Arg decoding with a template?

Hans-Joachim Widmaier hjwidmaier at
Wed Aug 1 13:28:01 CEST 2001

"Steve Holden" <sholden at> wrote in message 
> Was this the one that allowed to you define command lines like
>     COPY FROM <file> TO <file>
> and variations could be deduced from the noise words? I seem to remember a
> college chum of mine working in BCPL with a scheme like this, circa 1978,
> but have only this fading memory.

Yes. I had several Amigas for several years and I always loved those
command lines. The nice thing about it was that you could give
arguments by name and/or position:

   COPY <file> <file>
   COPY TO <file> FROM <file>

Sometimes this was rather convenient, e.g. if you had to repeat a
command a few times and change an argument (not often enough for a
loop or script, though).
You'd just hit Cursor-Up, Ctrl-W and type in the new argument.

And it looked nice, at least nicer than '-', '--' or '/'. The letters
are also easier to reach on the keyboard.

I would have written a parser for this under Unix, but I prefer to
have a consistent interface, which means basically getopt() (though I
did write my own C getopt()).


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