PHP Commit hooks
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PHP Commit Hooks

PHP Commit Hooks implement an extensible framework for commit hooks, mainly for PHP software, written in PHP. There are example configurations for commit hooks available in the src/examples directory.

The design of PCH is quite simple and is structured into two main entities:

  • Checks

    Implements checks, for example verifying the commit message, or if the committed files are valid.

  • Reporters

    Report the results of the checks to different channels, like commit mails to a mailing list, violations to the committer or leaving a message on the SVN shell.


Each check can be registered for pre- and post-commit hooks. Also all reporters may be registered for both, but most reporters only make sense in either pre- or post-commit hooks. An example for a pre-commit hooks looks like:

require dirname( __FILE__ ) . '/../environment.php';

$runner = new pchRunner();

$runner->register( new pchLintCheck() );
$runner->register( new pchSvnKeywordsCheck( array(
    'php' => array(
        'svn:keywords' => array(
) ) );

$runner->setReporter( new pchReporterDispatcher( array(
    new pchCliReporter(),
    new pchExitCodeReporter(),
) ) );

$runner->run( new pchRepositoryTransaction( $argv[1], $argv[2] ) );

The environment.php loads all required classes. The $runner object is the main class managing the checks and reporters. So the checks are registered with the runner.

In this example two checks are registered, the link check, which currently only lints PHP files (checks them for syntax errors) and the svn keyword check, which ensures that specific svn keywords are set for the given file types.

This is the default reporter configuration for SVN pre-commit hooks. If the pre-commit hook exits with a non-zero exit code SVN rejects the commit and echos the message it recieved to the user. The pchCliReporter returns this message to SVN and pchExitCodeReporter returns a non-zero exit code in case of a violation.

Post-commit hook

The reporters do not work this way for post-commit hooks. Post-commit hooks are called asynchronously and therefore are better for executing long-running tasks and report the results per mail afterwards. An example of such a post-commit hooks could look like:

require dirname( __FILE__ ) . '/../environment.php';

$runner = new pchRunner();
$runner->register( new pchCodeSnifferCheck( 'Arbit' ) );

$runner->setReporter( new pchReporterDispatcher( array(
    new pchMailReporter(
        '', // Sender
        '{user}',     // Receiver
        'Coding style violations' // Mail topic
    new pchCommitMailReporter(
        '{user}',     // Sender
        '',       // Reciever
        '[SVN]'                   // Subject prefix
) ) );

$runner->run( new pchRepositoryVersion( $argv[1], $argv[2] ) );

It only registers one single check, which calls PHP_CodeSniffer to check the committed files (only the added and changed files).

Then two reporters are registered, the first standard mail reporter reports the results of the CodeSniffer check to the comitter (notice the receiver mail address). The second send a commit mail to the mailing list, ignoring any errors which might have been reported by the registered checks.

The pchCommitMailReporter sends the commit mail as HTML and text, so that it looks nice in every client.


There are more checks available then the ones listed above. Here is a list of the currently implemented checks:

  • pchCodeSnifferCheck

    Checks the changed files against a specified coding standard using PHP_CoodeSniffer.

  • pchCommitMessageCheck

    Parses and validates the commit message. Only accepts a specific markup of commit messages, for common parsable commit messages, which for example allows automatic changelog generation and leads to easier readable commit messages.

    Read the class documentation for details.

  • pchLintCheck

    Implements linting (syntax checking) for files. Currently only the syntax of PHP files is checked, but it allows to register additional linters for other file types, too.

  • pchSvnKeywordsCheck

    Checks that svn keywords are set for certain file types. If you are using something like @version $Revision$ in your PHPDoc comments, for example, this is useful to ensure the revision keyword is actually set for those files.


To install the commit hooks you basically have to check out the repository, call make init to fetch the dependencies and link the examples to /path/to/$REPO/hooks/{pre,post}-commit.

You can also write more complex generic pre- and post-commit hooks, which, for example, register checks and reporters based on the name of the repository (basename( $argv[1] )). This should be fairly trivial and is left as an exercise to the user.