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phpDocumentor Tutorial

An in-depth look at using phpDocumentor to document PHP Source Code, and phpDocumentor internals

by Gregory Beaver
Tutorial written by [email protected]

Table of Contents


phpDocumentor is the most advanced automatic documentation system written for PHP, in PHP. This package has many features:

phpDocumentor Basics

Starting Out From Scratch

The documentation process begins with the most basic element of phpDocumentor: a Documentation block or DocBlock. A basic DocBlock looks like this:

  1. /**
  2.  *
  3.  */

A DocBlock is an extended C++-style PHP comment that begins with "/**" and has an "*" at the beginning of every line. DocBlocks precede the element they are documenting.

Any line within a DocBlock that doesn't begin with a * will be ignored.

To document function "foo()", place the DocBlock immediately before the function declaration:

  1. /**
  2.  * Defies imagination, extends boundaries and saves the world ...all before breakfast!
  3.  */
  4. function foo()
  5. {
  6. }

This example will apply the DocBlock to "define('me',2);" instead of to "function foo()":

  1. /**
  2.  * DocBlock for function foo?
  3.  *
  4.  * No, this will be for the constant me!
  5.  */
  6. define('me',2);
  7. function foo($param = me)
  8. {
  9. }

define() statements, functions, classes, class methods, and class vars, include() statements, and global variables can all be documented, see Elements of the source code that can be documented


A DocBlock contains three basic segments in this order:

The Short Description starts on the first line, and can be terminated with a blank line or a period. A period inside a word (like or 0.1 %) is ignored. If the Short Description would become more than three lines long, only the first line is taken. The Long Description continues for as many lines as desired and may contain html markup for display formatting. Here is a sample DocBlock with a Short and a Long Description:

  1. /**
  2.  * return the date of Easter
  3.  * 
  4.  * Using the formula from "Formulas that are way too complicated for anyone to
  5.  * ever understand except for me" by Irwin Nerdy, this function calculates the
  6.  * date of Easter given a date in the Ancient Mayan Calendar, if you can also
  7.  * guess the birthday of the author.
  8.  */

Optionally, you may enclose all paragraphs in a <p></p> tag. Be careful, if the first paragraph does not begin with <p>, phpDocumentor will assume that the DocBlock is using the simple double linebreak to define paragraph breaks as in:

  1. /**
  2.  * Short desc
  3.  *
  4.  * Long description first sentence starts here
  5.  * and continues on this line for a while
  6.  * finally concluding here at the end of
  7.  * this paragraph
  8.  *
  9.  * The blank line above denotes a paragraph break
  10.  */

Here is an example of using <p>

  1. /**
  2.  * Short desc
  3.  *
  4.  * <p>Long description first sentence starts here
  5.  * and continues on this line for a while
  6.  * finally concluding here at the end of
  7.  * this paragraph</p>
  8.  * This text is completely ignored! it is not enclosed in p tags
  9.  * <p>This is a new paragraph</p>
  10.  */

phpDocumentor also supports JavaDoc's DocBlock format through the command-line option -j, --javadocdesc. Due to the non-xhtml compliant unmatched p tag, we highly recommend you avoid this syntax whenever possible

  1. /**
  2.  * <p>
  3.  * Short desc is only to the first period.
  4.  * This means a sentence like:
  5.  * "Parses Mr./Mrs. out of $_GET." will
  6.  * parse a short description of "Parses Mr."
  7.  * which is rather silly.  Long description is
  8.  * the entire DocBlock description including the
  9.  * Short desc, and paragraphs begin where p is like:
  10.  * <p>
  11.  * The p above denotes a paragraph break
  12.  */

phpDocumentor will convert all whitespace into a single space in the long description, use paragraph breaks to define newlines, or <pre>, as discussed in the next section.

