Build a live commenting system with Laravel and Vue.js

  • 2019-03-09 02:18 AM
  • 95

This tutorial will help you build a realtime commenting system with Laravel, Vue.js

Introduction

This tutorial will help you build a realtime commenting system with Laravel, Vue.js and Pusher. We’ll create a basic landing page, a comments feed, and a submission form where users can submit comments that will be added to the page and viewable instantly. This tutorial is the Laravel version of this one, and when setting up Vuex and Vue.js you can refer to the same sections in that tutorial. Now on to building our app!

Demo

Your final app should be looking like this:

Build a live commenting system with Laravel and Vue.js

Prerequisites

In order to follow this tutorial a basic to good understanding of Vue.js and Laravel is required, as we’ll be using these frameworks throughout this tutorial. Also ensure you have Node.js installed on your machine or Yarn.

We’ll be using these tools to build our application so make sure to have them installed on your machine:

Pusher setup

Head over to the Pusher website and sign up for a free account. Select Create new app on the sidebar, and hit Create my app to create a new app after filling the form.

Once your app is created, retrieve your credentials from the API Keys tab, and make note of it as we’ll use them later in the tutorial.

Create the project and install dependencies

To get started we’ll install a new Laravel application using the Laravel CLI. We’ll run the following command:

laravel new live_comments

Once the installation is finished run the following command to move to your app directory:

cd live_comments

Now we’ll install our node dependencies, first paste this in your package.json file:

    //live_comments/package.json
    {
      "private": true,
      "scripts": {
        "dev": "npm run development",
        "development": "cross-env NODE_ENV=development node_modules/webpack/bin/webpack.js --progress --hide-modules --config=node_modules/laravel-mix/setup/webpack.config.js",
        "watch": "npm run development -- --watch",
        "watch-poll": "npm run watch -- --watch-poll",
        "hot": "cross-env NODE_ENV=development node_modules/webpack-dev-server/bin/webpack-dev-server.js --inline --hot --config=node_modules/laravel-mix/setup/webpack.config.js",
        "prod": "npm run production",
        "production": "cross-env NODE_ENV=production node_modules/webpack/bin/webpack.js --no-progress --hide-modules --config=node_modules/laravel-mix/setup/webpack.config.js"
      },
      "devDependencies": {
        "axios": "^0.18",
        "bootstrap": "^4.0.0",
        "cross-env": "^5.1",
        "jquery": "^3.2",
        "laravel-mix": "^2.0",
        "lodash": "^4.17.5",
        "popper.js": "^1.12",
        "vue": "^2.5.7",
        "vuex": "^3.0.1",
        "moment": "^2.22.2",
        "pusher-js": "^4.2.2"
      }
    }

Then run npm install or yarn to install the dependencies. It’s up to you.

After this step, add the following to your .env file in the root of your project directory. Ensure to replace the placeholders with your keys from Pusher.

    PUSHER_APP_ID=YOUR_PUSHER_APP_ID
    PUSHER_APP_KEY=YOUR_PUSHER_APP_KEY
    PUSHER_APP_SECRET=YOUR_PUSHER_APP_SECRET
    PUSHER_APP_CLUSTER=YOUR_PUSHER_APP_CLUSTER

Database setup

We’ll use SQLite as our database. Create a database.sqlite file in the database directory, and amend the .env file like this:

    DB_CONNECTION=sqlite
    DB_DATABASE=/absolute/path/to/database.sqlite

Refer to this section on Laravel website for more relevant information.

Building models and seeding our database

Now, let’s build our database structure. We’ll use again Laravel CLI for that. Run this command:

php artisan make:model Comment -mc

The above command will generate the Comment model as well as its migration and its controller CommentController.php for us.

Open your Comment.php file and paste this:

    //live_comments/app/Comment.php

    <?php

    namespace App;

    use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;

    class Comment extends Model {

        //
        protected $fillable = ['content', 'author'];
    }

Next copy and paste this piece of code in your comment migration file:

    //live_comments/database/migrations/*_create_comments_table.php
    <?php

    use Illuminate\Database\Migrations\Migration;
    use Illuminate\Database\Schema\Blueprint;
    use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Schema;

    class CreateCommentsTable extends Migration
    {
        /**
         * Run the migrations.
         *
         * @return void
         */

        public function up()
        {
            Schema::create('comments', function (Blueprint $table) {
                $table->increments('id');
                $table->string('content');
                $table->string('author');
                $table->timestamps();
            });
        }

        /**
         * Reverse the migrations.
         *
         * @return void
         */

        public function down()
        {
            Schema::dropIfExists('comments');
        }
    }

Then run php artisan migrate to run the migration.

