Development environment: PhpStorm 2023.2 supports generics in PHP
The Czech tool manufacturer JetBrains has released version 2023.2 of its development environment PhpStorm. The update thus joins the already published updates of other IDEs such as WebStorm, IntelliJ IDEA, CLion, RubyMine. As usual, some changes are moving into several of the IDEs regularly updated by JetBrains. Among other things, the 2023.2 versions introduce a new user interface. Some users get access to the new AI Assistant (Beta). Regarding the PHP programming language, the update has some special innovations in store, including revised support for generics.
Generics in PHP
The PHP programming language does not natively support generic data types (generics). There have been repeated discussions about this over the past year, for example in a Request for Comments (RFC) in 2016. Should generics ever be integrated into the programming language, considerable changes will have to be made in PHP itself. Developers who work with generic data types can use tools for static code analysis (e.g. Psalm or PhpStan). They mimic generic types by reading appropriate annotations in the code. These in turn can be integrated into development environments such as PhpStorm.
This is where the update of the JetBrains IDE comes in. PhpStorm 2023.2 further expands support for generics in PHP. For example, the current version introduces the new refactoring Rename Generic and supports the type static and @mixin.
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AI-Assistant in Beta-Phase
PhpStorm 2023.2, like the previously released updates of the JetBrains development environments WebStorm, IntelliJ IDEA IDE, etc., comes with an AI Assistant in beta status. The plug-in is still only available to a limited number of users. You get access to various Large Language Models (LLMs) from JetBrains – support for ChatGPT developers OpenAI is also included.
Among other things, the AI Assistant offers the possibility to chat with LLMs, ask questions and/or repeat tasks. The IDEs provide users with information about their projects, for example with regard to the language and technologies used. If users are satisfied with the code generated by the artificial intelligence, they can insert it into the editor via Insert Snippet at Caret (or copy-and-paste).
Revised user interface and other innovations
PhpStorm 2023.2 also provides users with a new user interface. For example, a drop-down menu provides the ability to add more actions to the toolbar. In addition, the 2023.2 versions allow projects to be tagged with colors and icons. This should allow developers to better navigate between open projects.
For more information about additional content of the update, such as native support for PHP Assertion and Opinionated PHP Code Style Fixer Laravel Pint, see the announcement post on the JetBrains blog.
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