Theme Customizer - Timeline for Preview?

VeryGreat
Shopify Partner
2 0 2

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?

Replies 15 (15)
Liam
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
689 19 264

Hi VeryGreat,


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,
Liam Griffin
Shopify | Developer Advocate

Liam | Developer Community Manager @ Shopify 
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ConduciveMammal
Shopify Partner
40 1 15

and content model

 

Hey Liam,

 

Can you confirm on which content model this is?

I've not seen much different in the beta admin UI.

Liam Merlyn | Shopify Developer
Liam
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
689 19 264

Hi @ConduciveMammal 

 

The content schema model can be tested out on developer preview dev stores, and we have recently updated the docs on the content schema here. However, as you've noticed the admin UI hasn't changed as yet. 

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

Liam | Developer Community Manager @ Shopify 
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ThomasB_
Shopify Expert
11 0 3

Hm, been almost three months now since the last update to the changelog and 2019 is slowly but surely closing its gates. Can we expect a partner release for 2019 or will this be delayed to 1QT 2020?

Liam
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
689 19 264

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. 

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

Liam | Developer Community Manager @ Shopify 
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ThomasB_
Shopify Expert
11 0 3

@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.

Liam
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
689 19 264

Hi @ThomasB_ 

 

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!

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

Liam | Developer Community Manager @ Shopify 
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Boots
Shopify Partner
26 0 33

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.

Amal2
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1 0 1

Hi there,

 

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.

Liam
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
689 19 264

Hi Boots, 

 

Just to add to Amal's reply, I wanted to let you know that when I read your feedback, I immediately passed it on to the team that is working on the Online Store. It's extremely valuable to get insights like these, and hear what your real-life experiences are, when we prepare changes to the partner platform and roll out updates. I'm hoping this forum can be an opportunity for you to connect with us, and share feedback that we can use internally to improve the experience of our theme developer community. 

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

Liam | Developer Community Manager @ Shopify 
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jemisha198
New Member
2 0 0

thanks for sharing the information.

https://www.ethnicmode.net/ 

VeryGreat
Shopify Partner
2 0 2

Hi Liam,

 

I see today that you posted that the online store design experience partner beta is now live. I was super excited to see this, and quickly went to our dev store to preview the new Theme Customizer - or in this case, I clicked Edit store.

 

I expected to be able to go in and see all of the new UI options, some default sections, etc. However, all I see is this:

Screen Shot 2020-01-23 at 4.22.43 PM.png

Once again, I am disappointed to see a big update from Shopify but still without the ability to test or try out any of the new UI or features unless we are flying blind. When will we actually be able to start working with these new features and UI?

Liam
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
689 19 264

Hey there Very Great,

Currently the partner beta is limited to adding the new sections only to product pages, on the sections-compatible version of Debut. You'll see an option to enable sections on your store when you navigate to a product page. The template-sections are not yet supported by the beta, which is why you're seeing that "Coming soon" message on the home page- but sections can be added to product page, and we also have a set of default content sections that you can try out. 

There's more info on our help docs that collects all the resources for getting started with the online store design experience. 

Can you try this out, and let us know if you're still seeing an issue? Also, if you need demo products to import to your store, you can download some from our GitHub account.

Hope this helps,

 

Liam

Liam | Developer Community Manager @ Shopify 
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Jerry_Pena
Shopify Partner
5 1 2

Just some feedback after watching the video @Liam posted. I can tell that the reason to enable sections is likely performance-related since it would be faster to avoid the extra overhead on pages that don't use sections. 

 

My suggestion is to have the enable/disable flag (assuming there is a flag somewhere in the backend storing this setting) be automatically set on pages that have sections and disabled when there are no sections in the page. 

 

(For reference, I'll use the timecode of the posted video)

00:19 Since there are no sections on the page, the "This page supports sections" setting would be disabled

00:22 You can eliminate the "This page supports sections" setting

00:31 You can eliminate the "Enable for all new product pages too?" popup

00:50 Since a section has been added to the page, the "This page supports sections" setting would be enabled

 

If for example the testimonials section that was added previously was removed from the page, the "This page supports sections" setting would be disabled again. The logic required would be trivial to add to the adding or removing of a section and would make the entire experience much more intuitive for all users, yet it would still allow for the benefits of actually disabling page section support. 

 

Just my 2 cents 🙂 but it seems very convoluted and unnecessary when you can so easily tell whether there is a section or not. If for some reason you wanted to disable the feature without removing sections, then reuse the setting in "Page settings" and call it "Disable this page's sections support". I think it's pretty obvious that disabling this feature when sections exist is absolutely an edge case and will not be the norm. 

licmouse88
New Member
1 0 0

There are plenty of factors Shopify does properly, specifically on the purchasing cart facet, however I really desire there was more of a dedication to completing massive updates earlier than you release them. At least end them at some point. It's difficult to get excited about the brand new theme environment while we are having to attend see here you later for any actual, tangible updates. I honestly want you would simply waited til subsequent yr to announce it, while you in reality had something that works. Honestly, we might pass our the front-cease off Shopify before we get to look it. Your CMS in it is present day nation simply does not keep up, and I do not have quite a few self belief in what you've got coming.