Define routes and create the CommentController

In this section we’ll define our app endpoints and define the logic behind our CommentController.php.

We’ll create three basic routes for our application, one for rendering our app view, one for fetching comments from the database and the last one for storing comments into the database.

Paste the following into api.php:

    //live_comments/routes/api.php
    <?php
    use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Route;

    Route::get('/', '[email protected]');

    Route::prefix('api')->group(function () {
        Route::get('/comments', '[email protected]');
        Route::post('/comments', '[email protected]');
    });

And amend web.php like the following

    //live_comments/routes/web.php
    <?php
    use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Route;
    Route::get('/', '[email protected]');

Now let’s define our controller logic. Our controller functions will be responsible for actions to handle when some requests reach our API endpoints.

Open your CommentController file and paste the following code:

    //live_comments/app/Http/Controllers/CommentController.php
    <?php

    namespace App\Http\Controllers;

    use App\Comment;
    use App\Events\CommentEvent;
    use Illuminate\Http\Request;

    class CommentController extends Controller
    {
        //

        public function index()
        {

            return view('comments');
        }

        public function fetchComments()
        {
            $comments = Comment::all();

            return response()->json($comments);
        }

        public function store(Request $request)
        {
            $comment = Comment::create($request->all());

            event(new CommentEvent($comment));
            return response()->json('ok');

        }
    }

You can notice three functions in the code above:

  • index renders the comment.edge file(that we’ll create later in this tutorial) in the resources/views directory (which is where views are stored in Adonis).
  • fetchComments fetches comments from our database and returns them in a JSON format
  • store creates a new Comment instance with the request queries and returns a response.

Emit event

Well you may have noticed this line: event(new CommentEvent($comment)). It broadcasts an event with the new comment to the client-side of our app using Laravel broadcasting. We’ll see how to create this event in the next part of the tutorial.

Create a search event with broadcasting

Our SearchEvent event will be emitted whenever a comment is submit by a user. Enough talk, let’s focus on the code. Let’s create our CommentEvent by running the following command in your terminal: php artisan make:event CommentEvent.

Now open your CommentEvent file and paste the following:

    //live_comments/app/Events/CommentEvent.php
    <?php

    namespace App\Events;

    use Illuminate\Broadcasting\Channel;
    use Illuminate\Broadcasting\InteractsWithSockets;
    use Illuminate\Contracts\Broadcasting\ShouldBroadcastNow;
    use Illuminate\Foundation\Events\Dispatchable;
    use Illuminate\Queue\SerializesModels;

    class CommentEvent implements ShouldBroadcastNow
    {
        use Dispatchable, InteractsWithSockets, SerializesModels;

        public $comment;

        /**
         * Create a new event instance.
         *
         * @param  $comment
         *
         * @return void
         */

        public function __construct($comment)
        {
            //
            $this->comment = $comment;
        }

        /**
         * Get the channels the event should broadcast on.
         *
         * @return \Illuminate\Broadcasting\Channel|array
         */

        public function broadcastOn()
        {
            return new Channel('comment-channel');
        }

        public function broadcastAs()
        {
            return 'newComment';
        }

    }

Our class constructor initializes a comment that is nothing but the new submit comment. We have two additional functions that may seem strange to you:

  • broadcastAs: customizes the broadcast name because by default Laravel uses the event’s class name.
  • broadcastOn: defines the channel comment-channel (which we’ll set up further on the tutorial) on which our event should be broadcast.

Broadcasting configuration

According to Laravel documentation about event broadcasting, before broadcasting any events, you will first need to register the App\Providers\BroadcastServiceProvider. In fresh Laravel applications, you only need to uncomment this provider in the providers array of your ../config/app.php configuration file. This provider will allow you to register the broadcast authorization routes and callbacks.

If this is done, you have to tell Laravel to use Pusher to broadcast events. Open your .env file and ensure you have this line: BROADCAST_DRIVER=pusher

As we are broadcasting our events over Pusher, we should install the Pusher PHP SDK using the Composer package manager:

    composer require pusher/pusher-php-server "~3.0"

Setting up the broadcast channel

Laravel broadcasts events on well defined channels. As said above our event should be broadcast on comment-channel channel. It’s time to set it up. Paste the following code in your channels.php file:

    //live_comments/routes/channels.php
    Broadcast::channel('comment-channel', function () {
        return true;
    });

As we aren’t using Laravel auth, we return true in the function callback so that everybody can use this channel to broadcast events.

