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Freek Van der Herten:
Packages that make developing Laravel apps easier
Feb 13, 2017 @ 09:46:12

Freek Van der Herten has a new post to his site sharing what he considers some of the most helpful Laravel package to help with your debugging.

In this post I’d like to share some of the packages that make developing a Laravel app easier.

His list of packages includes a wide range of testing tools like:

For each item on his list he includes a screenshot of it in action (either of a terminal or a UI) and a brief explanation of how it can help.

tagged: framework help debugging package laravel development

Link: https://murze.be/2017/02/packages-make-developing-laravel-apps-easier/

Introducing Laravel Mix (new in Laravel 5.4)
Feb 09, 2017 @ 09:23:40

Matt Stauffer has posted the latest in his "What's new in Laravel 5.4' series with this new post covering Laravel Mix. Mix is a reworking of the Laravel Elixir package in previous framework releases but has changed a few things up in the process.

Laravel Mix. The same and yet entirely different from Laravel Elixir.

If you're not familiar with Laravel Elixir, it's a wrapper around Gulp that makes it really simple to handle common build steps—CSS pre-processing like Sass and Less, JavaScript processing like Browserify and Webpack, and more.

In Laravel 5.4, Elixir has been replaced by a new project called Mix. The tools have the same end goals, but go about it in very different ways.

He starts with a look at what's new about Mix and how it differs from previous version of Elixir. This includes changes in the structure of the configuration file, a different files/folders structure, helpers and quite a few other changes. Matt gets into detail on each item, providing code examples for the changes and a brief summary of how it's different for those that might have used Elixir before. Check out the full post for the full details.

tagged: laravel mix elixir css javascript compile helper v54 framework

Link: https://mattstauffer.co/blog/introducing-laravel-mix-new-in-laravel-5-4

Matt Stauffer:
Introducing Laravel Dusk (new in Laravel 5.4)
Feb 06, 2017 @ 09:46:06

Kicking off his series of posts looking at the new features that come along with the v5.4 release of the Laravel Framework Matt Stauffer has posted a look at Dusk, a tool that makes it simpler to test your Laravel based applications.

If you follow anyone in the Laravel world on Twitter, or if you listen to the Laravel Podcast, you know by now that Laravel Dusk is the new face of application testing in the Laravel world.

[...] With Dusk, Taylor has completely re-written how application testing works in Laravel. Everything is now based on a tool called ChromeDriver, which is a standalone server that actually controls Chrome/Chromium. When you write application tests, Dusk sends your commands to ChromeDriver, which then spins up Chrome to run your tests in the browser and then reports back the results.

He starts with a brief look at how testing was being performed in most cases on Laravel applications (using the "Integrated" package) but pointed out that that only really worked for non-Javascript driven sites. With the introduction of Dusk and it's use of the ChromeDriver to make "browsing" in the test simpler. He includes the installation process of the latest version of Dusk and an example test checking to be sure the string "Laravel" is in a page. He includes a gif of the test in action and talks about some of the new interactions and assertions included in the tool. He wraps up the post looking at the use of Pages and a few other miscellaneous tips to help you get your testing up and working productively.

tagged: laravel framework testing dusk introduction tutorial interactions pages

Link: https://mattstauffer.co/blog/introducing-laravel-dusk-new-in-laravel-5-4

Dac Chartrand:
Building a Simple API using Opulence PHP
Jan 30, 2017 @ 11:27:35

Dac Chartrand has written up a post to his site showing you how to create a simple REST API with Opulence, a PHP framework that bills itself as a "modern framework for modern PHP".

This tutorial will show you how to code a simple JSON API using Opulence PHP. We will install Opulence’s skeleton project using composer, then create a ‘user’ database entity, and finally we will match CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) to POST, GET, PUT, and DELETE.

The start of the tutorial helps you get a new Opulence project set up and running including updating the configuration for content type handling and the database connection details. With that set up he moves into the code creating the "User" entity and its matching classes. He builds out the controller, selecting a REST controller from the options and builds out all methods needed for the CRUD user operations. The tutorial finishes with a bit of testing information so you can see the framework in action.

tagged: opulence api rest tutorial simple user framework

Link: http://kizu514.com/blog/building-a-simple-api-using-opulence-php/

Laravel News:
Laravel 5.4 Is Now Released
Jan 24, 2017 @ 12:04:54

At the Laravel News site mentions, the latest version of the Laravel framework has been released: Laravel 5.4.

Version 5.4 of Laravel is now officially released! This release has many new features, and improvements.

A video is included in the post showing some of these features and improvements as well as a text-based version with a bit more detail. Topics include:

  • Laravel Dusk
  • Blade components and slots
  • Markdown emails
  • Route improvements
  • Higher order messaging for collections

Each item in the post comes with a brief explanation of the feature and a code snippet showing how it can be used. It also finishes with some of the smaller updates and links to the 4.5 upgrade guide to help you migrate your current application.

tagged: laravel framework release v54 features improvements migration

Link: https://laravel-news.com/laravel-5-4

TutsPlus.com:
Building Your Startup: Preparing for Text Messaging
Jan 23, 2017 @ 09:44:52

The TutsPlus.com site has posted the latest in their (lengthy) series of tutorials showing how to use PHP to "build your startup". In this new tutorial they show how to integrate SMS functionality into the application. This is the first part covering this topic and mostly covers the setup and testing of the connection to send the necessary SMS messages.

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the first half of my SMS configuration for the Meeting Planner application. Basically, I'll cover choosing an SMS provider, setting up the account, building the initial application infrastructure, and trial texting.

