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Advanced Coding Style

This guide extends and expands on [PSR-1][], the basic coding standard.

The intent of this guide is to reduce cognitive friction when scanning code from different authors. It does so by enumerating a shared set of rules and expectations about how to format PHP code.

The style rules herein are derived from commonalities among the various member projects. If one project has its own style guide, that's fine for that project. But when various authors collaborate across multiple projects, it helps to have one set of guidelines to be used among all those projects. Thus, the benefit of this guide is not in the rules themselves, but in the sharing of those rules.

1. Overview

  • Follow [PSR-1][].

  • Use 4 spaces for indenting, not tabs.

  • There is no hard limit on line length; the soft limit is 120 characters; lines of 80 characters or less are encouraged.

  • Place one blank line after the namespace declaration, and one blank line after the block of use declarations.

  • Opening braces for classes go on the next line, and closing braces go on their own line.

  • Opening braces for methods go on the next line, and closing braces go on their own line.

  • Declare visibility on all properties and methods; declare abstract and final before the visibility, and declare static after the visibility.

  • Control structure keywords have one space after them; function and method calls do not.

  • Opening braces for control structures go on the same line, and closing braces go on their own line.

  • Opening parentheses for control structures have no space after them, and closing parentheses for control structures have no space before.

2. General

2.1 Basic Coding Standard

Follow all rules outlined in PSR-1 "Basic Coding Standard".

2.2 Files

Use the Unix LF (linefeed) line ending on all PHP files.

End each file with a single blank line.

In files that contain only PHP, omit the closing ?> tag.

2.3 Lines

There is no hard limit on line length.

The soft limit on line length is 120 characters; automated style checkers must warn but not error at the soft limit.

This guide encourages lines no longer than 80 characters, and encourages splitting longer lines into multiple subsequent lines of no more than 80 characters each.

Do not add trailing spaces at the end of lines.

Blank lines may be added to improve readability and to indicate related blocks of code.

Use at most one statement per line.

2.4 Indenting

Use an indent of 4 spaces. Do not use tabs.

N.b.: Using only spaces, and not mixing spaces with tabs, helps to avoid problems with diffs, patches, history, and annotations. The use of spaces also makes it easy to insert fine-grained sub-indentation for inter-line alignment.

3. Namespace and Use Declarations

Place one blank line after the namespace declaration.

All use declarations go after the namespace declaration. There is one use keyword per declaration.

Place one blank line after the use block.

For example:

<?php
namespace Vendor\Package;

use FooClass;
use BarClass as Bar;
use OtherVendor\OtherPackage\BazClass;

// ... additional PHP code ...

4. Classes, Properties, and Methods

The term "class" refers to all classes, interfaces, and traits.

4.1. Extends and Implements

Declare extends and implements keywords on the same line as the class name.

The opening and closing braces for the class go on their own line.

<?php
namespace Vendor\Package;

use FooClass;
use BarClass as Bar;
use OtherVendor\OtherPackage\BazClass;

class ClassName extends ParentClass implements InterfaceName
{
    // constants, properties, methods
}

Lists of implements may be split across multiple lines, where each subsequent line is indented once. List only one interface per line.

<?php
namespace Vendor\Package;

use FooClass;
use BarClass as Bar;
use OtherVendor\OtherPackage\BazClass;

class ClassName extends ParentClass implements
    InterfaceName,
    AnotherInterfaceName,
    YetAnotherInterface,
    InterfaceInterface
{
    // constants, properties, methods
}

4.2. Properties

Declare visibility on all properties. Do not use var to declare a property. Declare only one property per statement.

A property declaration looks like the following.

<?php
namespace Vendor\Package;

class ClassName
{
    public $foo = null;
}

4.3 Methods

Declare visibility on all methods.

N.b. Some projects prefix method names with a single underscore to indicate protected or private visibility. This guide discourages but does not disallow that practice.

Declare methods with no space after the method name. The opening and closing braces go on their own line. There is no space after the opening parenthesis, and there is no space before the closing parenthesis.

A method declaration looks like the following. Note the placement of parentheses, commas, spaces, and braces:

<?php
namespace Vendor\Package;

class ClassName
{
    public function fooBarBaz($arg1, &$arg2, $arg3 = [])
    {
        // method body
    }
}

4.3 Method Arguments

Method arguments with default values always go at the end of the argument list.

<?php
namespace Vendor\Package;

class ClassName
{
    public function foo($arg1, &$arg2, $arg3 = [])
    {
        // method body
    }
}

Argument lists may be split across subsequent indented lines; list only one argument per line. When the argument list is split across multiple lines, the closing parenthesis and opening brace are placed together on their own line.

