Psalm plugin to read static analysis attributes

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0.3.0 2024-06-12 17:19 UTC

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Last update: 2024-06-12 17:20:44 UTC


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Since the release of PHP 8.0 more and more libraries, frameworks and tools have been updated to use attributes instead of annotations in PHPDocs.

However, static analysis tools like Psalm have not made this transition to attributes and they still rely on annotations in PHPDocs for a lot of their functionality.

This is a Psalm plugin that allows Psalm to understand a new set of attributes that replace the PHPDoc annotations. These attributes are defined in this repository


In order to show how code would look with these attributes, we can look at the following example. This is how a class looks like with the current annotations:


class ArrayAdder
    /** @var array<string>  */
    private array $result;

     * @param array<string> $array1
     * @param array<string> $array2
     * @return array<string>
    public function addArrays(array $array1, array $array2): array
        $this->result = $array1 + $array2;
        return $this->result;

And this is how it would look like using the new attributes:


use PhpStaticAnalysis\Attributes\Type;
use PhpStaticAnalysis\Attributes\Param;
use PhpStaticAnalysis\Attributes\Returns;

class ArrayAdder
    private array $result;

    #[Param(array1: 'array<string>')]
    #[Param(array2: 'array<string>')]
    public function addArrays(array $array1, array $array2): array
        $this->array = $array1 + $array2;
        return $this->array;


First of all, to make the attributes available for your codebase use:

composer require php-static-analysis/attributes

To use this plugin, require it in Composer:

composer require --dev php-static-analysis/psalm-plugin

Then run this command to enable the plugin:

vendor/bin/psalm-plugin enable php-static-analysis/psalm-plugin

This will add this plugin configuration to the psalm.xml configuration file:

        <pluginClass class="PhpStaticAnalysis\PsalmPlugin\Plugin" />

If you prefer, you can also manually add this configuration to your psalm.xml file instead of running the psalm-plugin enable command.

Using the extension

This extension works by interacting with the parser that Psalm uses to parse the code and replacing the new Attributes with PHPDoc annotations that Psalm can understand. The functionality provided by the attribute is exactly the same as the one provided by the corresponding PHPDoc annotation.

These are the available attributes and their corresponding PHPDoc annotations:

Attribute PHPDoc Annotations
DefineType @type
Deprecated @deprecated
Immmutable @immmutable
ImportType @import-type
Internal @internal
IsReadOnly @readonly
Method @method
Mixin @mixin
Param @param
ParamOut @param-out
Property @property @var
PropertyRead @property-read
PropertyWrite @property-write
Pure @pure
RequireExtends @require-extends
RequireImplements @require-implements
Returns @return
SelfOut @self-out @this-out
Template @template
TemplateCovariant @template-covariant
TemplateExtends @extends @template-extends
TemplateImplements @implements @template-implements
TemplateUse @use @template-use
Type @var @return