PhpStorm 2020.2 Help

PHP Mess Detector

In addition to built-in coding assistance, PhpStorm provides checking the source code through integration with the PHP Mess Detector tool, which detects potential problems related to code size, inconsistency, unused code, violation of naming conventions, poor design, and so on.

To use PHP Mess Detector from PhpStorm instead of command line, you need to register it in PhpStorm and configure it as a PhpStorm code inspection. Once installed and enabled in PhpStorm, the tool is available in any opened PHP file, and no additional steps are required to launch it. The on-the-fly code check is activated upon every update in the file thus making it easy to get rid of discovered problems.

Errors and warnings reported by PHP Mess Detector on-the-fly are displayed as popup messages. When the tool is run in the batch mode, the errors and warnings are displayed in the Inspection Results tool window. Each message has the phpmd prefix to distinguish it from PhpStorm internal inspections.

You can have predefined rules applied or define your own custom set of rules.

Prerequisites

Prior to integrating PHP Mess Detector in PhpStorm, make sure the following prerequisites are met:

  • The directory containing the PHP engine executable must be added to the system path. This allows code quality tool scripts execute calls to the system-wide PHP engine.

  • For Docker Compose-based remote interpreters, make sure to use exec mode to avoid spawning additional containers.

    1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Languages & Frameworks | PHP.

    2. On the PHP page that opens, click the Browse button next to the CLI Interpreter list.

    3. In the CLI Interpreters dialog that opens, set the Lifecycle mode for the selected interpreter to Connect to existing container ('docker-compose exec').

      docker-compose exec for PHP interpreter

Install and configure PHP Mess Detector

PHP Mess Detector scripts can be used as local scripts, the scripts associated with PHP interpreters, or scripts declared as project dependencies and installed via Composer, which is the preferable and recommended way.

Install PHP Mess Detector with Composer

Before you start, make sure Composer is installed on your machine and initialized in the current project as described in Composer dependency manager.

When you install PHP Mess Detector with Composer, PhpStorm automatically downloads the necessary scripts, registers them in the IDE, and, optionally, enables and configures the corresponding code inspection.

  1. Inside composer.json, add the phpmd/phpmd dependency record to the require or require-dev section. Press Ctrl+Space to get code completion both for the package name and version.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Click the Install shortcut link on top of the editor panel.

    • If the Non-installed Composer packages inspection is enabled, PhpStorm will highlight the declared dependencies that are not currently installed. Press Alt+Enter and select whether you want to install a specific dependency or all dependencies at once.

Click the Settings/Preferences button next to the package record in the composer.json editor gutter to jump to the corresponding Settings/Preferences page and configure PHP Mess Detector manually.

Gutter icon for phpmd settings in composer.json

Reset PHP Mess Detector configuration

After PHP Mess Detector is initially configured, further modifications in composer.json, for example, specifying a different ruleset, will not affect the inspection configuration. To apply newer changes, reset the PHP Mess Detector configuration.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, navigate to Languages & Frameworks | PHP | Quality Tools.

  2. On the Quality Tools page that opens, expand the Mess Detector area and click the Browse button next to the Configuration list.

  3. In the PHP Mess Detector dialog that opens, empty the PHP Mess Detector path field.

    Empty PHP Mess Detector path field
  4. Update the project Composer dependencies by clicking Update on top of the composer.json editor panel. See Update dependencies for details.

PhpStorm will perform the PHP Mess Detector configuration anew and thus apply the changes in composer.json.

Configure PHP Mess Detector manually

You can use the manually downloaded local PHP code quality tool scripts or scripts associated with PHP interpreters. There can be a number of local and remote PHP interpreters, the one specified on the PHP page of the Settings/Preferences dialog is considered Project Default. Learn more about configuring PHP interpreters in Configure remote PHP interpreters or in Configure local PHP interpreters.

Choose a PHP Mess Detector script to use

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, navigate to Languages & Frameworks | PHP | Quality Tools.

  2. On the Quality Tools page that opens, expand the Mess Detector area. From the Configuration list, choose the PHP Mess Detector script:

    • To use the script associated with a specific remote PHP interpreter, choose the name of this interpreter.

    • To use a local script, choose Local. In this case the local PHP Mess Detector will be executed no matter which PHP interpreter - local or remote - is used in the project. Note that there can be only one Local configuration for PHP Mess Detector because PhpStorm runs a script (script.bat for Windows or script for Linux and macOS) that contains a path to a PHP engine.

    • To use the script associated with the default project interpreter, that is, the one chosen on the PHP page of the Settings/Preferences dialog, choose By default project interpreter.

Configure a local PHP Mess Detector script

  1. Download and install the PHP Mess Detector scripts.

    To check the PHP Mess Detector installation, switch to the installation directory and run the following command:

    phpmd --version

    If the tool is available, you will get a message in the following format:

    PHPMD version <version>

    To have code checked against your own custom coding standard, create it. Store the rules and the ruleset.xml file that points to them in the rulesets root directory.

  2. Register the local PHP Mess Detector script in PhpStorm:

    • In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, navigate to Languages & Frameworks | PHP | Quality Tools.

    • On the Quality Tools page that opens, expand the Mess Detector area and click the Browse button next to the Configuration list.

    • In the PHP Mess Detector dialog that opens, specify the location of the script_bat or script PHP Mess Detector executable in the PHP Mess Detector path field. Type the path manually or click the Browse button and select the relevant folder in the dialog that opens.

      To check that the specified path to script.bat or script ensures interaction between PhpStorm and PHP Mess Detector, that is, the tool can be launched from PhpStorm and PhpStorm will receive problem reports from it, click the Validate button. This validation is equal to running the script --version command. If validation passes successfully, PhpStorm displays the information on the detected PHP Mess Detector version.

