Laravel Books / updated: February 05, 2015

Book Review – Laravel 4 Cookbook

Laravel 4 Cookbook by Christopher Pitt is, at the time of this writing, a collection of 10 recipes or building blocks for Laravel Applications.

It starts off with the basics of installing Laravel and then goes into Authentication. The Laravel docs cover a little of these two sections but the authentication takes it a step further, and puts everything into place. After this it moves into building an Access Control List or (ACL). This section covers building a group management system where you can define multiple groups for each user and is a natural progression over authentication.

Next up is deployments which is an interesting section because there are hundreds of ways of doing it. Chris writes:

Deployment processes are one of the most subjective things about development. Everyone’s got their own ideas about what should and shouldn’t be done.

I couldn’t agree more and we differ a little in this chapter. Chris uses Assetic for assets and I much prefer to have these in Grunt, Gulp, etc. Not that Assetic is bad it’s just the build system around the node packages are so nice.

Now that Taylor released Envoy I would use it for simple deployments but this section was written before the release. Even though this chapter outlines it different than I would it is still a good one to read. It utilizes custom artisan commands and shows you how they can be used in lots of different ways.

The last five recipes are what I find the most interesting. Real Time Chat, Multisites, E-Commerce, Embedded Systems, and a File Based CMS. I will not go into detail on each but these are what make this book worth picking up. Chris covers some external things such as React php, Arduino, Stripe, Faker, a little Angular and Ember and several other packages that make everything simple and easy.

Over all I do think this book is worth getting and I am certain you will pick up new ideas, new patterns, and enhance your knowledge of Laravel. The book is currently around 85% complete and the future topics are Turn-Based games, React integration, and Unit Testing. I am most excited about the Unit Testing part and would love to see it cover testing packages.

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