Command line tool that identifies code that needs documentation.

v0.3.0-rc1 2022-09-19 15:28 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2024-02-19 18:34:48 UTC


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PHP Doc Check is an automated command line tool to determine which functions and methods could use some more documentation.

By default this script:

  • Emits a warning if there is no docblock for non trivial functions (score > 4)
  • Emits an error if there is no docblock for complex functions (score > 6)

You can gradually improve documenation on projects by starting with relatively high limits and slowly moving these limits down.




For now you have to install the beta version.

composer require --dev niels-de-blaauw/php-doc-check:^0.2.0@dev


phive install php-doc-check


$vendor/bin/php-doc-check -?
Usage: vendor/bin/php-doc-check [options] <directory> [<directory>...]

  -x, --exclude <arg>                       Directories to exclude, without
  -f, --format <arg>                        Output format [text, json]
                                            [default: text]
  -o, --reportFile <arg>                    Send report output to a file
  -m, --metric <arg>                        Metric to use for determining
  -w, --complexity-warning-threshold <arg>  Cyclomatic complexity score which
                                            is the lower bound for a warning
                                            [default: 4]
  -e, --complexity-error-threshold <arg>    Cyclomatic complexity score which
                                            is the lower bound for an error
                                            [default: 6]
  -$, --file-extension <arg>                Valid file extensions to scan
                                            [default: php]
  -g, --grouping-method <arg>               Allows different grouping of the
                                            results list [file, none, metric,
                                            severity, fileline] [default: file]
  -s, --sorting-method <arg>                Sorting for the results. Natural
                                            sorts by name for groups and line
                                            for findings. Value uses the
                                            cumulative group score, and finding
                                            score as sorting value. [natural,
                                            value] [default: natural]
  -i, --ignore-violations-on-exit           Will exit with a zero code, even if
                                            any violations are found
  -a, --ignore-anonymous-functions          Skip checks on anonymous functions
  -?, --help                                Show this help and quit
  -q, --quiet                               Don't show any output

Example first use: vendor/bin/php-doc-check --exclude vendor ./


This is fine without docblocks (trivial method)

public function get_title() : string{
    return strtoupper($this->title);

This could use some explanation

 * Limits the length of the title to a normal sentence, because older titles
 * tend to be longer then we can currently show.
public function get_title() : string{
    if(strlen($this->title) > 20 ){
        if(strpos($this->title,'.') !== false && strpos($this->title,'.') < 20){
            [$title] = explode('.', $this->title, 2);
            $title = substr($this->title, 0, 17) . '...';
        $title = $this->title;
    return strtoupper($title);


Q: Why dont you want if there is no comment at all, regardless of complexity?

A: You can set this software to warn for all functions that are undocumented by setting --complexity-error-threshold 1. However, if you want to force documentation, you probably want to look into a tool like php CodeSniffer in combination with documentation standards.

Q: Why isn't there a warning/error about complex functions and refactoring, regardless if they have a DocBlock?

A: You should refactor very complex functions. However, adding DocBlocks for complex function is often easier and safer. This tool only checks the availability of this type of documentation. Other tools, like php Mess Detector, can help you limit complexity.


Issues are in the GitHub tracker: