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leanphp/common-dev is a set of modern PHP 7+ development tools and libraries, which help you write PHP packages and libraries that comply with PHP-FIG standards and adhere to best PHP practices defined in PHP - The Right Way guidelines.

Note! These tools help you write well-tested functional & OOP code (TDD, BDD, SOLID). This meta-package should serve more as an example set of development tools that one can use. This package helps when you want to hack something quick, however for serious projects you are advised to compile a custom list of development dependencies in composer.json of your project, instead of depending on this package directly.

See Packages for a list of packages that this meta-package provides. Usage section covers information regarding various tools and libraries. Additionally, we provide example configuration files for various tools that this package provides (config/ directory).


Install this package as a development requirement in your project:

$ composer require --dev leanphp/common-dev


This package will trigger installation of various PHP Libraries and [Development Tools](#Development Tools).


This is a list of PHP Libraries that this package installs:

Development Tools

This is a list of PHP Development Tools that this package installs:

  • Sami - An API Documentation generator.
  • PHPStan - PHP Static Analysis tool.
  • PHPMD v2 - PHP Mess Detector. Optimize your code, reduce complexity, cleanup unused parameters, methods, variables & more.
  • [PHP_CodeSniffer](#PHP CodeSniffer) v3 - PHP Code Sniffer ensures that your code remains clean and consistent. It is a set of scripts to detect and automatically correct violations of a defined coding standard.
  • phpcs-symfony2-standard - Symfony2 Coding Standard configuration for PHP_CodeSniffer.
  • phpcpd - Copy/Paste Detector (CPD) for PHP code.
  • phploc - a tool that quickly measures the size of your PHP project.
  • composer binary is also included in this package (bin/composer).


Note! When executing command we will use bin/command as an example. This requires bin-dir parameter set in composer.json of your project:

    "config": {
        "bin-dir": "bin"

If bin-dir is not set, use ./vendor/bin prefix when running command line tools.



symfony/var-dumper is an Advanced Variable Dumper by Symfony project. It provides developer with dump() function which is a better alternative to var_dump() or print_r(). It provides well formatted output, which adapt depending on context (console, browser) and packs nice additional features.

This package add global function dump(), which can be called from anywhere in your code:

    require 'vendor/autoload.php';

    $date = new \DateTime()

Note! Try executing the example snippet above in the console AND then browser to see the differences.


Mockery is a simple yet flexible PHP mock object framework for use in unit testing with PHPSpec or PHPUnit. It allows you to mock objects in tests, so the tests run faster and do not have to initialize the dependencies directly. For an alternative approach, make sure to check Prophecy.

Mockery is integrated with PHPUnit, but can be used with any testing framework.

For more information check Mockery Documentation page.


Prophecy is a highly opinionated mocking framework for PHP. It was initially created for PHPSpec needs but it is flexible to be used in any testing framework (PHPUnit, Behat). It approaches testing from a different angle than Mockery because it concentrates on describing the future behaviour of objects, instead of mocking them.

For more information check Prophecy Repository on Github.


Alice is an Expressive Fixtures generator based on Faker. It allows you to quickly create fixtures (fake data) while developing or testing your PHP code. Alice is very useful while working with projects, based on Symfony, Doctrine, Zend or any other framework. For testing your packages, you can just use Faker directly.

For more information check Alice repository on GitHub.


Faker is PHP Library to generate fake data for you. Whether you need to bootstrap your database, create good-looking XML documents or just need any fake data, Faker is for you. If you need a solution that integrated well with Symfony, Doctrine, Zend or any other frameworks, check Alice (based on Faker).

Basic fake usage:


require 'vendor/autoload.php';
// use the factory to create a Faker\Generator instance
$faker = Faker\Factory::create();

// generate data by accessing properties
echo $faker->name;
// 'Lucy Cechtelar';
echo $faker->address;
// "426 Jordy Lodge
// Cartwrightshire, SC 88120-6700"
echo $faker->text;
// Dolores sit sint laboriosam dolorem culpa et autem. Beatae nam sunt fugit
// et sit et mollitia sed.

For more information check Faker repository on GitHub.


vfsStream is Virtual file system to mock the real file system in unit tests. It comes in handy when you need to perform file operations in your code and want them to be thoroughly tested. It's best to abstract such tests by using a virtual file system and vfsStream allows you to do that.

For more information check vfsStream Wiki on GitHub.


PHPUnit is The PHP Unit Testing framework. It's an industry proven and standard unit testing framework for PHP. If you prefer to do simple TDD instead of BDD - behat (StoryBDD) or PHPSpec (SpecBDD), then this is your test tool of choice.

In order to setup PHPUnit for your project, you can use example phpunit.xml configuration file.

Copy it to the root of your project:

$ cp vendor/leanphp/common-dev/config/phpunit.xml phpunit.xml

If your tests are NOT stored in tests/ directory, adjust the <testsuites> tag in phpunit.xml. The file provides additional comments and settings that can be useful when setting up PHPUnit for your project PHP package.

Run PHPUnit tests:

$ bin/phpunit

PHPUnit will generate various reports (defaults to build/ directory), which can be used by various tools when analyzing your code and tests (i.e. test code coverage generation).

For more information check PHPUnit Documentation.


PHPSpec is a SpecBDD (BDD) Testing framework for PHP. It is specification oriented testing framework. It allows you to define your tests, which then are used to generate PHP Classes, based on the defined specification. PHPSpec is also great for unit testing.

In order to setup PHPSpec for your project, you can use example phpspec.yml configuration file.