Now amend your bootstrap.js file like the following:

    //live_comments/resources/js/bootstrap.js

    window._ = require('lodash');

    window.axios = require('axios');
    window.moment = require('moment')

    // import 'vue-tel-input/dist/vue-tel-input.css';

    window.axios.defaults.headers.common['X-Requested-With'] = 'XMLHttpRequest';
    window.axios.defaults.headers.post['Content-Type'] = 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded';
    window.axios.defaults.headers.common.crossDomain = true;
    window.axios.defaults.baseURL = '/api';

    let token = document.head.querySelector('meta[name="csrf-token"]');

    if (token) {
        window.axios.defaults.headers.common['X-CSRF-TOKEN'] = token.content;
    } else {
        console.error('CSRF token not found: https://adonisjs.com/docs/4.1/csrf');
    }

    window.Pusher = require('pusher-js');

We make our pusher-js package global in order to use with no hassle everywhere and to listen to events on client-side.

Our app is ready to broadcast and consume events in realtime using Pusher channels. Let’s focus now on the frontend of your app.

Set up Vuex store

We’ll be using the Vuex library to centralize our data and control the way it is mutated throughout our application.

Create our state

Vuex state is a single object that contains all our application data. So let’s create ../resources/js/store/state.js and paste this code inside:

    let state = {
        comments: []
    }
    export default  state

The comments key is an array responsible to store our database comments.

Create our getters

With help of getters we can compute derived based on our data store state. Create ../resources/js/store/getters.js and paste this code inside

    let getters = {
        comments: state => {
            return state.comments
        }
    }

    export default getters

Create our mutations

Mutations allow us to perform some changes on our data. Create ../resources/js/store/mutations.js and paste this piece of code inside:

    let mutations = {
      GET_COMMENTS(state, comments) {
        state.comments = comments
      },
      ADD_COMMENT(state, comment) {
        state.comments = [...state.comments, comment]
      }
    }

    export default mutations

Our mutations object has two functions:

  • GET_COMMENTS is responsible for getting our comments data from a database or webserver.
  • ADD_COMMENT is responsible for adding a new comment to our comments array using the ES6 spread operator.

Create our actions

Vuex actions allow us to perform asynchronous operations over our data. Create the file ../resources/js/store/actions.js and paste the following code:

    let actions = {
      ADD_COMMENT({commit}, comment) {

        return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
          axios.post(`/comments`, comment)
            .then(response => {
              resolve(response)
            }).catch(err => {
            reject(err)
          })
        })
      },

      GET_COMMENTS({commit}) {
        axios.get('/comments')
          .then(res => {
            {
              commit('GET_COMMENTS', res.data)
            }
          })
          .catch(err => {
            console.log(err)
          })
      }
    }

    export default actions

We have defined two actions and each of them is responsible for a single operation, either comments post or comments fetch. They both perform asynchronous calls to our API routes.

  • ADD_COMMENT sends a post request to our /api/comments with the new comment to create and returns a new promise (later in this tutorial we’ll handle the returned promise). This action is dispatched whenever a user submits a comment.

  • GET_COMMENTS makes a get request to our api/comments endpoint to get our database comments and commits the request result with GET_COMMENTS mutation.

Set up our store with Vue

Create the file ../resources/js/store/index.js and paste this code inside:

    import Vue from 'vue'
    import Vuex from 'vuex'
    import actions from './actions'
    import mutations from './mutations'
    import getters from './getters'
    import state from "./state";

    Vue.use(Vuex);

    export default new Vuex.Store({
        state,
        mutations,
        getters,
        actions
    })

Next, we will export our store and add it to the Vue instance. Add this code to your ../resouces/js/app.js file.

    require('./bootstrap')

    window.Vue = require('vue');

    import store from './store/index'

    Vue.component('comment', require('./components/Comment'));
    Vue.component('comments', require('./components/Comments'))
    Vue.component('new-comment', require('./components/NewComment'))

    const app = new Vue({
      el: '#app',
      store
    });

The code above globally registers three Vue components, Comment.vue ,Comments.vue and NewComment.vue that we’ll build in the next part of this tutorial.

