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The Doctrine Coding Standard is a set of rules for PHP_CodeSniffer and applies to all Doctrine projects. It is based on PSR-1 and PSR-2, with some noticeable exceptions/differences/extensions.

  • Keep the nesting of control structures per method as small as possible
  • Abstract exception class names and exception interface names should be suffixed with Exception
  • Abstract classes should not be prefixed with Abstract
  • Interfaces should not be suffixed with Interface
  • Concrete exception class names should not be suffixed with Exception
  • Align equals (=) signs in assignments
  • Add spaces around a concatenation operator $foo = 'Hello ' . 'World!';
  • Add spaces between assignment, control and return statements
  • Add spaces after a negation operator if (! $cond)
  • Add spaces around a colon in return type declaration function () : void {}
  • Add spaces after a type cast $foo = (int) '12345';
  • Use apostrophes for enclosing strings
  • Always use strict comparisons
  • Always add declare(strict_types=1) at the beginning of a file
  • Always add native types where possible
  • Omit phpDoc for parameters/returns with native types, unless adding description
  • Don't use @author, @since and similar annotations that duplicate Git information
  • Assignment in condition is not allowed
  • Use parentheses when creating new instances that do not require arguments $foo = new Foo()
  • Use Null Coalesce Operator $foo = $bar ?? $baz
  • Prefer early exit over nesting conditions or using else

For full reference of enforcements, go through lib/Doctrine/ruleset.xml where each sniff is briefly described.


You have two possibilities to use the Doctrine Coding Standard with PHP_CodeSniffer in a particular project.

Composer Project Dependency

You can install the Doctrine Coding Standard as a composer dependency to your particular project. Just run the following command to add the Doctrine Coding Standard to your project:

$ php composer require --dev doctrine/coding-standard

Then you can use it like:

$ vendor/bin/phpcs --standard=Doctrine /path/to/some/file/to/sniff.php

You might also do automatic fixes using phpcbf:

$ vendor/bin/phpcbf --standard=Doctrine /path/to/some/file/to/sniff.php

Composer Global Installation

You can also install the Doctrine Coding Standard globally:

$ composer global require doctrine/coding-standard

Then you can use it like:

$ phpcs --standard=Doctrine /path/to/some/file/to/sniff.php

You might also do automatic fixes using phpcbf:

$ phpcbf --standard=Doctrine /path/to/some/file/to/sniff.php

Project-level ruleset

To enable Doctrine Coding Standard for your project, create a phpcs.xml.dist file with the following content:

1<?xml version="1.0"?> <ruleset> <arg name="basepath" value="."/> <arg name="extensions" value="php"/> <arg name="parallel" value="80"/> <arg name="cache" value=".phpcs-cache"/> <arg name="colors"/> <!-- Ignore warnings, show progress of the run and show sniff names --> <arg value="nps"/> <!-- Directories to be checked --> <file>lib</file> <file>tests</file> <!-- Include full Doctrine Coding Standard --> <rule ref="Doctrine"/> </ruleset>

This will enable verbatim Doctrine Coding Standard with all rules included with their defaults. From now on you can just run vendor/bin/phpcs and vendor/bin/phpcbf without any arguments.

Don't forget to add .phpcs-cache and phpcs.xml (without .dist suffix) to your .gitignore. The first ignored file is a cache used by PHP CodeSniffer to speed things up, the second one allows any developer to adjust configuration locally without touching the versioned file.

For further reading about the CodeSniffer configuration, please refer to the configuration format overview and the list of configuration options

To learn about customizing the rules, please refer to the Customizing to your needs chapter.


This library follows semantic versioning, and additions to the code ruleset are only performed in major releases.


If you are contributing to the Doctrine Coding Standard and want to test your contribution, you just need to execute PHP_CodeSniffer with the tests folder and ensure it matches the expected report:

$ ./vendor/bin/phpcs tests/input --report=summary --report-file=phpcs.log; diff tests/expected_report.txt phpcs.log