DocBlock Description details

As of phpDocumentor 1.2.0, the long and short description of a DocBlock is parsed for a few select html tags that determine additional formatting. Due to the nature of phpDocumentor's output as multiple-format, straight html is not allowed in a DocBlock, and will be converted into plain text by all of the converters unless it is one of these tags:

Do not think of these tags as text, they are parsed into objects and converted into the appropriate output format by the converter. So, a b tag may become <emphasis> in DocBook, and a <p> tag might become
"    "
(4 spaces) in the PDF converter! The text output is determined by the template options file options.ini found in the base directory of every template. For instance, the options.ini file for the HTML:frames:default template is in phpDocumentor/Converters/HTML/frames/templates/default/options.ini

For the rare case when the text "<b>" is needed in a DocBlock, use a double delimiter as in <<b>>. phpDocumentor will automatically translate that to the physical text "<b>".

Similarly, if you need an actual "@" in your DocBlock's description parts, you should be careful to either ensure it is not the first character on a line, or else escape it ("\@") to avoid it being interpreted as a PhpDocumentor tag marker.

  1. /**
  2.  * Demonstrate an @include file
  3.  * line in a code block:
  4.  *
  5.  * <code>
  6.  * \@include somefile.php
  7.  * </code>
  8.  */

This will parse as if it were:

  1. /**
  2.  * Demonstrate an @include file
  3.  * line in a code block:
  4.  *
  5.  * <code>
  6.  * @include somefile.php
  7.  *  </code>
  8.  */

The <code>, <kbd>, and <pre> tags ignore any html listed above except for their own closing tags (</code> </kbd> </pre>). This is obviously necessary for each of those tag's behavior of controlling the appearance of the text inside their tag blocks, without allowing other nested tags (like <b>) interfering inside them. In general, other tags will allow other tags to be nested in them (i.e. <samp><b>bold_my_sample</b></samp>).

New 1.2.0rc1: If you need to use the closing comment "*/" in a DocBlock, use the special escape sequence "{@*}." Here's an example:

  1. /**
  2.  * Simple DocBlock with a code example containing a docblock
  3.  *
  4.  * <code>
  5.  *  /**
  6.  *   * My sample DocBlock in code
  7.  *   {@*} 
  8.  * </code>
  9.  */

This will parse as if it were:

  1. /**
  2.  * Simple DocBlock with a code example containing a docblock
  3.  *
  4.  * <code>
  5.  *  /**
  6.  *   * My sample DocBlock in code
  7.  *   */
  9.  * </code>
  10.  */

New 1.2.0rc1: The phpEdit tool supports very clever list extraction from DocBlocks, and now phpDocumentor supports the same cleverness. This example:

  1. /**
  2.  * Simple DocBlock with simple lists
  3.  *
  4.  * Here's a simple list:
  5.  * - item 1
  6.  * - item 2, this one
  7.  *   is multi-line
  8.  * - item 3
  9.  * end of list.  Next list is ordered
  10.  * 1 ordered item 1
  11.  * 2 ordered item 2
  12.  * end of list. This is also ordered:
  13.  * 1. ordered item 1
  14.  * 2. ordered item 2
  15.  */

phpDocumentor recognizes any simple list that begins with "-", "+", "#" and "o", and any ordered list with sequential numbers or numbers followed by "." as above. The list delimiter must be followed by a space (not a tab!) and whitespace must line up exactly, or phpDocumentor will not recognize the list items as being in the same list.

  1. /**
  2.  * Simple DocBlock with screwy lists
  3.  *
  4.  * +not a list at all, no space
  5.  * Here's 3 lists!
  6.  * - item 1
  7.  *  - item 2, this one
  8.  *   is multi-line
  9.  *- item 3
  10.  */

Again, you must line up the list iterators in the same vertical column in order for those list items to be considered "on the same list". Also, you cannot create nested lists using the simple list iterators... doing so means it's no longer a "simple" list! Varying the spacing of the list iterators does not create nesting of the lists... it only starts up new simple lists. If you specifically need a nested list, you must use the list tags (<ol>, <ul>):

  1. /**
  2.  * DocBlock with nested lists
  3.  *
  4.  * Here's the "complex" list:
  5.  * <ul>
  6.  * <li>outer item 1</li>
  7.  * <li>outer item 2, this one
  8.  *   is multi-line</li>
  9.  * <li>item 3 is a nested inner list
  10.  * <ul>
  11.  * <li>inner item 1</li>
  12.  * <li>inner item 2</li>
  13.  * </ul>
  14.  * <li>outer item 4</li>
  15.  * </ul>
  16.  */

