November 2020 Newsletter - Progress Report

Hey there, It’s been more than 6 months since our last newsletter. As promised, we try not to bother you unless we have a lot to say. A...

Cristian Tabacitu
Cristian Tabacitu

Hey there,

It’s been more than 6 months since our last newsletter. As promised, we try not to bother you unless we have a lot to say. And once again, we have a lot to say.

The past 6 months have been all about stability and predictability. About making Backpack a mature software, more so than ever before. And mature it is - we're close to having absolutely zero known and solvable issues in Backpack 4.1. Which I think is spectacular for a project with so many features, and so customizable.

The next 6 months will be all about new features & products. We’re working on some very very cool stuff, that we'll launch gradually over the next year. But we can't (or won't) show you any of the hot stuff now. To find out when they're out, you have to subscribe to our weekly/monthly/quarterly article digest. This digest will allow you to find out about new things more frequently, and allow us to make these emails shorter ?

Here’s what we’ve been up to. 

TLDR: better than ever, please update your PHP, JS and CSS assets, upgrade to 4.0 or 4.1, subscribe for weekly/monthly articles, black friday discount.

1) Maintenance

  • we’ve released 160+ fixes to Backpack 4.1.x; making 4.1 the most reliable version we’ve ever had; 
  • there have been no major security issues (pfiew);
  • but… some JS dependencies have had small security holes discovered & fixed; if it's been more than a few months, please run a composer update; make sure to also publish the new JS assets; and if you want to forget about doing that altogether, here are 3 Ways to Always Have the Latest JS & CSS Assets for Backpack;
  • our maintenance team got a little bigger (again) - we are super-grateful to have @pxpm and @promatik pushing code every day, they're the ones who unlocked this "maturity achievement" for us;
  • Backpack 4.1 is in a feature freeze; at this moment we’re just trying to close absolutely every issue, even the small ones; instead of our usual ~200 open issues, we’re now usually down to 25 issues or less in our main repo; ?
  • our next major version is Backpack 4.2, a free upgrade released in Spring 2021 most likely; we'd love to hear what you want from v4.2; which brings us to...

2) Communication

  • new website feature: direct customer feedback; after you purchase a Backpack license we immediately give you the opportunity to tell us what you think about it; and we've made this this our #1 tool to decide what to work on, we go through all new answer every week; if you’ve purchased a Backpack license before this feature, please click here to give us feedback; we want to hear it - both good and bad;
  • new promise: more articles; instead of having to dig into our docs or PRs to find out what we've been up to, from now on you can follow our Articles, and you’ll be the first to know when we have something new for you; we’ve done a bad job of communicating what we're building for you guys, but no longer!
  • new promise: better articles functionality
    • coming soon: RSS, comments; after that: maybe guest posts;
    • already here: article digest; pick how often you’d like to hear from us and we’ll send you an email with what’s been going on, every week, month or quarter - your choice; it’s that simple and that unobtrusive; of course, we don’t subscribe anyone by default, so please subscribe;
    • not a promise, but... we'll try be more present on social media (@tabacitu and @laravelbackpack on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit);

3) Pricing

4) Services

Many of our users say they didn't know we also offer web dev services. Indeed, if you need help pushing a project past the finish line, or need a new team member for a while - we have Laravel & Backpack experts that can totally help. Reach out.

5) Backpack 3.x will no longer receive bug fixes.

After 3.5 years of life, and 1 year of security support, we finally consider it "done". If you haven’t upgraded yet, this is an excellent time to upgrade from Backpack v3 to v4:

  • you get a 30% discount if you buy this week
  • v4.0 and v4.1 upgrade guides are more polished than ever
  • v4.1 has almost zero known issues
  • v4.2, the upgrade coming in 4-5 months, will be a free & easy one
  • you get these features and THESE features and v4.2 features!

What more are you waiting for? ? Come on, you can do it!

6) What’s next for our team?

  • one particularly cool&free Backpack add-on, due January 2021; this one is going to save you so much time and headspace, you'll love it;
  • 8+ new add-ons for specific use cases, released gradually in 2021;
  • Backpack 4.2, due Spring 2021;
  • Toolbox for Laravel, alpha due Spring 2021;
  • The Whole Fruit Manifesto, early beta is out - feedback is welcome;
  • Backpack v12, due Fall/Winter 2021;

As you can see, our 2021 will be packed. That's why I'm asking you (again) to subscribe to a weekly/monthly/quarterly email digest. Our next email to this newsletter will probably be in 4-6 months, when Backpack 4.2 is out. Until then, we’ll keep you posted using Articles on our website. We promise to communicate even better, but also more.

Thank you for your support. We love doing this for you guys ?


the @laravelbackpack team - @tabacitu, @pxpm and @promatik

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