PHPMD - PHP Mess Detector

Howto create a custom rule set

If you would like to only pick some of the rules that come with PHPMD and you want to customize some of the pre defined thresholds, you can do this by creating your own rule set file that references a custom collection of rules with an individual configuration.

Starting with an empty ruleset.xml file

The simpliest way to start with a new rule set is to copy one of the existing files and remove all the rule-tags from the document body. Otherwise you can use the following example as a template for your own rule set file. You should change the content of the @name attribute and <description /> element to something that describes the purpose of this set.

<?xml version="1.0"?> <ruleset name="My first PHPMD rule set" xmlns="http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset/1.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset/1.0.0 http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset_xml_schema.xsd" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation=" http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset_xml_schema.xsd"> <description> My custom rule set that checks my code... </description> </ruleset>

Adding rule references to the new ruleset.xml file

The first thing we would like to do is to add all unused code rules to the new rule set file. This can simply be done with a <rule /> element that references the entire unused code rule set that comes with PHPMD.

<?xml version="1.0"?> <ruleset name="My first PHPMD rule set" xmlns="http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset/1.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset/1.0.0 http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset_xml_schema.xsd" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation=" http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset_xml_schema.xsd"> <description> My custom rule set that checks my code... </description> <!-- Import the entire unused code rule set --> <rule ref="rulesets/unusedcode.xml" /> </ruleset>

That's it. Now the custom rule set applies all unused code rules against the analyzed source code.

We would also like to use the cyclomatic complexity rule from the existing codesize set in our custom rule set. To achieve this we can reuse the same syntax with a <rule /> element and a @ref attribute.

<?xml version="1.0"?> <ruleset name="My first PHPMD rule set" xmlns="http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset/1.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset/1.0.0 http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset_xml_schema.xsd" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation=" http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset_xml_schema.xsd"> <description> My custom rule set that checks my code... </description> <!-- Import the entire unused code rule set --> <rule ref="rulesets/unusedcode.xml" /> <!-- Import the entire cyclomatic complexity rule --> <rule ref="rulesets/codesize.xml/CyclomaticComplexity" /> </ruleset>

Now that the new rule set uses the cyclomatic complexity rule we would also like to customize some of the rule's properties. First we will increase the rule's priority to the highest possible priority value 1 and we also decrease the threshold when the rule reports a violation. This customization can be done with same xml elements that are used to configure the original rule, so that you can take a look at one of the original rule set file.

<?xml version="1.0"?> <ruleset name="My first PHPMD rule set" xmlns="http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset/1.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset/1.0.0 http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset_xml_schema.xsd" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation=" http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset_xml_schema.xsd"> <description> My custom rule set that checks my code... </description> <!-- Import the entire unused code rule set --> <rule ref="rulesets/unusedcode.xml" /> <!-- Import the entire cyclomatic complexity rule and customize the rule configuration. --> <rule ref="rulesets/codesize.xml/CyclomaticComplexity"> <priority>1</priority> <properties> <property name="reportLevel" value="5" /> </properties> </rule> </ruleset>

You should know that PHPMD handles all custom settings additive. This means that PHPMD keeps the original configuration for every setting that isn't customized in a rule reference.

Excluding rules from a rule set

Finally we would like to reuse the naming rule set of PHPMD. But we don't like the two variable naming rules, so that we must exclude them from out rule set file. This exclusion can be achieved by declaring an <exclude /> element within the rule reference. This element has an attribute @name which specifies the name of the excluded rule.

<?xml version="1.0"?> <ruleset name="My first PHPMD rule set" xmlns="http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset/1.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset/1.0.0 http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset_xml_schema.xsd" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation=" http://pmd.sf.net/ruleset_xml_schema.xsd"> <description> My custom rule set that checks my code... </description> <!-- Import the entire unused code rule set --> <rule ref="rulesets/unusedcode.xml" /> <!-- Import the entire cyclomatic complexity rule and customize the rule configuration. --> <rule ref="rulesets/codesize.xml/CyclomaticComplexity"> <priority>1</priority> <properties> <property name="reportLevel" value="5" /> </properties> </rule> <!-- Import entire naming rule set and exclude rules --> <rule ref="rulesets/naming.xml"> <exclude name="ShortVariable" /> <exclude name="LongVariable" /> </rule> </ruleset>

Conclusion

With PHPMD's rule set syntax it is possible to customize all aspects of rules for your own needs and you can reuse every existing rule set xml file in your own set. You should take a look at PHPMD's rule documentation if it happens that you don't know what rules exist or you don't know exactly, which settings are available for one rule, while you create your own set of rules. Another good source of information are the rule set files that are shipped with PHPMD.

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