a head full of dumb ideas byTimo Mämecke
| 3 min reading time
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Just give me the answer, ChatGPT

Last week, I tinkered with developing a Shopify App. Shopify's developer guides are... eh – a mixed bag. What I wanted to do just wouldn't work. So, when I can't find an answer in their guides and it's also not easily googled, I turn to ChatGPT. I don't often use ChatGPT for this kind of stuff – I still mostly use Google because it's faster – but I've found that searching for Shopify's subscription guides often leads to forum posts with no clear answers.

The issue with ChatGPT is that it can be so annoying. It's like talking to that one coworker who never responds directly to your questions, trying to hide that they secretly have no idea what they're doing. Just give me an answer, Billy!

I know that if I just ask, "Hey beep boop, this no workey, why that?" it would respond with a big list of useless information. I had a hunch that it was because of the payments, but I didn't want to loop over making configuration changes to see what works. So, I gave it some context about what I was doing and asked my question:

You:
Do shopify subscriptions work with the bogus payment gateway?

ChatGPT:
As of my last update in April 2023, Shopify's Bogus Gateway (or Bogus Payment Method) is typically used for testing checkout processes and transactions without processing real credit card payments. However, when it comes to testing subscriptions, the functionality can be more limited.

Here are a few key points to consider:
1. Limited Testing Scope: The Bogus Gateway is blah blah more list items

At this point, I'm already annoyed af. I asked a yes or no question. I don't need all the information in the world. I know it knows the answer; the thing can search the freaking internet. But it always defaults to "Could be, figure it out yourself, here are a few things to consider". But you're the computer, you do the work for me! So, I take a deep breath and continue.

You: Please, dude. Just say yes or no.

ChatGPT: [Awkward pause] No.

Thank God. Why not like this in the first place? Okay, while I already have this conversation established, let's continue with solving the problem.

You:
How do I test subscriptions then? Keep your answer short and concise, you're using so many unnecessary words

ChatGPT: To test Shopify subscriptions:
1. Use a subscription app's test mode, if available.
2. Utilize the test mode of your payment gateway.
3. Create test plans with minimal costs.

Again, so much useless content. Stop with your numbered lists. Did they hardcode into ChatGPT's instructions that it should always respond with bullet points or numbered lists? I actually think they did, but it's so annoying. And it's so slow! It pains me to see it typing in real-time.

You:
How do I configure the payment gateway for testing?

ChatGPT:
To configure your payment gateway for testing in Shopify:
1. bullet point list with vague generic instructions for any payment gateway

You:
Which payment gateway should I use?

ChatGPT:
Choosing a payment provider for your Shopify store depends on several factors:
1. Location: Some payment providers are only available in certain countries. Bla bla bla
2. more list items

Uuuugggghhhh!

You:
Dude. It's for testing. Keep it short

ChatGPT:
For testing subscriptions in Shopify, use Shopify Payments in test mode or select another payment gateway that offers a sandbox or test environment, like Stripe or PayPal's sandbox mode.

Finally, we're there. That's the answer.

And yes, I know about the custom instructions. I already added some to prevent it from being annoying. But it still is. I guess the system message they sent with ChatGPT wires its brain super hard to give a lot of information with many words and always use lists if possible.

Welcome to 2023, where I'm complaining about this crazy AI technology which is actually scarily powerful but annoys me too much.

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DI-RECT, August 4th 2023, Gebäude 9 Cologne