You don't have to upgrade if you don't want.
A1 ) You will have to walk through the upgrade guide for each version from where you are starting up to 5.2.
A2 ) seems like you answered that yourself :-)
I'm just curious to learn the latest features in Laravel.
Instead of going through several intermediate upgrade steps (as described in upgrade) I've decided to jump straight to creating latest version new project as target. And then I will migrate files from my old project to new projects (testing where they break).
Later I might add this automation workflow as custom commands in webmin .. http://www.webmin.com .. for managing multiple virtualhosts
I found this thread which touches on same subject .. upgrade ..
Not a bad idea. You can definitely do that without a doubt. That is how I go about it, but it really helps if you understand the differences between the versions.
There is a service out there that will help you upgrade your project if it is on a repository (for a fee, very small), seems people have had some success with that.
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