In the next episode, I'll build specific texting scenarios into the Meeting Planner application and walk you through those decisions and the coding that followed.

He starts off talking about one of the main choices you'll have to make early on: which SMS provider you want to use to send your messages. While they list several, for the sake of the tutorial they move ahead with Twilio. He show you how to set up an account with the Twilio service and where to get the credentials to connect your application to their API. After talking a bit about things like SMS pricing and handling incoming messages he starts on the integration with Yii2 via this package. Once installed and configured he creates a simple class to send a message via Twilio and tries it out with a "First test" message.

tagged: startup build tutorial series yii2 framework twilio sms notification

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-your-startup-preparing-for-text-messaging--cms-26912

Laravel News:
How to Use Old Versions of Laravel Homestead
Jan 20, 2017 @ 09:39:32

On the Laravel News site they've posted a tutorial by Joe Ferguson showing you how to [use older versions of Homestead](https://laravel-news.com/using-older-versions-of-homestead, the box not the app, in your development environment if there's a need.

There are two parts to Homestead: the Vagrant box and the Homestead source code (Homestead app). The Homestead Vagrant box is a snapshot of a preconfigured virtual machine ready to use. [...] We use the Laravel Settler repo to build the Homestead boxes. You have to ensure the version of the Homestead Vagrant box is compatible with the version of the Homestead app you are using.

Why would you want to use a previous version? [...] While Homestead development moves forward pretty quickly, you may not be ready to move your clients from PHP 5.5. While you should have already moved your apps to PHP 7.0 for the performance gains, I understand that because Laravel 5.1 supports 5.5, developers may want to continue using that version.

He then walks you through an example, showing how to use PHP 5.5 with Homestead and what version to put for the best support. It requires a little bit of manual fiddling around but not too much. Then it's just a simple "vagrant up" to get it running. He also includes instructions on using PHP 7.0, checking out a different version of the Homestead repository and bringing up the box similar to above.

tagged: laravel homestead version older vm application framework support

Link: https://laravel-news.com/using-older-versions-of-homestead

Symfony Blog:
Symfony 2016 Year in Review
Jan 12, 2017 @ 11:29:33

The Symfony blog has posted their wrap up of the activities around the project and its ecosystem in 2016. They cover releases made, events/conferences and updates on both components and documentation changes.

The beginning of a new year is the best moment to review all that happened during the previous year. These are some of the highlights of the 2016 year for the Symfony Project.

[...] 2016 was the best year in Symfony Project's history. 2017 will be even better and it will bring us new projects such as "Symfony Flex" (a new way to manage Symfony applications unveiled during the SymfonyCon Berlin 2016 conference), 1 billion downloads for Symfony Components (if the download rate keeps growing) and the return of the Symfony conferences to the United States (San Francisco, October 19-20).

Each of the sections talks about the changes over the last year and links to other resources, profiles and documentation about the update. This also includes the top contributors to the framework, new contributors and top documentation contributors.

tagged: symfony framework yearinreview 2016

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/symfony-2016-year-in-review

Medium.com:
Framework Code Complexity Comparison
Jan 10, 2017 @ 11:29:30

On Medium.com Taylor Otwell, lead developer and creator of the Laravel framework, has posted some results about framework code complexity based on his own research and information gathering.

Last week as I was refactoring and cleaning Laravel for the 5.4 release, Graham Campbell showed me some code complexity statistics for the framework. I decided to compare this against some other PHP frameworks to see how Laravel stacks up.

[...] I was pleased to see Laravel has the lowest average method complexity of any of the frameworks measured. In addition, Laravel does not contain any method longer than 13 lines of code. [...] The primary goal of this comparison is to compare how I personally write code vs. how other projects are writing code. All project’s measured have a large enough sample size of pure, first-party code to accurately measure that.

He then shares the cyclomatic complexity numbers for several different (and popular) frameworks in the PHP ecosystem:

  • Laravel
  • Symfony
  • Zend Framework
  • Cake
  • Slim

He also compares just the Eloquent ORM and the Doctrine ORM components. For each he provides stats like: lines of code, average method complexity and percentage of methods that are non-static. The results are interesting but most are pretty much expected (like the Slim microframework being lowest on several of the statistics mostly due to its size).

tagged: code complexity framework comparison laravel taylorotwell

Link: https://medium.com/@taylorotwell/measuring-code-complexity-64356da605f9#.j719oq8ue

Laravel News:
Seven Tips to Learn Laravel More Effectively
Jan 09, 2017 @ 10:25:17

For those out there wanting to learn more about the Laravel framework but weren't sure where to start, the Laravel News site has just the post for you. In this new guide they provide seven steps to help you learn about Laravel and its use more effectively.

As the community grows, there are many resources available to help you learn Laravel. That’s great! But, how do you choose the best one? Which will be the best use of your time to read or watch? For those new to the framework, I’m sure these questions are on your mind, here are seven tips to help you learn Laravel more effectively.

Some of these tips will be specific to Laravel, while others are more general for learning any programming language or framework.

Their steps start with some of the more foundational stuff like learning about Composer/OOP/PHP first before venturing into the framework at all. Then, with that knowledge under your belt, you can move on to the other steps: where to learn the most effectively (books, courses, videos, etc) and actually putting fingers to keys and start writing code. He makes recommendations about how to use Google and Stack Overflow to help you find what you need an, finally, the advice to find a mentor to learn from and to not give up even if you hit something difficult.

tagged: laravel effective top7 tips framework basics learning

Link: https://laravel-news.com/seven-tips-to-learn-laravel-more-effectively