In some cases, the text description in a doc tag can contain a list, be it simple or complex. Notice that a title line is needed, with the list items themselves beginning on the next line:

  1. /**
  2.  * DocBlock with nested lists
  3.  * in the tag descriptions
  4.  * @todo My Simple TODO List
  5.  *     - item 1
  6.  *     - item 2
  7.  *     - item 3
  8.  * @todo My Complex TODO List
  9.  *     <ol>
  10.  *       <li>item 1.0</li>
  11.  *       <li>item 2.0</li>
  12.  *       <li>item 3.0</li>
  13.  *         <ol>
  14.  *           <li>item 3.1</li>
  15.  *           <li>item 3.2</li>
  16.  *         </ol>
  17.  *       <li>item 4.0</li>
  18.  *     </ol>
  19.  */

Tagged lists are always a more robust and predictable option for you to use. Simple lists are convenient, but if you find yourself trying to bend a simple list into displaying a certain way in your generated docs, you may be better served by switching to a tagged list instead.

For in-depth information on how phpDocumentor parses the description field, see

DocBlock Templates

New for version 1.2.0, phpDocumentor supports the use of DocBlock templates. The purpose of a DocBlock template is to reduce redundant typing. For instance, if a large number of class variables are private, one would use a DocBlock template to mark them as private. DocBlock templates simply augment any normal DocBlocks found in the template block.

A DocBlock template is distinguished from a normal DocBlock by its header. Here is the most basic DocBlock template:

  1. /**#@+
  2.  *
  3.  */

The text that marks this as a DocBlock template is "/**#@+" - all 6 characters must be present. DocBlock templates are applied to all documentable elements until the ending template marker:

  1. /**#@-*/

Note that all 8 characters must appear as "/**#@-*/" in order for phpDocumentor to recognize them as a template. Here is an example of a DocBlock template in action:

  1. class Bob
  2. {
  3.     // beginning of docblock template area
  4.     /**#@+
  5.      * @access private
  6.      * @var string
  7.      */
  8.     var $_var1 'hello';
  9.     var $_var2 'my';
  10.     var $_var3 'name';
  11.     var $_var4 'is';
  12.     var $_var5 'Bob';
  13.     var $_var6 'and';
  14.     var $_var7 'I';
  15.     /**
  16.      * Two words
  17.      */
  18.     var $_var8 'like strings';
  19.     /**#@-*/
  20.     var $publicvar 'Lookee me!';
  21. }

This example will parse as if it were:

  1. class Bob
  2. {
  3.     // beginning of docblock template area
  4.     /**
  5.      * @access private
  6.      * @var string 
  7.      */
  8.     var $_var1 'hello';
  9.     /**
  10.      * @access private
  11.      * @var string 
  12.      */
  13.     var $_var2 'my';
  14.     /**
  15.      * @access private
  16.      * @var string 
  17.      */
  18.     var $_var3 'name';
  19.     /**
  20.      * @access private
  21.      * @var string 
  22.      */
  23.     var $_var4 'is';
  24.     /**
  25.      * @access private
  26.      * @var string 
  27.      */
  28.     var $_var5 'Bob';
  29.     /**
  30.      * @access private
  31.      * @var string 
  32.      */
  33.     var $_var6 'and';
  34.     /**
  35.      * @access private
  36.      * @var string 
  37.      */
  38.     var $_var7 'I';
  39.     /**
  40.      * Two words
  41.      * @access private
  42.      * @var string 
  43.      */
  44.     var $_var8 'like strings';
  45.     var $publicvar 'Lookee me!';
  46. }

Note that for $_var8 the DocBlock template merged with the DocBlock. The rules for merging are simple:


Tags are single words prefixed by a "@" symbol. Tags inform phpDocumentor how to present information and modify display of documentation. All tags are optional, but if you use a tag, they do have specific requirements to parse properly.

