Laravel Posts

Laravel App - Code Optimizations Tips

Last month we started working on one of our internal project called InfyTracker, which we were planning to use as a simple time tracker and very little of project management or task reporting.

We have also published it as an open source project to our Github account so other people from the community can use it. It's still in alpha stage and we are still working on it and making tons of improvements. But, While building this project, we found a few things that we think might be useful to optimize the app or can be used in other projects. Also, I think lots of developers even do not realize these things.

So I planned to share it with the community where I will be discussing them in a detail with solutions we used. So here are the things/mistakes that we found during our project development.

  1. Adding all stylesheets and scripts in a layout file
  2. Not separating out page level CSS or JS
  3. Not using laravel-mix

1. Adding all stylesheets and scripts in layout

What I've seen is, when we want to add a new library/package to the project, people generally go to the layout file and just insert a style and script tag there.

For e.g., I want to use moment-js in the app, so what I do, I go to my layout file and include moment-js script tag there via CDN. Even if I only need moment-js in few of my pages. same can be there for other libraries like datatables, even if we only need datatables in a few pages of the app.

The problem it creates is, even if we don't need them in most of our pages, those files are still included in our page and of course, the page takes more time to load.

2. Not separating out page level CSS or JS

Generally, we use lots of JS in our code. And for all page level JS/CSS, most of the developers put it in a blade file of the page at the bottom with some section of JS/CSS.

For e.g, I have used a datatable in my page, so I need to initialize the datatable. so generally, I will have declared one section called scripts or bottom_js which will be yielded in my layout file. That's what I have seen in lots of code.

But, there are two problems with that,

  1. When that page is loaded, your JS code is completely visible to the world and sometimes that's not good and secure
  2. It's not minified (and since it's sitting into your blade files, there is no way to minify it either)

3. Not using laravel-mix

In really few projects or very few expert developers use laravel-mix or use laravel-mix in the right way. When you do not use laravel-mix in your site, your JS/CSS files are not minified. It's completely visible to the world which can be sometimes dangerous and file sizes are big as well in large projects.

That's the three major things that we found while developing this project.

Here is the solution that we used to overcome these problems.

Solution 1. Adding all stylesheets and scripts in specific pages

To resolve this problem, we declared two sections in our layout file.

  1. stylesheets
  2. scripts

so all of our web pages which has a dependency for the third-party CSS/JS libraries will look like following,

@extends('layouts.app') 
@section('stylesheets')     
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://rawgit.com/fronteed/iCheck/1.x/skins/all.css">
@endsection 

@section('content')     
....content here.... 
@endsection 

@section('scripts')     
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/iCheck/1.0.2/icheck.min.js"></script>
@endsection

As per the above example, the iCheck library will be only added on pages where we are actually using iCheck instead of all of my web pages.

Solution 2. Separating out page level CSS or JS

To resolve this problem, we also declared two new sections in the layout file.

  1. page_css
  2. page_js

page_css section will contain page level CSS and page_js section will contain page level javascript like initializing datatable or checkboxes etc. Also, all page level CSS and JS are not placed directly inside the blade file. But we go one step further.

Under the resources/assets folder, we have two folders,

  1. js - contains all page level JS for different blade files
  2. styles - contains all page level CSS for different blade files

We tried to follow the same folder structure for this that we used for our blade views.

Folder Structure

If you have multiple files then you can try to use names like index.js, edit.js, etc, just the same as your blade view names.

And in your blade view files, you can include them as a script or stylesheet. For e.g.

@section('page_js')     
<script src="{{ mix('assets/js/task/task.js') }}"></script>
@endsection

Note: Use of mix is explained in the next section. so you can just ignore that as of now. But the basic idea is, include them as a script or stylesheet with sections, instead of directly putting them in blade files.

Solution 3. Using laravel-mix

Laravel mix is a great tool for asset compilation. All of the page level JS/CSS files and other common JS/CSS should be compiled by laravel mix and should be copied to the public folder with versioning for cache busting. And then it will be included via mix helper in our blade views. (As explained in the above solution at the bottom of the section).

For e.g. our webpack.mix.js looks like the following,

/* CSS */ 
mix.sass('resources/assets/style/sass/laravel/app.scss', 'public/assets/style/css/app.css') 
.sass('resources/assets/style/sass/style.scss','public/assets/style/css/style.css') 
.sass('resources/assets/style/sass/dashboard.scss','public/assets/style/css/dashboard.css')
.version(); 

/* JS */ 
mix.js('resources/assets/js/custom.js','public/assets/js/custom.js') 
.js('resources/assets/js/users/user.js','public/assets/js/users/user.js') 
.js('resources/assets/js/task/task.js','public/assets/js/task/task.js')    
.version();

This will minify our code and make it secure in the production environment.

