Eskild Hustvedt

Fixing PHP documentation woes

I prefer writing in Perl or Ruby, but sometimes the choice of language has been made by someone else, a position I have found myself in lately. When using perl and ruby, there’s always perldoc and ri, so documentation is a quick command away in any of my terminals, which thanks to screen is never fewer than ten. PHP however, has no such tool, the docs are in HTML and many distros don’t even package the HTML docs. So, to avoid the pain of switching out of the safety of my terminal and into a web browser all the time, and speed up my work, I wrote an app, phpdocr. It’s quite simple, it scrapes (and caches the result for quick viewing later) and displays the parsed HTML in your pager - resulting in something sort of like perldoc or ri. So if you have the same itch, grab it from

The app itself, of course, is not written in PHP - it’s written in ruby.