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PHP 8 Attributes in Laravel Event Subscribers

Published 21 February, 2021

In Laravel, each event has its corresponding listener. For example, the OrderShipped event might have a SendShipmentNotification listener, simple and straightforward.

Sometimes you need to handle several events within the same listener class. For example, you might need to handle both userLogin and userLogout events in the same listener class.

The event subscribers give you the ability to subscribe to multiple events from within the subscriber class itself.

Read more about event subscribers in Laravel.

Introduction to event subscribers

Event subscribers are too easy to deal with. All you need to do is to create a class with a subscribe method in which it instructs Laravel to look for the listeners:

namespace App\Listeners;

class UserEventSubscriber
{
    public function handleUserLogin($event) { // ... }

    public function handleUserLogout($event) { // ... }

    public function subscribe($events)
    {
        $events->listen(
            'Illuminate\Auth\Events\Login',
            [UserEventSubscriber::class, 'handleUserLogin']
        );

        $events->listen(
            'Illuminate\Auth\Events\Logout',
            [UserEventSubscriber::class, 'handleUserLogout']
        );
    }
}

And then register the event subscriber in the EventServiceProvider:

protected $subscribe = [
    UserEventSubscriber::class,
];

That’s it.

Each time you need to add a new event, you should open up the UserEventSubscriber and modify the subscribe method to have the new event.

PHP 8 Attributes

PHP 8 came with a fantastic feature called attributes.

The attributes are used to add some meta-data to our code, for example:

class AboutPageController
{
    #[Route('/about')]
    public function show()
    {
        return view('pages.about');
    }
}

The #[Route('/about')] is an attribute. It tells PHP that the show method got a Route attribute. That’s it.

Using the reflection API, we can extract the attributes and act upon them.

For example, whenever we encounter the Route attribute, we should create a route for the given parameter /about, so wouldn’t it be nice to implement attributes in UserEventSubscriber ?

namespace App\Listeners;

use Attributes\ListensTo;

class UserEventSubscriber
{
    #[ListensTo(Illuminate\Auth\Events\Login::class)]
    public function handleUserLogin($event) { // ... }

    #[ListensTo(Illuminate\Auth\Events\Logout::class))
    public function handleUserLogout($event) { // ... }
}

Let’s see how do we do it.

PHP Attributes Subscribers

Create a class named ListensTo in App\Attributes as follows:

namespace App\Attributes;

use Attribute;

#[Attribute]
class ListensTo
{
    public function __construct(public string $event)
    {
    }
}

This class shouldn’t do anything, it’s just an attribute class.

Create another class named UserEventSubscriber in App\Subscribers:

namespace App\Subscribers;

use App\Attributes\ListensTo;
use Illuminate\Auth\Events\Login as LoginEvent;
use Illuminate\Auth\Events\Logout as LogoutEvent;

class UserEventSubscriber
{
    #[ListensTo(LoginEvent::class)]
    public function handleUserLogin(LoginEvent $event)
    {
        logger('Users logged in: '.$event->user->id);
    }

    #[ListensTo(LogoutEvent::class)]
    public function handleUserLogout(LogoutEvent $event)
    {
        logger('Users logged out: '.$event->user->id);
    }
}

Open up the EventServiveProvider and add a new property $subscibers:

use App\Subscribers\UserEventSubscriber;

class EventServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider
{
    protected array $subscribers = [
        UserEventSubscriber::class,
    ];
    // ...
}

Please don’t mix Laravel’s $subscribe property with $subscribers. We make the latter to hold all the attributed subscribers.

In the register method, we need to iterate over the $subscribers, read the ListensTo attribute, and send it to the event dispatcher.

Create a new class named ResolveListeners in the App\Support:

namespace App\Support;

use App\Attributes\ListensTo;
use ReflectionClass;

class ResolveListeners
{
    public function resolve(string $subscriberClass): array
    {
        $subscriberReflectionClass = new ReflectionClass($subscriberClass);

        $listeners = [];

        foreach ($subscriberReflectionClass->getMethods() as $listenerMethod) {

            // Only get the attribute "ListensTo"
            $listenerMethodAttributes = $listenerMethod->getAttributes(ListensTo::class);

            foreach ($listenerMethodAttributes as $listenerMethodAttribute) {
                // Instantiate the "ListensTo" class so we can get the event name

                /** @var ListensTo $listener */
                $listener = $listenerMethodAttribute->newInstance();

                $listeners[] = [
                    $listener->event,
                    [$subscriberClass, $listenerMethod->getName()]
                ];
            }
        }

        return $listeners;
    }
}

Let’s see how does this class work:

  1. The $subscriberReflectionClass->getMethods() iterates over the listener's methods for the given subscriber class; In our case it gets handleUserLogin and handleUserLoogout methods from the UserEventSubscriber.
  2. The $listenerMethodAttributes gets the ListensTo::class attributes for the given listener.
  3. By iterating over the $listenerMethodAttributes we can easily instantiate the ListensTo attribute class by using the $listenerMethodAttribute->newInstance(). This will return an instance of App\Attributes\ListensTo so we can read the event’s name.
  4. Finally, we add the event’s name and its listener to the $listener and we return it.
Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [0] => Illuminate\Auth\Events\Login
            [1] => Array
                (
                    [0] => App\Subscribers\UserEventSubscriber
                    [1] => handleUserLogin
                )
        )

    [1] => Array
        (
            [0] => Illuminate\Auth\Events\Logout
            [1] => Array
                (
                    [0] => App\Subscribers\UserEventSubscriber
                    [1] => handleUserLogout
                )
        )
)

The ResolveListeners is ready now. Let’s go back to the EventServiceProvider and resolve the events as follows:

namespace App\Providers;

use App\Subscribers\LoggerSubscriber;
use App\Subscribers\UserEventSubscriber;
use App\Support\ResolveListeners;
use Illuminate\Events\Dispatcher;
use Illuminate\Foundation\Support\Providers\EventServiceProvider as ServiceProvider;

class EventServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider
{
    protected array $subscribers = [
        UserEventSubscriber::class,
        LoggerSubscriber::class,
    ];

    public function register()
    {
        /** @var Dispatcher $eventDispatcher */
        $eventDispatcher = $this->app->make(Dispatcher::class);

        foreach ($this->subscribers as $subscriber) {
            foreach ($this->resolveListeners($subscriber) as [$event, $listener]) {
                $eventDispatcher->listen($event, $listener);
            }
       }
    }

    private function resolveListeners(string $subscribeClass): array
    {
        return $this->app->make(ResolveListeners::class)->resolve($subscribeClass);
    }
}
  1. The $subscribers array holds all the subscribers. Please don’t mix it with Laravel’s $subscribe property used to register the subscribers.
  2. The $eventDispatcher gets the event dispatcher from the container.
  3. We’ll iterate over the $subscibers and resolve it one by one and then we send it to the event dispatcher using the listen method.

All done, let’s try it out:

// routes/web.php

Route::get('/test_event', function() {
    \Illuminate\Support\Facades\Auth::login(\App\Models\User::find(1));
    \Illuminate\Support\Facades\Auth::logout();
});

Head up to the storage/logs/laravel.log file, and you should see the following entries:

[2021-02-21 14:03:02] local.DEBUG: User logged in: 1  
[2021-02-21 14:03:02] local.DEBUG: User logged out: 1  

That’s it.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Keep an eye on the upcoming posts.

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