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Getting Started with Laravel 4 [Paperback]

Raphael Saunier
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £23.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 Jan 2014 1783287039 978-1783287031

Discover Laravel – one of the most expressive, robust, and flexible PHP web application frameworks around

Overview

  • Provides a concise introduction to all the concepts needed to get started with Laravel
  • Walks through the different steps involved in creating a complete Laravel application
  • Gives an overview of Laravel's advanced features that can be used when applications grow in complexity
  • Learn how to build structured, more maintainable, and more secure applications with less code by using Laravel

In Detail

PHP powers many of the largest websites on the planet. Yet, even though it was specifically created for the Web, its shortcomings never cease to frustrate developers. This is where a tool like Laravel comes in. Rather than reinventing the wheel, Laravel reuses tried and tested components and principles and bundles them to form a cohesive whole and makes PHP development enjoyable again.

Getting Started with Laravel 4 is a practical and concise introduction to the Laravel PHP framework. It covers its fundamental concepts and presents the many features that will boost your productivity when developing web applications. After introducing the key concepts and installing Composer, you will build a CRUD application and add more features to it in each successive chapter.

This book introduces you to a different and more enjoyable way of writing PHP applications. You will start by learning about the key principles and the same development practices that Laravel encourages. Then, in subsequent chapters, you will create and successively add more features to a web application.

You will learn how to use the arsenal of tools at your disposal and probably pick up some useful techniques along the way. Indeed, everything you will learn in this book is highly transferrable and applicable to other MVC frameworks. Laravel's routing mechanism, templating language, and object-relational mapper will have no more secrets for you. You will learn how to authenticate users, write tests, and create command line utilities that interact with your application with disconcerting ease. In addition to this, you will probably be surprised by the simplicity and expressiveness of your code.

What you will learn from this book

  • Install Laravel and other PHP packages with Composer
  • Sketch out and structure your application with routes and controllers
  • Create hierarchical templates with Blade
  • Define models and how to issue database queries in PHP with Eloquent
  • Authenticate users securely with minimal effort
  • Avoid security issues and write bulletproof code
  • Develop with confidence with the help of tests
  • Set up and create powerful command line utilities

Approach

This book follows a practical and easy-to-follow approach and is packed with real-world examples to understand all the fundamentals and concepts in a very concise way.

Who this book is written for

This book is ideal for web developers who want to get up to speed with Laravel quickly. You are expected to have some experience with the PHP programming language - or any C-like languages such as JavaScript , Perl, or Java along with some understanding of basic OOP concepts. Any experience with MVC frameworks such as ASP.NET MVC or Ruby on Rails will certainly be beneficial but not required. Lastly, some familiarity with command line interfaces will also help but is not essential either.


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Getting Started with Laravel 4 + Learning Laravel 4 Application Development
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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (20 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1783287039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1783287031
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 19 x 0.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 456,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Raphaël Saunier

Raphaël Saunier works as a full-stack Web Developer for Information Architects in Zürich, Switzerland. He holds a degree in Information Management for Business from University College London.

He is always looking for excuses to learn and play with new technologies, tools, and techniques. He is also able to make pragmatic decisions that take into account the strengths and weaknesses of the many well-established tools at the disposal of web developers.

A strong advocate of Laravel, Ember.js, Vim, and PostgreSQL when he is among developers, he is also passionate about teaching programming and general computer literacy to people of all ages.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars improved PHP 3 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback
PHP has a well deserved reputation for producing or more accurately having lousy code written in it. As the book frankly explains, it grew up to be great for rapidity of learning and quick deployment of small code bases for web server programming. But the early authors of PHP perhaps never anticipated the increasing needs and complexity of web sites. The attraction of Laravel version 4 is that if you code PHP within it, you effectively use frameworks or patterns. Specifically Model View Controller [MVC]. It is not much of an exaggeration that MVC forms the core structure of many web sites.

