Features Releases

Group Use Statements in PhpStorm 2016.1

For the recent 2016.1 release, a lot of work was done to improve the group use functionality that landed in PHP 7.

For those who don’t know, PHP 7 gave us the ability to group common namespaces together in our use statements. Consider the following code taken from the widely used Symfony HttpKernel package:

namespace Symfony\Component\HttpKernel;

use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Controller\ControllerResolverInterface;
use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Exception\NotFoundHttpException;
use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Exception\HttpExceptionInterface;
use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Event\FilterControllerEvent;
use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Event\FilterResponseEvent;
use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Event\FinishRequestEvent;
use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Event\GetResponseEvent;
use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Event\GetResponseForControllerResultEvent;
use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Event\GetResponseForExceptionEvent;
use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Event\PostResponseEvent;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Request;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\RequestStack;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Response;
use Symfony\Component\EventDispatcher\EventDispatcherInterface;

As we can see, there are a number of reused parts to the namespaces we import. Every imported class starts with `Symfony\Component`, and 10 out of the 14 classes imported start with `Symfony\Component\HttpKernel`. That’s a lot of reused code. PHP 7 gives us the `group use` functionality, which means that the above `use` statements can be simplified to:

namespace Symfony\Component\HttpKernel;

use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\{
    Controller\ControllerResolverInterface, Exception\NotFoundHttpException, 
    Exception\HttpExceptionInterface, Event\FilterControllerEvent, 
    Event\FilterResponseEvent, Event\FinishRequestEvent, Event\GetResponseEvent,
    Event\GetResponseForControllerResultEvent, Event\GetResponseForExceptionEvent, 
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\{
    Request, RequestStack, Response
use Symfony\Component\EventDispatcher\EventDispatcherInterface;

While earlier versions of PhpStorm have partially supported these grouped use statements, PhpStorm 2016.1 brings a number of improvements and even a new intention to make working with grouped use statements much easier.

Firstly, a number of inconsistencies (read bugs) around group use statements have been fixed. Previously, PhpStorm would get itself confused if you had group use statements and tried to use some of the built in inspections to refactor your code, or tweak your imports. In earlier releases, for example, using the _auto-import namespace_ feature didn’t respect the existing groups, but now it does. We also added improvements around the optimizing of imports, and the refactoring tools (like moving namespaces and classes, and moving methods up and down).

Secondly, and more importantly, a couple of brand new intentions were created. Who wants to have to manually mess around with optimizing a long list of use statements to convert them into groups? Not me, and thankfully we can now use the `Group use statements by selected prefix` intention.


Make sure you have a PHP 7 language level set up for your project (you should be able to tell as you’ll have no inspection errors on scalar or return type hints), simply place the caret on the part of the namespace you wish to group by, and use `CMD/CTRL + ENTER` to pull up the intentions menu. Now you can select `Group use statements by selected prefix` and PhpStorm will do the rest. If you wish to do the reverse, and “ungroup” your use statements, the `Split selected group use statements` intention will do exactly that.

There are currently no modifications to the PSR coding standards to standardize the use of group use statements, but the Framework Interoperability Group are in discussion about how to create standards in this area. Until then, the code formatter will leave your group use statements alone, but once PSR-12 has been accepted, we’ll update our coding standard options to include the PHP 7 specific guidelines.

– Gary and the PhpStorm Team

The Drive to Develop!

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