Chance Digital coding standards

v0.3.3 2019-04-22 02:16 UTC


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This is a codified version of the Chance Digital PHP CodeSniffer rules. It began as a fork of the the Human Made coding standards.


  1. composer require --dev chancedigital/wp-coding-standards
  2. Run the following command to run the standards checks:
vendor/bin/phpcs --standard=vendor/chancedigital/wp-coding-standards .

The final . here specifies the files you want to test; this is typically the current directory (.), but you can also selectively check files or directories by specifying them instead.

You can add this to your Travis YAML file as a test:

	- phpunit
	- vendor/bin/phpcs --standard=vendor/chancedigital/wp-coding-standards .

Excluding Files

This standard includes special support for a .phpcsignore file (in the future, this should be built into phpcs itself). Simply place a .phpcsignore file in your root directory (wherever you're going to run phpcs from).

The format of this file is similar to .gitignore and similar files: one pattern per line, comment lines should start with a #, and whitespace-only lines are ignored:

# Exclude our tests directory.

# Exclude any file ending with ".inc"

Note that the patterns should match the PHP_CodeSniffer style: * is translated to .* for convenience, but all other characters work like a regular expression.

Patterns are relative to the directory that the .phpcsignore file lives in. On load, they are translated to absolute patterns: e.g. */tests/* in /your/dir/.phpcsignore will become /your/dir/.*/tests/.* as a regular expression. This differs from the regular PHP_CodeSniffer practice.


If you want to add further rules (such as VIP-specific rules), you can create your own custom standard file (e.g. phpcs.ruleset.xml):

<?xml version="1.0"?>
	<!-- Use Chance Digital Coding Standards -->
	<rule ref="vendor/chancedigital/wp-coding-standards" />

	<!-- Add VIP-specific rules -->
	<rule ref="WordPress-VIP" />

You can then reference this file when running phpcs:

vendor/bin/phpcs --standard=phpcs.ruleset.xml .

Excluding/Disabling Checks

You can also customise the rule to exclude elements if they aren't applicable to the project:

<rule ref="vendor/chancedigital/wp-coding-standards">
	<exclude name="ChanceDigital.Files.ClassFileNameSniff" />

Rules can also be disabled inline. phpcs rules can be disabled with a // @codingStandardsIgnoreLine comment.

To find out what these codes are, specify -s when running phpcs, and the code will be output as well. You can specify a full code, or a partial one to disable groups of errors.

Included Checks

The phpcs standard is based upon the WordPress-Extra standard from WordPress Coding Standards, with customisation and additions to match our style guide.


Running tests

To run the tests locally, you'll need the source version of PHP CodeSniffer.

If you haven't already installed your Composer dependencies:

composer install --prefer-source

If you already have, and need to convert the phpcs directory to a source version:

rm -r vendor/squizlabs/php_codesniffer
composer install --prefer-source
composer dump-autoload

Writing sniff tests

To add tests you should mirror the directory structure of the sniffs. For example a test for ChanceDigital/Sniffs/Layout/OrderSniff.php would require the following files:

ChanceDigital/Tests/Layout/OrderUnitTest.php # Unit test code
ChanceDigital/Tests/Layout/ # Code to be tested

Effectively you are replacing the suffix Sniff.php with UnitTest.php.

A basic unit test class looks like the following:


namespace ChanceDigital\Tests\Layout;

use PHP_CodeSniffer\Tests\Standards\AbstractSniffUnitTest;

 * Class name must follow the directory structure to be autoloaded correctly.
class OrderUnitTest extends AbstractSniffUnitTest {

	 * Returns the lines where errors should occur.
	 * @return array <int line number> => <int number of errors>
	public function getErrorList() {
		return [
			1  => 1, // line 1 expects 1 error

	 * Returns the lines where warnings should occur.
	 * @return array <int line number> => <int number of warnings>
	public function getWarningList() {
		return [];


Fixture Tests

Rather than testing sniffs individually, FixtureTests.php also tests the files in the tests/fixtures directory and ensures that whole files pass.

To add an expected-pass file, simply add it into tests/fixtures/pass in the appropriate subdirectory/file.

To add an expected-fail file, add it into tests/fixtures/fail in the appropriate subdirectory/file. You then need to add the expected errors to the JSON file accompanying the tested file (i.e. the filename with .json appended). This file should contain a valid JSON object keyed by line number, with each item being a list of error objects:

	"1": [
			"source": "ChanceDigital.Files.FunctionFileName.WrongFile",
			"type": "error"

An error object contains:

  • source: Internal phpcs error code; use the -s flag to phpcs to get the code.
  • type: One of error or warning, depending on the check's severity.