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Extended Joomla Coding Standards for the Joomla CMS application

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2.0.0-alpha2 2019-07-13 18:56 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2024-04-24 14:52:51 UTC


The Joomla project has migrated all its code to use PSR-12 codestyle instead of a custom version. If you are using this codestyle, you should also migrate to PSR-12. This codestyle will not get any further maintenance and is therefore archived since March 2024.


Extended Joomla Coding Standards definition for use in the Joomla CMS environment

This repository includes the Joomla CMS coding standard definition for PHP Codesniffer. The PHP_CodeSniffer standard will never be 100% accurate, but should be viewed as a strong set of guidelines while writing software for Joomla.

See Joomla coding standards documentation at

If you want to contribute and improve this documentation, you can find the source files in the manual section of the master branch


Installation via Composer

Add "joomla/cms-coding-standards": "~1.0" to the require-dev block in your composer.json and then run composer install.

    "require-dev": {
		"joomla/cms-coding-standards": "~1.0"

Alternatively, you can simply run the following from the command line:

composer global require squizlabs/php_codesniffer "~2.8"
composer require joomla/cms-coding-standards "~1.0"


You can use the installed Joomla standard like:

phpcs --standard=Joomla-CMS path/to/code

Alternatively if it isn't installed you can still reference it by path like:

phpcs --standard=path/to/joomla/cms-coding-standards path/to/code

Selectively Applying Rules

NOTE: this should be an exact copy of the "Selectively Applying Rules" section of the main Joomla Coding Standards README and is here only for reference

For consuming packages there are some items that will typically result in creating their own project ruleset.xml, rather than just directly using the Joomla ruleset.xml. A project ruleset.xml allows the coding standard to be selectivly applied for excluding 3rd party libraries, for consideration of backwards compatability in existing projects, or for adjustments necessary for projects that do not need php 5.3 compatability (which will be removed in a future version of the Joomla Coding Standard in connection of the end of php 5.3 support in all active Joomla Projects).

For information on selectivly applying rules read details in the PHP CodeSniffer wiki

Common Rule Set Adjustments

The most common adjustment is to exclude folders with 3rd party libraries, or where the code has yet to have coding standards applied.

<!-- Exclude folders not containing production code -->
	<exclude-pattern type="relative">build/*</exclude-pattern>
	<exclude-pattern type="relative">tests/*</exclude-pattern>

	<!-- Exclude 3rd party libraries. -->
	<exclude-pattern type="relative">libraries/*</exclude-pattern>
	<exclude-pattern type="relative">vendor/*</exclude-pattern>

Another common adjustment is to exclude the camelCase format requirement for "Classes, Functions, Methods, Regular Variables and Class Properties" the essentially allows for B/C with snake_case variables which were only allowed in the context of interacting with the database.

 <rule ref="Joomla">
  <exclude name="Joomla.NamingConventions.ValidFunctionName.ScopeNotCamelCaps"/>
  <exclude name="Joomla.NamingConventions.ValidVariableName.NotCamelCaps"/>
  <exclude name="Joomla.NamingConventions.ValidVariableName.MemberNotCamelCaps"/>
  <exclude name="Joomla.NamingConventions.ValidFunctionName.FunctionNoCapital"/>

Old Protected method names were at one time prefixed with an underscore. These Protected method names with underscores are depreceated in Joomla projects but for B\C reasons are still in the projects. As such excluding the MethodUnderscore sniff is a common ruleset adjustment

 <rule ref="Joomla">
  <exclude name="Joomla.NamingConventions.ValidFunctionName.MethodUnderscore"/>
  <exclude name="Joomla.NamingConventions.ValidVariableName.ClassVarHasUnderscore"/>

Using example rulesets that Selectively Applying Rule

You have to tell you can tell PHPCS where the example ruleset folder is (i.e. install them in PHPCS)

phpcs --config-set installed_paths /path/to/joomla/coding-standards/Example-Rulesets

Note: the composer scripts will run when the standard is installed globally, but not when it's a dependancy. As such, you may want to run PHPCS config-set. When you run PHPCS config-set it will always overwrite the previous values. Use --config-show to check previous values before using --config-set So instead of overwriting the existing paths you should copy the existing paths revealed with --config-show and add each one seperated by a comma: phpcs --config-set installed_paths [path_1],[path_2],[/path/to/joomla-coding-standards],[/path/to/joomla/coding-standards/Example-Rulesets]