Will Laravel 5 Be a Hard Upgrade?

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**This conversation happened before the announcement on September 11, 2014 that Laravel version 4.3 would be named Laravel version 5.  It does not change the overall idea relayed the interview – the version number was changed due to the big change in directory structure among other things.

Question: Will Laravel 5 Be a Hard Upgrade?  Will we have to redevelop a lot when something as big as Laravel 5 comes around?

Taylor Otwell: Currently, there are not any plans for Laravel 5 on the table.  This is not because Laravel is going away, but is because Laravel 4 has been a really nice foundation for us.  Right now, the current plan is to stick with our 6 month release cycle. In May 2014, probably around Laracon, Laravel 4.2 will be released.  In November 2014, we will release Laravel 4.3 – then next May (2015) we will release 4.4 . We will keep riding that. I definitely do not see a major, large version in the next year or more because there would not be a lot to gain. Plus, Laravel 4 is architected pretty well. It is very flexible for people to build packages on. A lot of added functionality comes from people’s packages, and the service providers setup is pretty flexible. So, I do not see Laravel 5 on the horizon. Laravel 4.2 is an easy upgrade, even easier than Laravel 4.1, by far. It is pretty much a “drop in” upgrade. So, I do not think you will have to rewrite anything for a long time.

Tanner Hearne: We actually began building a new application last year with 4.0 and then upgraded to 4.1. So, when 4.2 comes out…What is it, next month?

Taylor Otwell: Yes. I am already on 4.2 on some of the new stuff I do. If you just go to change your minimum stability to “dev” or change your dependency to “4.2.*”, or whatever, and go to minimum stability “dev”, you can go ahead and try it out. I have been doing new stuff on 4.2 for the past month, because there have not been any radical changes. It is mainly just bug fixes and small feature additions. There is the new mail. The mail gun API thing. The Mandrill API mail driver. It is not too bad. If you already have an app on 4.1 you might as well go ahead and start testing 4.2 because you are only like 4 weeks away. But, I do not think anyone will have any problems. I can not see any upgrade issues.

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.

  • Yes I can say “easy” for Updating to 4.2 from 4.2 but what about additional packages

  • mendrinos

    It would be great to have an artisan command which will do the upgrade for us 😉

    • Steve Bauman

      That would be pretty difficult to accomplish. It would have to interface with composer (since it’s a whole new folder structure) and do a ton of assumption on your project. Could do more damage than good.

      • With all those changes, I am thinking to switch back to CodeIgniter, So many changes from version to version. This cant be made as artisan command. Hope 4.x will continue to be developed as is.

        • Steve Bauman

          Codeigniter? Laravel is miles ahead of Codeigniter in every respect besides speed (I used codeigniter for years). I’m extremely glad they keep updating laravel, it’s keeps the developer community going, as well as the support. Codeigniter has been stagnant since 2.x (not talking about the forked 3.0 release). Developer support is a ghost town for codeigniter, while laravel is getting massive. If you do switch, god speed.

        • robertlagrant

          Sort of agree here; if you want power (and documentation), then RoR or Django are miles ahead; if you want FTP deploys and stability and documentation, you want CI. If you want neither, Laravel is the one to go for!

    • Know this is a two year old post, but I recently built a service that automates upgrading your Laravel project name Laravel Shift. Check it out for your next upgrade.

By Tanner