Question: What plans does Taylor Otwell have for Laravel that time constraints have kept him from realizing?
Taylor Otwell: If I had unlimited time to work on Laravel, what would I do?
Tanner Hearne: Well, firstly, how much time do you spend like on average per week, you think?
Taylor Otwell: Usually at night work on Laravel for an hour – which is not as much as I used to in the early days. So, maybe 7 or 8 hours total on a good week. Some weeks may be more like 5 hours. That is just my free time. At Userscape I get Fridays [off so I can] work on Laravel issues and stuff. For instance tomorrow I will put in 8 hours only on Laravel issues and see how many I can close. I may close 30 or 40 issues. Since we are getting pretty close to [the Laravel version 4.2 release], I have been trying to identify stuff that I definitely want to go in, like main features and stuff. Honestly, we do not get a lot of big bugs or issues right now because the framework has matured since version 4 has been out for almost a year now. This means we do not have a lot of critical show stopping bugs. So, I can focus on getting cool features in now more than I used to. When 4 first came out, we were trying to iron out all of the hiccups and make needed adjustments. So, total I spend maybe 15 hours a week.
Tanner Hearne: Right. So, do you have anything that you have not been able to realize yet?
Taylor Otwell: Nothing really jumps out at me. You can always just refine stuff. I want to work and do another run through the documentation before 4.2 to flesh it out even more. I always try to go above and beyond concerning the documentation, because I can never assume that people know a certain thing, because they may not. Since I am in the framework all of the time, I tend to assume [people understand] things. So, I try to explain everything. I want to flesh the Laravel documentation out a little more. I want to flesh out a couple of the components a little more with documentation like the container by itself or the router by itself. The container is really easy to use, of course, as it is only a single class. But, for the router, I want to build another capsule type class – kind of like we have for the database. That way people could use just the router and controller. This would be for times when you are building a stupid, simple, static site and you want some basic routing that you can pull into the Laravel router very easily. Then, if you already understand to the syntax, you could always use something like a slimmer Silex, I guess. Anyways, nothing huge, as I feel like Laravel is in a pretty good spot. I would just kind of refine some things, instead of being ground breaking stuff.
Tanner Hearne: Right. Right. Right.
David Hemphill: You had talked, once, about doing a cloud file system package.
Taylor Otwell: Yes, that has kind of been realized a little bit by Frank Dejong (see Flysystem’s website or the GitHub repository). He lives in the Netherlands. But, he built Flysystem which supports like S3, Dropbox, and all kinds of other stuff. So, I would probably not try to do that anymore, since he has done it pretty well. One thing we did do is Cashier. When May comes around, I will add [Cashier] to the official documentation, now that it has cooked out there for a little bit. Cashier had been a dream for the last year. I mentioned at the first Laracon US that I wanted to have a really simple subscription billing package – an optional package – that was not part of the Laravel core but was more like a plugin anyone could pull in.
Tanner Hearne: So that was realized with the launch of Laravel Cashier?
Taylor Otwell: Yes, Cashier was kind of like a soft release. I released it out on GitHub, and there is documentation in the ReadMe, but I have not added the docs to the main laravel.com site yet. But, I am going to include [Cashier documentation] with 4.2 because it is a PHP 5.4 package so it does not really fit in with the current docs which is all PHP 5.3. When Laravel 4.2 comes out I will push Cashier more in to the official documentation even though it will still be an optional, opt in type thing.
This is an excerpt from a live question and answer session I hosted with Laravel DFW on April 10, 2014 with Taylor Otwell, the creator of Laravel. Some grammar has been edited from the source video. To view the whole Q&A session, you can watch on YouTube here.