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Web Development Article

Matt Glaman: Writing better Drupal code with static analysis using PHPStan

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Matt Glaman has written up a post for his site showing how you can write better Drupal code using PHPStan, the PHP static analysis tool. PHP is a loosely typed interpreted language. That means we cannot compile our scripts and find possible execution errors without doing explicit inspections of our code. It also means we need to rely on conditional type checking or using phpDoc comments to tell other devs or IDE what kind of value to expect. Really there is no way to assess the quality of the code or discover possible bugs without thorough test coverage and regular review. If you use PhpStorm, you will notice all of their helpers which analyze your code and add static analysis. [...] That's awesome. It's pretty amazing that PhpStorm and a few plugins can give us some stability in our PHP code. While the functionality in PhpStorm is useful, there are some pitfalls including the fact that everyone would have to use PhpStorm. He makes the suggestion that PHPStan can effectively replace these helpers and, with a bit of customization, provide just as much quality control for your Drupal code. He links over to a custom PHPStan extension for Drupal and an example YAML configuration. He also includes helpful tips around bootstrapping the autoloader, return typing and changes it provides for using the entity manager.

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