A list of all possible tags in phpDocumentor follows:

  1. /**
  2.  * The short description
  3.  *
  4.  * As many lines of extendend description as you want {@link element}
  5.  * links to an element
  6.  * {@link Example hyperlink inline link} links to
  7.  * a website. The inline
  8.  * source tag displays function source code in the description:
  9.  * {@source } 
  10.  * 
  11.  * In addition, in version 1.2+ one can link to extended documentation like this
  12.  * documentation using {@tutorial phpDocumentor/phpDocumentor.howto.pkg}
  13.  * In a method/class var, {@inheritdoc may be used to copy documentation from}
  14.  * the parent method
  15.  * {@internal 
  16.  * This paragraph explains very detailed information that will only
  17.  * be of use to advanced developers, and can contain
  18.  * {@link Other inline links!} as well as text}}}
  19.  *
  20.  * Here are the tags:
  21.  *
  22.  * @abstract
  23.  * @access       public or private
  24.  * @author       author name <author@email>
  25.  * @copyright    name date
  26.  * @deprecated   description
  27.  * @deprec       alias for deprecated
  28.  * @example      /path/to/example
  29.  * @exception    Javadoc-compatible, use as needed
  30.  * @global       type $globalvarname 
  31.    or
  32.  * @global       type description of global variable usage in a function
  33.  * @ignore
  34.  * @internal     private information for advanced developers only
  35.  * @param        type [$varname] description
  36.  * @return       type description
  37.  * @link         URL
  38.  * @name         procpagealias
  39.    or
  40.  * @name         $globalvaralias
  41.  * @magic compatibility
  42.  * @package      package name
  43.  * @see          name of another element that can be documented,
  44.  *                produces a link to it in the documentation
  45.  * @since        a version or a date
  46.  * @static
  47.  * @staticvar    type description of static variable usage in a function
  48.  * @subpackage    sub package name, groupings inside of a project
  49.  * @throws       Javadoc-compatible, use as needed
  50.  * @todo compatibility
  51.  * @var        type    a data type for a class variable
  52.  * @version    version
  53.  */
  54. function if_there_is_an_inline_source_tag_this_must_be_a_function()
  55. {
  56. // ...
  57. }

In addition, tutorials allow two addition inline tags: {@id}, used to allow direct linking to sections in a tutorial, and {@toc}, used to generate a table of contents from {@id}s in the file. Think of {@id} like an <a name="idname"> HTML tag, it serves the same function.

See inline {@id} and inline {@toc} for detailed information

In the example below, {@id} is used to name the refsect1 "mysection" and the refsect2 "mysection.mysubsection" - note that the sub-sections inherit the parent section's id.

<refentry id="{@id}">
 <refsect1 id="{@id mysection}">
  <refsect2 id="{@id mysubsection}">

For an in-depth look at phpDocumentor tags, read phpDocumentor tags, and for an in-depth look at inline tags, read phpDocumentor Inline tags.

Documenting your PHP project

Where to begin

Before you begin documenting your PHP project, you might want to try a test run on your undocumented source code to see what kind of information phpDocumentor will automatically extract from the source code. phpDocumentor is designed to make the task of documenting minimally redundant. This means less work, and better, up-to-date documentation with less effort than it used to take.

phpDocumentor is a great tool, but it will not write good documentation for you. Please read the phpDocumentor Guide to Creating Fantastic Documentation

Elements of the source code that can be documented

Dividing projects into packages

To understand the role of packages and how to use @package, it is important to know the logic behind packaging in PHP. The quest for structured programming led to the invention of functions, then classes, and finally packages. Traditionally, a re-usable software module was a collection of variables, constants and functions that could be used by another software package. PHP is an example of this model, as their are many extensions that consist of constants and functions like the tokenizer extension. One can think of the tokenizer extension as a package: it is a complete set of data, variables and functions that can be used in other programs. A more structured format of this model is of course objects, or classes. A class contains variables and functions (but no constants in PHP). A single class packages together related functions and variables to be re-used.

phpDocumentor defines package in two ways:

  1. Functions, Constants and Global Variables are grouped into files (by the filesystem), which are in turn grouped into packages using the @package tag in a page-level DocBlock

  2. Methods and Class Variables are grouped into classes (by PH), which are in turn grouped into packages in a Class DocBlock

These two definitions of package are exclusive. In other words, it is possible to have classes of a different package of the file that contains it! Here's an example:

It may be possible, but don't put classes into a different package from the file they reside in, that will be very confusing and unnecessary. This behavior is deprecated, in version 2.0, phpDocumentor will halt parsing upon this condition.

