Nette Reflection: docblock annotations parser and common reflection classes

v2.4.2 2017-07-11 19:28 UTC


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Install it using Composer:

composer require nette/reflection

The last stable release requires PHP version 5.6 or newer (is compatible with PHP 7.0 and 7.1).

If you need to find every information about any class, reflection is the right tool to do it. You can easily find out which methods does any class have, what parameters do those methods accept, etc.

// getting PDO class reflection
$classReflection = new Nette\Reflection\ClassType('PDO');

// getting PDO::query method reflection
$methodReflection = new Nette\Reflection\Method('PDO', 'query');


Reflection has really a lot to do with annotations. The annotations are written into phpDoc comments (two opening asterisks are mandatory!) and start with @. You can annotate classes, variables and methods:

 * @author John Doe
 * @author Tomas Marny
 * @secured
class FooClass
	/** @Persistent */
	public $foo;

	/** @User(loggedIn, role=Admin) */
	public function bar() {}

In the code there are these annotations:

  • @author John Doe - string, contains text value 'John Doe'
  • @Persistent - boolean, its presence means true
  • @User(loggedIn, role=Admin) - contains associative array('loggedIn', 'role' => 'Admin')

The existence of a class annotation can be checked via hasAnnotation() method:

$fooReflection = new Nette\Reflection\ClassType('FooClass');
$fooReflection->hasAnnotation('author'); // returns true
$fooReflection->hasAnnotation('copyright'); // returns false

Values can be acquired with getAnnotation():

$fooReflection->getAnnotation('author'); // returns string 'Tomas Marny'

// returns array('loggedIn', 'role' => 'Admin')

.[caution] Previous definitions are overwritten with the latter ones, sou you will always get the last one.

All annotations can be obtained with getAnnotations():

array(3) {
	"author" => array(2) {
		0 => string(8) "John Doe"
		1 => string(11) "Tomas Marny"
	"secured" => array(1) {
		0 => bool(true)