In Files

  • optparse.rb

Parent

Object

Constants

OptParse

OptionParser

Introduction

OptionParser is a class for command-line option analysis. It is much more advanced, yet also easier to use, than GetoptLong, and is a more Ruby-oriented solution.

Features

  1. The argument specification and the code to handle it are written in the same place.

  2. It can output an option summary; you don't need to maintain this string separately.

  3. Optional and mandatory arguments are specified very gracefully.

  4. Arguments can be automatically converted to a specified class.

  5. Arguments can be restricted to a certain set.

All of these features are demonstrated in the examples below. See make_switch for full documentation.

Minimal example

require 'optparse'

options = {}
OptionParser.new do |opts|
  opts.banner = "Usage: example.rb [options]"

  opts.on("-v", "--[no-]verbose", "Run verbosely") do |v|
    options[:verbose] = v
  end
end.parse!

p options
p ARGV

Generating Help

OptionParser can be used to automatically generate help for the commands you write:

require 'optparse'

Options = Struct.new(:name)

class Parser
  def self.parse(options)
    args = Options.new("world")

    opt_parser = OptionParser.new do |opts|
      opts.banner = "Usage: example.rb [options]"

      opts.on("-nNAME", "--name=NAME", "Name to say hello to") do |n|
        args.name = n
      end

      opts.on("-h", "--help", "Prints this help") do
        puts opts
        exit
      end
    end

    opt_parser.parse!(options)
    return args
  end
end
options = Parser.parse %w[--help]

#=>
   # Usage: example.rb [options]
   #     -n, --name=NAME                  Name to say hello to
   #     -h, --help                       Prints this help

Required Arguments

For options that require an argument, option specification strings may include an option name in all caps. If an option is used without the required argument, an exception will be raised.

require 'optparse'

options = {}
OptionParser.new do |parser|
  parser.on("-r", "--require LIBRARY",
            "Require the LIBRARY before executing your script") do |lib|
    puts "You required #{lib}!"
  end
end.parse!

Used:

bash-3.2$ ruby optparse-test.rb -r
optparse-test.rb:9:in `<main>': missing argument: -r (OptionParser::MissingArgument)
bash-3.2$ ruby optparse-test.rb -r my-library
You required my-library!

Type Coercion

OptionParser supports the ability to coerce command line arguments into objects for us.

OptionParser comes with a few ready-to-use kinds of type coercion. They are:

  • Date – Anything accepted by Date.parse

  • DateTime – Anything accepted by DateTime.parse

  • Time – Anything accepted by Time.httpdate or Time.parse

  • URI – Anything accepted by URI.parse

  • Shellwords – Anything accepted by Shellwords.shellwords

  • String – Any non-empty string

  • Integer – Any integer. Will convert octal. (e.g. 124, -3, 040)

  • Float – Any float. (e.g. 10, 3.14, -100E+13)

  • Numeric – Any integer, float, or rational (1, 3.4, 1/3)

  • DecimalInteger – Like Integer, but no octal format.

  • OctalInteger – Like Integer, but no decimal format.

  • DecimalNumeric – Decimal integer or float.

  • TrueClass – Accepts '+, yes, true, -, no, false' and defaults as true

  • FalseClass – Same as TrueClass, but defaults to false

  • Array – Strings separated by ',' (e.g. 1,2,3)

  • Regexp – Regular expressions. Also includes options.

We can also add our own coercions, which we will cover soon.

Using Built-in Conversions

As an example, the built-in Time conversion is used. The other built-in conversions behave in the same way. OptionParser will attempt to parse the argument as a Time. If it succeeds, that time will be passed to the handler block. Otherwise, an exception will be raised.

require 'optparse'
require 'optparse/time'
OptionParser.new do |parser|
  parser.on("-t", "--time [TIME]", Time, "Begin execution at given time") do |time|
    p time
  end
end.parse!

Used:

bash-3.2$ ruby optparse-test.rb  -t nonsense
... invalid argument: -t nonsense (OptionParser::InvalidArgument)
from ... time.rb:5:in `block in <top (required)>'
from optparse-test.rb:31:in `<main>'
bash-3.2$ ruby optparse-test.rb  -t 10-11-12
2010-11-12 00:00:00 -0500
bash-3.2$ ruby optparse-test.rb  -t 9:30
2014-08-13 09:30:00 -0400

Creating Custom Conversions

The accept method on OptionParser may be used to create converters. It specifies which conversion block to call whenever a class is specified. The example below uses it to fetch a User object before the on handler receives it.

require 'optparse'

User = Struct.new(:id, :name)

def find_user id
  not_found = ->{ raise "No User Found for id #{id}" }
  [ User.new(1, "Sam"),
    User.new(2, "Gandalf") ].find(not_found) do |u|
    u.id == id
  end
end

op = OptionParser.new
op.accept(User) do |user_id|
  find_user user_id.to_i
end

op.on("--user ID", User) do |user|
  puts user
end

op.parse!

