Laravel Application Development Blueprints

A Book Review


Time for another Laravel cookbook. I am writing one of these, so perhaps I’m over-sensitive to some of the faults because I’ve seen them in my own work. Whatever.

I received a free copy of this book, to review.

Structure

This is another Laravel 4 cookbook, demonstrating how to build a number of projects. The chapters are significantly longer than the previous Packt Laravel cookbook I reviewed, more in line with my book. Consequently, you can linger in tasks and really get to grips with the teaching. It’s still reference, but it’s the kind of reference you will need access to if you forget minutia of what you learned by first going through it.

Content

This book assumes more than it states. There are examples of Blade templates without the author ever having explained what Blade is. There are examples of JavaScript (and Ajax requests) without the author having ever explained what these two things are. The front-matter does set some requirements for reading, but they are about general PHP knowledge and “those who are already using a PHP framework”.

I too have been guilty of these things, but that’s where the technical reviewer needs to step in and point out unfair expectations.

There are many comments, within the code listings of this book. That would be hugely beneficial if not for the complete lack of syntax highlighting. What should help tends to fill the screen in confusing monochrome. While we’re on the subject, take a look at this example from the second chapter…

This illustrates the problem with omitting syntax highlighting. I know template code leans towards being a mess in a book, but the insane level of indentation and monochrome presentation are enough to make me want to skip code listings altogether.

There is a nice set of projects to build, from link shorteners to e-commerce websites. If you are already familiar with the basics of Laravel 4 (and JavaScript) then there’s a lot to learn from this book. If you’re a beginner, I suggest first reading Code Bright and a few JavaScript (particularly jQuery) tutorials.