Configure a PHP Mess Detector script associated with a PHP interpreter

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, navigate to Languages & Frameworks | PHP | Quality Tools.

  2. On the Quality Tools page that opens, expand the Mess Detector area and click the Browse button next to the Configuration list. The PHP Mess Detector dialog opens showing the list of all the configured PHP Mess Detector scripts in the left-hand pane, one of them is of the type Local and others are named after the PHP interpreters with which the scripts are associated. Click the Add button on the toolbar.

  3. In the PHP Mess Detector by Remote Interpreter dialog that opens, choose the remote PHP interpreter to use the associated script from. If the list does not contain a relevant interpreter, click the Browse button and configure a remote interpreter in the CLI Interpreters dialog as described in Configure remote PHP interpreters.

    When you click OK, PhpStorm brings you back to the PHP Mess Detector dialog where the new PHP Mess Detector configuration is added to the list and the right-hand pane shows the chosen remote PHP interpreter, the path to the PHP Mess Detector associated with it, and the advanced PHP Mess Detector options.

Configure advanced PHP Mess Detector options

PhpStorm lets you specify advanced PHP Mess Detector options and thus fine-tune the PHP Mess Detector process behavior depending on the configuration of your computer and the rule sets used.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, navigate to Languages & Frameworks | PHP | Quality Tools.

  2. On the Quality Tools page that opens, expand the Mess Detector area. In the Maximum number of messages per file field set the upper limit for the total number of messages to be reported for a file. All the messages above this limit will be rejected and PhpStorm will display the warning message at top of the editor tab or in the Inspection results tool window after the inspection is performed.

  3. In the Tool process timeout field, specify how long you want PhpStorm to wait for a result from PHP Mess Detector, whereupon the process is killed to prevent excessive CPU and memory usage.

Configure PHP Mess Detector as a PhpStorm inspection

Configure the PHP Mess Detector inspection with Composer

You can include information on the default and custom PHP Mess Detector rulesets inside the scripts section of composer.json. When you install or update project dependencies, the specified rulesets will be detected and the PHP Mess Detector validation inspection will be enabled automatically.

If no ruleset is specified in the scripts section of composer.json, PhpStorm will additionally check the project root to locate the ruleset with the phpmd.xml default name. If the file is present, it will be automatically selected as the inspection's Custom ruleset.

  • In the scripts section of composer.json, add the phpmd PHP Mess Detector launch command into one of the leaf elements.

    Provide the names of the built-in standards or the paths to custom rulesets as the arguments to denote the coding standards used.

    For example, adding the following record will select the Codesize and Controversial built-in rulesets, as well as the custom ruleset defined in the /my/src/custom_ruleset.xml file:

    "scripts": { "phpmd": "phpmd codesize,controversial,/my/src/custom_ruleset.xml" }

Configure the PHP Mess Detector inspection manually

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, click Inspections under Editor.

  2. On the Inspections page that opens, expand the PHP | Quality tools node and select the checkbox next to PHP Mess Detector validation.

  3. In the right-hand pane, configure the PHP Mess Detector tool by using the controls in the Options area:

    • From the Severity list, choose the severity degree for the PHP Mess Detector inspection. The selected value determines how serious the detected discrepancies will be treated by PhpStorm and presented in the inspection results.

    • From the Scope list, choose the scope to limit the inspection application to.

    • Appoint the rules to apply.

      • To use predefined rules, in the Options area, select the checkboxes next to the validations to be performed.

      • To use a custom ruleset:

        1. Create and save one or several ruleset files. A valid ruleset file is an .xml file that contains the <ruleset> root element with the name attribute. For more details on custom rulesets, see http://phpmd.org/documentation/creating-a-ruleset.html.

        2. In the Custom rulesets area, click Add button and select the relevant rule definition file in the dialog that opens. When you click OK, a new item is added to the Custom rulesets list, where the Name field shows the ruleset name retrieved from the attribute name within the <ruleset> tag and the File field shows the location of the selected ruleset file.

Share a custom coding style with the team

  1. Put the root directory of your coding standard under the project root.

  2. Configure PHP Mess Detector as a PhpStorm inspection.

  3. Appoint your coding standard.

  4. Make sure that a project profile is selected at the top of the Inspections page. Such profiles are saved in a particular project's .idea directory (for example, $PROJECT_DIR/.idea/inspectionProfiles). See Customizing Profiles for details.

  5. On the Version Control page of the Settings/Preferences dialog, make sure that the .idea directory is put under version control.

Run PHP Mess Detector in the batch mode

  1. From the main menu, select Code | Inspect code .

  2. Select the inspection profile from the list, or click the Browse button to configure a new profile in the Code Cleanup Inspections dialog that opens. You can also click the Browse button to check, which fixes will be applied and make sure that the PHP Mess Detector validation inspection is enabled.

  3. View the inspection results in the Inspection results tool window. Errors and warnings reported by PHP Mess Detector are prefixed with phpmd to distinguish them from PhpStorm internal inspections.

Exclude files from PHP Mess Detector Validation inspection

When waiting for Mess Detector response exceeds the limit specified in the Tool process timeout field in the Mess Detector dialog, PhpStorm suggests adding the file to the ignore list.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, navigate to Languages & Frameworks | PHP | Quality Tools.

  2. On the Quality Tools page that opens, expand the Mess Detector area and click the Show ignored files link.

    • To add a file, click the Add button and locate the desired file in the dialog that opens.

    • To delete a file from the list and have Mess Detector process it again, select the file and click the Remove button.

    • To remove all the files from the list, click the Close button.

Last modified: 31 July 2020