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Progress Report - August 2022

Since our last progress report, on Aug 19th, our focus has been on improving overall Developer Experience and fixing papercuts. We've b...

Cristian Tabacitu
Cristian Tabacitu

Since our last progress report, on Aug 19th, our focus has been on improving overall Developer Experience and fixing papercuts. We've been putting ourselves in the shoes of a person learning Backpack right now and... we've seen A LOT of opportunities for improvement.


I want thank our team members Pedro Martins and Jorge Castro for doing this. For doing the thankless job of getting our number of issues and PRs low low low low. That way, the rest of the team can focus on improvements, features and new versions πŸ™ Super-grateful to have them - doing core work is the most complex bit of what we do, and they've been doing a great job at it.


Most of the features we've launched are regarding generating files. We've realised there's a huge opportunity: we can make Backpack devs rely less on documentation, if we just provide easy ways of creating the files they need.

Command to create a custom page

Previously, you could (of course) create a custom Backpack page - it's not difficult at all. But to do that, you'd need to manually create all the needed files and (more importantly) understand how it all works. Now... it's the opposite. You can understand how it all works by running php artisan backpack:page Dashboard and creating a custom page. Look:

Isn't this so beautiful and simple? Let's all thank Antonio Almeida for working on this.

Command to create a CRUD now supports all validation types

Previously when you did php artisan backpack:crud Book you could only use request validation, even though manually you could use any of our three supported validation types (request, array, field). Now... when you run that same command, you'll be able to choose your validation type:

So if you're just creating a small entity (eg. Tag, Category) you can skip creating the FormRequest, and define your validation rules inside the CrudController itself, by choosing the array or field validation. Plus, you'll notice we also polished the output of the CRUD generation command, and you can now cmd+click the generated files to open them:

Thanks to the same Antonio Almeida for working on this πŸ™ This is a pretty big improvement to something many people are using, all the time.

Command to create a custom field

We've decided to create generation commands for all custom files you might want to create, when your admin panel becomes more complex. And of course, we've started with php artisan backpack:field {field_name}. Thanks to Karan Datwani, we can now do this:

Pretty crazy we didn't have this until now, right? And the generated file is self-explanatory too, so when you create a new field now... you don't really need the docs any more πŸŽ‰

DevTools interface to create a custom Operation

This wasn't easy. It really wasn't. Because there are 5x3x4x5 combinations of what you'd want to generate, or so. But thanks to Mauro Martinez, we've done it! We finally have a simple way to generate Operations. Just fill in one form in Backpack DevTools, and boom - the needed files are created for you. Take a look at how simple the form makes it:

OR... even better... we have a 7-minute video on our YouTube Vlog, where you can see it in action. Which brings me to my next point...

YouTube Vlog

We've been polishing our skills for creating video content. We're not quite where we wanted, but we've decided to start putting it out there, even if they're not as high-quality as we would like. "Done is better than perfect" they say. To set the bar low for now, we've started a YouTube Vlog. We've already posted 2 videos there, so if you use YouTube (who doesn't?!) consider subscribing to our YouTube channel.

If you have video ideas, please let us know in the comments here (or on YouTube), we'd love to hear them. If you have experience with Backpack and video content, and would like to collaborate with us on creating video content, please reach out by email, we'd love that too.


We're proud to call ourselves Laracon Online sponsors, this year. If you haven't watched the talks, consider doing so - some of them are really really good. As part of the "digital swag bag" we've also included a 25% discount for Backpack, if you purchase before the end of the month. We felt like we needed to disclose that, just in case you weren't paying attention there πŸ˜€

Thanks for using Backpack - we love doing this for you. Cheers!

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