Hope this helps.

June 19, 20195 minutesMitul GolakiyaMitul Golakiya
How to display relationship data into Yajra DataTables with InfyOm Laravel Generator

Lots of people asked a question on our Github Repo about how they can display relationship data into index while using Datatables. so I decided to write a post with a detailed tutorial on that. Let's see how it's possible.

Problem:

Let's imagine the following simple scenario. We have a users table and we have a posts table. Post table is pretty simple with the following fields:

  • id
  • author_id
  • title
  • body
  • created_at
  • updated_at

Where author_id is a foreign key to the users table. We want to display the author name into the index table.

But since we need that data from the relationship, there is no direct way to display that into Datatable.

Solution:

Let's perform the following steps (before performing these steps, generate your CRUD with datatables for Post model):

Step 1: Add author relationship into Post model

Since we want to display the author name of the post, let's add author relationship into Post.php

public function author() {     
return $this->belongsTo(User::class, 'author_id'); 
}

Step 2: Modify PostDataTable

Since we have to display relationship data we need to load it using eager loading of laravel. Modify the query method of PostDataTable.php. something like,

public function query(Post $model) {     
return $model->newQuery()->with(['author']); 
}

Also, we need to add one more column author name into the datatable. so modify getColumns method and add that to the array. something like,

protected function getColumns() {     
return [        
       'title',         
       'author_name' => new \Yajra\DataTables\Html\Column([
       'title' => 'Author Name', 
       'data' => 'author.name',
       'name' => 'author.name'
      ])     
  ]; 
}

This will add one more column with header "Author Name" in the datatable before "Action" column. Here, we are adding custom datatable column where key will the name of column which datatable use internally, title will be used for Datatable Column header title and data will be used for retrieving data.

And that's it. Run your code and you should be able to see Author name of the post into your datatable.

March 19, 20192 minutesMitul GolakiyaMitul Golakiya
How to use Datatables in InfyOm Laravel Generator

InfyOm Laravel Generator comes with two possible choices for a table in the index view.

  1. Native table with blade
  2. Datatables

Datatables comes with a huge set of features if you really need it and InfyOm Generator is capable of generating your CRUD table with Datatables. It uses yajra/laravel-datatables-oracle for that. But I heard from lots of people that they got confused about the installation of that package and how to use it with Generator. so I decided to write a post on that.

Yajra datatables come with a few different packages, one for core datatables and other plugins like buttons, HTML, export CSV etc. When you are using it with InfyOm Generator, you will need all of them since we generate a table with a full set of features.

Perform the following steps.

Step 1: Add Packages

In the first step, we need to add these packages into our project based on the laravel version we are using. Check the following table:

Laravel Version yajra/laravel-datatables-oracle yajra/laravel-datatables-buttons

yajra/laravel-datatables-html

5.5 8.x 4.x 4.x
5.6 8.x 4.x 4.x
5.7 8.x 4.x 4.x
5.8 9.x 4.x 4.x

Based on your laravel version, install these packages and add the following service providers and facade in config/app.php.

/** Service Providers **/  Yajra\Datatables\DatatablesServiceProvider::class, 
Yajra\Datatables\ButtonsServiceProvider::class, 
Yajra\Datatables\HtmlServiceProvider::class, 
/** Facade **/ 
'Datatables' => Yajra\Datatables\Facades\Datatables::class,  

Step 2: Run Vendor Publish

Once you add this, publish the assets for all these service providers. This is also one critical step. Make sure you run a vendor:publish for all these service providers. Or you can just run php artisan vendor:publish and select the service provider from the list and do this for all of these three service providers. It will publish some assets into your public directory.

Step 3: Enable Datatable option for Generator

After publishing assets, go to config/infyom/laravel_generator.php and make add_on => datatables => true.

Step 4: Scripts and CSS section into blade layout (Optional)

If you have used publish layout option then you can skip this step. Otherwise, make sure you have scripts and CSS sections into your main blade layout file. Since that's where all scripts and CSS will be added for datatables.

And that's it. Try to generate CRUD for some model and it should generate your crud with Datatables.

