tangible updates. I really wish you'd just waited til next year to announce it, when you actually had something that works. Honestly, we might move our front-end off Shopify before we get to see it. Your CMS in it's current state just doesn't hold up, and I don't have a lot of confidence in what you have coming.
Again... Maybe it's just me.
I’m Amal, a product manager working on the online store team. I’m sorry to hear you’ve experienced frustrations surrounding the release of our Sections API.
It might be helpful for me to clarify our thinking behind announcing the product at Shopify Unite 2019. This is the most significant and complex set of changes we’ve made to the online store. In order for us to build the best solutions for our merchants, we wanted to provide our partner community with an early preview for an opportunity to receive valuable feedback prior to releasing this to merchants. Based on partner feedback we received following our announcement at Unite, we’ve already made changes to our Content Schema model, which will result in a better online store design experience for our partners and merchants. Unfortunately, this also contributed to a delay in our release date.
I want to assure you that in early 2020 we will provide more information surrounding the partner beta, and share all of the information for you to prepare yourself in advance of merchant general availability.
I will also share your feedback with the other teams that work on the other features you’ve mentioned. We appreciate your feedback and we are consistently trying to improve how we balance sharing our product investments early, for optimal partners feedback and collaboration.
If you have any other questions or concerns related to this release, I’m happy to answer them.