<?php
namespace Vendor\Package;

class ClassName
{
    public function aVeryLongMethodName(
        ClassTypeHint $arg1,
        &$arg2,
        array $arg3 = []
    ) {
        // method body
    }
}

4.4. abstract, final, and static

When present, the abstract and final declarations precede the visibility declaration.

When present, the static declaration comes after the visibility declaration.

<?php
namespace Vendor\Package;

class ClassName
{
    protected static $foo;

    abstract protected function zim();

    final public static function bar()
    {
        // method body
    }
}

5. Control Structures

The general style rules for control structures are as follows:

  • one space after the control structure keyword
  • no space after the opening parenthesis
  • no space before the closing parenthesis
  • one space between the closing parenthesis and the opening brace
  • structure body indented once
  • closing brace on its own line, outdented once from the body

Always use braces to enclose the body of each structure. This standardizes how the structures look, and reduces the likelihood of introducing errors as new lines get added to the body.

5.1. if, elseif, else

An if structure looks like the following. Note the placement of parentheses, spaces, and braces; and that else and elseif are on the same line as the closing brace from the earlier body.

<?php
if ($expr1) {
    // if body
} elseif ($expr2) {
    // elseif body
} else {
    // else body;
}

N.b.: There appears to be no consistency between projects, and often not even within the same project, on the use of else if vs elseif. This guide encourages the use of elseif so that all control structures look like single words.

5.2. switch, case

A switch structure looks like the following. Note the placement of parentheses, spaces, and braces; the indent levels for case and break; and the presence of a // no break comment when a break is intentionally omitted.

<?php
switch ($expr) {
    case 1:
        echo 'First case';
        break;
    case 2:
        echo 'Second case';
        // no break
    default:
        echo 'Default case';
        break;
}

5.3 while, do while

A while statement looks like the following. Note the placement of parentheses, spaces, and braces.

<?php
while ($expr) {
    // structure body
}

Similarly, a do while statement looks like the following. Note the placement of parentheses, spaces, and braces.

<?php
do {
    // structure body;
} while ($expr);

5.4. for

A for statement looks like the following. Note the placement of parentheses, spaces, and braces.

<?php
for ($i = 0; $i < 10; $i++) {
    // for body
}

5.5. foreach

A foreach statement looks like the following. Note the placement of parentheses, spaces, and braces.

<?php
foreach ($iterable as $key => $value) {
    // foreach body
}

5.6. try, catch

A try catch block looks like the following. Note the placement of parentheses, spaces, and braces.

<?php
try {
    // try body
} catch (FirstExceptionType $e) {
    // catch body
} catch (OtherExceptionType $e) {
    // catch body
}

6. Conclusion

There are many elements of style and practice intentionally omitted by this guide; these include but are not limited to:

  • Declaration of global variables and global constants

  • Declaration of functions outside classes, including anonymous functions and closures

  • Operators and assignment

  • Inter-line alignment

  • Comments and documentation blocks

  • Class name prefixes and suffixes

  • Best practices

Future PSRs may revise and extend this guide to address those or other elements of style and practice.

