Book Image

Laravel 5 Essentials

By : Martin Bean
Book Image

Laravel 5 Essentials

By: Martin Bean

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (15 chapters)
Laravel 5 Essentials
About the Author
About the Reviewers

The need for frameworks

Of all the server-side programming languages, PHP undoubtedly has the lowest entry barriers. It is almost always installed by default on even the cheapest web hosts, and it is also extremely easy to set up on any personal computer. For newcomers who have some experience with authoring web pages in HTML and CSS, the concepts of variables, inline conditions, and include statements are easy to grasp. PHP also provides many commonly used functions that one might need when developing a dynamic website. All of this contributes to what some refer to as the immediacy of PHP. However, this instant gratification comes at a cost. It gives a false sense of productivity to beginners, who almost inevitably end up with convoluted spaghetti code as they add more features and functionality to their site. This is mainly because PHP, out of the box, does not do much to encourage the separation of concerns.

The limitations of homemade tools

If you already have a few PHP projects under your belt, but have not used a web application framework before, then you will probably have amassed a personal collection of commonly used functions and classes that you can use on new projects. These homegrown utilities might help you with common tasks, such as sanitizing data, authenticating users, and including pages dynamically. You might also have a predefined directory structure where these classes and the rest of your application code reside. However, all of this will exist in complete isolation; you will be solely responsible for the maintenance, inclusion of new features, and documentation. For a lone developer or an agency with ever-changing staff, this can be a tedious and time-consuming task, not to mention that if you were to collaborate with other developers on the project, they would first have to get acquainted with the way in which you build applications.

Laravel to the rescue

This is exactly where a web application framework such as Laravel comes to the rescue. Laravel reuses and assembles existing components to provide you with a cohesive layer upon which you can build your web applications in a more structured and pragmatic way. Drawing inspiration from popular frameworks written not just in PHP but other programming languages too, Laravel offers a robust set of tools and an application architecture that incorporates many of the best features of frameworks like CodeIgniter, Yii, ASP.NET MVC, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, and others.

Most of these frameworks use the Model-View-Controller (MVC) paradigm or design pattern. If you have used one of the aforementioned tools or the MVC pattern, then you will find it quite easy to get started with Laravel 5.