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Command-line Ruby Utilities Shipped as Classes

branch: master
README.md

Quickl

Description

Quickl helps you create commandline programs as simply as:

#
# Short description here
#
# SYNOPSIS
#   Usage: ...
#
# OPTIONS:
# #{summarized_options}
#
# DESCRIPTION
#   Long description here...
#
class SimpleCommand < Quickl::Command(__FILE__, __LINE__)

  # install options below
  options do |opt|
    # _opt_ is an OptionParser instance
  end

  # install the code to run the command
  def execute(args)
    # _args_ are non-option command line parameters
  end

end

Running them as simply as:

SimpleCommand.run(ARGV)

From simple command to complex delegator (ala 'git [--version] [--help] COMMAND [cmd options] ARGS...'), Quickl provides (or aims at providing) the following features:

  • Simple command creations via simple classes
  • Delegator commands and categories via ruby namespaces and naming conventions
  • Command help and documentation provided through rdoc
  • Command options via standard OptionParser
  • Error handling trought special blocks, assertions methods and dedicated Error classes
  • Unit/spec testing of commands, as they are part of the software

Install

sudo gem install quickl

Then?

Try this:

# have a look at options
quickl --help

# generate a hello.rb single command
quickl --layout=single --options=help,version hello > hello.rb

# test your command
ruby hello.rb --help
ruby hello.rb --version
ruby hello.rb bob

# see what has been generated
cat hello.rb

Additional examples (see examples folder):

Related work

A few other gems similarly provide tools to generate commandline app.

  • https://github.com/wycats/thor provides a way to bundle command line utilities as class methods. It also provides an alternative to Rake and therefore sees commands as tasks. It is more mature that quickl but is also a bit more opinionated IMHO. If you want one command by class, use quickl; one command by method, go for thor instead.
  • https://github.com/mdub/clamp is very similar to quickl as well, even more similar than thor in fact. Clamp supports subcommands and options (not through OptionParser, though). It does not have the quickl's auto-documentation feature, but has an automatic --help. I would say that Clamp is maybe a bit lighter and 'straight to the point' than quickl, but also more magic and opinionated.
  • See also: http://trollop.rubyforge.org/, http://clip.rubyforge.org/

Version policy

Until version 1.0.0, moditications of public interfaces increase the minor version, while other changes increase the tiny version. After version 1.0.0, same changes will affect major and minor versions, respectively.

0.1.0 -> 0.1.1    # enhancements and private API changes
0.1.0 -> 0.2.0    # broken API on public interfaces

Public interfaces are:

  • Quickl::Command and Quickl::Delegator calls
  • DSL methods used in "subclasses" built by Quickl::Command and Quickl::Delegator
  • RDoc -> command line documentation recognizers (synopsis, overview, documentation, ...)
  • Naming conventions (module <-> command conversions)
  • Default reactions to errors (Quickl::Help, Quickl::Exit, ...)

Until version 1.0.0, to preserve your application from hurting changes you should require quickl as follows:

gem 'quickl', '~> 0.2.0'    # Assuming current version is 0.2.xx
require 'quickl'
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