Rob Forrest Rob Forrest - 8 months ago 47
PHP Question

How to document magic (_call and _callStatic) methods for IDEs

After many happy years coding in notepad++ and sublime, I've been advised to give a PHP IDE a go. I'm trying out phpStorm and it seems nice. The code completion and documentation is a great feature but isn't working out for me when magic methods are used. Is there a work around to get phpStorm to understand what's going on in magic methods?

Our situation is something like this:

abstract class a {
public static function __callStatic($method,$args)
if(strpos($method,"get_by_") === 0)
//do stuff
} elseif(strpos($method,"get_first_by_") === 0) {
//do stuff
} elseif($method == "get_all") {
//do stuff

class b extends a {
// some more stuff


The magic callStatic method allows us to get a collection of objects via 1 or more arguments that make up the function call.

I see that there is an @method statement for use in these cases but phpStorm is only picking up the first of these statements. Furthermore I can only set the return type to mixed where as I'd prefer to be able to set it as whatever class this was called on (b in my example).

Any ideas or suggestions would be very gratefully received, thanks.

Answer Source

Use class-level PHPDoc comment -- specifically @method tag -- works fine in PhpStorm:

 * @method static someClass get_by_user_id(int $id) Bla-bla
 * @method static someClass get_first_by_id(int $id) 
abstract class a {

In the above:

  • @method -- PHPDoc tag
  • static -- tells that this is static method
  • someClass or $this -- return type
  • get_by_user_id -- method name
  • (int $id) -- method signature: ([[type] [parameter]<, ...>])
  • Bla-bla -- some optional description

More about @method:

P.S. While @method static works fine in PhpStorm (tells IDE that method is static) it may not be (yet?) supported by actual phpDocumentor tool (sorry, have not used it for a while).

Alternatively: (in PhpStorm, of course) Settings | Inspections | PHP | Undefined | Undefined method --> Downgrade severity if __magic methods are present in class -- it will not help with code completion for such methods in any way, but will not mark those magic methods as "undefined method" errors.

phpDocumentor's ticket regarding using RegEx/partial names for @property/@method tags (how it can be useful for documentation and how little help it may bring to the actual IDE when dealing with code completion):