Laravel 10 – Updating my projects

I have numerous projects which are built utilising the Laravel Framework. Each time there is a new major release, you need to ask yourself the same question; how long until I update my project? There are two follow-on questions; in what order should I upgrade? And is it worth upgrading this one?

I try to ensure all my projects get updated to the latest version of Laravel. However, I am not one of those eager users who updates their Apps and website on release day. When it comes to updates, I am conservative with my own projects. It is typically worth waiting for at least some minor releases which catch the inevitable bugs.

Most of the time, the order that I update is simple. The Apps which are in active development and any which could or will benefit from any of the new features go first.

Laravel 10 is different

Laravel 10 is a different release. The major benefit is not the new features, and it isn’t immediately obvious. The major benefit will come with time, all the user land code is now strictly typed.

Unlike previous Laravel releases, for Laravel 10 you should not simply update your composer file and run update. To benefit from the changes in Laravel 10, you need to update all your user land code to be strictly typed. If you simply run composer update you are not benefiting from the new typing. You need to ensure your user land code is strict.

There are services and tools that can help you with upgrading your projects, the obvious one being Laravel Shift. Though if you have several projects, this can get expensive quickly. In addition to the financial costs and time cost, you need to consider whether a project will have any future development. Is the project a personal passion project that is likely to just fizzle out?

Updates have begun

To date, two of my projects are using Laravel 10. I upgraded one with Shift and a little TLC, the other I upgraded manually. At release time, Budget Pro was still in the preliminary stages of development. It had minimal user land code which I needed to type.

With my other umpteen active projects, their time will come. The two most urgent are my API and a large client App for a customer. The updates for these projects are going to be complicated tasks that I will manage manually. I don’t want to hand over the job to Shift because as much as I like Laravel Shift, these projects are too critical. I expect I will start the update when I want to use a new feature introduced in Laravel 10 or a later point release.

Being a solo developer, it can be hard to justify the time. Any time that I dedicate to updating and validating is time I could be using to refactor, add new features, marketing, or anything else.