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Library for dealing with command line options for bash and zsh
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README
options.bash
options.zsh

README

options.bash and options.zsh
    by David Vilar

This is a small library for handling command line options in bash and zsh. It is
inspired by the optparse python library. An example usage is

    addOption -n --number required help="Specify some number" dest=myNumber
    addOption -a --aux flagTrue help="Another option, but without dest"
    addOption -o help="Option with default" default="a b" dest=otherO
    parseOptions "$@"

This example defines the options -n/--number, -a/--aux and -o. -n sets the
variable $myNumber and is required by the script to run. -a sets the $aux
variable to true when given (it does not require arguments). -o sets the
variable $otherO, but if not specified on the command line, it defaults to "a b".
Additionaly the option -h/--help is automatically generated and produces this
output:

    usage: example.bash [options]

    Options:

       -n,--number                Specify some number
       -a,--aux                   Another option, but without dest
       -o                         Option with default
       -h,--help                  Show this help message

To use the library in your own script, copy it somewhere and include it in your
script (.bash or .zsh depending on which shell you use):

. options.bash

New options are added with the addOption command. It scans its arguments for
those beginning with a dash to get the short and long option syntax (one of them
can be omitted). Additionally you can give these additional commands:

+ dest=VAR 
  Sets the destination of the variable. If not given, it defaults to
  the long option name (see option --aux in the example above)
+ action=COMMAND
  Calls command if the option is specified in the command line (usually this is
  used for calling functions in the script, but it is not limited to it)
+ default=VALUE
  Sets the default value for the option, if not given in the command line
+ required
  Specifies that the option is required [I know, this is a contradiction of
  terms ;-)]. The script will abort with an error message if the option is not
  given in the command line
+ help=MESSAGE
  Specifies the help message to be written in the output with the -h options
+ flagTrue/flagFalse
  Specifies that the option is a boolean. flagTrue sets the default value to
  false and turns it to true if the option is given in the command line. flagFalse
  works the other way round. Note that you can use such variable directly in bash
  constructs like if clauses, while loops, etc:

      if $var; then
              echo "var is set
      fi

+ configFile
  This option makes the script read an external file. Normally this is used as a
  config file, where the values of variables are set, e.g.

      input=file.in
      output=file.out
      iterations=3
        
  Note that the file is included directly in bash, no fancy parsing is done.
  This means among other things that no whitespace is allowed around = signs and
  that command can be executed from within the "config file". Use with caution.
+ dontShow
  Do not show the option in the output of -h. Useful if some options are thought
  to be used only when calling the script from other script.

Once you have defined the options for your script, use the command
    parseOptions "$@"
to parse the command line and set the appropriate variables. Additional command
line arguments are stored in the $optArgv[] array, with $optArgc storing the
number of actual arguments. 

The library follows the usual convention of supporting -- to separate options
from command line arguments, e.g. in the call
    ./example.sh -n 3 -a -- -b aaa
the arguments are "-b" and "aaa".
        
This library has been extensively used in the Jane statistical machine
translation toolkit (http://www.hltpr.rwth-aachen.de/jane)
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