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The "Future of Gatsby Q&A" Lesson is part of the full, Introduction to Gatsby course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Jason encourages students to get involved with Gatsby by contributing to its development and discusses Gatsby themes, which will be a big part of Gatsby's future.

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Transcript from the "Future of Gatsby Q&A" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> Speaker 1: Do you mind demonstrating or just showing us maybe some example of Gatsby e-commerce sites or something with more dynamic data?
>> Jason Lengstorf: Sure, yeah, so let's take a look at the Gatsby swag store. So this is a pretty straightforward site. We've got image previews and other good stuff, and then if I actually want to buy something, I can come in here, add to the cart and this dynamic stuff is all happening asynchronously, right.

[00:00:38] Then if I do other things, edit my cart, all that good stuff, then if I go to log in, we'll use auth0 for the log in. And when it redirects us back, it's going to show,
>> Jason Lengstorf: The login screen. We get to our dashboard, it shows us our coupon codes, it shows me how many contributions I've made.

[00:01:04] And then under the hood, what this is doing is it's actually taking my GitHub account and it's tying it to a Shopify account, and linking all of that together through a custom API that we built. That tracks, are you a contributor, have you used your Shopify codes, that sort of thing.

[00:01:22] So that the codes are linked to the person that has earned them. So that even if somebody who's not qualified were to go try to use the swag code, it won't work until you've actually met the qualifications for it. And the qualifications for this, just in case anybody's wondering how to get this sweet level two swag code, is five contributions to the repo.

[00:01:44] And those contributions can be anything from grammar fixes to whatever, but yeah, we've got tons and tons and tons of opportunities to get involved. We absolutely love to have people involved, we have a whole section on contributing.
>> Jason Lengstorf: Where is it? Up here, contributing. And we are really, really into this.

[00:02:09] So like I said, we do free swag for our contributors, we offer free community pair programming sessions. Anybody who wants to get involved in open source, you can book an hour of our time, when somebody from the core team will jump on with you, work on a project.

[00:02:21] The only thing we won't do is work on commercial projects. So we're not gonna help you do your job, but we will happily help you learn something that will help you do your job. We've got a listing of upcoming community events. If you're gonna be talking about Gatsby, please submit an event.

[00:02:35] That submission is a contribution. It'll count toward your free swag. [LAUGH] We have a site showcase where you can show off sites that you've built with Gatsby. Submitting to the showcase also counts as a contribution. So we've got lots and lots of ways to get involved, we'd absolutely love to have each and every one of you as a member of the Gatsby community.

[00:02:56] So please reach out to me. Anything I can do to help, I'm happy to do it. Also, I kinda started to answer your question and then totally took a turn. Did I show you enough? Is there anything else that you wanna see?
>> Speaker 1: No, I think that's fine, especially with the showcase website.

[00:03:11] I can just go check that out.
>> Jason Lengstorf: Okay, perfect, any other questions?
>> Speaker 3: What's next for Gatsby over the next year or so?
>> Jason Lengstorf: Themes, so we have been working on themes, which I am extremely excited about. So the way that Gatsby themes work is we have, [LAUGH] there we go.

[00:03:36] We've effectively set up a way for you to do composable websites. So when you talk about themes, traditionally you would think about a WordPress theme, where it is a collection of templates and styles, and then you can extend that a little bit, and that's cool. What Gatsby themes allow you to do, which is really exciting, is you can compose themes together and you can install multiple themes next to each other.

[00:04:02] So you have vertical and horizontal composition of themes, which means that if I want to build a blog, I can install a blog theme. And then if I want that blog to source from WordPress, I can install the WordPress higher level theme that powers the blog theme. But then if I want to install an e-commerce store, I can just install another theme for e-commerce, and then a theme for Shopify to pull in that data.

[00:04:28] And what that means is that under the hood you're saying, my Gatsby config is Gatsby theme Shopify e-COM, Gatsby theme WordPress blog. And no other config, maybe a API key so that you can get the data. But outside of that, you don't have to write any code. Your site wouldn't have anything in it other than a Gatsby config.

[00:04:50] Because the data comes from WordPress, the e-commerce stuff comes from Shopify, and there is no code to write, because it all lives in the theme, which is a dependency that you install. If you want to eject and override that, that we have the same as we do with our config in webpack and stuff.

[00:05:09] We do the same progressive disclosure of complexity in the themes as well so that you're able to eject a single component. And rewrite it in the theme to make it look the way that you want, but the rest of the theme stays intact. We call that component shadowing.

[00:05:23] It's incredibly powerful. The stuff that people are gonna be able to do with this is next level. We've only started seeing people start to play with this, and they're already just consistently surprising us with how cool the things are that they're building. This is also, I think, where it's gonna start to open up the door for people to make and sell Gatsby themes.

[00:05:44] Or to, if you wanted to start a business, like an Etsy style business, you can build a Gatsby theme for what an Etsy profile looks like. And then just stand up multiple versions of that theme for each customer. So that it's completely isolated in sandbox, you don't have to worry about the hosting fees of scaling a business, the security concerns of somebody being able to log into somebody else's account.

[00:06:09] They're in a completely separate account. It's a completely separate instance of a website. It just looks the same, right? And so you can build this theme once and then resell that access to somebody else. So there's a whole new angle for online entrepreneurship that we see this opening.

[00:06:25] And these are just the things that I'm able to spit ball off the top of my head. We have so many internal notes and documents and discussions with community members about just the ideas they have for what this is gonna be capable of doing, and I cannot wait.

[00:06:38] I'm so excited for it.