It’s been a tumultuous summer, what with Stauffer Child #2 arriving and me finally finishing Laravel: Up and Running (WOOP!).
Here’s li’l miss, cheesing a few hours after she was born. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/AguGOgipys
— Matt Stauffer (@stauffermatt) July 31, 2016
A lot of folks have been asking me about timelines for the book, so let me share what we have here.
The story of our timeline
First, the most important thing: I finished writing the book a few months back, which was a great moment! I tweeted about it but can’t find it anywhere. But it happened, I promise.
I promptly printed the entire book and spent the summer editing it by hand with a Sharpie:
— Matt Stauffer (@stauffermatt) August 17, 2016
The big timeline constraint was Laravel 5.3. Over a year ago, when we set out to publish the book, we decided we’d release it immediately after Laravel 5.3 was announced. We expected that announcement in April; it came in August. So, that’s why our original projections were off. Apologies!
Once Taylor announced Laravel 5.3, I quickly wrote up the new features in the book and submitted my final manuscript on Monday of this week. It’s with the copyeditors right now. Yesterday I got a tentative publishing schedule from O’Reilly, which says the final Ebook will be available end of October and the print edition will be available beginning of November.
But I want it now!
I get it. I want it now too! So here are a few things to help you in the waiting process.
Early access Ebook
First, anyone who pre-orders the Ebook from O’Reilly will get early access to the Ebook as it is today. Right now that’s the first 12 chapters, but I’ve asked my editor to update that with the final (pre-copyediting) version of the book. Once she has that released, which I hope will be any day now, anyone who preorders between now and when the book is released will have access to the entire book, just without the last round of copy edits.
So despite "October/November" as the release date, you can get the book almost exactly as it will release by ordering the Ebook today. If you plan to eventually buy the Ebook, don’t wait for the release; this pre-release version that’s coming out any day now is 99.9% the book that will finally be released.
Freek Van der Herten was one of the folks who got an early access version of the book, and he wrote a post after reading it: "Things I learned from reading Laravel: Up and running". You can get some of my favorite tips from the book by taking a look at his post.
I’ve gotten a few questions often enough that I wanted to put them together answers to them here.
Who is this book for?
Everyone. This is one of the biggest points of confusion I’ve heard. The book is designed to help someone who’s never written a line of Laravel code before, but as you can see from my post and Freek’s, folks who work in Laravel every day still can learn a lot from it.
What version of Laravel will this be for?
It’s up-to-date for Laravel 5.3, but I knew that print books will sit on your shelf for years, and a new minor version of Laravel comes out every six months. So, other than the fact that little bits of syntax will change and the book might not have a new feature that is added, this book will remain relevant even when Laravel 5.4 and 5.5 and 6 and whatever else are released. I intentionally wrote the book such that its primary goal is not teaching you syntax (that’s what the docs are there for!) but teaching you what you can do with Laravel and how to think about working with Laravel.
Don’t print books on technology just get out of date?
See the answer to the above question.
What can this book offer that the docs can’t?
Laravel’s docs are fantastic. There’s no reason to write a reference book. You will see a ton of documentation in the book, and some sections definitely have similarities to the docs—but that’s because the docs sometimes have landed on the absolute best way to teach a subject. Here’s the thing, though: the book walks you through how to get started on your next Laravel application as quickly as possible. I can skip things I don’t think are important and tell examples that there are no space for in the docs and customize it to tell a story that lets you learn well. The docs sections have to each exist on their own and have to be near-exhaustive. I don’t have that need in my book, and that gives me the freedom to walk you through the framework in a way that gets you up and running quickly.
That’s all I have for you for today! I’ll be releasing a few more segments of the book soon to show you even more of what you have to look forward to. I can’t wait to hear what y’all think!