  1. <?php
  2. /**
  3.  * Pretend this is a file
  4.  *
  5.  * Page-level DocBlock is here because it is the first DocBlock
  6.  * in the file, and is immediately followed by the second
  7.  * DocBlock before any documentable element is declared
  8.  * (function, define, class, global variable, include)
  9.  * @package pagepackage
  10.  */
  11. /**
  12.  * Here is the class DocBlock
  13.  *
  14.  * The class package is different from the page package!
  15.  * @package classpackage
  16.  */
  17. class myclass
  18. {
  19. }
  20. ?>

For more information on page-level versus class-level packaging, see Procedural Elements

Perhaps the best way to organize packages is to put all procedural code into separate files from classes. PEAR recommends putting every class into a separate file. For small, utility classes, this may not be the best solution for all cases, but it is still best to separate packages into different files for consistency.

Advanced phpDocumentor: tutorials and extended Documentation

phpDocumentor developers have received a number of requests to allow linking to external documentation, and to sections of that documentation. If phpDocumentor only could create HTML documents, this would be a simple task, but the presence of PDF and now XML converters as well as future possibilities complicates this question tremendously. What is the solution?

Give phpDocumentor the ability to parse external documentation in a common format and then convert it to the appropriate format for each converter. The implementation of this solution in version 1.2.0 is very versatile. Making use of the standard DocBook XML format, external documentation can be designed and then reformatted for any output. No longer is external documentation tied down to one "look." Here's a short list of the benefits of this approach:

Benefits of using DocBook as the format:

Benefits of integrating tutorials/external documentation into phpDocumentor:

User-level documentation generally consists of tutorials and information on how to use a package, and avoids extreme detail. On the other hand, programmer-level documentation has all the details a programmer needs to extend and modify a package. phpDocumentor has been assisting the creation of programmer-level documentation since its inception. With the addition of tutorials, it can now ease the creation of user-level documentation.

For an in-depth look at how to use tutorials, read phpDocumentor Tutorials

Running phpDocumentor

There are two bundled ways of invoking phpDocumentor, the command-line phpdoc, or the web interface phpdoc.php/new_phpdoc.php.

Using the new Web Interface docbuilder

The new web interface requires a working installation of PHP with a web server, and must be accessible from the document root. Docbuilder is the creation of Andrew Eddies, and it combines some slick formatting with the functionality of the old web interface. The docbuilder interface can be accessed via index.html in the install directory of phpDocumentor, or the docbuilder subdirectory.

Using the old Web Interface phpdoc.php or new_phpdoc.php

In order to use the web interface, there are a number of factors that must be set up before anything else can occur. First, you need a working web server with php (it had to be said). This manual will not assist with that setup. Next, the phpdoc.php or new_phpdoc.php file needs to be accessible by the webserver. In unix, place a symbolic link using ln -s to the desired interface into the public html directory.

Security is always an issue with the internet. Do not place phpDocumentor into the web server publicly available path on a server connected to the internet. Make sure that phpDocumentor will not have the power to overwrite ANY system or user files.

Note that since the webserver runs as user nobody in unix, the generated files will be owned by nobody. The only way to change this is to either run phpDocumentor from the command-line or to add a chuser wrapper around httpd. We do not recommend using a chuser wrapper or running phpDocumentor as root. It is much easier and safer to use a config file (see phpDocumentor's dynamic User-defined config files) from the command line.

Using the Command-line tool

Running the command-line in MS Windows

Running phpDocumentor from the command-line is fairly straightforward, even in windows. It is recommended to use the web interface in windows, from a non-publicly accessible server root, as none of the permissions issues exist that exist in unix. However, to use phpDocumentor from the command line is possible. First, put the location of php into the system path, then type:

C:\>php-cli C:\path\to\phpdoc\phpdoc [commandline]

An alternative is to edit the phpdoc.bat file, and place phpdoc in the path, then you can run phpdoc as a normal command.

