PHP CodeSniffer ruleset implementing the MO4 coding standards extending the Symfony coding standards.

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v10.0.0 2024-03-13 20:01 UTC


Provides a PHP CodeSniffer ruleset for the MO4 coding standard

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MO4 Coding Standard

The MO4 Coding Standard is an extension of the Symfony Coding Standard and adds following rules:


  • In associative arrays, the => operators must be aligned.
  • In arrays, the key and => operator must be on the same line.


  • In multi line arrays, the opening bracket must be followed by newline.
  • In multi line arrays, the closing bracket must be in own line.
  • In multi line arrays, the elements must be indented.


  • doc blocks of class properties must be multiline and have exactly one @var annotation


  • use statements must be sorted lexicographically. The order function can be configured.


The order property of the MO4.Formatting.AlphabeticalUseStatements sniff defines which function is used for ordering.

Possible values for order:

  • dictionary (default): based on strcmp, the namespace separator precedes any other character
    use Doctrine\ORM\Query;
    use Doctrine\ORM\Query\Expr;
    use Doctrine\ORM\QueryBuilder;
  • string: binary safe string comparison using strcmp
    use Doctrine\ORM\Query;
    use Doctrine\ORM\QueryBuilder;
    use Doctrine\ORM\Query\Expr;
    use ExampleSub;
    use Examples;
  • string-locale: locale based string comparison using strcoll
  • string-case-insensitive: binary safe case-insensitive string comparison strcasecmp
    use Examples;
    use ExampleSub;

To change the sorting order for your project, add this snippet to your custom ruleset.xml:

<rule ref="MO4.Formatting.AlphabeticalUseStatements">
        <property name="order" value="string-locale"/>


  • The imported class name must be used, when it was imported with a use statement.


  • Interpolated variables in double quoted strings must be surrounded by { }, e.g. {$VAR} instead of $VAR.


  • const must be followed by a single space.


Further rules (imported from other standards)

  • See MO4/ruleset.xml, which has each imported rule commented.

Note that with this ruleset, the following Symfony Coding Standard rules are not enforced:

  • "add doc blocks for all classes": the doc block for classes can be omitted, if they add no value
  • "the license block has to be present at the top of every PHP file, before the namespace": the license block can be omitted

Most of the issues can be auto-fixed with phpcbf.




Using Composer is the preferred way.

  1. Add the MO4 coding standard to composer.json

     composer require --dev mayflower/mo4-coding-standard
  2. Profit

     ./vendor/bin/phpcs --standard=MO4 path/to/my/file.php
  3. Optionally, you might set MO4 as default coding standard

     ./vendor/bin/phpcs --config-set default_standard MO4


  1. Checkout this repository

     git clone
  2. Install dependencies

     composer install
  3. Check, that Symfony and MO4 are listed as coding standards

     ./vendor/bin/phpcs -i
  4. Profit

     ./vendor/bin/phpcs --standard=MO4 path/to/my/file.php
  5. Optionally, you might set MO4 as default coding standard

     ./vendor/bin/phpcs --config-set default_standard MO4


If phpcs complains that MO4 is not installed, please check the installed coding standards with phpcs -i and that installed_paths is set correctly with phpcs --config-show



See for information.


This project is licensed under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file for details.