Laravel 5.4 Is Now Released
Laravel 5.4 / January 24, 2017

Laravel 5.4 Is Now Released

Version 5.4 of Laravel is now officially released! This release has many new features, and improvements and here is quick video going over some of the highlights:

Laravel Dusk

Laravel Dusk is an end-to-end browser testing tool for JavaScript enabled applications. It aims to provide the right way to do page interaction tests, so you can use Dusk for things like click buttons/links, forms, as well as drag and drop!

Dusk utilizes the ChromeDriver and the Facebook Php-webdriver for tests. It can work with any Selenium browser, but comes with ChromeDriver by default which will save you from installing a JDK or Selenium.

Dusk is very easy to use without setting up Selenium and starting the server every time.

Laravel Mix

Laravel Mix is the next generation of Elixir. It is built with webpack, instead of Gulp. It was renamed because of the significant changes.

Unless you customized your Elixir setup, moving to Mix shouldn’t be a problem and Laracasts has a video covering this updated tool.

Blade Components and Slots

Components and Slots are designed to give you even more flexibility in your Blade templates. As an example, imagine you have an include template that is used for showing an alert:

// alert.blade.php
<div class="alert">
    {{ $slot }}
</div>

Then, in your template file you can include it like this:

@component('inc.alert')
    This is the alert message here.
@endcomponent

Markdown Emails

Laravel 5.3 introduced two new features around email, Mailables and Notifications which allow you to send the same message through email, SMS, and other channels.

Building on top of these improvements, Laravel 5.4 includes a brand new Markdown system for creating email templates.

Under the hood, this feature implements the Parsedown parser with its companion, Markdown Extra so you can use tables.

@component('mail:message')

# Thank You

Thank you for purchasing from our store. 

@component('mail::button', ['url' => $actionUrl, 'color' => $color])
{{ $actionText }}
@endcomponent

@endcomponent

Automatic Facades

You can now use any class as a Facade on the fly. Here is an example:

namespace App;

class Zonda 
{
    public function zurf()
    {
        return ‘Zurfing’;
    }
}

Then, in your routes or controller:

use Facades\ {
    App\Zonda
};

Route::get('/', function () {
    return Zonda::zurf();
});

Route Improvements

Another new feature is the ability to use fluent syntax to define a named route or a middleware:

Route::name('profile')->get('user/{id}/profile', function ($id) {
    // some closure action...
});

Route::name('users.index')->middleware('auth')->get('users', function () {
    // some closure action...
});

Route::middleware('auth')->prefix('api')->group(function () {
    // register some routes...
});

Route::middleware('auth')->resource('photo', 'PhotoController');

The route caching layer also received improvements which will allow route matching on very large applications to see a significant enhancement.

Higher Order Messaging for Collections

The best way of showcasing this new feature is through code samples. Pretend you have a collection, and you want to perform an operation on each of the items:

$invoices->each(function($invoice) {
    $invoice->pay();
});

Can now become:

$invoices->each->pay();

More New Features

Some other changes and improvements include the following:

  • New retry helper
  • New array_wrap helper
  • Added a default 503 error page
  • Switched to the ::class notation through the core.
  • Added names to password reset routes
  • Support for PhpRedis
  • Added IPv4 and IPv6 validators
  • date_format validation is now more precise

Upgrading to Laravel 5.4

The official docs include a full upgrade guide, and there are some of the changes you should be aware of.

Laravel Tinker is now a stand-alone package, and installation is simple. Require the package and include the service provider:

composer require laravel/tinker

When that finishes, add the service provider to your config/app.php file:

Laravel\Tinker\TinkerServiceProvider

Your existing tests that utilize browser kit will either need to be migrated to Laravel Dusk or include the older package:

composer require laravel/browser-kit-testing --dev

To get the latest version modify your composer.json file and change the laravel/framework dependency to 5.4.*.

Learning More About Laravel 5.4

Laracasts has a complete series available on all these new features, and the official docs has the upgrade guide as well as the release notes.

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