[TUHS] Systematic approach to command-line interfaces [ meta issues ]

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Mon Aug 2 05:48:10 AEST 2021

Douglas McIlroy <douglas.mcilroy at dartmouth.edu> wrote:

> In realizing the white paper's desire to "have the parser
> provide the results to the program", it's likely that the mechanism
> will, like Yacc, go beyond parsing and invoke semantic actions
> as it identifies tree nodes.

I have to admit that all this feels like overkill. Parsing options
is only a very small part of the real work that a program does.

Speaking for myself, I want something simple and regular that will
get the job done and let me get on with the actual business of
my software.  A grammar just for command-line argument parsing feels
like the tail wagging the dog: not nearly enough ROI, at least
for me.

I happen to like the getopt_long interface designed by the GNU
project. It's easy to learn, setup and use. Once it's in place
it's set and forget.

My two cents,


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