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My coding standards [en]

L’un des points les plus importants dans le métier de développeur est d’écrire du code solide, clair, facilement déboguable et compréhensible en un coup d’oeil. En tant que lead-dev, c’est le retour numéro un que je fais à mes padawans: « il est bien ce code mais si tu veux qu’il vive, suis les PSR »! Quelques règles simples pour poser les bases d’un code solide … [contenu en anglais]

Useful links

Coding styles

Base standards

I MUST try to follow the coding standards and naming rules most commonly in use:

My coding rules

  • script files MUST all be encoded with LF line ending (UNIX « linefeed ») in classic UTF-8 character set with NO BOM ;
  • lines in a script MUST never be more than 120 characters length and SHOULD NOT be more than 80 ;
  • indent is made with 4 spaces (no tab, never) ; this is true for (quite) all languages ;
  • PHP language’s keywords MUST be written all lower case
  • methods are written in camelCase: words are identified with a first capital letter and the rest in lower case ; the very first letter is NOT upper case ; a leading underscore CAN identify a special method (not only for access reason), keeping in mind that double-underscores are reserved for internal magic PHP methods ;
  • properties are written in snake_case: all lower case with words separated by underscores ; an optional leading underscore COULD identify a special access for the property (a protected or private class’ property for instance) ;
  • constants are written all upper case with underscore delimiter ;
  • the extends and implements lists COULD be written each on a new line, with indentation:
    class MyClass
        extends MyOhterClass
        implements MyInterface, MyOtherInterface

    ; this rule is NOT compliant with standards but seems to me really more efficient in practice, and compliant with the idea of lines length limit ;

  • interfaces are suffixed with Interface:
    interface MyObjectInterface
  • traits are suffixed with Trait:
    trait MyObjectTrait
  • abstarct classes are suffixed with Abstract1:
    abstract class MyObjectAbstract
  • exception classes are suffixed with Exception and extend another Exception class:
    class MyObjectException extends \Exception
  • exceptions SHOULD always have a significant message with current properties or variables which caused the error ; such message SHOULD be concatenated using the sprintf() internal function and MUST NEVER end with a punctuation:
    throw new \ErrorException(
        sprintf('%s::$proxy_class is expected to be a valid class name, "%s" given',
            get_called_class(), $this::$proxy_class)
  • errors SHOULD follow the same rules:
        sprintf('Call to undefined or inaccessible method %s::%s()', get_called_class(), $name),

PHP autoloader

As I try to always use Composer for my packages, I follow the PSR-4-autoloader rules to name and store my classes.

Following these rules, I made a complete and portable fork of the original Jonathan Wage‘s SplClassLoader with a test of file existence to avoid the require error if the file does not exist. My version allows to use a classic

if (class_exists( ... ))

which does not break the original internal function purpose and usage (it may return false if the class does not exist). You can find my fork at

Common rules

@api @deprecated

Classes naming

Just like the PHP « stdClass », an object which defined a « standard » pattern or a basic minimalist object SHOULD be named prefixed by « Std ».

My « magic » methods

Just like PHP does, some commonly used methods can be identified and ruled for code homogeneity. We can first identify some « classic » access and test method names like:

isset() or has()

As these methods will often be defined to access some class properties, we can first try to define an automation system for these accessors using the magic PHP methods __set(), __get(), __isset() and __unset().

To be continued …

  1. this rule does not follow the PSR naming conventions but it seems to me more readable to use the Abstact string as a suffix rather than a prefix to identify quickly the scope of the object (and keep homogeneity with interfaces and traits rules). 

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