Header Comment Blocks

All source code files in the PEAR repository shall contain a "page-level" docblock at the top of each file and a "class-level" docblock immediately above each class. Below are examples of such docblocks.


/* vim: set expandtab tabstop=4 shiftwidth=4 softtabstop=4: */

 * Short description for file
 * Long description for file (if any)...
 * PHP version 5
 * LICENSE: This source file is subject to version 3.01 of the PHP license
 * that is available through the world-wide-web at the following URI:
 * http://www.php.net/license/3_01.txt.  If you did not receive a copy of
 * the PHP License and are unable to obtain it through the web, please
 * send a note to license@php.net so we can mail you a copy immediately.
 * @category   CategoryName
 * @package    PackageName
 * @author     Original Author <author@example.com>
 * @author     Another Author <another@example.com>
 * @copyright  1997-2005 The PHP Group
 * @license    http://www.php.net/license/3_01.txt  PHP License 3.01
 * @version    SVN: $Id$
 * @link       http://pear.php.net/package/PackageName
 * @see        NetOther, Net_Sample::Net_Sample()
 * @since      File available since Release 1.2.0
 * @deprecated File deprecated in Release 2.0.0

* Place includes, constant defines and $_GLOBAL settings here.
* Make sure they have appropriate docblocks to avoid phpDocumentor
* construing they are documented by the page-level docblock.

 * Short description for class
 * Long description for class (if any)...
 * @category   CategoryName
 * @package    PackageName
 * @author     Original Author <author@example.com>
 * @author     Another Author <another@example.com>
 * @copyright  1997-2005 The PHP Group
 * @license    http://www.php.net/license/3_01.txt  PHP License 3.01
 * @version    Release: @package_version@
 * @link       http://pear.php.net/package/PackageName
 * @see        NetOther, Net_Sample::Net_Sample()
 * @since      Class available since Release 1.2.0
 * @deprecated Class deprecated in Release 2.0.0
class Foo_Bar


Required Tags That Have Variable Content

Short Descriptions

Short descriptions must be provided for all docblocks. They should be a quick sentence, not the name of the item. Please read the Coding Standard's Sample File about how to write good descriptions.

PHP Versions

One of the following must go in the page-level docblock:

* PHP version 4
 * PHP version 5
 * PHP version 7
 * PHP versions 4 and 5
 * PHP versions 5 and 7
 * PHP versions 4, 5 and 7

There are several possible licenses. One of the following must be picked and placed in the page-level and class-level docblocks:

* @license   http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0  Apache License 2.0
 * @license   http://www.freebsd.org/copyright/freebsd-license.html  BSD License (2 Clause)
 * @license   http://www.debian.org/misc/bsd.license  BSD License (3 Clause)
 * @license   http://www.freebsd.org/copyright/license.html  BSD License (4 Clause)
 * @license   http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.html  MIT License
 * @license   http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lesser.html  LGPL License 2.1
 * @license   http://www.php.net/license/3_01.txt  PHP License 3.01

For more information, see the PEAR Group's Licensing Announcement.


The following must be used in both the page-level and class-level docblocks. Of course, change "PackageName" to the name of your package. This ensures the generated documentation links back your package.

* @link      http://pear.php.net/package/PackageName

There's no hard rule to determine when a new code contributor should be added to the list of authors for a given source file. In general, their changes should fall into the "substantial" category (meaning somewhere around 10% to 20% of code changes). Exceptions could be made for rewriting functions or contributing new logic.

Simple code reorganization or bug fixes would not justify the addition of a new individual to the list of authors.


This tag is required when a file or class is added after the package's initial release. Do not use it in an initial release.


This tag is required when a file or class is no longer used but has been left in place for backwards compatibility.

Optional Tags


Feel free to apply whatever copyrights you desire. When formatting this tag, the year should be in four digit format and if a span of years is involved, use a hyphen between the earliest and latest year. The copyright holder can be you, a list of people, a company, the PHP Group, etc. Examples:

* @copyright 2003 John Doe and Jennifer Buck
 * @copyright 2001-2004 John Doe
 * @copyright 1997-2004 The PHP Group
 * @copyright 2001-2004 XYZ Corporation
License Summary

If you are using the PHP License, use the summary text provided above. If another license is being used, please remove the PHP License summary. Feel free to substitute it with text appropriate to your license, though to keep things easy to locate, please preface the text with LICENSE: .


Add a @see tag when you want to refer users to other sections of the package's documentation. If you have multiple items, separate them with commas rather than adding multiple @see tags.

Order and Spacing

To ease long term readability of PEAR source code, the text and tags must conform to the order and spacing provided in the example above. This standard is adopted from the JavaDoc standard.

@package_version@ Usage

There are two ways to implement the @package_version@ replacements. The procedure depends on whether you write your own package.xml files or if you use the PackageFileManager.

For those authoring package.xml files directly, add a <replace> element for each file. The XML for such would look something like this:

<file name="Class.php">
  <replace from="@package_version@" to="version" type="package-info" />

Maintainers using the PackageFileManager need to call addReplacement() for each file:


Transition Policy

Existing Small Packages

Existing packages that have only a few files are required to adopt these docblocks before the next release.

Existing Large Packages

Existing packages with many files are encouraged to adopt the new headers as soon as possible. When such packages come out with a new major version upgrade, these docblocks must be implemented therein.

New and Unreleased Packages

New packages and existing packages which have no releases yet must include these docblocks before their first release.

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Last updated: Wed, 29 Jun 2016 — Download Documentation
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User Notes:

Note by: michael.spiess@cuxmedia.de
Im Beispiel ist unter anderem die Zeile:
* @version CVS: <?php
aufgeführt. Bei mir ergibt das aber keine Versionsausgabe, sondern nur das "$" Zeichen.

Ich arbeite mit Doxygen.

Note by: frustrated@example.org
The name of the command for emitting docblock documentation should be mentioned.