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Rubén Rubio for Filmin Engineering

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PHP libraries and tools


We want the new project we are starting at Filmin to be robust. Therefore, besides adopting good coding practices, we checked some PHP libraries and tools that can help us improve its quality.

Here is a list of the tools we analyzed with the description they have in its Github repository, excluding well known tools or libraries, such as PHPUnit.

Most of these tools are CLI commands, so they can be integrated in a CI/CD flow. Others can be integrated within the IDE, such as Psalm or PHPStan in PHPStorm. And others are libraries that we use in our project.

The list is based in our experience, and it is heavily influenced by:


  • brick/date-time: Date and time library for PHP
  • thecodingmachine/safe: All PHP functions, rewritten to throw exceptions instead of returning false, now for php8
  • Tactician: A small, flexible command bus
  • ronanguilloux/isocodes: PHP library - Validators for standards from ISO, International Finance, Public Administrations, GS1, Manufacturing Industry, Phone numbers & Zipcodes for many countries
  • box/spout: Read and write spreadsheet files (CSV, XLSX and ODS), in a fast and scalable way
  • league/flysystem: Abstraction for local and remote filesystems
  • Serializer:
    • Symfony Serializer Component: The Serializer component is meant to be used to turn objects into a specific format (XML, JSON, YAML, …) and the other way around.
    • JMS Serializer: This library allows you to (de-)serialize data of any complexity. Currently, it supports XML and JSON.
    • Fractal: Fractal provides a presentation and transformation layer for complex data output, the like found in RESTful APIs, and works really well with JSON. Think of this as a view layer for your JSON/YAML/etc.


Code quality


Composer tools

  • ComposerRequireChecker: A CLI tool to check whether a specific composer package uses imported symbols that aren't part of its direct composer dependencies
  • composer-unused: Show unused composer dependencies by scanning your code
  • composer-normalize: Provides a composer plugin for normalizing composer.json.



  • Robo: Modern Task Runner for PHP
  • CaptainHook: Very flexible git hook manager for php developers


There is a huge amount of tools written by the PHP community that helps us increase the quality of our project, and that ease our task as developers. We need to choose the ones that adapt better to our project and use case.

And you? Do you know any interesting tool that is not in this list?

Top comments (11)

bdelespierre profile image
Benjamin Delespierre • Edited

And you? Do you know any interesting tool that is not in this list?

Yes. I would suggest

  • thephpleague/skeleton to kickstart OSS projects on GitHub in 3 minutes
  • Mockery is my favorite mocking library
  • Behat writes your tests for you from your specs
  • PHPMD is old, not obsolete.
  • Faker is the best fake data generator out there

You've already provided a ton of excellent tools. Some I already use everyday. Some I will discover RIGHT NOW OMG LOOKS SOOOO COOOOOOOL

BTW I talk a lot about code quality, so come and subscribe 😎

tyler36 profile image
tyler36 • Edited

Just a heads up.

fzaninotto/Faker has been sunsetted, so development has stopped.

I recommend using FakerPHP which an attempt at maintaining and developing the code. It should be a drop-in replacement, I can't think of any changes I've had to made but YMMV.

It only support PHP >7.1.

  • EDIT: formatting
rubenrubiob profile image
Rubén Rubio

Thank you for your recommendation!

rubenrubiob profile image
Rubén Rubio

Thank you for your suggestions!

icanhazstring profile image
Andreas Frömer

Author of composer-unused here. Thanks for listing along side those awesome other libraries, feeling honored 💪

rubenrubiob profile image
Rubén Rubio

Thank you for your work! We have been using your library for some months and it is really useful!

icanhazstring profile image
Andreas Frömer

Thanks, much appreciated 🙏

podarok profile image
Andrii Podanenko

Thank you

ninidc profile image
Nicolas Del castillo

Thanks for the articles!

marceloroberto profile image
Marcelo Roberto

Fantastic!!! Thanks for shared!!!!

rubenrubiob profile image
Rubén Rubio

Thank you!