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Version: 4.3

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 a future release.

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;

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:

public function getProduct(#[Autowire] ProductRepository $productRepository) : Product {