Laravel 5.4 released

The latest version of the PHP framework is released

Written 4 years ago on Jan 31, 2017

As per the new release schedule for Laravel the latest version (5.4) landed last week.

I've been flat out working on 5.3 projects so didn't have time to dig in to see what's new until now, I thought I'd write up the main features and what they can offer users of Laravel and more importantly clients of Cowshed:Works :)

Laravel Dusk

This is really the big news feature in 5.4. It's essentially a full testing environment for Laravel apps. This isn't just a slightly better version of the phpunit test suite 5.3 shipped with, this is a full-on end-to-end browser testing system that lets you test not only the core php code but also your front-end javascript code. Whilst this kind of testing was achievable with previous versions with a bit of hacking (and luck) Dusk brings the Laravel magic to the process, which makes life a lot easier for developers.

Markdown Email

We've been using the Notifications system since its release in 5.3, it's an intuitive and clean way to deal with a part of your application that could get messy quickly. The addition of markdown templates means that the nasty work of formatting email HTML (why is this still so gross in 2017?) has been Laravelled (is that a word? you heard it here first) and as such is now a pleasure to work with.

Laravel Mix

The excellent elixir has been retired and now the front end build is taken care of by Laravel Mix. This is basically a shift from Gulp to Webpack behind the scenes and looking at the examples it's another thing that's been made even simpler.

Other features include

  • Blade slots - more flexibility in view partials
  • Automatic Facades - I'm not even going to try and look at how this is working just yet!
  • Higher Order Messaging - again, magic is happening here

There's also some other additional helpers and things but really this is a nice move on from 5.3. I'm not sure how the additional magic stuff will go down in PHP land but for developers using Laravel it's some more 'nice to have' stuff in the toolkit.

It goes without saying our core CMS and any new Laravel Development projects will be shipped on 5.4.


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