Skip to main content
Version: 4.1

Doctrine annotations VS PHP8 attributes

GraphQLite is heavily relying on the concept of annotations (also called attributes in PHP 8+).

Doctrine annotations#

Deprecated! Doctrine annotations are deprecated in favor of native PHP 8 attributes. Support will be dropped in GraphQLite 5.0

Historically, attributes were not available in PHP and PHP developers had to "trick" PHP to get annotation support. This was the purpose of the doctrine/annotation library.

Using Doctrine annotations, you write annotations in your docblocks:

use TheCodingMachine\GraphQLite\Annotations\Type;
/** * @Type */class MyType{}

Please note that:

  • The annotation is added in a docblock (a comment starting with "/**")
  • The Type part is actually a class. It must be declared in the use statements at the top of your file.
Heads up!Some IDEs provide support for Doctrine annotations:

We strongly recommend using an IDE that has Doctrine annotations support.

PHP 8 attributes#

Starting with PHP 8, PHP got native annotations support. They are actually called "attributes" in the PHP world.

The same code can be written this way:

use TheCodingMachine\GraphQLite\Annotations\Type;
#[Type]class MyType{}

GraphQLite v4.1+ has support for PHP 8 attributes.

The Doctrine annotation class and the PHP 8 attribute class is the same (so you will be using the same use statement at the top of your file).

They support the same attributes too.

A few notable differences:

  • PHP 8 attributes do not support nested attributes (unlike Doctrine annotations). This means there is no equivalent to the annotations attribute of @MagicField and @SourceField.
  • PHP 8 attributes can be written at the parameter level. Any attribute targeting a "parameter" must be written at the parameter level.

Let's take an example with the #Autowire attribute:

PHP 7+

/** * @Field * @Autowire(for="$productRepository") */public function getProduct(ProductRepository $productRepository) : Product {    //...}


#[Field]public function getProduct(#[Autowire] ProductRepository $productRepository) : Product {    //...}