Command-line script to convert PHP's array() syntax to PHP 5.4's short array syntax []

PHP 5.4 Short Array Syntax Converter

Command-line script to convert and revert PHP's array() syntax to PHP 5.4's short array syntax[] using PHP's built-in tokenizer.

By relying on the PHP tokenizer, nothing but the array syntax itself will be altered. The script was successfully tested against code bases with more than 5.000 PHP files.


Usage: php convert.php [-w] <file>

Run the script with the path of the PHP file you wish to convert as argument. This will print the converted source code to STDOUT.

You can add the -w switch if you want to override the original file with the converted code.

If you want the script to process PHP files with short open tags (<?) as well, you need to make sure that the short_open_tag setting is enabled in your php.ini file.

In case of any error, an error message is written to STDERR and the script exits with a return code of 1.

Use find to convert a whole directory recursively (on Linux/Mac):

find <directory> -name "*.php" -exec php "convert.php" -w "{}" \;

Or on Windows (thanks to John Jablonski for suggesting):

FOR /f "tokens=*" %a in ('dir *.php /S/B') DO php convert.php %a -w

In case you don't trust the script yet, you can even perform a syntax check after conversion:

find <directory> -name "*.php" -exec php -l "{}" \; | grep "error:"


Usage: php revert.php [-w] <file>

Reverting has not yet been thoroughly tested, so use with extreme percaution!

Since there is no specific token for the short array syntax, it assumes every "[" is an aray and relies on checking the previous token for a variable, object property, function return ")", nested array "]" and variable reference "}".

Thanks to

Thanks to (German CV editor) for sponsoring the development.