Running the command-line in unix

Running the command-line tool phpdoc is very easy in unix:

.\phpdoc [commandline]

Command-line switches
-cp --converterparams dynamic parameters for a converter, separate values with commas
-ct --customtags comma-separated list of non-standard @tags to pass to the converter as valid tags
-d --directory name of a directory(s) to parse directory1,directory2
-dc --defaultcategoryname name to use for the default category. If not specified, uses 'default'
-dh --hidden set equal to on (-dh on) to descend into hidden directories (directories starting with '.'), default is off
-dn --defaultpackagename name to use for the default package. If not specified, uses 'default'
-ed --examplesdir full path of the directory to look for example files from @example tags
-f --filename name of file(s) to parse ',' file1,file2. Can contain complete path and * ? wildcards
-i --ignore file(s) that will be ignored, multiple separated by ','. Wildcards * and ? are ok
-is --ignoresymlinks Explicitly ignore symlinks, both symlinked directories and symlinked files. Valid options are "on" and "offn" default value is "off"
-it --ignore-tags tags to ignore for this parse. @package, @subpackage, @access and @ignore may not be ignored.
-j --javadocdesc use JavaDoc-compliant description (short desc is part of description, and is everything up to first .)
-o --output output information, format:converter:template (HTML:frames:phpedit for example)
-p --pear Parse a PEAR-style repository (package is directory, _members are @access private) on/off default off
-po --packageoutput output documentation only for selected packages. Use a comma-delimited list
-pp --parseprivate parse elements marked private with @access. Valid options are "on" and "off" default value is "off"
-q --quiet do not display parsing/conversion messages. Useful for cron jobs. Valid options are "on" and "off" default value is "off"
-ric --readmeinstallchangelog Specify custom filenames to parse like README, INSTALL or CHANGELOG files
-s --sourcecode generate highlighted sourcecode for every parsed file (PHP 4.3.0+ only) on/off default off
-t --target path where to save the generated files
-ti --title title of generated documentation, default is 'Generated Documentation'
-tb --templatebase base location of all templates for this parse. Note that if -tb /path/to/here, then templates for HTML:frames:default must be in /path/to/here/Converters/HTML/frames/templates/default/templates and the /path/to/here/Converters/HTML/frames/templates/default/templates_c directory must exist, or Smarty will bail on attempting to compile the templates.
-ue --undocumentedelements Enable warnings for undocumented elements. Useful for identifying classes and methods that haven't yet been documented. Valid options are "on" and "offn" default value is "off"

-c, --config

Use this option to load a config file (see phpDocumentor's dynamic User-defined config files)

"phpdoc -c default" will load the default.ini file

-cp, --converterparams

This option is only used to pass dynamic parameters to extended converters. The options passed should be separated by commas, and are placed in the global variable $_phpDocumentor_setting['converterparams'], an array. It is the responsibility of the Converter to access this variable, the code included with phpDocumentor does nothing with it.

-ct, --customtags

Use this option to specify tags that should be included in the list of valid tags for the current run of phpdoc

"phpdoc -ct mytag,anothertag" will tell phpDocumentor to parse this DocBlock:

  1. /**
  2.  * @mytag this is my tag
  3.  * @anothertag this is another tag
  4.  */

without raising any errors, and include the tags in the known tags list for the template to handle. Note that in version 1.2.0+, the unknown_tags array is passed to templates.

-dh, --hidden

Use this option to tell phpDocumentor to parse files and directories that begin with a period (.)

-dc, --defaultcategoryname

This will tell phpDocumentor to group any uncategorized elements into the primary categoryname. If not specified, the primary category is "default." The category should be specified using the @category tag.

