Easy Laravel is a new book by W. Jason Gilmore, focusing entirely on the brand new Laravel 5. Easy Laravel features 8 chapters and over 200 pages to help you learn Laravel 5 quickly by building a real world project.
Jason has spent the last 15 years using PHP, during this time he’s written seven PHP books. Including the bestseller, “Beginning PHP and MySQL, Fourth Edition”, that has been in print more than 10 years. He has a gift of explaining things clearly in a very nice style.
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Author Q & A
I reached out to Jason to ask him about the book and what follows is a Q&A session we had:
What made you decide to write a Laravel book?
The Laravel framework is one of the most exciting developments to come along in PHP community in a long time. Creator and lead developer Taylor Otwell has done a great job incorporating unique features alongside tried-and-true third party packages to produce a framework that is incredibly easy to use. The PHP language has always been heralded for helping developers get things done quickly, and Laravel really seems to suit that sentiment.
So with this in mind, after working on a few Laravel projects I knew this was something I really wanted to write about. When work on Laravel 5 was announced (at the time identified as 4.3), I shifted the book writing process into high gear because it became increasingly obvious fellow developers were going to want to learn all about the exciting new features, and was lucky enough to have wrapped up a respectable first version on the very day Laravel 5 was released.
What was the most enjoyable part of creating the book?
The most enjoyable part of writing Easy Laravel 5 was undoubtedly the early release process I employed to put an early draft of the book in front of readers as early as possible. This gave readers the opportunity to preview the material and learn more about what was coming in Laravel 5 at a significant discount to the final cost of the book, and provided me with a great deal of early feedback from readers eager to help me improve various aspects of the book. This was a lot of fun, and definitely something I’ll do again.
It was also fun to repeatedly build new Laravel 5 test projects as the framework development continued. I probably built upwards of 100 prototypes over the past few months, along the way watching the framework stabilize and become feature complete.
What is your favorite new Laravel 5 feature and why?
This is a difficult question, because I like so many facets of Laravel 5. I think Elixir has a lot of promise because it can automate many tedious tasks that I’d otherwise not prefer to think about. I also really like the Command Scheduler, as it makes rigorous task execution so easy. The new configuration approach (via phpdotenv) is really great too. Hmmm this answer is really starting to grow, perhaps I should just say all of them are my favorite!
Highlights in Easy Laravel
Here are some of the highlights Easy Laravel covers:
- Embraces Laravel best practices and the most popular third-party packages to help you become insanely productive fast.
- Extensive discussion on test integration so you can be confident your code is rock solid.
- Helps you to master the Eloquent ORM and deftly manipulate and navigate your model relationships.
- Includes a thorough introduction to forms integration and validation.
- Shows you how to efficiently and effortlessly deploy your Laravel applications.
Easy Laravel will give you the knowledge needed to build your first app with Laravel. See the table of contents below for more information on each chapter:
Chapter 1. Introducing Laravel
In this opening chapter you’ll learn how to create and configure your Laravel project both using your existing PHP development environment and Laravel Homestead. It also covers configuring your environment for effective Laravel debugging, and how to expand Laravel’s capabilities by installing several third-party Laravel packages that promise to supercharge your development productivity. Finally, you’ll conclude the chapter with an introduction to PHPUnit, showing you how to create and execute your first Laravel unit test!
Chapter 2. Managing Your Project Controllers, Layout, Views, and Other Assets
In this chapter you’ll learn how to create controllers and actions, and define the routes used to access your application endpoints using Laravel 5’s new route annotations feature. You’ll also learn how to create the pages (views), work with variable data and logic using Blade, and reduce redundancy using layouts and view helpers. Next you get introduced to Laravel Elixir. The chapter concludes with several examples demonstrating how to test your controllers and views using PHPUnit.
Chapter 3. Talking to the Database
In this chapter, we’ll turn our attention to the project’s data. You’ll learn how to integrate and configure the database, create and manage models, and interact with the database through your project models. You’ll also learn how to deftly configure and traverse model relations, allowing you to greatly reduce the amount of SQL you’d otherwise have to write to integrate a normalized database into your application.
Chapter 4. Model Relations, Scopes, and Other Advanced Features
Building and navigating table relations is a standard part of the development process even when working on the most unambitious of projects, yet this task is often painful when working with many web frameworks. Fortunately, using Laravel it’s easy to define and traverse these relations. In this chapter, I’ll show you how to define, manage, and interact with one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many, has many through, and polymorphic relations. You’ll also learn about a great feature known as scopes which encapsulate the logic used for more advanced queries, thereby hiding it from your controllers.
Chapter 5. Forms Integration
Your application will almost certainly contain at least a few web forms, which will likely interact with the models, meaning you’ll require a solid grasp on Laravel’s form generation and processing capabilities. While creating simple forms is fairly straightforward, things can complicated fast when implementing more ambitious solutions such as forms involving multiple models. In this chapter I’ll go into extensive detail regarding how you can integrate forms into your Laravel applications, introducing Laravel 5’s new form requests feature, covering both Laravel’s native form generation solutions as well as several approaches offered by popular packages. You’ll also learn how to test your forms in an automated fashion, meaning you’ll never have to repetitively complete and submit forms again!
Chapter 6. Integrating Middleware
Laravel 5 introduces middleware integration. In this chapter I’ll introduce you to the concept of middleware and the various middleware solutions bundled into Laravel 5. You’ll also learn how to create your own middleware solution!
Chapter 7. Authenticating and Managing Your Users
Most modern applications offer user registration and preference management features in order to provide customized, persisted content and settings. In this chapter you’ll learn how to integrate user registration, login, and account management capabilities into your Laravel application.
Chapter 8. Deploying, Optimizing and Maintaining Your Application
“Deploy early and deploy often” is an oft-quoted mantra of successful software teams. To do so you’ll need to integrate a painless and repeatable deployment process, and formally define and schedule various maintenance-related processes in order to ensure your application is running in top form. In this chapter you’re introduced to the Laravel 5 Command Scheduler, which you can use to easily schedule rigorously repeating tasks. Also talk about optimization, demonstrating how to create a faster class router and how to cache your application routes. Finally, I’ll demonstrate just how easy it can be to deploy your Laravel application to the popular hosting service Heroku, and introduce Laravel Forge.
Free Companion Video
Included with the purchase price is a companion video which shows you how to create a Laravel 5 project using Composer. This is useful if you’re already working within an established PHP development environment and would prefer to not use Homestead. Also a brief tour of the Laravel 5 project directory structure, identifying the new locations of the configuration files, project controllers, and views. Next have a look at the routing file before finally using PHP’s built-in web server to view the default project splash page.
How to order
As you can see this book is designed to help you get up to speed with Laravel 5 and it does a great job covering all the little details. If you’d like to pick up a copy you can buy it now from Gumroad. With the purchase, you get the free video mentioned above as well as free updates for life. The book formats include EPUB, MOBI, and PDF with the ability to send directly to your device.
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Get your copy of this book. You’ll be up to speed with Laravel in a very short time.