A set of rulesets for PHP_CodeSniffer to check for PHP cross-version compatibility issues in projects, while accounting for polyfills provided by the Symfony polyfill libraries.

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1.1.3 2020-07-19 13:14 UTC

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Last update: 2020-11-15 20:03:18 UTC


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Using PHPCompatibilitySymfony, you can analyse the codebase of a project using any of the Symfony polyfill libraries, for PHP cross-version compatibility.

What's in this repo ?

A set of rulesets for PHP_CodeSniffer to check for PHP cross-version compatibility issues in projects, while accounting for polyfills provided by the Symfony polyfill libraries.

These rulesets prevent false positives from the PHPCompatibility standard by excluding back-fills and poly-fills which are provided by those libraries.

Symfony Polyfill Library Corresponding PHPCompatibility Ruleset Includes
polyfill-php54 PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP54
polyfill-php55 PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP55 PHPCompatibilityPasswordCompat
polyfill-php56 PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP56
polyfill-php70 PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP70 PHPCompatibilityParagonieRandomCompat
polyfill-php71 PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP71
polyfill-php72 PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP72
polyfill-php73 PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP73
polyfill-php74 PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP74

About "Includes": Some polyfills have other polyfills as dependencies. If the PHPCompatibility project offers a dedicated ruleset for the polyfill dependency, that ruleset will be included in the ruleset for the higher level polyfill.

For example: As the polyfill-php70 library declares random_compat as a dependency, the PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP70 ruleset includes the PHPCompatibilityParagonieRandomCompat ruleset.

In practice, this means that if your project uses several polyfills, you can use the information in "Includes" to help you decide which rulesets to use.


Installation instructions

The only supported installation method is via Composer.

If you don't have a Composer plugin installed to manage the installed_paths setting for PHP_CodeSniffer, run the following from the command-line:

composer require --dev dealerdirect/phpcodesniffer-composer-installer:"^0.7" phpcompatibility/phpcompatibility-symfony:*
composer install

If you already have a Composer PHP_CodeSniffer plugin installed, run:

composer require --dev phpcompatibility/phpcompatibility-symfony:*
composer install

Next, run:

vendor/bin/phpcs -i

If all went well, you will now see that the PHPCompatibility and a range of PHPCompatibilitySymfony and other PHPCompatibility standards are installed for PHP_CodeSniffer.

How to use

Now you can use the following commands to inspect the code in your project for PHP cross-version compatibility:

./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP54
./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP55
./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP56
./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP70
./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP71
./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP72
./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP73
./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP74

# You can also combine the standards if your project uses several:
./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP55,PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP70,PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP73

By default, you will only receive notifications about deprecated and/or removed PHP features.

To get the most out of the PHPCompatibilitySymfony rulesets, you should specify a testVersion to check against. That will enable the checks for both deprecated/removed PHP features as well as the detection of code using new PHP features.

For example:

# For a project which should be compatible with PHP 5.3 up to and including PHP 7.0:
./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP56 --runtime-set testVersion 5.3-7.0

# For a project which should be compatible with PHP 5.4 and higher:
./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP73 --runtime-set testVersion 5.4-

For more detailed information about setting the testVersion, see the README of the generic PHPCompatibility standard.

Testing PHP files only

By default PHP_CodeSniffer will analyse PHP, JavaScript and CSS files. As the PHPCompatibility sniffs only target PHP code, you can make the run slightly faster by telling PHP_CodeSniffer to only check PHP files, like so:

./vendor/bin/phpcs -p . --standard=PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP71 --extensions=php --runtime-set testVersion 5.3-


All code within the PHPCompatibility organisation is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). For more information, visit


1.1.3 - 2020-07-19

  • PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP72 ruleset: allow for four polyfilled PHP_FLOAT_* constants, which were added in polyfill-php72 version 1.16.0.

1.1.2 - 2020-05-20

  • PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP56 ruleset: allow for two polyfilled LDAP constants (undocumented in the Polyfill docs)
  • Composer: The recommended version of the Composer PHPCS plugin has been upped to ^0.6.0.

1.1.1 - 2019-08-30

  • PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP72 ruleset: minor tweak to prevent false positive when the sniffs are run over the polyfill itself.
  • Minor bug fix in the integration test for the PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP72 ruleset.

1.1.0 - 2019-08-29

  • Added new PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP74 ruleset.
  • Updated the PHPCompatibilitySymfonyPolyfillPHP73 ruleset to allow for the stub for the JsonException class which was added in polyfill-php73 version 1.11.0.
  • Composer: The recommended version of the Composer PHPCS plugin has been upped to ^0.5.0.
  • CI: Added early warning system for false positives due to changes in the polyfill libraries themselves.

1.0.1 - 2018-12-16

  • Prevent false positives when the ruleset is run over the code of the polyfills themselves.
  • The rulesets are now also tested against PHP 7.3. Note: full PHP 7.3 support is only available in combination with PHP_CodeSniffer 2.9.2 or 3.3.1+ due to an incompatibility within PHP_CodeSniffer itself.

1.0.0 - 2018-10-07

Initial release of PHPCompatibilitySymfony containing rulesets covering the polyfill-php* libraries.