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Eric The Coder
Eric The Coder

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Django Rails or Laravel? My personal journey part 4

Hello again,

Here is Part 4 of my personal journey test and comparison framework.

So the last framework on my test list was Laravel.

I have to admit that Laravel at first was not on my shortlist. I have done a bit of PHP in the past and I was not at all convinced. But when testing Vue.js, many members of the Vue.js community referred to Laravel as a great backend. After hearing this over and over again, I decided to go to Laravel's website to see for myself how this PHP framework could be so different and why so much love.

While exploring Laravel's website, I immediately noticed how good the official documentation was. By clicking here and there on the site I was taken to a training site called Laracast. Wow! I think this is where the honeymoon begins. I think Laracast is the best training website I have come across in quite a while. I started to watch some introductory Laravel videos and couldn't stop for several days. Yes really!

I have to say that Laravel has nothing to do with the old PHP I remembered. The code is clean, well thought out, and easy to use.

During my learning of Laravel, I also discovered Laravel Livewire. Livewire allows you to create interactive web pages like Vuejs but without JavaScript at all. Everything is PHP Laravel. Caleb, the creator of Livewire, also created Alpine.js (a super simple and easy lightweight javascript framework) is a highly dynamic and inspiring guy.

As you can read, the Laravel community is very lively and vibrant. I love that.

Laravel is an MVC framework which is largely inspired by Ruby on Rails. In fact, several concepts are very similar and several others are quite identical.

So just like Rails, I found Laravel easy and efficient. Not as easy as Rails. Laravel (like Django) has a slightly different declaration philosophy than Rails. Laravel prefers explicit statements. As a result, you have to learn a little more conventions and type a little more code. But in the long term and in teamwork with several developers we gain ease of maintenance.

One thing I have to say against Laravel concerns the programming language. Even though PHP has taken a huge step in the right direction, it is still PHP and not as fun to work with as Python and Ruby.

Another thing, if you work with older PHP packages, you quickly rediscover the old PHP that many and I don't like working with.

So in summary, Rails and Laravel are very similar. Rails is simpler, faster and more enjoyable thanks to the Ruby code but Laravel is still very similar and has much better documentation, better training supports (Laracast), more updated and documented packages and a huge community. I think Laravel doesn't have a major weakness.

As you have seen every framework has these pluses and minuses. I have to make my decision quickly because my project starts in 2 weeks.

I'll let you know when I'm fixed.

If anyone has specific questions regarding my testing of these 3 frameworks, please ask them.

Part 5: Conclusion to come ...

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