Weaverse Weekly #3: Snake-oil Shopify Developers
Jan 09, 2024
By Paul Phan4 mins read
Weaverse Weekly #3: Snake-oil Shopify Developers

Hello hello friends of Weaverse, how are you doing?

Hope you’re well-rested. I know, transitioning from holiday bliss to work mode can feel like a jolt. One second you're basking in the cozy glow of a holiday movie marathon, and the next, you're parachuting into a jungle of work emails and looming deadlines.

Fear not, I'll keep the tech talk light and engaging in this newsletter.

This first newsletter of the new year came with a bunch of fascinating think-pieces, the state of Headless in 2024 - and a sensational story about what might have been the worst (or the best, depending on which side you’re on) I’ve ever seen.

Let’s dive in!

The Best Writing About Headless, WebDev, and Everything In Between

In the same way, Leo Tolstoy said “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”, I said, “All good headless builds are alike, each bad headless build is bad in its own way”.

It’s true, there are almost as many ways you can f*ck up your headless implementation as how you implement headless correctly. This is why learning - not just about headless, but web dev in general - is important, and here is what I read this week:

Hydrogen Themes: More Powerful, Just As Accessible

We've recently teamed up with True Storefront, a leading Hydrogen theme creator, to build a new theme for Sporting storefronts, based on Truestorefront’s Owen theme. It's exciting to see Weaverse maintain its efficiency and power in crafting more complex themes.

Owen theme is designed for the likes of Atom and Nike, so it features everything merchants would need to run a premium sporting storefront: an extensive product catalog, flexible product showcase, robust mega menu, and native support for multi-language. Our goal? To see if such a sophisticated theme could be made editable and customizable with Weaverse, just like how you use Shopify Online Store 2.0.

and yes, you can. You can check out a short demo here:

Oh, and that’s not all. We have more themes in the pipeline, catering to different niches and needs. Here’s a sneak peek, this one is for Beauty websites.

The Era of Snake Oil Developers?

(You might have missed this over the holidays.)

In the 1800s, thousands of Chinese workers arrived in the United States as indentured laborers to work on the Transcontinental Railroad. Among the very few items they brought was snake oil - a remedy rich in omega-3 acids, effective against arthritis and bursitis.

Then there came this cowboy named Clark Stanley who tried to recreate the healing effect of Chinese snake oil, but using Rattlesnake. He called himself The Rattlesnake King, and he didn’t know anything about Rattlesnake, or oil, or medicine.

  • Rattlesnake oil was far less effective than the original Chinese snake oil he was trying to emulate. A 1989 letter to The Western Journal of Medicine from psychiatrist and researcher Richard Kunin revealed that the Chinese oil contained almost triple the amount of a vital acid as did rattlesnake oil.

  • His concoction? A blend of mineral oil, beef fat, red pepper, and turpentine – no snake oil whatsoever. The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 sought to clamp down on the sale of patent medicines and it was that legislation that led to Stanley's undoing. After seizing a shipment of Stanley's Snake Oil in 1917, federal investigators found that it primarily contained mineral oil, a fatty oil believed to be beef fat, red pepper, and turpentine.

So that was a short origin story of snake-oil salesmen - according to NPR.

Unfortunately, now we have Snake-oil Shopify developers who claim to boost your site's speed but instead use dubious tactics to fake performance metrics on Google's Page Speed Insights. The result? Merchants pay hefty sums for falsified speed reports.

None of this would come to the public if it were not for Lukas Tanasiuk's exceptional investigative journalism, exposing these deceitful acts.

For the full investigation, check out his full tweet.

That's all for this week. Catch you later!


P.S. Let me know if I'm wrong. I'd love to learn :)