Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Only two weeks after this year’s Laracon – which due to the COVID-19 pandemic took place online –, the Laravel headquarters launched the PHP framework’s latest major version yesterday: Laravel 8. We take a look at what to expect.
Exactly one year ago, the Laravel headquarters shelved the traditional versioning with version 6 and have followed the semantic one ever since. This means that new major versions are launched every six months, while minor versions and patches are being released up to once a week. In contrast to their little sisters, the major versions contain breaking changes. The semantic versioning follows a precisely defined release process. The support plan grants bug fixes for Laravel 8 until 8 March 2021 and security updates until 8 September 2021.
As it should be for a full-blown major, Laravel 8 brings us a number of bug fixes as well as many new features and other improvements. To name one, Laravel 8 relies on a new ecosystem called Jetstream, which developer can use as a scaffolding for their application. Jetstream has integrated functions such as two-factor authentication, API tokens and various administrative features. It is open-source and free of charge.
If your application contains many migration files, you can now combine them into a single SQL file. This can have the advantage that the performance during testing is increased. Another innovation in Laravel 8: For maintenance, most of the framework has to be booted to render the maintenance site. Laravel 8 simplifies this process with a pre-render option and a new token solution on the maintenance site. Additionally, the new default model directory provides a better overview. These and other fancy features - such as Model Factory Classes or Time Testing Helpers - are now available with Laravel 8.
At this year's Laracon there was also Laravel 8 walkthroughs by Laravel founder Taylor Otwell himself. The entire online event was recorded, so you can still buy a ticket now to watch all the important sessions. More insights, tips and information about the new Laravel 8 are available from Laracast creator Jeffrey Way in his nine-part Laracast series.
The Laravel developers estimate the upgrade time from Laravel 7.x to 8 to be around a quarter of an hour - why not take it for a spin right away? By the way, Laravel Shift makes the update process even more comfortable.