March 15, 20192 minutesMitul GolakiyaMitul Golakiya
Introducing Laravel 5.8 support to InfyOm Laravel Generator

Introducing Laravel 5.8 support to InfyOm Laravel Generator with more cleaner Repository Pattern

Laravel 5.8 just released this week with a bunch of new improvements. You can read the full post here about new updates. so in a very small fraction of time, we also worked on adding support for Laravel 5.8 into our generator. You can read the installation steps here.

Also, one another feature or improvement we have done is, we tried to create a cleaner and extendable repository pattern while generating CRUD. so far we were using prettus/l5-repository package, which is really awesome if you do not want to write your general functions of create/all/update/delete/find in all of your repositories. I really loved that package and that's the reason we extended that package when we created our repository.

This is all great when you are talking about simple CRUD functions. But things get confusing when people want to customize their code. I got a lot of emails and also lots of people created issues on Github regarding how to customize that function based on their certain needs.

So with this version, I decided to write our own simple BaseRepository which will be published into app/Repositories/BaseRepository.php. so developers are free to customize all the basic functions.

Actually, this is also possible with prettus/l5-repository as well and with our generator as well by publishing templates. But that needs some more work and some deep knowledge of customizing templates. But with this update, it will be easier.

Right now, I do not expect any breaking changes who are migrating their code from 5.7 to 5.8 which is using a generator. I tried to keep all old BaseRepository classes and repository packages into dependencies. All their existing generated repositories should work fine.

Still, if someone is getting any errors then they can contact me by creating issues on Github. I will try to respond there.

Hope this release will help and people can start to get started to upgrade their code to Laravel 5.8.

March 02, 20192 minutesMitul GolakiyaMitul Golakiya
Multi Column Search box in Datatables with InfyOm Laravel Generator

UX and UI designs are similar and are often used interchangeably. In fact, these two words have completely different meanings and relay different activities. These two businesses have essentially been around for years, but only recently have been involved in the technology industry, which has been renamed to encourage UI and UX designers.

These two components are essential when it comes to digital products, but the roles are very different. They refer to various aspects of both product development as well as the actual design process. Although UX means "user experience" and UI means "user interface", both jobs cover much more than they seem, which makes learning UX and UI more important at the same time.

User Experience Design (UX)

Originally defined by a cognitive scientist named Don Norman, the term "user experience" was defined before the 21st century. He described UX as "all aspects of the end-user interaction with the company, its services, and its products".

UX can be applied to anything in life that creates an experience. Whether it's a website, a mobile app, a theme park, or a tea party. UX doesn't have to be related to anything in the world of graphic design. User experience is the user's interactions and user "experience" with a product or service.

When it comes to digital products or services, UX is concerned with how a web page, mobile application, or software perceives the user. This may include simplifying the website checkout process or simplifying the application for general use.

uxdesign

You could say that a UX design job requires marketing, design, and project management skills. It is a complex role. Regardless of whether it is being applied to a car, shoe, or website, UX Designer's main goal is to create a simple and pleasant user experience. The product needs to communicate the owner’s goals, while also meeting the needs of the user.

User Interface Design (UI)

UX and user interface (UI) are often compared or grouped in the same job description. These two modes are very different, leaving the UI to be misinterpreted.

Often when looking at job descriptions for UI offerings, you will see a closer description of graphic design. Although UI positions sometimes deal with parts of branding or even frontend development, they do not indicate the original position.

User interface design is a digital term. This is mainly where it differs from UX. A UI is simply an interaction between a user and a digital product or service. This may include a touchpad that allows you to select your coffee from an automatic coffee machine or from your computer screen. It also deals with applications and websites that look and feel how the user interacts with the product.

uidesign

The main purpose of the UI is that the designer will use design tools that enable better communication between the designer and the developer. This in turn will facilitate implementation with developers.

The user interface is an incredibly important element that allows the user to trust the brand. The UI designer is also responsible for relaying the message of the product as well as its research and content into a compelling display or experience.

UX vs. UI

The comparison of UX and UI is almost like apple and orange. If you take the human brain with the right hand representing creativity (usually left-handed individuals), this would be the UI design. If the left side of the brain represents the analysis (usually right-handed individuals), then the left side UX.

ui_ux

UI design is creative, fuzzy, beautiful, and presentable. UX design is, alternatively, the optimization, organization, and structure of the data to be implemented. Without one or the other, the project cannot be completed. To complete the product, you may not lack UX or UI. Despite this, they have completely different roles with different functions.

In general, a UX designer will need to fully map the entire user's journey to solve a specific problem in a product. Much of the UX Designer's job is to understand the user's problems and how to solve them. UX designers work by researching to understand the users they are targeting and what their needs will be.

