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Documentable PHP Elements

Elements of PHP source that phpDocumentor can automatically document

Authors:
by Joshua Eichorn
jeichorn@phpdoc.org
by Gregory Beaver
cellog@php.net
by Chuck Burgess
ashnazg@php.net

Table of Contents

Introduction to Documentable Elements

phpDocumentor is capable of automatically documenting include statements, define statements, functions, procedural pages, classes, class variables, and class methods.

Procedural Elements

From phpDocumentor's perspective, the basic container for procedural elements (as in real life) is the file that contains them. To reflect this, it is possible to document information about the entire contents of a file. This is accomplished through the use of a page-level DocBlock (see DocBlocks for basic information on what a DocBlock is). A page-level DocBlock is the only DocBlock that cannot precede the element that it is documenting, as there is no way to precede a file. To solve this issue, the way phpDocumentor finds a page-level DocBlock is to parse the first DocBlock in a file as the page-level DocBlock, with certain conditions.

  1. <?php
  2. /**
  3.  * Page-level DocBlock
  4.  */
  5. define('oops','Page-level DocBlock it is not!');
  6. ?>

This last example has one DocBlock, and it is the first DocBlock in a file, but it is not a Page-level DocBlock. How can phpDocumentor tell the difference between a Page-level DocBlock and any other DocBlock? Simple:

  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 contains a @package tag
  7.  * @package pagepackage
  8.  */
  9. define("almost","Now the Page-level DocBlock is for the page, and the Define has no docblock");?>

In phpDocumentor version 1.2.2, a Page-level DocBlock is the first DocBlock in a file if it contains a @package tag. However, this example will raise a warning like WARNING in test.php on line 8: Page-level DocBlock precedes "define almost", use another DocBlock to document the source element. You can eliminate the warning by adding documentation to the define as follows:

  1. <?php
  2. /**
  3.  * Page-level DocBlock
  4.  * @package pagepackage
  5.  */
  6. /**
  7.  * Define DocBlock
  8.  */
  9. define("ahhhh","Now the Page-level DocBlock is for the page, and the Define DocBlock for the define");
  10. ?>

Now, the page has its documentation, and the define has its own documentation.

So, a DocBlock is a page-level DocBlock IF AND ONLY IF it is both:

  1. The first DocBlock in a file

  2. One of:

  3. Contains a @package tag

  4. Immediately followed by another DocBlock for any documentable PHP element this is deprecated, always use a @package tag

A Page-level DocBlock may have any of the standard phpDocumentor Tags (see Standard phpDocumentor Tags) plus the following tags:

Caution
phpDocumentor will not document a file like the first example, there must be at least one documentable PHP element in the file.

include/require/include_once/require_once statements

phpDocumentor extracts the filename and attempts to link to documentation for that filename if possible. Include statements may only have any of the Standard phpDocumentor Tags

phpDocumentor will attempt to locate the included file in the list of files parsed, and if found will make a link to that file's documentation.


define statements

A define statement's DocBlock may have any of the standard phpDocumentor Tags (see Standard phpDocumentor Tags) plus the following tag:


function declarations

A function's DocBlock may have any of the standard phpDocumentor Tags (see Standard phpDocumentor Tags) plus the following tags:


global variables

A global variable's DocBlock may have any of the standard phpDocumentor Tags (see Standard phpDocumentor Tags) plus the following tag:

In addition, the global variable's DocBlock must contain the @global tag.


Class Elements

A class's DocBlock may have any of the standard phpDocumentor Tags (see Standard phpDocumentor Tags) plus the following tags:

DocBlock inheritance

New in version 1.2.0, DocBlock's are inherited by child classes, variables, and methods. There are a few simple rules for inheritance:

  • tags @author, @version, and @copyright are automatically inherited unless explicitly specified in the DocBlock

  • As in previous versions, @package and @subpackage are inherited unless explicitly specified in the DocBlock. We recommend that you explicitly use @package and @subpackage for every class to avoid problems with name conflicts that may arise

  • If there is no short description, the short description will be inherited.

  • If there is no long description, the long description will be inherited.

  • If there is a long description, and you still want to inherit the parent's description, use inline {@inheritdoc}

Be aware that this kind of docblock inheritance expects children to be in the same package as the parent. Otherwise, the docblock inheritance will not apply.

  1. /**
  2.  * short desc
  3.  *
  4.  * long desc
  5.  * @package test
  6.  * @author me
  7.  * @version 1.0
  8.  * @abstract
  9.  * @copyright never
  10.  */
  11. class parclass
  12. {
  13. }
  14.  
  15. // inherits entire DocBlock minus @abstract
  16. class child1 extends parclass
  17. {
  18. }
  19.  
  20. // inherits DocBlock minus @abtract, short desc
  21. /**
  22.  * overriding short desc
  23.  */
  24. class child2 extends parclass
  25. {
  26. }
  27.  
  28. // inherits @author, @version, @copyright, @package
  29. /**
  30.  * overriding short desc
  31.  *
  32.  * overriding long desc
  33.  */
  34. class child3 extends parclass
  35. {
  36. }
  37.  
  38. // inherits @version, @copyright, @package
  39. /**
  40.  * overriding short desc
  41.  *
  42.  * overriding long desc
  43.  * @author you
  44.  */
  45. class child4 extends parclass
  46. {
  47. }


class variables

A class variable's DocBlock may have any of the standard phpDocumentor Tags (see Standard phpDocumentor Tags) plus the following tag:


class methods

A method's DocBlock may have any of the standard phpDocumentor Tags (see Standard phpDocumentor Tags) plus the following tags:


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Documentation generated on Sun, 02 Sep 2012 00:00:36 +0000 by phpDocumentor 1.4.3. PEAR Logo Copyright © PHP Group 2004.