Common files in PHP packages

Jordi Boggiano • April 21, 2016


This one started in a peculiar way. Paul M. Jones announced a new version of his Producer tool, I had a look at it and saw that it recommended having a changelog called by default. This irked me a bit because I always use and hardly ever see that as a file name (it's the little things that matter, right?).

My first thought was to report an issue asking to change the default, but then I thought it's Paul, he will not just take my word for it, he will want hard facts. So here I am two days later. I queried GitHub's API for the file listing (only the root directory) of all PHP packages listed on

Show me the data!

What this let me do is look at what files are commonly present (and not), which is quite interesting to get a picture of the whole ecosystem.

In total, this includes file listings from 78'992 packages (no GitHub API was harmed in the making of this blog post though). And here are a few interesting things that surfaced:

Common Directories

Common Files

If you would like to access the full data to look at other numbers, you can get a readable version of the top 100 dirs and top 100 files plus a file containing the whole data set with file name => package counts.