Loadsys CodeSniffer Standards, uses the CakePHP core team's as a base.

3.0.8 2018-09-28 19:49 UTC


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This package works with phpcs and checks code against the coding standards used by Loadsys. It is based upon the CakePHP coding standards with some customizations specific to the Loadsys internal standards and preference.

⚠️ This code is designed to target Cake 3.x projects, for Cake 2.x projects, use one of the latests 2.x releases of this project.

Notable Style Differences

This ruleset is basically PSR-2 with the following diferences:

  • Tabs are used for indenting instead of spaces. When it comes to file size and typing speed, 1 character is better than 4. The other arguments for "fine grained alignment" are a failure of editing tools, not the tab character itself. Resorting to spaces is the wrong solution to the problem. (See Elastic Tabstops.)

  • Opening braces universally go on the same line as their block opener. This applies to classes, functions, methods and all control structures. We prefer a single consistent bracing rule.

  • Final commas in multi-line arrays are mandatory. This makes diffs cleaner and reduces mistakes when re-ordering lists.

  • All classes must be declared before use at the top of the file.

     $var = new \DateTime(); // invalid
     $var = new \Vendor\Lib(); // invalid
     $var = new Local\SubClass(); // invalid
     use \DateTime
     $var = new DateTime(); // valid

Other items that are inherited but worth pointing out anyway:

  • Namespaces are mandatory for classes.
  • Short array syntax is mandatory.


Install these code sniffs via composer in your project:

$ composer require loadsys/loadsys_codesniffer:~3.0
$ vendor/bin/phpcs --config-set installed_paths vendor/cakephp/cakephp-codesniffer,vendor/loadsys/loadsys_codesniffer

The second command lets phpcs know where to find your the Loadsys and CakePHP sniffs. Ensure that you do not overwrite any existing installed_paths value if you have other custom PHPCS sniff locations.


Once installed_paths is configured, you can run phpcs using:

$ bin/phpcs -p --standard=Loadsys

Warning when these sniffs are installed with composer, ensure that you have configured the CodeSniffer installed_paths setting set for both the CakePHP Standard and the Loadsys Standard.

A typical option is to supress warnings when running on Travis. To do so, use the -n CLI option.

$ bin/phpcs -n --standard=Loadsys


  • Clone the project and create a new feature branch.
  • Run composer install to install the project's testing dependencies.
  • Create/edit Loadsys/Sniffs/* classes or modify Loadsys/ruleset.xml as desired.
  • Add or change source files in snifftests/files/ that verify pass/fail status for the new/changed rules.
  • Run vendor/bin/phpunit to confirm all tests pass.
  • Submit a PR.

Note: phpunit will fail to run the tests when the root directory contains a dash. (Hence loadsys_codesniffer instead of loadsys-codesniffer).

Releasing Loadsys Code Sniffer

  • Review and merge a PR.
  • Create git tag.
  • Push tag back to the repo. (Packagist will be notified.)


Tests are run on the coding standard using sample files that are designed to either pass the full sniff suite without generating any errors or warnings, or that are intended to fail and trigger specific sniff errors/warnings.

These sample files live in the snifftests/files/ directory and can be grouped in any manner that makes sense. Our choice is to group tests into two imperative folders, must/ and must_not/. File names start with the topic being tested, such as array_ or braces_ or indent_ and continue with more specificity. For example:


Tests can affirm either that a coding mistake is properly caught by the sniffer, or that valid coding practices are not incorrectly caught by the sniffer.

Reference sniffs

Since we inherit from these rulesets, it's nice to have links to them handy:

Running codesniffs on the Loadsys-defined Sniff classes

vendor/bin/phpcs -ps --standard=snifftests/sniff_class_rules.xml Loadsys/

This custom ruleset relaxes a few of our normal rules to accommodate shortcomings in PHPCS's requirements for Sniff classes themselves (such as not supporting namepspaces or CamelCased class names.) The ruleset will run the entire Loadsys standard with those rules excluded.

Reviewing the rules included in the standard

vendor/bin/phpcs -e --standard=./Loadsys Loadsys

This list can be used to help locate duplicated rules defined directly in the Loadsys/ruleset.xml.

Running tests

# Run once:
$ composer install
$ vendor/bin/phpcs --config-set installed_paths vendor/cakephp/cakephp-codesniffer

# Run repeatedly:
$ vendor/bin/phpunit

Indicating expected sniff failures

All files inside of the snifftests/files/ directory that do not end in pass.php are expected to fail at least one code sniff. The names of the sniffs that are expected to fail must be annotated on the first line of the file, like so:

		<?php //~Standard.Section.Sniff.Rule,Second.Rule.To.Expect
		$a = [1 , 2]; // Error: Space before comma.

The test suite will throw an assertion failure for any files lacking *pass.php that also fail to define the expected sniff failures as demonstrated above.

Every attempt should be made to restrict each sample file that is expected to fail to triggering only a single sniff. (A current shortcoming of the testing approach is that we can verify that the named sniffs fail, but can not verify that no other sniffs were also thrown in the process.)

Indicating expected sniff passes

Files suffixed with pass.php will be expected to pass all sniffs. They must not define any expected sniff names as failures on the first line of their contents using the <?php //~ syntax, otherwise a PHPUnit assertion will be thrown and halt the entire test suite.

Positive verification tests are especially important when making modifications to the coding standard's ruleset. This prevents accidentally starting to disallow something that was previously acceptable by having an example of that "acceptable" behavior verified.

Manually reviewing tests/rules

To test a single sample file, run:

$ vendor/bin/phpcs -ps --standard=./Loadsys snifftests/files/sample_file_name.php

To confirm that all test files that should pass do pass, run:

$ find snifftests/files -type f -name '*pass.php' -exec vendor/bin/phpcs -p --standard=./Loadsys {} +

To confirm that all files that should fail, do fail, run:

$ find snifftests/files -type f -name '*.php' ! -name '*pass.php' -exec vendor/bin/phpcs -p --standard=./Loadsys {} +

Every file listed in should throw at least one warning or error each. (Pay attention to any .s in the initial progress indicator since that indicates a fully-passing file that should be failing something!) The errors listed will need to be verified by hand that they correctly match the errors that particular file should be triggering.




Loadsys Web Strategies 2016