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An HCLI Connector that can be used to expose any CLI via hypertext command line interface (HCLI) semantics.
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HCLI Core build status pypi

An HCLI Connector that can be used to expose a REST API with a built-in CLI, via hypertext command line interface (HCLI) semantics.

HCLI Core implements an HCLI Connector, a type of Service Connector, as a WSGI application and provides a way for developers to expose a service hosted CLI, as a REST API, via HCLI semantics. Such an API exposes a"built-in" CLI that can be interacted with dynamically with any HCLI client. Up to date, in-band, man page style API/CLI documentation is readily available for use to help understand how to interact with the API.

Most, if not all, programming languages have a way to issue shell commands. With the help of a generic HCLI client, such as Huckle [1], APIs that make use of HCLI semantics are readily consumable anywhere via the familiar command line (CLI) mode of operation, and this, without there being a need to write a custom and dedicated CLI to interact with a specific HCLI API.

You can find out more about HCLI on [2]

The HCLI Internet-Draft [3] is a work in progress by the author and the current implementation leverages hal+json alongside a static form of ALPS (semantic profile) [4] to help enable widespread cross media-type support.

Help shape HCLI and it's ecosystem on the discussion list [5] or by raising issues on github!







hcli_core requires Python 3.5-3.7 and pip.

You'll need an WSGI compliant application server to run hcli_core. For example, you can use Green Unicorn (

$ pip install gunicorn

Install hcli_core via pip. You can launch gunicorn from anywhere by using "hcli_core path". You can also look at the hcli_core help file:

$ pip install hcli_core

$ hcli_core help

$ gunicorn --workers=5 --threads=2 -b --chdir `hcli_core path` "hcli_core:connector()"

If you want to load a sample HCLI other than the default, you can try loading the sample hfm (hypertext file manager) HCLI. A folder path to any 3rd party HCLI can be provided in the same way:

$ gunicorn --workers=5 --threads=2 -b --chdir `hcli_core path` "hcli_core:connector(\"`hcli_core sample hfm`\")"

Curl your new service to understand what is being exposed. The HCLI root URL, to use with an HCLI client, is the cli link relation:

$ curl

Install an HCLI client, for example Huckle (, and access the default sample jsonf CLI exposed by HCLI Core (you may need to restart your terminal to be able to use jsonf by name directly; otherwise you can attempt to source ~/.bash_profile or ~/.bashrc):

$ pip install huckle

$ huckle cli install

$ jsonf help

You can also look at the huckle help file:

$ huckle help


  • No good handling of control over request and response in cli code which can lead to exceptions and empty response client side.
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