Finally, the much-awaited Laracon 2023 event was held in person, bringing a ray of excitement to the Laravel community. This was a special moment, as it marked the first in-person gathering since the pandemic began. Taylor Otwell and other core Laravel team members attended the event and left us all excited about the upcoming news and updates! And while some of us couldn’t attend the event personally, we were very much there in spirit and through YouTube.
Before moving on to the most exciting part of what we should expect in the future, let’s take a moment to talk briefly about the conference and the significance it holds. Laracon is an annual event that serves as a vital hub where developers and Laravel enthusiasts get together to gain insights into the latest developments.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend or watch the talks that have been uploaded so far, here are the key highlights from Taylor Otwell’s speech!
Updates in Laravel Ecosystem in 2023
To start, Taylor summarized all the updates and news that happened in 2023, like Laravel 10 Release, Laravel Pennant, Laravel Precognition, Laravel Forge, Envoyer Updates, Laravel Herd, as well as Inertia adoption.
The news that excited us, personally the most was the Inertia adoption by the Laravel team. Inertia was originally developed by Jonathan Riddick. It allows developers to use their Laravel knowledge, server-side routing, and eloquent ORM while working with their chosen front-end technology. Due to the Laravel team’s extensive experience, we believe they will enhance it into an even more stable and reliable approach.
Laravel aims to strike a balance between different front-end approaches. It means that if developers prefer React or Vue, they can still seamlessly integrate it with Laravel using the Inertia package. Therefore, earlier this year, Laravel officially adopted Inertia as a first-party package in its ecosystem, and the documentation was updated and maintained to provide a smooth and cohesive developer experience.
What’s more, getting started with Laravel is about to get even easier and smoother. This is all part of the big plan the Laravel team has for the long run. Taylor plans to present Laravel as the ideal choice for a full-stack solution when paired with frameworks like React or Vue. So, this insight can serve as an early glimpse into what we can anticipate from Laravel 11 and its upcoming updates.
Changes in Laravel 11
During the talk on Laracon 2023, Taylor also announced the Laravel 11 release for later this year and gave us a sneak peek into the changes he has been working on. As a part of the new laravel version, he decided to make default laravel directory scaffolding and simplify it by removing unnecessary and rarely used default files.
Laravel skeleton has been bloated a lot over the past few years, and we all felt that. Take, for instance, the default middleware that Laravel provides – how often have you actually found yourself using each of them? Chances are, not too frequently, right? That’s why the Laravel team has mainly focused on making the Laravel skeleton a little leaner and easier to digest for fresh artisans. But before we get into the details, we should mention that everything Taylor introduced is currently in beta, which means there could be potential changes down the line.
Laravel’s default scaffolding will undergo changes, omitting config files, middlewares, kernel.php, and similar components. Wondering where these files will end up? Most of their management will be taken care of by the Laravel framework itself. You can conveniently make modifications or additions through ServiceProviders, bootstrap/app.php, or even publish those files to maintain the familiarity of the older Laravel setup, making sure everything functions as expected.
Of course, all the adjustments that have been introduced remain backwards compatible, which allows for a seamless upgrade from version 10 to 11.
Also, some smaller changes were hinted at. For example, the Laravel team finally got rid of the pesky command registration flow, where you had to register every command explicitly before you could actually use it.
Furthermore, there have been adjustments to the default scaffolding. Console and web routes will be the sole components included by default. Notably, API and broadcasting routes are now installable, allowing for their integration via an installation command. You can also schedule commands in the routes/console.php file, which offers a more organized approach that eliminates the need to search through multiple files for both schedule and command definitions.
So, that pretty much covers all the latest Laravel updates they’ve given us. It’s becoming quite evident where Laravel is headed, and it looks like Taylor and the Laravel Team are on a mission to make it super-friendly for front-end developers to hop on board as well. They also want to make it easier for new developers to use laravel without all the overwhelming framework-specific logic and configurations.
Our Thoughts On The New Laravel Packages: Folio and Volt
In this last part of Taylor Otwell’s speech, he introduced us to two packages, including Laravel Folio and Laravel Volt. So, let’s take a moment to share our insights and perspectives about them briefly and see what they have in store for us.
Laravel Folio was released on July 24, 2023. This package introduces a user-friendly page-based routing system similar to frameworks like Next.js or Nuxt.js. With this system, developers don’t have to set up traditional route files with specific URLs and responses. Instead, they organize their pages in a designated “Pages” folder. When a URL or request is received, the application automatically matches it with the corresponding page and routes accordingly.
Looking at Laravel Folio from our point of view, it seems to offer a simpler way to handle web development tasks. Its user-friendly design suggests that it could make the entire process of creating and launching websites faster for agency teams. It’s worth noting that its quick content-driven project prototyping and smooth middleware management integration could be particularly useful for tasks like creating client portals or modular dashboards.
Besides, full-stack developers can also benefit significantly from the Laravel Folio package. It has the potential to cut down on development time by minimizing the challenges between backend and frontend work. This leads to quicker cycles of iteration, faster client feedback, and an overall increase in efficiency. Additionally, for those who are accustomed to CMS platforms, the almost CMS-like features of Laravel Folio could make transitioning to this package even more seamless and appealing to a broader audience.
Laravel and VueJs have always held a special place in our toolkit, and Laravel Volt feels like a harmonious blend of the two, echoing VueJs’s philosophy within the Laravel ecosystem. With the Volt package, development becomes more simplified. Instead of managing multiple files with different functions, developers can now enjoy the convenience of working within a single file. This can be especially useful for smaller projects that require quick and efficient iterations.
Laravel, inherently full-stack, traditionally sees PHP developers branching into front-end tasks. However, the opposite flow isn’t as common. It seems Taylor Otwell and his team are working to change this narrative. They’re making adjustments to the framework’s structure and introducing packages focused on front-end aspects. By doing so, they’re positioning Laravel not just as a backend titan but also as a friendly platform for those predominantly on the front end.
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