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Static analysis with PHPSA: PHP Smart Analyzer

One requirement that never changes whether you are working on your projects alone or in a team, on small projects or big, is Code Quality. The bigger the project and the team, the harder it gets to maintain it.

A good way of slowing this increase in difficulty down is to use static analysis tools. Static analysis is the process of analyzing software without actually executing the program – a sort of automatic code review. Static analysis tools will detect common errors, enforce coding standards, and even clean up code blocks. The days of php -l filename are not over, but we now have a number of great tools that go the extra mile in helping us create and maintain high quality code.

Speaking of php -l filename, the good old PHP lint, it’s what will execute a syntax analysis on the target file and output any errors it finds. I used to have this little piece of code that I used on and off to send emails with PHP. It is a good starting point for our analysis.


class Email{

    function Email( $subject, $message, $senderName, $senderEmail, $toList, $ccList=0, $bccList=0, $replyTo=0 ){

        $this->sender = $senderName . " <$senderEmail>";
        $this->replyTo = $replyTo;
        $this->subject = $subject;
        $this->message = $message;

        // Set the To recipients
        if( is_array($toList)){
            $this->to = join( $toList, "," );
            $this->to = $toList;

        // Set the cc list
        if( is_array($ccList) && sizeof($ccList)){
            $this->cc = join( $ccList, "," );
            $this->cc = $ccList;

        // Set the bcc list
        if( is_array($bccList) && sizeof($bccList)){
            $this->bcc = join( $bccList, "," );
            $this->bcc = $bccList;

    function sendMail(){

        //create the headers for PHP mail() function
        $this->headers = "From: " . $this->sender . "n";
        if( $this->replyTo ){
            $this->headers .= "Reply-To: " . $this->replyTo . "n";
        if( $this->cc ){
            $this->headers .= "Cc: " . $this->cc . "n";
        if( $this->bcc ){
            $this->headers .= "Bcc: " . $this->bcc . "n";

        print "To: " . $this->to ."<br>Subject: " . $this->subject . "<br>Message: " . $this->message . "<br>Headers: " . $this->headers;
        return mail( $this->to, $this->subject, $this->message, $this->headers );

As you can see, this is a simple email sending class. If we run our PHP lint
on this code, we will see that everything is good.

php -l Email.php

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