Book Review – Integrating Frontend Components

Maks Surguy has a new book out titled “Integrating Front end Components with Web Applications” and I finally had the chance to sit down and give it a read.

The book is designed to show you step by step how to integrate common JavaScript plugins into your Laravel application. You might be thinking integrating plugins is simple, you just drop them in. However, that is rarely the case and with more than 40,000 words this book proves it.

From the very first chapter you can tell Maks spent a lot of time and effort on this book. He included graphics for visuals, an external Git repo for the code examples, and clearly explains the usage of the plugins. Having used most of the plugins mentioned, I thought this might not be a book for me, but I was wrong. I picked up some cool tips that I missed when I originally implemented them. Plus I learned of a few that I didn’t even know about.

What is also great is the plugins are those that you typically need in every project. Spinners, notifications, ajax forms, tagging, autosuggest, date pickers, and file uploads. I guarantee most of your apps need at least three if not all.

I only have two very minor complaints. The first is the use of stock bootstrap html in some of the code samples. On my reading device the un-semantic nature adds a lot of noise when I only care about a specific section.

The second is the usage of bower in places but not showing a great solution for using bower with Gulp. Although I’m not sure a nice solution even exists. I wrote in a previous newsletter about this, but the issue I always run into is bower downloads an entire repo and each package could contain many js files. So using something like gulp.src('js/*.js') wouldn’t be ideal. I’m sure packages exist or there is a better way than defining each package individually in your gulpfile.js.

Overall I’m satisfied with this book and I do recommend it, especially if JavaScript is not your strong suit. I picked up enough new knowledge to justify the price and I believe you will too.

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Eric L. Barnes

Eric is the creator of Laravel News and has been covering Laravel since 2012.