Do people create parsers for command line arguments?

Roger L Costello <costello@mitre.org>
Thu, 28 Jul 2022 11:14:51 +0000

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Do people create parsers for command line arguments? costello@mitre.org (Roger L Costello) (2022-07-28)
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From: Roger L Costello <costello@mitre.org>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 11:14:51 +0000
Organization: Compilers Central
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Hi Folks,


I've seen some tools with pretty complicated arguments. The argument list is a
language unto itself.


Do people create parsers for command line arguments? Or is a parser overkill?


/Roger
[On Unix-ish systems, the shell breaks the command into space separated arguments, while
the rest is up to each program. Many languages have argument handling libraries, typically
recognizing arguments of various types such as switches, numbers, and filenames. Some shells
like zsh have complicated command completion schemes which know as you type what each bit
of a command is supposed to be so it can prompt you. See the zsh manpages for a very long
discussion of how it works.
Back in the olden days, Tenex had command completion built into the operating system which
seemed pretty cool at the time. The manual should be in bitsavers. -John]



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