[TUHS] 'Command subcommand ...' history

Tim Bradshaw tfb at tfeb.org
Sat Mar 25 01:42:02 AEST 2017

Lots of tools now seem to use this strategy: there's some kind of wrapper which has its own set of commands (which in turn might have further subcommands).  So for instance

    git remote add ...

is a two layer thing.

Without getting into an argument about whether that's a reasonable or ideologically-correct approach, I was wondering what the early examples of this kind of wrapper-command approach were.  I think the first time I noticed it was CVS, which made you say `cvs co ...` where RCS & SCCS had a bunch of individual commands (actually: did SCCS?).  But I think it's possible to argue that ifconfig was an earlier example of the same thing.  I was thinking about dd as well, but I don't think that's the same: they're really options not commands I think.

Relatedly, does this style originate on some other OS?


(I realise that in the case of many of these things, particularly git, the wrapper is just dispatching to other tools that do the werk: it's the command style I'm interested in not how it's implemented.)

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