output:

bash-3.2$ ruby optparse-test.rb --user 1
#<struct User id=1, name="Sam">
bash-3.2$ ruby optparse-test.rb --user 2
#<struct User id=2, name="Gandalf">
bash-3.2$ ruby optparse-test.rb --user 3
optparse-test.rb:15:in `block in find_user': No User Found for id 3 (RuntimeError)

Complete example

The following example is a complete Ruby program. You can run it and see the effect of specifying various options. This is probably the best way to learn the features of optparse.

require 'optparse'
require 'optparse/time'
require 'ostruct'
require 'pp'

class OptparseExample
  Version = '1.0.0'

  CODES = %w[iso-2022-jp shift_jis euc-jp utf8 binary]
  CODE_ALIASES = { "jis" => "iso-2022-jp", "sjis" => "shift_jis" }

  class ScriptOptions
    attr_accessor :library, :inplace, :encoding, :transfer_type,
                  :verbose, :extension, :delay, :time, :record_separator,
                  :list

    def initialize
      self.library = []
      self.inplace = false
      self.encoding = "utf8"
      self.transfer_type = :auto
      self.verbose = false
    end

    def define_options(parser)
      parser.banner = "Usage: example.rb [options]"
      parser.separator ""
      parser.separator "Specific options:"

      # add additional options
      perform_inplace_option(parser)
      delay_execution_option(parser)
      execute_at_time_option(parser)
      specify_record_separator_option(parser)
      list_example_option(parser)
      specify_encoding_option(parser)
      optional_option_argument_with_keyword_completion_option(parser)
      boolean_verbose_option(parser)

      parser.separator ""
      parser.separator "Common options:"
      # No argument, shows at tail.  This will print an options summary.
      # Try it and see!
      parser.on_tail("-h", "--help", "Show this message") do
        puts parser
        exit
      end
      # Another typical switch to print the version.
      parser.on_tail("--version", "Show version") do
        puts Version
        exit
      end
    end

    def perform_inplace_option(parser)
      # Specifies an optional option argument
      parser.on("-i", "--inplace [EXTENSION]",
                "Edit ARGV files in place",
                "(make backup if EXTENSION supplied)") do |ext|
        self.inplace = true
        self.extension = ext || ''
        self.extension.sub!(/\A\.?(?=.)/, ".")  # Ensure extension begins with dot.
      end
    end

    def delay_execution_option(parser)
      # Cast 'delay' argument to a Float.
      parser.on("--delay N", Float, "Delay N seconds before executing") do |n|
        self.delay = n
      end
    end

    def execute_at_time_option(parser)
      # Cast 'time' argument to a Time object.
      parser.on("-t", "--time [TIME]", Time, "Begin execution at given time") do |time|
        self.time = time
      end
    end

    def specify_record_separator_option(parser)
      # Cast to octal integer.
      parser.on("-F", "--irs [OCTAL]", OptionParser::OctalInteger,
                "Specify record separator (default \\0)") do |rs|
        self.record_separator = rs
      end
    end

    def list_example_option(parser)
      # List of arguments.
      parser.on("--list x,y,z", Array, "Example 'list' of arguments") do |list|
        self.list = list
      end
    end

    def specify_encoding_option(parser)
      # Keyword completion.  We are specifying a specific set of arguments (CODES
      # and CODE_ALIASES - notice the latter is a Hash), and the user may provide
      # the shortest unambiguous text.
      code_list = (CODE_ALIASES.keys + CODES).join(', ')
      parser.on("--code CODE", CODES, CODE_ALIASES, "Select encoding",
                "(#{code_list})") do |encoding|
        self.encoding = encoding
      end
    end

    def optional_option_argument_with_keyword_completion_option(parser)
      # Optional '--type' option argument with keyword completion.
      parser.on("--type [TYPE]", [:text, :binary, :auto],
                "Select transfer type (text, binary, auto)") do |t|
        self.transfer_type = t
      end
    end

    def boolean_verbose_option(parser)
      # Boolean switch.
      parser.on("-v", "--[no-]verbose", "Run verbosely") do |v|
        self.verbose = v
      end
    end
  end

  #
  # Return a structure describing the options.
  #
  def parse(args)
    # The options specified on the command line will be collected in
    # *options*.

    @options = ScriptOptions.new
    @args = OptionParser.new do |parser|
      @options.define_options(parser)
      parser.parse!(args)
    end
    @options
  end

  attr_reader :parser, :options
end  # class OptparseExample

example = OptparseExample.new
options = example.parse(ARGV)
pp options # example.options
pp ARGV

Shell Completion

For modern shells (e.g. bash, zsh, etc.), you can use shell completion for command line options.

Further documentation

The above examples should be enough to learn how to use this class. If you have any questions, file a ticket at bugs.ruby-lang.org.