optparse - required options

Omari Norman omari at smileystation.com
Thu Aug 23 18:27:39 CEST 2007

On Mon, Aug 20, 2007 at 05:31:00PM -0400, Jay Loden wrote:
> Robert Dailey wrote:
> > Well, I don't know what is wrong with people then. I don't see how
> > required arguments are of bad design. Some command-line applications are
> > built around performing tasks based on information received. Compilers,
> > for example. A compiler can't do much of anything unless you give it at
> > the very least a filename. So, a --file command would most definitely be
> > one required argument. Anyway, I'm not trying to start a debate on this
> > issue. I have my own implementation for required arguments at the
> > moment, I am just a little bit surprised that this module doesn't make
> > it convenient. It would definitely help on code duplication.
> > 
> > Thanks for your response.

> I tend to agree...while "required option" may be an oxymoron in
> English, I can think of quite a few scripts I've written myself (in
> various languages) that needed at least some kind of user input to
> operate. At least the documentation points to some examples for
> helpful hints, example code is a lot better than nothing ;)

The idea with optparse is not that programs should not require certain
information on the command line; rather, the idea is that this
information should be positional arguments, not 'options'.

That is, to use the compiler example:

compiler file

is preferred if a file argument is necessary.

compiler --file file

is not preferred.

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