Copy it to the root of your project:

$ cp vendor/leanphp/common-dev/config/phpspec.yml phpspec.yml

The configuration file will enable all the PHPSpec extensions that come installed with this package.

Note! Due to PSR-4 you have to set the default PSR-4 namespace in phpspec.yml which is set to LeanPHP\Common in the example phpspec.yml. Make sure to change it to your package's namespace!.

Write your first spec file spec/ClassSpec.php:


namespace spec\LeanPHP\Common;

use PhpSpec\ObjectBehavior;

class ClassSpec extends ObjectBehavior
    function it_can_say_hello()

Run PHPSpec to generate the class, based on the defined specification:

$ bin/phpspec run

PHPSpec will fail the test, but will ask you to generate the classes for you.

For more information check PHPSpec Documentation page.


behat is a ScenarioBDD / BDD Testing framework for PHP. It allows you to define your tests in human readable scenario format, based on gherkin language. It offers a very basic, yet effective test scenario structure. It has became a standard ScenarioBDD/BDD tool for PHP. It integrated well with PHPSpec and Mink. The latter makes it perfect for functional testing.

In order to setup Behat for your project, you can use example behat.yml configuration file.

Copy it to the root of your project:

$ cp vendor/leanphp/common-dev/config/behat.yml behat.yml

Initialize the project:

$ bin/behat --init

The configuration file will enable all the Behat extensions that come installed with this package and will also integrate it with PHPSpec.

Note! The default configuration uses mink-goutte-driver extension by default. If you want integration with Symfony based project, switch to [mink-browserkit-driver][870].

For more information check Behat Quick Start and consult Behat Documentation page.


Mink is a Browser Emulator / Abstraction framework for PHP. It allows you to simulate a browser in your tests. It's functionality is based on different drivers that it supports. It is able to integrate with Selenium, Goutte and other browsers to run your tests with. While it can be used as a standalone tool, it is a core part of Behat and it does not require any special configuration, besides what is covered in Behat section.

For more information check Mink Homepage.

Development Tools


Sami is an API documentation generator. It generates API documentation for your PHP source code (classes, interfaces, traits, methods etc.). Have a look at Symfony API to see a working example of what Sami does.

You can start with example sami.php configuration file.

Copy it to the root of your project:

$ cp vendor/leanphp/common-dev/config/sami.php .sami.php

Please check comments in .sami.php and customize it according to your needs.

Generate the API:

$ bin/sami update .sami.php

The API Documentation will be generated in build/docs/<version> directory, which is configured in .sami.php.


Note! PHPSten is temporarily not provided by the package as it conflicts with ApiGen. Additionally we believe we need to review the usability of some of the other tools if we also bring PHPStan.

PHPStan is a PHP Static Analysis Tool. It focuses on finding errors in your code without actually running it. It catches whole classes of bugs even before you write tests for the code.

PHPStan is run via console:

$ bin/phpstan analyse src tests


PHPMD (PHP Mess Detector) is a code optimizer, which scans your code for complexity, unused parameters, methods. It helps developers optimize their PHP code. It can also point out more problematic areas of your code, that need refactoring or are too complex. It's a great tool in any PHP developers toolbox.

PHP Mess Detector is highly configurable and you can define different rulese. It is best to use example phpmd.xml configuration file, which has all of them enabled and customize from there.

Copy it to the root of your project:

$ cp vendor/leanphp/common-dev/config/phpmd.xml phpmd.xml

PHPMD is run via console:


You can generate a text formatted report for your source code in src/ directory, but using phpmd.xml ruleset:

$ bin/phpmd src/ text phpmd.xml

Note! Consult PHPMD Documentation on Rules when customizing phpmd.xml for your project!

PHP CodeSniffer

PHP_CodeSniffer(#PHP CodeSniffer) ensures that your code remains clean and consistent. It is a set of scripts to detect and automatically correct violations of a defined coding standard. It is extremely useful to keep the code consistent, especially when there are multiple developers working on one project. It is also helpful when working alone as it will make you write more consistent code.

It is best to use example phpcs.xml configuration file as it has a Symfony based coding standard defined, which will give you a good start.

Copy the example config to the root of your project:

$ cp vendor/leanphp/common-dev/config/phpcs.xml phpcs.xml

If your source code is NOT stored in src/ directory, adjust the <file> tag in phpcs.xml. Additionally, make sure that any test or build directories are excluded (via <exclude-pattern> tag).

To get a list of coding standard violations, Run PHP CodeSniffer tool:

$ bin/phpcs

PHP CodeSniffer also includes a tool which allows you to fix many of these violations automatically:

$ bin/phpcbf


phpcpd is a Copy/Paste Detector (CPD) for PHP code. It allows you to scan your PHP files and detect duplicate code (likely a Copy/Paste). This is a code that likely needs refactoring. It's a great tool to improve the quality of your code.

To scan src/ directory and detect problematic areas in your code:

$ bin/phpcpd src/


phploc is a tool that quickly measures the size of your PHP project. It scans the structure of your PHP Source Code and returns various statistics about it (such as number of Classes, Methods, Variables etc.).

In order to scan source code directory src/:

$ bin/phploc src/


You can find example configuration files for the tools and libraries in config/ directory. Included example config files:

These configuration files must either be placed in the root of your repository or you have to point configuration file manually when using a specific tool. Most of the time making a copy of the file in the project's root and customizing it should be sufficient.

Change Log

Please see for information of what was changed.


Copyright (c) 2012-2017 ek9 [email protected] (


Licensed under MIT License.

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