Discovering Changes to the Reflection Extension

Learn about how to use the Reflection extension and the new features introduced in PHP 8.

The Reflection extension is used to perform introspection on objects, classes, methods, and functions, among other things. ReflectionClass and ReflectionObject produce information on a class or an object instance, respectively. ReflectionFunction provides information on procedural-level functions. In addition, the Reflection extension has a set of secondary classes produced by the main classes mentioned just now. These secondary classes include ReflectionMethod, produced by ReflectionClass::getMethod(), ReflectionProperty, produced by ReflectionClass::getProperty(), and so forth.

You might wonder: what uses this extension? The answer is any application that needs to perform analysis on an external set of classes. This might include software that performs automated code generation, testing, or documentation generation. Classes that perform hydration (populating objects from arrays) also benefit from the Reflection extension.

Tip: We do not have enough room to cover every single Reflection extension class and method. If we wish to get more information, please have a look at the documentation.

Let’s now have a look at a Reflection extension usage example.

Reflection extension usage

We will now show a code example that demonstrates how the Reflection extension might be used to generate docblocks (a docblock is a PHP comment that uses a special syntax to denote the purpose of a method, its incoming parameters, and its return value).

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