Use Model shouldBeStrict when starting a new Laravel app

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So you have an idea for a brand new app. You install Laravel, you're ready to get started. What's the first thing you should do?

For me, I open up the app service provider and go down to the boot method and set the global Model::shouldBeStrict():

public function boot(): void
{
Model::shouldBeStrict();
}

With this turned on it does the following:

public static function shouldBeStrict(bool $shouldBeStrict = true)
{
static::preventLazyLoading($shouldBeStrict);
static::preventSilentlyDiscardingAttributes($shouldBeStrict);
static::preventAccessingMissingAttributes($shouldBeStrict);
}

This does three things:

  1. Prevents lazy loading
  2. It prevents silently discarding attributes.
  3. It prevents accessing missing attributes.

Preventing Lazy Loading

Here is an example of lazy loading.

$articles = \App\Models\Article::get();
 
foreach ($articles as $article) {
echo "<li>" . $article->user->name . "</li>\n";
}

If you run this, it will output what you expect. However, it’s lazy loading the user relationship, causing a new query for every loop.

With shouldBeStrict turned on instead of running the code you’ll get an error giving you instant feedback:

Attempted to lazy load [user] on model [App\Models\Article] but lazy loading is disabled.

Prevent Silently Discarding Attributes

Here is an example showing trying to update an attribute that is not fillable:

$user->fill(["remember_token" => "bar"]);

Now this will return an exception:

Add fillable property [remember_token] to allow mass assignment on [App\Models\User].

Prevent Accessing Missing Attributes.

Let’s pretend we are trying to display a property on the User that may not exist:

{{ $user->nonexistant }}

By default, Laravel will just not display anything because the property is not found, but with Strict mode turned on you get:

The attribute [nonexistant] either does not exist or was not retrieved for model [App\Models\User].

This really helps in cases where you might make a spelling mistake like:

{{ $user->emial }}

Now, you’ll get instant feedback you messed up.

Turning on Model::shouldBeStrict() is now the first thing I do on every app, and it helps prevent me from making basic mistakes that could be harmful to the app later on.

Eric L. Barnes photo

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

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