How stable/usable/finished is Slate?

Solved
pault
Shopify Partner
5 0 1

Hi

 

I have been thinking about jumping into shopify theme dev for a while. I tried Slate about 6 months ago and encountered too many problems to continue so I thought I'd wait for a stable version to come out. As it's still in beta, I was wondering about peoples opinion on if Slate is stable enough to be used for development? Is there an estimate when a stable version 1 will be released?

 

If you don't use Slate, what do you use for development and is there a good alternative to Slate where it's still possible to take advantage of the starter themes?

 

Thanks

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KarlOffenberger
Shopify Partner
1868 183 819

This is an accepted solution.

Hi,

 

I haven't had any major issues with Slate but I also use it a little differently so I cannot give you a complete picture. Here's my setup

 

  • Slate for the asset build pipeline with quite a few mods to slate.config.js because I needed a different setup for webpack. Could have skipped Slate altogether but prefer to stick with it because it will be used by Shopify theme devs going forward and I do not wish to go too far off the beaten path. Not using Slate (underlying ThemeKit) for theme file sync (see below).
  • Motifmate Toolbox for local emulator because developing any other way is just a _massive_ PITA!
  • Any change is committed to a git feature branch on a PR. Even though I work alone. PR merges on to trunk. Apart from that, it has all the usual git  goodies setup (static analysis, green keeping, dependency size watching, etc).
  • Using Google Cloud Build (can be any other CI tool, I just felt like checking out GCB because I have a knack for CI/CD tools) for CI.
    • Currently only on trunk (no need for CI build on feature branches because I don't do megalodon features, of course, YMMV)
    • CI runs transpilation, packaging, asset optimisation, tests
    • Upon successful CI build, untagged commits deployed to unpublished candidate theme (canary) via slate-sync
    • Tagged commits promote unpublished theme to published

 

Much of the flow still has quite some room for improvement. The canary deployment is meh as is because it wouldn't scale to multiple canaries. At least a dozen should be supportable on any given store before hitting theme limits. Same goes for tagged release deploy - will want a blue-green setup so that the previously published theme version is always kept around for quick rollbacks.

 

The main take away though is that Slate works fine, Motifmate local emulation is a 10-fold productivity improvement and no developer ever makes any change to assets via Slate or heavens forbid via Admin UI - only the CI/CD pipeline can do that (which is good for larger teams... no overwrites, no worries with shared collaborator accounts, NDAs, who changed what and when and did they also peek in to stuff they shouldn't be looking at? etc)

 

Hope this helps or at least gives you some ideas of what can be done.

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pault
Shopify Partner
5 0 1

Thanks for the detailed reply, much appreciated. I'll set up Slate again and see where I end up :)

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Perrin
New Member
9 0 0

Well, it appears that they are killing Slate. The announcement is exactly the type which you receive when they want to kill a project but they don't want to make the public panic. What a shame, it was growing on me.

P.A.
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George-S
Shopify Partner
10 0 18

Hello, try this tool: https://github.com/the-utd/Themeplify

 

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