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From: williamkempf_at_[hidden]
Date: 2001-11-29 10:37:16

--- In boost_at_y..., christian.engstrom_at_g... wrote:
> > The only problem with interspersing options
> > and arguments is ambiguity arising with optional parameters.
> > "--foo bar" can mean two different things if "foo" takes optional
> > parameter.
> One possible way of resolving this particular ambiguity is to let
> command line parser impose the syntax rule that if an option takes
> argument, there must be an "=" sign between the option name and the
> argument. This would mean that "--foo = bar" is always an option
> with an argument, whereas "--foo bar" is always an option and a
> parameter.

This means that you can't have an option that takes multiple

--foo bar1 bar2

You can get tricky with the parsing by also requiring commas between


But now the syntax is becoming foreign to most users. I'm not sure I
like that.

> This syntax rule is consistent with how most programs work under MS-
> DOS, and is also consistent with how for instance Emacs handles
> of its) long options. While it may not be consistent with how most
> Unix programs presently handle short options, it wouldn't do any
> to the legibility there either, IMO.

Under most DOS programs I've used the '=' is an optional syntax. In
other words both of these are legit:

/foo bar

Bill Kempf

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