Day by day you will get more and more familiar with PHP coding standards and your code quality will be perfect by default… And if that day is not happening yet, here are five PHP libraries to help you boost your code quality.

PHP Code Sniffer

PHP_CodeSniffer is a set of two PHP scripts; the main phpcs script that tokenizes PHP, JavaScript and CSS files to detect violations of a defined coding standard, and a second phpcbf script to automatically correct coding standard violations. PHP_CodeSniffer is an essential development tool that ensures your code remains clean and consistent.

PHP-CS Fixer

The PHP Coding Standards Fixer (PHP CS Fixer) tool fixes your code to follow standards; whether you want to follow PHP coding standards as defined in the PSR-1, PSR-2, etc., or other community driven ones like the Symfony one. You can also define your (team’s) style through configuration.

It can modernize your code (like converting the pow function to the ** operator on PHP 5.6) and (micro) optimize it.

If you are already using a linter to identify coding standards problems in your code, you know that fixing them by hand is tedious, especially on large projects. This tool does not only detect them, but also fixes them for you.

PHP Mess Detector

PHPMD is a spin-off project of PHP Depend and aims to be a PHP equivalent of the well known Java tool PMD. PHPMD can be seen as an user friendly frontend application for the raw metrics stream measured by PHP Depend.

What PHPMD does is: It takes a given PHP source code base and look for several potential problems within that source. These problems can be things like:

  • Possible bugs
  • Suboptimal code
  • Overcomplicated expressions
  • Unused parameters, methods, properties

PHPMD is a mature project and provides a diverse set of pre defined rules (though may be not as many its Java brother PMD) to detect code smells and possible errors within the analyzed source code. 

PHP CheckStyle

PHPCheckstyle is an open-source tool that helps PHP programmers adhere to certain coding conventions. The tools checks the input PHP source code and reports any deviations from the coding convention.

The tool uses the PEAR Coding Standards as the default coding convention. But it allows you to configure it to suit your coding standards.

PHP Copy/Paste Detector (PHPCPD)

As its name indicates PHP Copy/Paste Detector is a PHP tool that makes it easier to find duplicate code in PHP application. PHPCPD isn’t recommended to installed using composer, so better use Phive. Copy and Paste coding is a common development practice among programmers so this tool will help to detect duplicate codes.


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