  1. /**
  2.  * This package has no category and will be grouped into the default
  3.  * category unless -dc categoryname is used
  4.  * @package mypackage
  5.  */
  6. class nocategory
  7. {
  8. }

-dn, --defaultpackagename

Use this option to tell phpDocumentor what the primary package's name is. This will also tell phpDocumentor to group any unpackaged elements into the primary packagename. If not specified, the primary package is "default"

  1. /**
  2.  * This class has no package and will be grouped into the default
  3.  * package unless -dn packagename is used
  4.  */
  5. class nopackage
  6. {
  7. }

-d, --directory

This or the -f option must be present, either on the command-line or in the config file.

Unlike -f, -d does not accept wildcards. Use -d to specify full paths or relative paths to the current directory that phpDocumentor should recursively search for documentable files. phpDocumentor will search through all subdirectories of any directory in the command-line list for tutorials/ and any files that have valid .php extensions as defined in phpDocumentor.ini. For example:

"phpdoc -d relative/path/to/dir1,/fullpath/to/here,.."

-ed, --examplesdir

The -ed option is used to specify the full path to a directory that example files are located in. This command-line setting affects the output of the @example tag.

"phpdoc -ed /fullpath/to/examples"

-f, --filename

This or the -d option must be present, either on the command-line or in the config file.

This option is used to specify individual files or expressions with wildcards * and ?. Use * to match any string, and ? to match any single character.

-i, --ignore

Use the -i option to exclude files and directories from parsing. The -i option recognizes the * and ? wildcards, like -f does. In addition, it is possible to ignore a subdirectory of any directory using "dirname/".

Since v1.3.2, the value or pattern you provide will be case-sensitive (OS permitting, anyway), and will be applied relative to the top-level directory in the -d argument.

-is, --ignoresymlinks

Use the -is option to explicitly ignore any symlinks, whether they be links to directories or links to files.

This only works on a Unix/Linux environment, since Windows doesn't have symlinks.

-it, --ignore-tags

Use the -it option to exclude specific tags from output. This is used for creating multiple sets of documentation for different audiences. For instance, to generate documentation for end-users, it may not be desired to output all @todo tags, so --ignore-tags @todo would be used. To ignore inline tags, surround them with brackets {} like --ignore-tags {@internal}.

--ignore-tags will not ignore the core tags @global, @access, @package, @ignore, @name, @param, @return, @staticvar or @var.

The --ignore-tags option requires a full tag name like --ignore-tags @todo. --ignore-tags todo will not work.

-j, --javadocdesc

Use this command-line option to enforce strict compliance with JavaDoc. JavaDoc DocBlocks are much less flexible than phpDocumentor's DocBlocks (see DocBlocks for information).

-o, --output

Use this required option to tell phpDocumentor which Converters and templates to use. In this release, there are several choices:

In 1.2.0+, it is possible to generate output for several converters and/or templates at once. Simply specify a comma-delimited list of output:converter:template like:

phpdoc -o HTML:frames:default,HTML:Smarty:PHP,HTML:frames:phpedit,PDF:default:default -t ./docs -d .

-pp, --parseprivate

By default, phpDocumentor does not create documentation for any elements marked @access private. This allows creation of end-user API docs that filter out low-level information that will not be useful to most developers using your code. To create complete documentation of all elements, use this command-line option to turn on parsing of elements marked private with @access private.

-po, --packageoutput

Use this option to remove all elements grouped by @package tags in a comma-delimited list from output. This option is useful for projects that are not organized into separate files for each package. Parsing speed is not affected by this option, use -i, --ignore whenever possible instead of --packageoutput.

phpdoc -o HTML:frames:default -t ./docs -d . -po mypackage,thatotherpackage will only display documentation for elements marked with "@package mypackage" or "@package thatotherpackage"

-p, --pear

Use this option to parse a PEAR-style repository. phpDocumentor will do several "smart" things to make life easier:

Warnings will be raised for every case above, as @package should always be explicit, as should @access private. We do not like to assume that phpDocumentor knows better than you what to do with your code, and so will always require explicit usage or raise warnings if phpDocumentor does make any assumptions.

-q, --quiet

This option tells phpDocumentor to suppress output of parsing/conversion information to the console. Use this for cron jobs or other situations where human intervention will not be needed.