The success of Ruby on Rails speaks to how useful programmers have found a language that enforces MVC. So the book testifies to a metagame of leapfrog, played across computer languages. You see that the coders of Laravel 4 have keyed off the success of Ruby on Rails and Python to make a feedback loop that goes back around to the earlier language of PHP and to improve it.

The first chapter is a veritable laundry list of enhancements that Laravel 4 immediately gives you. Read it closely. The details are expanded upon in the rest of the text.

Paranoid readers might also pay attention to chapter 4. It delves into how to use Laravel 4 to secure your webpages against attackers. Techniques well known in other languages like guarding against SQL injection in user text input fields can be easily implemented here. Attention has been paid to letting you bolt down your website in a robust and rapid manner.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly brief 14 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Disappointed at how short this book is, after trimming preface it's barely 100 pages. It does go over everything you need to get started with Laravel which I suppose is exactly what the title promises but I found it lacking in detail in places where it should be more descriptive, given that it is meant as an introduction to Laravel for developers.

The book reads as a set of instructions for setting up a Laravel site, which is disappointing because there are plenty of free tutorials on the internet that do that. When I buy a book I expect it to go into more detail with regards to why and how things are done, what goes on behind the scenes etc which is often skipped in free tutorials taken from the web. Sadly they skipped them in this book too.

The book does what is says on the cover and will get you going with a basic Laravel site but you can find plenty of other free tutorials online to do the same thing. For the amount I paid for this book I expected a lot more than what I got.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating! I found it Impossible to follow along with demo projects. 25 Feb 2014
By Tyler Youngblood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The code in the book is poorly explained and doesn't match the downloadable code. There are dozens of differences between the book version and the downloadable version of the code. I could never get the book version of the code to work. Eventually I compared my code written from the book to the downloadable version line-by-line and made the appropriate corrections. And these weren't errors or bugs on my part, they were differences in syntax (many in routes.php), like using return View::make('dogs/index') where the book explicitly talked about using dogs.index (dot instead of forward slash). There were also extra routes in my code that were missing from the downloaded version of the routes.php file.

I teach college level PHP classes and I'm a junior developer at a web development company. I've played with CodeIgniter and CakePHP, so although I'm not an MVC expert, I do have some experience with MVCs. When the web dev team I work with decided that we wanted to start using a framework to streamline project development we researched and landed on Laravel. The first book I skimmed was CodeBright by Dayle Rees. It looked promising but was over 400 pages. So when I found this book at 140 pages I figured I'd give it a shot. Big mistake.

It took me two days to troubleshoot and work through chapter 3. Eventually I was able to get the demo project mostly working, but only after a lot of debugging. I don't have the patience to finish the book. I'm going to switch to learning Laravel through the CodeBright book - hopefully the extra 250 pages will make the process less painful.

Maybe if you're very experienced with other MVCs this book will be easier for you to have success with. But I can't imagine how since the code shown in the book is inconsistent with the downloadable code. Hopefully the author will release an improved second version.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read if you're new, but one of many 16 Mar 2014
By Chris Pitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
The Good

This book is aimed at newcomers to PHP development, and to Laravel 4 in particular. It doesn't disappoint. It starts slow, talking about the need for, and role filled by frameworks. It explains what Composer does, and why it's useful for frameworks like Laravel. It's not the typical "Laravel needs Composer, here's the code you use" stuff.

There are 40 pages of what is essentially a very gentle introduction, before you even start writing code. This is often a vital, missing part of introductory books, and it is refreshing to see RaphaŽl Saunier approach it delicately.

The book demonstrates how to build a simple application, introducing readers to the most basic usages of Eloquent, Schema Builder, Blade and the various other parts of the framework. None of it's complicated. Yet it's not just a rehash of the official docs, so there's value to be had in coding alongside.

The remaining sections cover (albeit briefly) testing, building artisan commands, structuring more advanced applications and using the in-built helpers. If you are familiar with Laravel, then you "may want to consider acquiring a different book". As I said, this book is aimed at newcomers. It may not be as comprehensive (or indeed as popular) as Code Bright, but it's worth your time.

