Dead code detection with tombstones for PHP

0.8.0 2016-12-05 20:54 UTC


Implements the concept of Tombstones for PHP.

Report generation provided by scheb/tombstone-analyzer.

Build Status PHP 7 ready Coverage Status Latest Stable Version License

Tombstone Youtube Video

Inspired by:


  1. Install via composer
$ composer require scheb/tombstone
  1. Define a tombstone() function

You have to define a function tombstone($date, $author, $label = null). The library is shipped with a default implementation. Simply include tombstone.php from the libraries root directory in your bootstrap.

If you don't like the default implementation, you can implement the function on your own, as long as the signature is the same (important for code analysis).

  1. Configure the graveyard

All tombstones are sent to a "graveyard". By default the graveyard isn't doing anything with the tombstones. You have to register a handler. What you usually want is the StreamHandler, which writes human-readable information to a log file.

use Scheb\Tombstone\GraveyardProvider;
use Scheb\Tombstone\Handler\StreamHandler;

$streamHandler = new StreamHandler("$logDir/tombstones.log");

Read more about handlers and formatters below.

Relative Path Logs

By default the absolute file path is used in the logs. This can be in problem in some environments (e.g. when your deployment process creates a new directory for every release). If you tell the source root to the graveyard, it will log the relative file path instead. This makes log files exchangeable between different servers/environments/installation paths.


It is especially useful, if you want to collect logs files from multiple production servers to run an overall analysis on a central server.


Place tombstones in your application where you suspect dead code. A tombstone takes a date (every date format strtotime() understands), author and an optional label.

class SomeClass {

    public function suspectedDeadCode() {
        tombstone('2015-08-18', 'scheb');
        // ... some code follows

Handlers and Formatters

Handlers write the information that was received from a tombstone to a target system (e.g. file system). Formatters are used to serialize that information.

The bundle comes with some pre-defined handlers and formatters. You can create your own handlers and formatters by implementing Scheb\Tombstone\Handler\HandlerInterface and Scheb\Tombstone\Formatter\FormatterInterface.


  • AnalyzerLogHandler: Writes multiple log files to a directory, that are used for report generation.
  • PsrLoggerHandler: Connects a PSR-3 logger with the bundle.
  • StreamHandler: Take a stream resource, stream identifier (file://, ftp://, etc.) or a file path as the target.

The AnalyzerLogHandler takes an optional size limit to pretend log files from taking too much space. In the end it doesn't make a difference if a tombstone was called 100 or a million times.


  • AnalyzerLogFormatter: Machine-readable log-format, which is used for report generation.
  • JsonFormatter: Compact JSON string.
  • LineFormatter: Human-readable log entry.

Handlers have a default formatter. The formatter can be changed by calling setFormatter().

Report Generation

scheb/tombstone-analyzer is a library to analyze the code and the log files written by AnalyzerLogHandler. The data is used to generate reports about dead and undead code in your project.

Read more about report generation.


Thanks to Jordi Boggiano for creating Monolog, from where I lend the handler/formatter concept.


This library is available under the MIT license.