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Scribe v4 is here

· 7 min read

Scribe v4 is here! Very few breaking changes and several key improvements,

Major features:

  • PHP 8 attributes are here (and PHP 8/Laravel 8 are now required)
  • A highly requested feature, subgroups are now supported
  • We finally figured out the easiest way to sort your groups (and subgroups, and endpoints)
  • You can now override docs for inherited methods (another much-requested feature)
  • You can now customise how Scribe fetches example models

Breaking changes:

  • Sorting endpoints and groups by manually editing or renaming the group files in .scribe/ isn't supported anymore. Instead, use the easier and more reliable groups.order key in your config file (described below). Scribe can automatically make this migration for you.
  • Additionally, if you have custom endpoints, beforeGroup and afterGroup are also no longer supported. Use groups.order instead. Scribe can automatically make this migration for you.
  • If you write custom strategies, the signature of the Strategy class has changed: array $routeRules in the __invoke() method is now optional (array $routeRules = []), and there's now an instance property public ?ExtractedEndpointData $endpointData (although it's not set by default)
  • laravel.add_routes now uses inline (Closure) routes (there's no more Scribe\Controller class). This way it's easier for you to copy and customise to make your own routes.

See the migration guide for details on how to upgrade.

Attributes

Scribe now comes with a bunch of PHP attributes equivalent to the old docblock tags. Here's a preview:

#[Endpoint("Do a thing", "This endpoint does a thing.")]
#[Authenticated]
#[BodyParam("thing", "string", "Thing to do", required: true, example: "sing")]
#[Response(["did" => "thing"])]
#[ResponseFromFile("response_samples/response_error.json", 401, ["merge" => "this"])]
public function doThing()
{

}

The old docblock tags are still supported, so you don't have to switch (you can even use both in the same endpoint). Check out the docs on annotations for some advantages (and disadvantages) you can get from the new attributes.

Subgrouos

Previously, Scribe only supported endpoints with a top-level group. But after repeated requests, we finally understood that this isn't enough for most folks, so we figured out a way to support a second level of nesting.

To specify a subgroup for an endpoint, use the subgroup annotation. You can also specify a description (you only need to do this once)

/**
* @subgroup A subgroup
* @subgroupDescription A description for the subgroup
*/
public function anEndpoint()

Of course, subgroups are optional, so you can still have endpoints in a group, but without subgroups. Also, like group annotations, sbgroup annotations can also be placed at the controller level to apply to all methods in the controller.

Easier sorting

Sorting has always been a problem. First, Scribe sorted groups alphabetically, and endpoints in the order the routes were defined. But that doesn't always make sense for your API docs. So, in v3, we made it possible to sort endpoints and groups, by editing the generated YAML files. But that's still messy. We think we've found a better way in v4! 💪

In v4, use the groups.order key. (Despite the name, it can also be used to order subgroups and endpoints.) List the items in the order you want them. For instance, if you want the "Tokens" group first, followed by "Users" and then "Instances", that would be:

'groups' => [
'order' => [
'Tokens',
'Users',
'Instances',
]
]

Even better, you can order subgroups and endpoints within the groups:

'groups' => [
'order' => [
'Tokens' => [
'POST /tokens'
'GET /tokens'
],
'Users',
'Instances' => [
'Active instances', // <-- a subgroup
'Instance stats' => [
'GET /stats' // <- an endpoint in a subgroup
],
'POST /end_all', // <-- an endpoint
],
]
]

You don't have to specify all groups, subgroups and endpoints—only those you're interested in. Any others will be arranged in the normal order after these ones.

Inherited methods

Sometimes you have a scenario where some endpoints are very similar—the usual CRUD, just with a different resource. Let's say /users and /notes. So you create a parent controller and extend from them.

CRUDController.php
class CRUDController
{
public string $resource;

public function index()
{
$class = $this->resource;
return $class::paginate(20);
}

public function create()
{
// ...
}

// ...
}

But how do you document these with Scribe? There are no methods in the child classes, so there's nowhere to put your docblocks. And if you put it in the parent class, you'll have the same docs for both users and notes, which won't be correct. Before now, you had to create empty methods in the child classes just so you could add a docblock. But now you can add a static method called inheritedDocsOverrides:

CRUDController.php
class CRUDController
{
public string $resource;

#[QueryParam("filter")]
#[QueryParam("sort")]
#[Response(["status" => "unauthorized"], 401)]
public function index()
{
$class = $this->resource;
return $class::paginate(20);
}

public function create()
{
// ...
}

// ...
}

For more details, see the docs.

Model sources

Finally, a small (but hopefully helpful) change if you use Eloquent API resources or Fractal transformers is the new examples.models_source config item. It describes the strategies Scribe uses to generate an example model. There are three default strategies:

  • the model factory's create()method (which generates a model and saves to the database)
  • the factory's make() method (which only generates a model)
  • the model's ::first() from the database.

Scribe tries these three in turn until one succeeds. Exposing them means you can reorder them or remove those yo don't want, so you have predictable results when generating docs.

That's all from us. Enjoy!