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Upgrading from PHP-Parser 1.x to 2.0

PHP version requirements

PHP-Parser now requires PHP 5.4 or newer to run. It is however still possible to parse PHP 5.2 and PHP 5.3 source code, while running on a newer version.

Creating a parser instance

Parser instances should now be created through the ParserFactory. Old direct instantiation code will not work, because the parser class was renamed.


```php use PhpParser, PhpParser; $parser = new Parser(new Lexer); ```


```php use PhpParser; $parser = (new ParserFactory)->create(ParserFactory::PREFER_PHP7); ```

The first argument to ParserFactory determines how different PHP versions are handled. The possible values are:

  • ParserFactory::PREFER_PHP7: Try to parse code as PHP 7. If this fails, try to parse it as PHP 5.
  • ParserFactory::PREFER_PHP5: Try to parse code as PHP 5. If this fails, try to parse it as PHP 7.
  • ParserFactory::ONLY_PHP7: Parse code as PHP 7.
  • ParserFactory::ONLY_PHP5: Parse code as PHP 5.

For most practical purposes the difference between PREFER_PHP7 and PREFER_PHP5 is mainly whether a scalar type hint like string will be stored as 'string' (PHP 7) or as `new Name('string')` (PHP 5).

To use a custom lexer, pass it as the second argument to the create() method:

```php use PhpParser; $lexer = new MyLexer; $parser = (new ParserFactory)->create(ParserFactory::PREFER_PHP7, $lexer); ```

Rename of the PhpParser\Parser class

PhpParser\Parser is now an interface, which is implemented by Parser\Php5, Parser\Php7 and Parser\Multiple. Parser tokens are now defined in Parser\Tokens. If you use the ParserFactory described above to create your parser instance, these changes should have no further impact on you.

Removal of legacy aliases

All legacy aliases for classes have been removed. This includes the old non-namespaced PHPParser_ classes, as well as the classes that had to be renamed for PHP 7 support.


The set(), setFirst(), append() and prepend() methods of the Node\Name class have been deprecated. Instead Name::concat() and Name->slice() should be used.


  • The NodeTraverser no longer clones nodes by default. If you want to restore the old behavior, pass true to the constructor.
  • The legacy node format has been removed. If you use custom nodes, they are now expected to implement a getSubNodeNames() method.
  • The default value for Scalar node constructors was removed. This means that something like new LNumber() should be replaced by new LNumber(0).
  • String parts of encapsed strings are now represented using Scalar\EncapsStringPart nodes, while previously raw strings were used. This affects the parts child of Scalar\Encaps and Expr\ShellExec.