If you love beautiful code and believe that development must be enjoyable, you’ve come to the right place. Let me introduce you Laravel, a web application framework of new generation. Don’t be skeptical, because it deserves to be noticed.
Laravel has become one of the most popular PHP framework. Laravel has changed the way many people write PHP for the better. It is a powerful MVC PHP framework, designed for developers who need a simple and elegant toolkit to create beautiful web-apps using elegant and expressive syntax. Currently, it is the most starred PHP project on Github and a lot of companies (including Altabel Group) and people all over the world use it to build amazing applications. In 2015 sitepoint.com conducted a survey to find out the best PHP-framework for developers. Laravel won in nomination of Enterprise Level Framework and Personal Project Framework.
You are here because you want to start your project on Laravel, and don’t know what course to take, right? Let’s get started.
Every framework has its own version history – it’s being maintained and updated. So every new version brings new functionality, some functions are changed or deprecated.
Laravel was created by Taylor Otwell in 2011.
- Laravel 1 was made available in June, 2011. It lacked support for controllers that prevented it from being a true MVC framework.
- Three month later Laravel 2 was released, bringing various improvements from the author and community. As a result Laravel framework became fully MVC-compliant.
- Laravel 3 was released in February 2012 with a set of new features including the command-line interface (CLI) named Artisan.
- Laravel 4, codenamed Illuminate, was released in May 2013. Laravel 4 version was the one which brought big popularity to Laravel framework, but it’s not updated anymore, and also it lacks a lot of functions released in Laravel 5.
There is an important term – LTS version, which stands for Long Term Support. It means that bug fixing for that version is to be provided within 2 years, until the next LTS version is released. For non-LTS versions bug fixing will take only 6 months, unless it’s a security fix which is carried out within1 year after a release date.
The first version to have that status is Laravel 5.1 (June 2015). According to the roadmap released by framework author, there should be a new subversion every half-year: Laravel 5.4 – Winter 2016, Laravel 5.5 – Summer 2017.
It’s quite important to know which version you will be using for your projects. For new ones it’s not advised to use Laravel 4.x version – you should use Laravel 5.x, probably Laravel 5.3 as the newest version at the time of writing this.
- The Laravel framework has a few system requirements: PHP >= 5.6.4, OpenSSL PHP Extension, PDO PHP Extension, Mbstring PHP Extension, Tokenizer PHP Extension, XML PHP Extension. This whole component kit’s presented in Windows OpenServer. Also make sure you have installed Composer on your machine.
- Here are the framework’s main features: bundles, eloquent ORM (object-relational mapping), query builder, application logic, reverse routing, restful controllers, class auto loading, view composers, blade templating engine, IoC containers, migrations, database seeding, unit testing, automatic pagination, form request.
- Using Laravel you can complete massive common tasks such as database migrations, queuing, authentication, routing, sessions, and caching with simplicity.
- Laravel has made processing with database very easy. It currently supports following databases – MySQL, Postgres, SQLite, SQL Server.
If you are familiar with HTML, Core PHP and Advanced PHP; Laravel will make your task easier. It will save you lots of time when you are developing a website from scratch. The website built in Laravel is also secure. It prevents the various attacks that can take place on websites.
Laravel offers a robust set of tools and an application architecture that incorporates many of the best features of frameworks like CodeIgniter, Yii, ASP.NET MVC, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, and others. Laravel is built using Symfony, Doctrine, Faker, Carbon and other libraries. All of these components work flawlessly with Laravel.
- Flexibility – there are many ways to complete one task.
- Excellence – Laravel is the result of a long-term commitment to excellence, best practices, use of solid design principles, and the steady vision of the Taylor Otwell.
- Evolution – each new Laravel version brings us more and more the new features which are worth trying.
- Documentation – Laravel has beautifully written and comprehensive documentation. The Laravel forum also has many answers to common problems.
- Official Packages – The Laravel framework has a number of extremely useful packages that we can add via composer that extend the framework.
Everything has its failings. And Laravel is not an exception.
- Syntactic sugar – there is too much syntactic sugar in Laravel. Often you can face difficulties trying to maintain a unique build for your project code.
- Juniors – Laravel attracts lots of newbies who can’t even cope with essentialities: framework documentation, composer and automatic loader.
- Taylor Otwell – Why? Is it a real minus? Taylor alone determines framework future, e.g. he’s closed issues on Github, or he demands from developers to describe bugs through pull request, and so on. Yes, it’s okay from one side. But from the other – it’s not an open source.
The Laravel community is growing fast and there are a lot of support and learning resources available.
Documentation for the framework can be found on the Laravel website. The documentation is very detailed and there is a large community based around Laravel. Some of the notable community resources are Laracasts, Forums, Podcasts, Jobs, Laravel News and Laracon.
- Forums. It’s the most common way to find an answer to about any problem.
- Podcast. You generally get a behind the scenes look at what’s coming down the road.
- Laracon. Laracon is a conference centered around the Laravel framework, covering its development, uses, and related general software development practices. Laracons are taking place in both United States and Europe, organized primarily by UserScape with additional help provided by a number of sponsors.
I recommend to anyone who wishes to learn the framework to get acquainted with above mentioned resources. It’s worth your time to do it.
I hope that this little introduction to the world of Laravel has shed some light and help you get some insights about it.
Laravel is an awesome framework to work with. It focuses on simplicity, clarity and getting work done. It’s designed to help you get started on building your own apps with Laravel. And Altabel Group will be happy to assist you with it. Remember, coding with Laravel is coding with elegance.
If you have any questions or comments, be sure to post them below and I’ll do my best to answer them!
Thank you for reading.