PHP Programm Language Notes

PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development. These are just some quick notes on various bits and bobs.

Page Contents

Check Your Code

PHP Syntax checking

Just used the php -l <file> to syntax check a file.

PHP Code Sniffer

PHP_CodeSniffer by Squiz Pty Ltd. ( Helps detect and fix violations of a defined set of coding standards.


To find out where it is: php -i | grep "Loaded Configuration File"

Note that there are different INI files for the CLI and Apache:

/etc/php/x.y/cli/php.ini #< For the PHP CLI program only
/etc/php/x.y/apache/php.ini #< For the PHP plugin used by Apache

If you change the Apache INI file remember to restart Apache: sudo systemctrl reload apache2.

Autoloading Classes

Lets say you have a PHP file called jehtech.class.php in which the class jehtech is defined. Rather than including it in every script PHP can dynamically load it using a search pattern you sepecify in the autoload() function.

function my_autoload($class_name)
   $php_file_name = $class_name . '.class.php';
   $php_file_location = ...; // Find the file

   if (is_readable($php_file_location))
      include_once $php_file_location;
spl_autoload_register('my_autoload'); // <--- You could use an anonymous func here

If your directory structure, for example, mirrored the name space you could split the class name on the namespace seperator ('\') and locate it that way.

Stream Filters

I know everyone frowns on using printf style debugging, but I still like it. What I had is debug output that has no indentation because it is harder to read. So here is a tiny little debug class that is a stream filter that you can associate with any PHP resource. When you print to it it will insert left-padding at the indent you are currently at.

A filter is a final piece of code which may perform operations on data as it is being read from or written to a stream. Any number of filters may be stacked onto a stream.


class debug_filter extends \php_user_filter {
  function filter($in, $out, &$consumed, $closing)
    while ($bucket = stream_bucket_make_writeable($in)) {
      $consumed += $bucket->datalen;
      stream_bucket_append($out, $bucket);
      $space_bucket = stream_bucket_new($this->stream, "    ");
      stream_bucket_prepend($out, $space_bucket);
    return PSFS_PASS_ON;


stream_filter_register("debug_filter", "\Tests\System\debug_filter")


stream_filter_append(STDOUT, "debug_filter");