Building Vue components

We’ll build three Vue components for our app, the Comment.vue component, the Comments.vue and the NewComment.vue component, each of them responsible for a single functionality.

Create the Comment.vue component

The Comment.vue component is responsible for encapsulating details about a single comment instance from the database and rendering it in a proper and styled way. Paste the following inside your Comment.vue component.

    //../resources/js/components/Comment.vue

    <template>
      <li class="comment-wrapper animate slideInLeft ">
        <div class="profile">
          <img :src="avatar" alt=""></div>
        <div class="msg has-shadow">
          <div class="msg-body"><p class="name">{{comment.author}} <span class="date">{{posted_at}}</span></p>
            <p class="content">{{comment.content}}</p></div>
        </div>
      </li>
    </template>

    <script>
      export default {
        name: "Comment",
        props: ['comment'],
        computed: {
          posted_at() {
            return moment(this.comment.created_at).format('MMMM Do YYYY')
          },
          avatar() {
            return `https://api.adorable.io/avatars/48/${this.comment.author}@adorable.io.png`
          }
        }
      }
    </script>

    <style lang="scss" scoped>
      .comment-wrapper {
        list-style: none;
        text-align: left;
        overflow: hidden;
        margin-bottom: 2em;
        padding: .4em;

        .profile {
          width: 80px;
          float: left;
        }

        .msg-body {
          padding: .8em;
          color: #666;
          line-height: 1.5;
        }

        .msg {
          width: 86%;
          float: left;
          background-color: #fff;
          border-radius: 0 5px 5px 5px;
          position: relative;
          &::after {
            content: " ";
            position: absolute;
            left: -13px;
            top: 0;
            border: 14px solid transparent;
            border-top-color: #fff;
          }
        }

        .date {
          float: right;
        }
        .name {
          margin: 0;
          color: #999;
          font-weight: 700;
          font-size: .8em;
        }

        p:last-child {
          margin-top: .6em;
          margin-bottom: 0;
        }

      }

    </style>

Our Comment.vue component takes a comment property whose details we simply render in the component body. We also defined two computed properties, posted_at to parse the Moment.js library with the comment posted date, and avatar to generate an avatar for the comment author using this API. In the style block we’ve defined some styles to our comment component in order to make things look more beautiful.

Create the Comments.vue component

This component will render comment items from the database. Create your Comments.vue component and paste this code inside:

    ../resources/js/components/Comments.vue

    <template>
      <div class="container">
        <ul class="comment-list">
          <Comment :key="comment.id" v-for="comment in comments" :comment="comment"></Comment>
        </ul>
      </div>
    </template>

    <script>
      import {mapGetters} from 'vuex'
      import Comment from './Comment'

      export default {
        name: "Comments",
        components: {Comment},
        mounted() {
          this.$store.dispatch('GET_COMMENTS')

         //use your own credentials you get from Pusher
          let pusher = new Pusher(`YOUR_PUSHER_APP_ID`, {
            cluster: `YOUR_PUSHER_CLUSTER`,
            encrypted: false
          });

          //Subscribe to the channel we specified in our Adonis Application
          let channel = pusher.subscribe('comment-channel')

          channel.bind('new-comment', (data) => {
            this.$store.commit('ADD_COMMENT', data.comment)
          })
        },
        computed: {
          ...mapGetters([
            'comments'
          ])
        }
      }
    </script>

    <style scoped>
      .comment-list {
        padding: 1em 0;
        margin-bottom: 15px;
      }

    </style>

First don’t forget to add your Pusher credentials in your Vue template.

In the template section of this code, we loop through our comments array and render for each loop iteration a Comment.vue component imported with the current comment iterated as a property.

In the mounted hook function we dispatched the GET_COMMENTS action. The action defined above sends a get request to our database to fetch posted comments. Then, we initialized a Pusher instance using the credentials obtained earlier when creating our Pusher app. Next, we subscribed to the comment-channel and listened to the new-comment event in order to commit the ADD_COMMENT mutation with the new comment pulled in by the event.

We also used the Vuex helper function …mapGetters() to access our comments state as computed property. In this component we also defined some styles to beautify our interface in the style block.

