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Enabling autocompletion for dynamic return types in PhpStorm

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If you're using PhpStorm you probably make heavy use of it's autocomplete features. The IDE can, for most classes, suggests all accessible functions. Unfortunately, when a function has a dynamic return type PHPStorm will leave you out in the cold. So when resolving something out of Laravel's IoC-container PhpStorm cannot help you. Here's an example with one of the repositories of Blender:

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 20.42.42

PhpStorm can't suggest functions because it doesn't know which class the make-function will return. Let's fix that.

The DynamicReturnType plugin provides a way to dynamically specify the return type of a function. You can install it like every other PHPStorm plugin. Next you'll have to create a file called dynamicReturnTypeMeta.json in the root of your project with this contents:

    "methodCalls": [
            "class": "\\Illuminate\\Contracts\\Foundation\\Application",
            "method": "make",
            "position": 0

This configuration will tell PHPStorm that the return type of the `make`-function of `Illuminate\Contracts\Foundation\Application` will return an instance of class specified in the first argument.

With this file in place PHPStorm can perform autocompleting:

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 20.34.59

To learn all other possibilities the plugin offers, read it's documentation on GitHub.

Update: As Nicolas Widart mentions in the comments below there's another (and maybe easier way) to get autocompletion when resolving stuff from Laravel's IoC-container. The ide-helper package can generate a meta file that, when indexed, will make PhpStorm understand which object gets returned.

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