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Generate a command-line-argument parser & config class from an XML description file
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Java GetOpt Generator

Generate a command-line-argument parser & config class from an XML description file


Using an XML file that describes your command-line options, iNamik GetOpt Generator will generate a 'parser' class capable of reading options from the command line, as well as a 'config' class that stores the processed command-line options.

Having a 'config' class allows your application to be programmatically executed from oher Java applications.


GetOpt Generator is Self-Hosting, meaning it uses itself to generate its command-line parser.


Example XML

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!-- This is the actual XML configuration used to build GetOpt Generator -->
        <!-- xml file -->
        <option name="xml-file" short="x" type="input-file" required="yes"/>

        <!-- java dir -->
        <option name="java dir" short="j" type="output-dir" required="yes"/>

        <!-- exe class -->
        <option name="exe_class" short="e" type="string" required="yes"/>

        <!-- main class -->
        <option name="main-class" short="m" type="string" required="yes"/>

        <!-- config class -->
        <option name="config class" short="c" type="string" required="yes"/>


  • name

    Long name of the option. Separate logical words with "_" (i.e. long_opt)

  • short

    Short (1 char) alias for the option

  • type

    One of:

    • boolean
    • integer
    • string
    • input-file (verifies that file exists)
    • input-dir (verifies that dir exists)
    • output-file (treated as string for now)
    • output-dir (treated as string for now)
  • required

    yes | no

  • default

    A default value appropriate for the type


Running GetOpt with --help generates the following output

options for GetOpt :

        [ --help | -? ]
        ( --xmlFile | -x ) xml_file
        ( --javaDir | -j ) java_dir
        ( --exeClass | -e ) exe_class
        ( --mainClass | -m ) main_class
        ( --configClass | -c ) config_class

NOTE: Options in brackets '[]' are optional.
      All camel-case long opts can be represented using lowercase,
      as well as with '-' or '_' seperating the camel-cased words
      (i.e. --longOpt | --longopt | --long_opt | --long-opt)


The XML file containing the configuration


The fully qualified name (package+class) of the generated class that will parse the command line (i.e. contains the main() method).


The fully qualified name (package_class) of the generated class that will store the config information.


The base output directory (i.e. your src directory). The generated files will be stored in /java/dir/package/path/


The Java class that the generated command-line parser should call after parsing the command line.

The exe class is expected to contain a constructor that accepts a config_class instance.

The exe class is expected to contain an execute() method, which will be called by the command-line parser.

It is the responsibility of the exe class to validate the parsed config, but the config_class is generated with a validate() function which does the heavy lifting.


This project has the following dependencies:

  • iNamik Template Engine (0.63.3a)
  • iNamik Template Lib - XML (0.50.1)
  • Activation (1.1.1)
  • ANTLR (2.7.7)
  • Commons Beanutils (1.8.3) Core
  • Commons Logging (1.1.1)
  • EHCache (2.2.0) Core
  • JAXB API (2.2.1 20100511)
  • JAXB IMPL (2.2.1 20100511)
  • Jaxen (1.1.4)
  • JSR173 API (1.0)



  • David Farrell
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