command line option

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command line option

(Or "option", "flag", "switch", "option switch") An argument to a command that modifies its function rather than providing data. Options generally start with "-" in Unix or "/" in MS-DOS. This is usually followed by a single letter or occasionally a digit. More recently, GNU software adopted the --longoptionname style, usually in addition to traditional, single-character, -x style equivalents.

Some commands require each option to be a separate argument, introduced by a new "-" or "/", others allow multiple option letters to be concatenated into a single argument with a single "-" or "/", e.g. "ls -al". A few Unix commands (e.g. ar, tar) allow the "-" to be omitted. Some options may or must be followed by a value, e.g. "cc prog.c -o prog", sometimes with and sometimes without an intervening space.

getopt and getopts are commands for parsing command line options. There is also a C library routine called getopt for the same purpose.
References in periodicals archive ?
The fourth edition presents the same programming philosophy as the third edition, and features supplementary material added throughout; 32 new programming projects, the majority added to the earlier chapters; material on specifying command-line arguments added to the chapter on strings; and the addition of 31 videos to the book's companion website, covering specific topics and solutions.
The latter options are useful when iAnalyst is setup for report automation, in which the program can run automatically via command-line arguments.

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