PHP Tools, Visual Studio (June 2022)

Author by Jakub Misek
7 minutes
PHP Tools, Visual Studio (June 2022)

The June 2022 relese of PHP Tools, the version 1.66, has been released. It brings the great Code Lens adornments into the PHP editor, the support for Eloquent local scopes to the PHP IntelliSense, improved inferring of generic types using class-string<T> annotation, and more!

Code Lens

The release 1.66 introduces Code Lenses for PHP code. This neat feature, best known from C# in Visual Studio and from Visual Studio Code, helps with navigating through definitions and references.

Code Lenses are displayed above each function, class, interface, trait, enum, and properties. This little adornment is seamlessly showing number of references and implementations. For overriden methods, it's also providing a quick link to the parent definition (displayed as prototype).

Visual Studio Code Lens for PHP

The image above displays code lenses for a PHP class and PHP methods.

The feature can be enabled or disabled in Tools / Options, under Text Editor / All Languages / CodeLens, the option Enable CodeLens. It is available in Visual Studio 2019, Visual Studio 2022, and further.

Generic class-string<T>

There is a special syntax used in Documentary Comments to annotate a variable, which value should be a name of a class. It's usually used by code linters like PHPStan or Psalm.

PHPTools now use this annotation in combination with the support for generics. Parameters annotated with class-string<T>, where T is a template arguments, allows the editor to infer the type of T when possible.

Consider the following code:

 * @template T of Foo
 * @param class-string<T> $class
 * @return T
function instantiator(string $class) { ... }

Now, whenever the editor know the value of $class, it can infer the type T, and thus recognize the type of instantiator return value. This helps user with IntelliSense, code completion, and further code analysis.

generic class-string IntelliSense

The screenshot above shows the use instantiator() function.

Laravel Real-Time Facades

The editor recognizes real-time facades, and provides code analysis, code completion, and overall IntelliSense for them. Each class name which is prefixed with Facades\ is treated as a real-time facade (in case there are Laravel Facades included in the project).

real-time facade

With the support of real-time facades, user is getting code completion as on the picture below, including all the code checks.

real-time facade

Eloquent Local Scopes

We have added an initial support for Eloquent's Local Scopes, i.e. functions prefixed with scope in the Eloquent Model. Those functions show up in the IntelliSense without the prefix as both static and non-static with its scoped arguments.

eloquent local scopes IntelliSense

The editor scans for the local scopes (the functions prefixed with scope on a class that implements Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model or on a trait that is used within a Model class); such functions are displayed in the IntelliSense and also recognized by the code analysis.

The feature is in-progress. We're still working on it. Although we hope even this will help with coding.

Debug Notices and Warnings

PHP notices and warnings sometimes slide unnoticed. They are now displayed in the Debug Output Pane.

PHP Notices in Output Pane


  • Fixes crashing Visual Studio 2022 when saing a file in a Folder project.
  • Visual Studio startup; avoids blocking UI when Visual Studio is loading, and avoids showing of the yellow notification bar.
  • Installer ensures there is .NET SDK installed; otherwise PHP projects won't work properly.
  • PHP 8.1 constants dereferencing -> supported, and not reported as syntax error anymore.
  • Completion after -> with new in the expression chain.
  • Fixes issue when debug inlines may cause debugging to sporadically start.
  • Fixes highlighting of unused use when it is actually used in an Doc Comment which is not associated with anything.
  • Fixes debugging when the product license is not activated.
  • Fixes UI of the Project Issues window on Visual Studio's 2022 dark theme.
  • Fixes internal error causing IntelliSense to show nonsense.
  • Fixes Test Explorer discovery for tests annotated with @test Doc Comment.
  • Fixes Go To Definition (F12) on PHP manual symbols.

See Also