The Bad

I mentioned Code Bright, back there, because it is the definitive introduction to Laravel 4. Building on the success of Code Happy (the Laravel 3 iteration), Dayle has written a great book.

I was mildly surprised to find this book slight more expensive than Code Bright. At the current rate of exchange, it's about 3 pounds more costly to buy this book than it is Code Bright. When you consider that this book is also teaching less, and just one of many Laravel 4 books currently vying for public attention, it's difficult to tell where this book is likely to end up.

I want to tell you to buy it, and if you can get it for cheaper (though the price tag I was comparing was directly from Packt) then it might not be a bad deal. If you need to choose between the two, I suggest you first consider Code Bright before this book. I mean no disrespect to RaphaŽl. Code Bright is just a better deal.
4.0 out of 5 stars robust 3 Feb 2014
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
PHP has a well deserved reputation for producing or more accurately having buggy code written in it. As the book frankly explains, it grew up to be great for rapidity of learning and quick deployment of small code bases for web server programming. But the early authors of PHP perhaps never anticipated the increasing needs and complexity of web sites. The attraction of Laravel version 4 is that if you code PHP within it, you effectively use frameworks or patterns. Specifically Model View Controller [MVC]. It is not much of an exaggeration that MVC forms the core structure of many web sites.

The success of Ruby on Rails speaks to how useful programmers have found a language that enforces MVC. So the book testifies to a metagame of leapfrog, played across computer languages. You see that the coders of Laravel 4 have keyed off the success of Ruby on Rails and Python to make a feedback loop that goes back around to the earlier language of PHP and to improve it.

The first chapter is a veritable laundry list of enhancements that Laravel 4 immediately gives you. Read it closely. The details are expanded upon in the rest of the text.

Careful readers might also pay attention to chapter 4. It delves into how to use Laravel 4 to secure your webpages against attackers. Techniques well known in other languages like guarding against SQL injection in user text input fields can be easily implemented here. Attention has been paid to letting you bolt down your website in a robust and rapid manner.
4.0 out of 5 stars Right book to get you atrted developing professional php apps 14 May 2014
By Milind Pande - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Many book deal with Hello World sort of application. But this book covers most of the aspects that you would need to develop a industrial strenght real time web application using PHP. I was first time user of Laravel and PHP for that matter, and this book helped a lot to reduce the ramp up time radically.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise & thorough to get up to speed in record time 29 Jan 2014
By Mark Bucker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book manages to pack all the basic knowledge you need to know about Laravel 4 in just ~120 pages. This is a huge advantage over those 500-something "foundation guides". The author intermixes code snippets with comments with absolutely no lengthy prefaces. You jump right in, start coding by example.

It first starts with the basics of using Composer on Win/Mac/*nix (Chapter 2) and heads towards the real application ground-up (C3) showing how to use migrations, routes, Blade templates and other core L4 tools. Once done it gets to authentication (C4) and testing (C5) both of which are integral parts of Laravel and are demonstrated in a surprisingly easy to follow and yet again concise manner.

Finally, it teaches how to bring your code to life with Artisan (used fr generating code stubs and deployment) and fine-tune aspects of your application with controllers instead of just closure routes, per-environment configuration (production, development, testing and so on), Laravel events (let you react to various activities during the request) and more. The Appendix even explains how to use queues (using to dispatch e-mails, for example) and lists various helpful methods to work with dates, arrays, strings, etc. that are available for Laravel apps.

As a downside of such a compact storytelling the book really lacks reference material. For example, you won't find all the methods of Eloquent - the Laravel ORM - listed in one place. You won't find all Artisan commands either. The Appendix covers many useful functions but the list is still incomplete. However, for me this was rather the advantage. If you know PHP, know what are closures and classes and just want to get up with Laravel 4 without having to go through the common knowledge - this book will work. Once you are up and running with the framework you have the official documentation available to help you with the API - and it is updated regularly.

Therefore I would really recommend this book for everyone willing to take the Laravel by storm in a matter of days or hours rather than going through the theory for weeks.
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