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Re: argp

From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: argp
Date: 26 Aug 2002 13:25:27 +0900

Keith Simmons <address@hidden> writes:
> I'm an intern at Sun working on a possible port of your gnu argp to
> solaris. ... In order to get final approval on my project and to allow
> sun to maintain argp in the future, I need to create a specification
> which details exactly what syntax argp accepts.

You mean the command-line syntax, right?

> I was wondering if there was a specific spec upon which you based the
> argp implementation.

Not really.  It's intended to implement the `GNU standard style' of
command line syntax, and I'm not aware of any one place where that is
specified exactly.

It's partially described in the `GNU Coding Standards' document, but
that doesn't go into any detail, and I suppose the real authority is the
implementation of `getopt_long' (which argp currently calls to do the
parsing, though that's an implementation detail [and undesirable for
several reasons]); there might be some more info in the comments of that
source file.

The layout of --help output etc. is intended to mimic existing GNU
programs, but I'm not aware of any specification for this (i.e. when I
had a question, I just ran `ls --help' and saw what it did).

I've CC'd my reply to the `bug-gnu-utils' mailing list; perhaps a reader
there has some more insight.

> I can probably create a decent specification based on experimentation
> and online documentation, but I think it's best to start at the
> source.  If you don't have anything of the sort, no problem.

BTW, there's been some interest in a portable standalone implementation
of argp; several projects use it internally, but I'm not aware of a
standalone library.

I don't know what Sun's requirements are, but perhaps some effort can
be shared in this.


Come now, if we were really planning to harm you, would we be waiting here, 
 beside the path, in the very darkest part of the forest?

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