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Contributing to the Zend Framework – Getting Started

Read the Zend Framework License

The license is BSD based and can be found at

Sign a Contributor License Agreement

To contribute source code or documentation into the framework at any level (from a few lines, through a patch, to a full set of classes), you must first sign the Contributor License Agreement. This will also give you access to become a developer in the issue tracking system and the developer's wiki.

CLA signers who also establish a wiki account on this website, will be listed on our [Project Teams] page. thus, others will know who to accept code contributions from, and who they can work with in drafting proposals.

Subscribe to the appropriate mailing lists

Please join us by subscribing to the mail lists that interest you, using the email account you wish to send messages from.


[RSS feeds and custom event notifications] are also available from our systems.

ZF Mail Lists

Searchable ZF Mail Lists
We would like to make searchable achives available using ZF and Zend_Search_Lucene, but Nabble's archive works now.

How to Subscribe

Please remember to subscribe the email address you use to post messages. Using a different email address may result in substantial delays or a lost message, since we manually review and approve non-spam messages received from email addresses not subscribed to a mail list.
You may subscribe to each list individually, according to your preference,
or you may use a shortcut to subscribe to all the lists, except fw-announce, fw-general, fw-docs, fw-svn. The shortcut is "".
Do not subscribe to both fw-all and one of the lists grouped under fw-all, or you will get duplicate messages.
To subscribe, send a mail to

  • e.g.

How to Unsubscribe

Every mail sent by a list contains mail headers (Control-U in Thunderbird to view). For example:

Project Teams

I'm excited to report we now have formation of project teams around both team wiki pages and team-specific mail lists!

Andi Gutmans wrote:

The idea behind separating the various related components into separate mailing lists and having bigger teams is that it'll enable better inter-component design and architecture, plus it is our experience that having these discussions in bigger groups (which previously were held most directly with Zend) will foster an environment where ideas+proposals are more mature and less work needs to be done afterwards (it will significantly shorten any peer review process).

Project Team Wiki Pages

  • team members (add yourself if your name is missing)
  • team's ZF components
  • who is working on which components, including coordinators
  • major milestones
  • tasks needed to accomplish milestones
  • what help is needed (very important)

Project Team Responsibilities

Each project team is responsible for producing status updates / newsletters:

  • Zend project team members will help and work with community members on each team
  • copy emailed to fw-general and team-specific mail list
  • publish update every two weeks to wiki
  • all team members can help update the team's wiki page
  • all team members can help author a wiki page containing the status update

We need each team to study the other team's wiki pages and borrow
ideas to improve their wiki team page. The pages don't need to be
identical, and some things will work better for different teams. Don't
be afraid to improve something I edited. Be creative =)

Also, coordinators and everyone else should help identify tasks and
things to list under "help wanted" sections. We are an open community,
and each project team should be receptive and open to finding areas
for community members to help.

Review the Coding Standards

All framework code is covered by the [Zend Framework PHP Coding Standard (draft, ZF 0.2 RC1)]. Learn them, love them, live them.
Please "watch" the page above using the "envelope" icon on the upper right side of the page. The Confluence Wiki has a robust email notification system, accessed through your "Preferences" after logging in. From there, click on the "Watches" folder tab, and see the link to "email preferences".

Learn PHPUnit

Development in the framework is backed by extensive unit testing. We use PHPUnit extensively as our testing framework. For code to be accepted, it must be tested and covered by a unit test. Please see our ZF testing standards guide and tutorial.

Developers are expected to keep documentation and unit tests in sync with changes to code.

Contribute to the Wiki

Review and Submit Proposals

Proposals are contributed by developers and end-users of the Zend Framework. Our proposal wiki space shows the current status of proposals and manages the review process. Submit new proposals here, or help review other submissions as part of our collective intelligence.

Report, work on, resolve issues in the Issue Tracker

The Zend Framework Issue Tracker is the place to submit issues of all types. This includes bugs, change requests, feature requests (if large enough, they could be submitted as a proposal), and small patches. It is also the place to track the release roadmap and view the current status of framework components.

Please read the [Zend Framework Issue Tracker Etiquette] before working on issues.

Review SVN Commits

As code comes into SVN, it is displayed in our Fisheye browser with the change sets listed with full diffs. Review commits and double check the work of others. The more eyes, the better. This is also a great way to get a feel for the framework coding style and culture.

Contribute Code

Code can be submitted as patches (via the issue tracker), or directly to SVN. See user-contributed notes for how to make patches. Component leads and significant contributors are given direct access to the SVN repositories. If you find yourself constantly submitting patches and having the need for greater access, ask and your request will be considered. Please read the [Zend Framework Subversion Standards] before submitting new code via SVN.

Best Practices

Common Sense

  • API changes should be committed in parallel with updated documentation.

Factory Methods, Classes, and Patterns

For the following, we define "factory" as a class or method that creates instance objects of one or more classes other than the class of the factory.

Direct instantiation is the preferred choice, and factory classes should be avoided by default, and used only when sufficient need exists.

Sometimes the code in a factory method could be moved to a common, shared superclass.

ZF Container API Guidelines

For now, we decided to avoid trying to micro-manage implementation details of ZF classes with containers to suit potential points of reuse throughout the framework. Zend_Session, for example, must wrap a nested PHP array ($_SESSION), not the recursive data structure found in Zend_Config. In a few months, we can revisit and discuss whether implementations of existing ZF classes with container data structures should be refactored.

Instead, we would like to propose API conventions to help maintain consistency in style for accessing and manipulating container objects, without requiring complicated refactoring of container interfaces, classes, and implementations across diverse ZF components.

When getting and setting data in a random-access container using keys, we suggest the following required, basic operations:

  • get
  • set
  • isset
  • unset

When appropriate, containers should also implement the standard PHP Countable and Iterator interfaces, if only to facilitate debugging by those using the container class.

If the keys used for getting and setting use characters not permitted in PHP identifiers, then use methods named "get", "set", "isset", and "unset", instead of a "fluent" style interface using magic methods. Using consistently named methods for the same purpose across multiple classes increases readability and ease of use.

Only implement ArrayAccess and __call(), if they are relevant and do not overlap in functionality with the other accessors.

Intermixing "$object->propName" with "$object->get('propName')" styles can lead to confusion. Pick one and be consistent. Also, if "propName" is not a valid PHP identifier (e.g. contains whitespace or UTF-8), use the "->get" / "->set" style. Due to the international "flavor" of ZF, please carefully consider whether those speaking other languages will need to use "get($propName)" and "set($propName, $value)".

This section discusses accessing items in a container data structure, not other properties of the object wrapping the container. Thus, accessor methods for these other properties might have different requirements, like defined extension points should be represented by normal functions to access the properties they encapsulate.
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