-ric, --readmeinstallchangelog

This comma-separated list of files specifies files that should be parsed and included in the documentation. phpDocumentor will automatically grab files listed here if and only if they are located in the top-level directory that is parsed. In other words, if you parse these files:

The only README file that will be grabbed is /path/to/files/README, and not /path/to/files/subdir/REAMDE, because the directory that is closest to the root directory that contains a parsed file is /path/to/files.

The default list of files is located in phpDocumentor.ini, which is found in the root installation directory of phpDocumentor.

-s, --sourcecode

This option tells phpDocumentor to generate highlighted cross-referenced source code for every file parsed. The highlighting code is somewhat unstable, so use this option at your own risk.

-t, --target

Use this to tell phpDocumentor where to put generated documentation. Legal values are paths that phpDocumentor will have write access and directory creation priveleges.

-tb, --templatebase

-tb accepts a single pathname as its parameter. The default value of -tb if unspecified is <phpDocumentor install directory>/phpDocumentor. This raises a very important point to understand. The -tb command-line is designed to tell phpDocumentor to look for all templates for all converters in subdirectories of the path specified. By default, templates are located in a special subdirectory structure.

For the hypothetical outputformat:convertername:templatename -o, --output argument, the directory structure is Converters/outputformat/convertname/templates/templatename/. The class file for convertname should be in the convertname/templates directly, right beside your templatename directory/ies. In addition, Smarty expects to find two subdirectories, templates/ (containing the Smarty template files) and templates_c/ (which will contain the compiled template files).

"phpdoc -tb ~/phpdoctemplates -o HTML:frames:default" will only work if the directory ~/phpdoctemplates/Converters/HTML/frames/default/templates contains all the template files, and ~/phpdoctemplates/Converters/HTML/frames/default/templates_c exists.

-ti, --title

Set the global title of the generated documentation

-ue, --undocumentedelements

This option tells phpDocumentor whether or not to suppress warnings about certain objects (classes, methods) that are not documented via a DocBlock comment. Use this to help identify objects that you still need to write documentation for.

phpDocumentor's dynamic User-defined config files

The new -c, --config command-line options heralds a new era of ease in using phpDocumentor. What used to require:

phpdoc -t /path/to/output -d path/to/directory1,/another/path,/third/path\
-f /path/to/anotherfile.php -i *test.php,tests/ -pp on -ti My Title -o HTML:frames:phpedit

Can now be done in a single stroke!

phpdoc -c myconfig

What makes this all possible is the use of config files that contain all of the command-line information. There are two configuration files included in the distribution of phpDocumentor, and both are in the user/ subdirectory. To use a configuration file "myconfig.ini," simply place it in the user directory, and the command-line "phpdoc -c myconfig" will tell phpDocumentor to read all the command-line settings from that config file. Configuration files may also be placed in another directory, just specify the full path to the configuration file:

phpdoc -c /full/path/to/myconfig.ini

The best way to ensure your config file matches the format expected by phpDocumentor is to copy the default.ini config file, and modify it to match your needs. Lines that begin with a semi-colon (;) are ignored, and can be used for comments.

Be sure to put in your config file all the runtime options you need, because all other command-line arguments are ignored if you use a config file.

phpDocumentor.ini - global configuration options

The phpDocumentor.ini file contains several useful options, most of which will never need to be changed. However, some are useful. The section [_phpDocumentor_options] contains several configuration settings that may be changed to enhance output documentation. For Program Location, the relative path is specified as Program_Root/relativepath/to/file. The prefix "Program_Root" may be changed to any text, including none at all, or "Include ", etc. The [_phpDocumentor_setting] section can be used to specify a config file that should be used by default, so phpDocumentor may be run without any command-line arguments whatsoever! The [_phpDocumentor_phpfile_exts] section tells phpDocumentor which file extensions are php files, add any non-standard extensions, such as "class" to this section.

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Source code for sample3.php phpDocumentor Guide to Creating Fantastic Documentation Documentable PHP Elements

Documentation generated on Mon, 05 Dec 2011 21:24:11 -0600 by phpDocumentor 1.4.4