Alternatively, UI designers consider all aspects of the visual elements. Everything from the first screen to the last screen. The UI designer will make sure the colors are readable. This may include ensuring that a partially blind 65-year-old feels comfortable using the same screen as a normal 13-year-old.

March 04, 20172 minutesMitul GolakiyaMitul Golakiya
How to Display Image in DataTable with yajra laravel-datatables with laravel generator

In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to display image in datatable or add image column to datatable while using yajra/laravel-datatables with infyom laravel generator.

We are continuously getting some questions like how we can achieve something with laravel generator. Recently, we got a question like, how we can display Image in DataTable while using yajra/laravel-datatables with infyom laravel generator. so I thought maybe it can be a requirement for lots of other developers as well and tried myself to find a solution. And then I decided to write a tutorial on that, so other developers can get an idea on that.

so here is the use case, suppose we have a Post model which contains three fields,

  1. Title
  2. Image
  3. Body

Image field contains a full or relative URL of the image which we need to show in a datatable (same as above image).

When you are using InfyOm Laravel Generator it generates PostDataTable.php file for the definition of DataTable. That file contains a function named, getColumns() for the definition of columns of DataTable. Something like following,

 return [     
   'title' => ['name' => 'title', 'data' => 'title'],     
   'image' => ['name' => 'image', 'data' => 'image'],     
   'body'  => ['name' => 'body', 'data' => 'body'] 
]; 

This is a very simple implementation of a DataTable Column definition.

To Display images in DataTable, we need to use the `render` function on the column to display images. You can define your own render function which will return the data that should be rendered in the column. In our case, we want to render an image, so our render function will be something like following,

 return [     
   'title' => ['name' => 'title', 'data' => 'title'],     
   'image' => ['name' => 'image', 'data' => 'image'],     
   'body'  => ['name' => 'body', 'data' => 'body'] 
]; 

If you will look carefully, we are returning, from render function. Where data will be the data from the model. In our case, It will be a URL.
Render function gets the data parameter as a first argument. You can find more information about render function over here.

Above code will generate output something like following,

"name": "image",    
   "data": "image",    
   "render": function (data, type, full, meta) {        
        return <img src=\"" + data + "\" height=\"50\"/>;     
},     
   "title": "Image",    
   "orderable": true,   
   "searchable": true 
}

So, this is how we can display an image in a datatable.

September 30, 20162 minutesMitul GolakiyaMitul Golakiya
Fix datatables_css or datatables_js not found or failed to open stream

Recently, we introduced some breaking updates by which many developers are getting something from the following errors:

  • datatables_css.stub failed to open stream
  • datatables_js.stub failed to open stream
  • View [datatables_css] not found
  • View [datatables_js] not found

Problem:

so, the purpose of this breaking update was, till now when we generate CRUD with datatables we were including datatable scripts into table.blade.php something like the following:

{!! $dataTable->table(['width' => '100%']) !!}
@section('scripts')
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdn.datatables.net/buttons/1.0.3/css/buttons.dataTables.min.css">
    <script src="https://cdn.datatables.net/buttons/1.0.3/js/dataTables.buttons.min.js"></script>
    <script src="vendor/datatables/buttons.server-side.js"></script>
    {!! $dataTable->scripts() !!}
@endsection

And the main CSS files for datatables were included in the layout file layout/app.blade.php, also some js files were also included in the same folder. Like following,

<!-- Datatables -->
<script src="https://cdn.datatables.net/1.10.11/js/jquery.dataTables.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://cdn.datatables.net/1.10.11/js/dataTables.bootstrap.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://cdn.datatables.net/buttons/1.2.1/js/dataTables.buttons.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://cdn.datatables.net/buttons/1.2.1/js/buttons.colVis.min.js"></script>

So the problem that we found was when we want to update the datatables version, we have to go to each file and update them manually. Also, there were some redundant JS and CSS files that were included in both table.blade.php & app.blade.php.

Solution:

As a solution, we decided to move these things to two partial files datatables_css.blade.php & datatables_js.blade.php. Which were published during the publishing layout.

php artisan infyom.publish:layout

so if anyone is getting this error then, run composer update to update your code to the latest commits and then try to run the above command and publish these two files into your layouts folder. As an alternative, you can also create those files manually from the templates and can update your layout file accordingly.

If anyone is still facing issues after performing these steps, then please post your comments below.

September 29, 20162 minutesMitul GolakiyaMitul Golakiya