Create the NewComment.vue component

Our third component is responsible for displaying a form to our users for comment posting. It should also send a request to our database when a user submits his comment. Let’s create the NewComment.vue component, copy and paste this code inside:

    ../resources/js/components/NewComment.vue
    <template>
      <div id="commentForm" class="box has-shadow has-background-white">

        <form @keyup.enter="postComment">
          <div class="field has-margin-top">

            <div class="field has-margin-top">
              <label class="label">Your name</label>
              <div class="control">
                <input type="text" placeholder="Your name" class="input is-medium" v-model="comment.author">
              </div>

            </div>
            <div class="field has-margin-top">
              <label class="label">Your comment</label>
              <div class="control">
                            <textarea
                              style="height:100px;"
                              name="comment"
                              class="input is-medium" autocomplete="true" v-model="comment.content"
                              placeholder="lorem ipsum"></textarea>
              </div>

            </div>
            <div class="control has-margin-top">
              <button style="background-color: #47b784" :class="{'is-loading': submit}"
                      class="button has-shadow is-medium has-text-white"
                      :disabled="!isValid"
                      @click.prevent="postComment"
                      type="submit"> Submit
              </button>
            </div>
          </div>
        </form>
        <br>
      </div>
    </template>

    <script>
      export default {
        name: "NewComment",
        data() {
          return {
            submit: false,
            comment: {
              content: '',
              author: '',
            }
          }
        },
        methods: {
          postComment() {
            this.submit = true;
            this.$store.dispatch('ADD_COMMENT', this.comment)
              .then(response => {
                this.submit = false;
                if (response.data === 'ok')
                  console.log('success')
              }).catch(err => {
              this.submit = false
            })

          },
        },
        computed: {
          isValid() {
            return this.comment.content !== '' && this.comment.author !== ''
          }
        }
      }
    </script>

    <style scoped>
      .has-margin-top {
        margin-top: 15px;
      }

    </style>

We bind our comment data to our comment content and author name fields using the Vue.js v-model directive. We handled the form submission with the postComment function inside which we dispatch the ADD_COMMENT mutation with the comment data entered by the user. We also defined isValid as a computed property that we use to disable the submit button if the two required fields are empty.

Finalize the app

Now, let’s create our comments.blade.php file which contains our Vue.js components. Then paste this code inside:

    //live_comments/resources/views/comments.blade.php

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html lang="en">
    <head>
        <meta charset="UTF-8"/>
        <title>Live commenting system with Laravel and Pusher</title>
        <meta name="csrf-token" content="{{ csrf_token() }}">
        <meta name="viewport"
              content="width=device-width, user-scalable=no, initial-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=1.0, minimum-scale=1.0">

        <!-- Bootstrap core CSS -->
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/bulma/0.7.1/css/bulma.min.css"/>
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/animate.css/3.5.2/animate.min.css"/>

        <style>
            html {
                background: radial-gradient(ellipse at center, #fff 0, #ededfd 100%);
            }

            #app {
                width: 60%;
                margin: 4rem auto;
            }

            .container {
                margin: 0 auto;
                position: relative;
                width: unset;
            }

            .question-wrapper {
                text-align: center;
            }

            .has-shadow {
                box-shadow: 0 4px 8px -2px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.05) !important;
            }

        </style>
    </head>
    <body>

    <div id="app">

        <div class="container">
            <div class="question-wrapper">
                <img width="200" src="{{ asset('images/adonuxt.png') }}" alt="">
                <h5 class="is-size-2" style="color: #220052;">
                    What do you think about <span style="color: #47b784;">Laravel</span>?</h5>
                <br>
                <a href="#commentForm" class="button is-medium has-shadow has-text-white" style="background-col
                or: #47b784">Comment</a>
            </div>

            <br><br>
            <comments></comments>
            <new-comment></new-comment>
        </div>
    </div>

    <script async src="{{mix('js/app.js')}}"></script>

    </body>

    </html>

We are almost done! Now open your terminal and run npm run dev to build your app. This can take a few seconds. After this step, run php artisan serve and open your browser to localhost:8000 to see your app working fine. Try posting a new comment! You should see your comment added in realtime 😎.

Note: If you encounter a 500 error when trying to submit a comment, it’s sure that you have to disable Pusher encryption. Open these files ../config/broadcasting.php and ../resources/js/bootstrap.js and make sure you disable Pusher encryption encrypted: false in both of them.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we have covered how to create a live commenting system using Laravel, Vue.js and Pusher. You can get the full source code here.

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Originally published by Ethiel Adiassa at https://pusher.com/

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