7. Appendices

7.1 Survey Data

url,http://www.horde.org/apps/horde/docs/CODING_STANDARDS,http://pear.php.net/manual/en/standards.php,http://solarphp.com/manual/appendix-standards.style,http://framework.zend.com/manual/en/coding-standard.html,http://symfony.com/doc/2.0/contributing/code/standards.html,http://www.ppi.io/docs/coding-standards.html,https://github.com/ezsystems/ezp-next/wiki/codingstandards,http://book.cakephp.org/2.0/en/contributing/cakephp-coding-conventions.html,https://github.com/UnionOfRAD/lithium/wiki/Spec%3A-Coding,http://drupal.org/coding-standards,http://code.google.com/p/sabredav/,http://area51.phpbb.com/docs/31x/coding-guidelines.html,https://docs.google.com/a/zikula.org/document/edit?authkey=CPCU0Us&hgd=1&id=1fcqb93Sn-hR9c0mkN6m_tyWnmEvoswKBtSc0tKkZmJA,http://www.chisimba.com,n/a,https://github.com/Respect/project-info/blob/master/coding-standards-sample.php,n/a,Object Calisthenics for PHP,http://doc.nette.org/en/coding-standard,http://flow3.typo3.org,https://github.com/propelorm/Propel2/wiki/Coding-Standards,http://developer.joomla.org/coding-standards.html
voting,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,no,no,no,?,yes,no,yes
indent_type,4,4,4,4,4,tab,4,tab,tab,2,4,tab,4,4,4,4,4,4,tab,tab,4,tab
line_length_limit_soft,75,75,75,75,no,85,120,120,80,80,80,no,100,80,80,?,?,120,80,120,no,150
line_length_limit_hard,85,85,85,85,no,no,no,no,100,?,no,no,no,100,100,?,120,120,no,no,no,no
class_names,studly,studly,studly,studly,studly,studly,studly,studly,studly,studly,studly,lower_under,studly,lower,studly,studly,studly,studly,?,studly,studly,studly
class_brace_line,next,next,next,next,next,same,next,same,same,same,same,next,next,next,next,next,next,next,next,same,next,next
constant_names,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper,upper
true_false_null,lower,lower,lower,lower,lower,lower,lower,lower,lower,upper,lower,lower,lower,upper,lower,lower,lower,lower,lower,upper,lower,lower
method_names,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,lower_under,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel,camel
method_brace_line,next,next,next,next,next,same,next,same,same,same,same,next,next,same,next,next,next,next,next,same,next,next
control_brace_line,same,same,same,same,same,same,next,same,same,same,same,next,same,same,next,same,same,same,same,same,same,next
control_space_after,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,no,yes,yes,yes,yes,no,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes
always_use_control_braces,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,no,yes,yes,yes,no,yes,yes,yes,yes,no,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes
else_elseif_line,same,same,same,same,same,same,next,same,same,next,same,next,same,next,next,same,same,same,same,same,same,next
case_break_indent_from_switch,0/1,0/1,0/1,1/2,1/2,1/2,1/2,1/1,1/1,1/2,1/2,1/1,1/2,1/2,1/2,1/2,1/2,1/2,0/1,1/1,1/2,1/2
function_space_after,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no
closing_php_tag_required,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,yes,no,no,no,no,yes,no,no,no,no,no,yes,no,no
line_endings,LF,LF,LF,LF,LF,LF,LF,LF,?,LF,?,LF,LF,LF,LF,?,,LF,?,LF,LF,LF
static_or_visibility_first,static,?,static,either,either,either,visibility,visibility,visibility,either,static,either,?,visibility,?,?,either,either,visibility,visibility,static,?
control_space_parens,no,no,no,no,no,no,yes,no,no,no,no,no,no,yes,?,no,no,no,no,no,no,no
blank_line_after_php,no,no,no,no,yes,no,no,no,no,yes,yes,no,no,yes,?,yes,yes,no,yes,no,yes,no
class_method_control_brace,next/next/same,next/next/same,next/next/same,next/next/same,next/next/same,same/same/same,next/next/next,same/same/same,same/same/same,same/same/same,same/same/same,next/next/next,next/next/same,next/same/same,next/next/next,next/next/same,next/next/same,next/next/same,next/next/same,same/same/same,next/next/same,next/next/next

7.2 Survey Results

indent_type:
    tab: 7
    2: 1
    4: 14
line_length_limit_soft:
    ?: 2
    no: 3
    75: 4
    80: 6
    85: 1
    100: 1
    120: 4
    150: 1
line_length_limit_hard:
    ?: 2
    no: 11
    85: 4
    100: 3
    120: 2
class_names:
    ?: 1
    lower: 1
    lower_under: 1
    studly: 19
class_brace_line:
    next: 16
    same: 6
constant_names:
    upper: 22
true_false_null:
    lower: 19
    upper: 3
method_names:
    camel: 21
    lower_under: 1
method_brace_line:
    next: 15
    same: 7
control_brace_line:
    next: 4
    same: 18
control_space_after:
    no: 2
    yes: 20
always_use_control_braces:
    no: 3
    yes: 19
else_elseif_line:
    next: 6
    same: 16
case_break_indent_from_switch:
    0/1: 4
    1/1: 4
    1/2: 14
function_space_after:
    no: 22
closing_php_tag_required:
    no: 19
    yes: 3
line_endings:
    ?: 5
    LF: 17
static_or_visibility_first:
    ?: 5
    either: 7
    static: 4
    visibility: 6
control_space_parens:
    ?: 1
    no: 19
    yes: 2
blank_line_after_php:
    ?: 1
    no: 13
    yes: 8
class_method_control_brace:
    next/next/next: 4
    next/next/same: 11
    next/same/same: 1
    same/same/same: 6
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