Slice Machine Iteration November 22, 2020: SliceBuilder Improvements, Revamp Of The CLI, Support Of shared Slices with GraphQuery & GraphQL

Hey Team,

The #SliceContest has been concluded and I was really impressed by the different submissions that we received.

First of all I wanted to congratulate all the people who participated in the contest and who share our enthusiasm for the work that we are doing as well as sharing a huge amount of great insights. Special shout out for this awesome diary written by Sacha Sayan.

I've been overwhelmed by the amount of tweet praising the work that we are currently.

As usual we take in all of your feedback, reflect on it, and try to as fast as possible accordingly. In order to improve your workflow and to make your life even easier, we chose to focus on different elements for the coming weeks.

TLDR : We will work on a lot of improvements.

  • Better Mocks, Custom component snapshots & more in the SliceBuilder. You can participate in our user test sessions by submitting your info here.
  • Revamping our CLI in order to allow you to create your custom SliceMachine integration
  • Support of Shared Slices in GraphQL & GraphQuery

SliceBuilder improvements - Better Mocks, Custom snapshots & more

The biggest introduction of the previous iteration was the release of the SliceBuilder. This visual builder (which allows you to create the Slice models for your components & generate mocks accordingly) is the stepping stone of the developer experience that we are willing to create.

We received a lot of great feedback about generating mocks, component snapshots, and even for some simpler bits of UI.

Better support for Mocks

Generating mocks was the main topic of discussion during the various presentations that we did and the live coding sessions that Lucie organized. By the way if you're still not following her on twitter, go do it right away because she's awesome.

We decided to improve this process in two ways

1 - Import Mocks for Rich Text

We will allow you to define different types of Mocks for your Rich Text field through the SliceBuilder. This include everything from a simple heading to a more complex configuration accordingly to your field configuration.

You can see more details and give you your feedback in this RFC.

2 - Improve Image mocks

We will first fix the mock generation issue reported by some of you during the contest. And on top of that, we will do more by adding the opportunity to specify an image coming from your Prismic repository or from unsplash. Sounds nice, right?

Look at the RFC here

Custom Snapshots for your components

The second biggest feedback that we got was to improve the snapshot generated for your component. This will be done and we will give you the opportunity to update your custom snapshot in order to provide even nicer documentation for your editors.

Bulk push slices

One of the thing that this contest made us realize is that if you want to reuse one of the libraries that someone created, it can be really painful to push slices one by one. To solve that we will work on a feature allowing you to bulk publish all slices that you just downloaded to your Prismic repository.

And much more

We will not stop here and will continue to improve the SliceBuilder in a number of ways:

  1. Improving the control that you have over the different fields' constraints
  2. Allowing you to open your code component from the SliceBuilder
  3. Support the Grid View for your Slice
  4. Renaming a Slice
  5. Warning if a new version of the builder is released

We will work on all of this while also working on designing a new feature where you can help us by providing insights on the different RFCs that we will open or by participating in our various User Tests.

You can go to our github repository to see the progress on each of the different topics. Those features will include the support of Integration Field in the builder & Slices Variations. If you're interested in participating, please give us your info there.

CLI Revamp to accept technology plugin to support Gatsby and others

On top of the great feedback that you gave us for the Slicebuilder, you also generously offered to contribute to the project. For many, your main goal is to support Gatsby or other technologies. We decided to start working on a way to allow you to help us with exactly that.

We are starting the revamp of our CLI to support plugins that Slicemachine users can contribute to in order to support new technologies and add new features. We will first do a Proof of concept in order to validate the approach, and then we will most likely open an RFC after that.

We are estimating that the new CLI will be available at the beginning of next year.

Better support of Shared Slices in the API & some fixes

We also know that some work needs to be done on the Prismic writing room. We introduced some bugs and Shared slices are still not perfectly supported on the API. That's why we will focus on fixing these in the next two weeks.

  • The first issue we will tackle is to fix the preview for Slicemachine that are not working properly on Chrome.
  • We will then support Share Slices with GraphQuery for the REST API and add support for them in the GraphQL API as well.

Thanks for reading our update and we hope to see you in two weeks for more news. In the meantime, you can follow our progress on the SliceMachine github here:

https://github.com/prismicio/slice-machine

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