Creating a Laravel 5.x Package :: Part 3 - Config and Asset Publishing

Aug 27 2015

Laravel Package Creating a Laravel 5.x Package

  • Demo Code on GitHub

    Intro

    From part 2 of the series we already have quite enough setup to start building some packages. However if your package starts getting complex you will probably want to create some kind of configuration file. Secondly you will want a way for developers using your package to make modifications to config parameters, views and any other assets from your package.

    Config

    To start we can create a /src/config directory to store our config files. Typically we will have only one file but I prefer this setup in case things get more complicated down the road.

    // src/config/main.php
    
    return [
        'hello' => 'Hello',
        'world' => 'World',
    ];
    

    Once we have this we will need to tell our package how to load them. We do this in the service providers register method.

    public function register()
    {
        $this->mergeConfigFrom(
            __DIR__ . '/config/main.php', 'websanova-demo-main'
        );
    
        ...
    }
    

    Note that we need to alias each file separately. If you're confident you will only need one config then go ahead and just use the package name like websanova-demo for the alias.

    And a quick route to test:

    Route::get('demo/config', function () {
        return config('websanova-demo-main.hello') . 
               config('websanova-demo-main.world');
    });
    
    

    Publishing Configs

    This is an important part of your package as it allows developers to overwrite configs and assets in your package. Let's continue with the config and start with that first.

    To begin we will add a line to the service providers boot method to tell it what files to publish. For the config it will look like below.

    public function boot()
    {
        $this->publishes([
            __DIR__ . '/config' => config_path('websanova-demo'),
        ]);
    
        ...
    }
    

    We can just publish the entire config directory in this case. We can then just execute the vendor:publish command and it will copy our files over.

    > php artisan vendor:publish
    

    If you navigate to your Laravel installation you should see the config/websanova-demo/main.php file now. There you can overwrite any parameters.

    Note: If you keep running publish it will not replace the file. To get a fresh copy of a particular file you will need to remove the file first and then run vendor:publish again.

    Publishing Views

    We will pretty much follow the same pattern with views. However one nice thing is that since we already aliased our views we just need to add the path to the same publishes method used with our config.

    $this->publishes([
        __DIR__ . '/views' => base_path('resources/views/vendor/websanova-demo'),
        __DIR__ . '/config' => config_path('websanova-demo'),
    ]);
    

    Just make sure to keep the alias name the same as the path. This will be important for Laravel to know where to look for a local app version of the file.

    From here we can just run vendor:publish one more time. Again note that this will not overwrite any existing files.

    > php artisan vendor:publish
    

    Force Publishing and Groups

    When we are testing a package, particularly with migrations you may need to publish your package multiple times. You can use the --force option in this case. Just be careful with it's usage as it will overwrite all local changes in the app.

     > php artisan vendor:publish --force
    

    Another useful option is to group your publishing files and tag them. This allows you to only publish that group of files and will be useful with migrations which we will cover later on.

    public function boot()
    {
        $this->publishes([
            __DIR__ . '/views' => base_path('resources/views/vendor/websanova-demo')
        ], 'views');
    
        $this->publishes([
            __DIR__ . '/config' => config_path('websanova-demo')
        ], 'config');
    
        ...
    }
    

    Furthermore we can specify a provider to avoid publishing all packages and focus on just one particular package. Also very useful when using --force since we may not want to override other packages we are testing.

    > php artisan vendor:publish --provider="Websanova\Demo\DemoServiceProvider" --tag=config --force
    

    It requires pretty much no extra effort so it's a good idea to organize these publishes methods this way. It provides that extra layer of flexibility during testing as well as for developers using your package.

    Other Assets

    You can follow the same pattern for publishing other assets like javascript, css and translation files. I won't cover the details for each here but you can take a look at Laravel 5.x Package Docs for more information as it's quite straight forward from here.

    Conclusion

    We have taken an extra step in package development and covered two additional critical areas. Configs and asset publishing allowing developers to customize packages for their own needs.

    Related


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