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Using PHP attributes instead of doctrine annotations – rector PHP.

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PHP as of version 8.0 has native attributes. To easily convert annotations into attributes throughout the application, we can use the Rector .

Where can we use attributes instead of annotations?

  • Doctrine entites mapping
  • Routing mapping
  • All custom annotations that we wrote
  • Validator configuration

What will we need?

  • Rector

To install rector type in the console:

composer require rector/rector --dev
  • Doctrine version >=2.9

After installing the rector and making sure you have doctrine version >=2.9, initialize the rector using the command

vendor/bin/rector init

The rector.php configuration file should appear in the root directory.

Below the configuration to turn annotations into attributes for an application written in Symfony.



use Rector\CodingStyle\Rector\Use_\RemoveUnusedAliasRector;
use Rector\Core\Configuration\Option;
use Rector\Doctrine\Set\DoctrineSetList;
use Rector\Symfony\Set\SymfonySetList;
use Symfony\Component\DependencyInjection\Loader\Configurator\ContainerConfigurator;

return static function (ContainerConfigurator $containerConfigurator): void {
    $parameters = $containerConfigurator->parameters();
    $parameters->set(Option::AUTO_IMPORT_NAMES, true);
    $parameters->set(Option::IMPORT_SHORT_CLASSES, true);



    $services = $containerConfigurator->services();


Then we can check what changes the rector will make to the files

vendor/bin/rector process src --dry-run

If you don’t notice anything alarming, just use the above command without --dry-run

vendor/bin/rector process src

At the end we have to change the doctrine.yaml configuration file, we are looking for the parameter responsible for the mapping type, it is located in doctrine.orm.mappings.{namespace[default App]}.type and we replace annotation with attribute.

That’s all, at the end if we don’t need the rector just remove it:

composer remove rector/rector --dev

Then delete the rector.php file.

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