Simple Coding Style for PHP - Part 1/2

Many programmers use different kinds of coding styles to write code I have my own version that (i think) is simple and easy-to-use.

Code Formatting and Layout:

Code Formatting and Layout – which includes indentation, line length, use of white space, and use of Structured Query Language (SQL).

Use Soft Tabs (soft tabs are not actually tabs, each soft tab is represented by a certain number of regular spaces) instead of Hard Tabs (regular tab). The reason is that tab spacing is different for different editors. Tab width of five spaces is good.

Try to break up lines after every 80 characters because 80 characters is the standard width of a Unix terminal and is a reasonable width for printing to hard copy in a readable font.

Some examples:

if ($month == 'september' || $month == 'april' || $month == 'june' || 
     $month  == 'november') {
        return 30;

This should be changed to following:

if ($month == 'september'   ||  
    $month == 'april'       ||  
    $month == 'june'        || 	
    $month == 'november') 		
    return 30;

This method works equally well for functions’ parameters:

mail([email protected], 
     "from: rn"); 

SQL Guidelines:

We’ll follow the following rules:

  • Capitalize keywords
  • Break lines on keywords
  • Use table aliases to keep the code clean
Consider the following query:
$query  =    "select firstname, lastname from employees, 
departments where employees.dept_id = department.dept_id 
and = ‘Arts’";

Above should be changed to following:

$query  =  "SELECT    firstname, lastname 
                 FROM      employees e, departments d 
                 WHERE     e.dept_id = d.dept_id 
                 AND = ‘Arts’";

Using braces in control structures (e.g. if, for, foreach, while):

To avoid confusion, we’ll always use braces, even when only a single statement is being conditionally executed.

if( isset ($name))
    echo "hello $name";

Must be changed to following:

if( isset ($name)) 
   echo "hello $name"; 

Consistency in using braces:

We’ll use BSD style braces for conditional statements. In BSD style braces the braces are placed on the line following the conditional with the braces outdented to align with the keyword. Follow the same rule for functions.

if ($conditional)


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Please feel free to use the comments form below if you have any questions or need more explanation on anything. I recommend thoroughy testing on a production-like test system first before moving to production.

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