If you have ever written a blog post, you probably understand why writing a 350 page long book like The Fast Track is a lot of work. Trust me when I say that updating such a book is an entirely different endeavor. Making sure that all code snippets work as expected is tedious. Updating screnshots is even more laborious. But reading an obsolete book is frustrating for users.
When it comes to updating a book like “The Fast Track” for a new version of Symfony, you’d better be prepared for long hours of work. Hopefully, I anticipated most of the problems before I even started to write the first line of the first chapter a year and half ago. So I was well prepared.
But still, it took me so many hours of not so glamourous work. I was not even able to release the book for Symfony 5.1. But I managed to finish everything for Symfony 5.2 and I’m very happy with the results. I’m so excited to share some more details about what’s new.
First, you must know that updating the book to Symfony 5.2 allowed me to find some bugs in Symfony before it was even released (the same happenned with the first version of the book). I like to think about the book as yet another end-to-end way to test the framework. Updating to Symfony 5.1 and then 5.2 early on also revealed some bugs and incompatibility in third-party bundles. Most of the time, I pinged people to ask them to allow PHP 8 and Symfony 5.2, but also to update their package dependencies. This is a process that takes a lot of time, waiting for problems to be resolved before being able to move to the next step.
Updating the book for Symfony 5.2 and using the latest best practices for that version was the main focus but I managed to do more than that:
.symfony.cloud.yamlwas easy enough, but I went a step further and switch to use PHP 8 native annotations whenever possible. If everything goes fine, I will be able to get rid of annotations in PHPDocs for Symfony 5.3 (I’m just waiting for some third-party to make the switch).
exit()calls in their code to debug them.
You can also read it for free online as I’ve just published the English version on symfony.com.
Last, but not least, translation work will begin soon. As translators will “only” have to translate new paragraphs or paragraphs that changed, it should be a bit easier and faster than the first version.
Enjoy reading the book!
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