PHP REPL for Symfony and Drupal

One thing I have always missed in PHP is a useful and robust REPL. A tool you could fire up, throw code at and have it evaluated in real time. There is the built-in interactive mode (php -a) but it does not qualify as neither very useful nor robust.

Boris, from Chris Corbyn, solves this. He describes it as a tiny little, but robust REPL for PHP and this is exactly what I have been missing all these years. Thanks, Chris!

After installing it (I recommend as a globally available PHAR) you should be able to run boris and fire away your code at it.

[1] boris> 1 + 2 * 3;
 → int(7)

It properly catches errors and lets you carry on without having to restart.

[1] boris> "one two $three";
PHP Notice:  Undefined variable: three in phar:///usr/local/bin/boris/lib/Boris/EvalWorker.php(122) : eval()'d code on line 1
PHP Stack trace:
PHP   1. {main}() /usr/local/bin/boris:0
PHP   2. require() /usr/local/bin/boris:10
PHP   3. Boris\Boris->start() phar:///usr/local/bin/boris/bin/boris:15
PHP   4. Boris\EvalWorker->start() phar:///usr/local/bin/boris/lib/Boris/Boris.php:139
PHP   5. eval() phar:///usr/local/bin/boris/lib/Boris/EvalWorker.php:122
 → string(8) "one two "
[2] boris> "one two three";
 → string(13) "one two three"

Specialized PHP REPL

This is cool enough but I wanted to take Boris further, so I created a small library to load in project resources. Currently there is support for Symfony (Standard Edition) and Drupal (8).

Installation is super simple. Just download this .borislib file to your home directory and then create or edit your ~/.borisrc configuration file to have the following content.

require '.borislib';
loadBoris($boris, array(new DrupalLoader(), new SymfonyLoader()));

Remove either loader if you have no need of it. And that it is; your Boris instance should now be able to recognize your Symfony and Drupal projects.

Symfony REPL

Starting Boris within a Symfony project will take care of autoloading and build a Symfony kernel for you. Both the kernel and its container will be available in Boris and you can tell it has loaded by the symfony> prompt.

[1] symfony> $container->get('doctrine');
 → class Doctrine\Bundle\DoctrineBundle\Registry#332 (7) {
  protected $container =>
  class appDevDebugProjectContainer#337 (10) {
    protected $parameterBag =>
// …

For Symfony I am assuming you are using the Standard Edition, with app/bootstrap.php.cache and app/AppKernel.php files.

Drupal REPL

If you are standing in a Drupal project when firing up Boris with my loaders, you will land in a fully bootstrapped Drupal instance. As with the Symfony loader you have access to Drupal's $kernel and $container and of course also the entire Drupal API.

[1] drupal> node_load(1);
 → class Drupal\Core\Entity\EntityBCDecorator#1158 (2) {
  protected $decorated =>
  class Drupal\node\Plugin\Core\Entity\Node#1156 (9) {
    protected $bundle =>
    string(7) "article"
    protected $values =>
    array(21) {
// …

This assumes you are using Drupal 8, with some proper Symfony mojo.

REPL for other PHP projects

With Symfony SE and Drupal 8 I am covering my own immediate needs but not likely all of yours. The loader is open source though, so just send me a pull request for your favorite project!

Check the project out at GitHub.