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[Gnu-arch-users] Announce: axp - a new command line tool

From: Mikhael Goikhman
Subject: [Gnu-arch-users] Announce: axp - a new command line tool
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 15:56:30 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/

axp is a new arch-based command line tool. All details including the
description of existing subcommands and the tarball are available on:

axp features a multi-level pluggable command set. This means the command
namespace is not necessarily flat. I would not start to discuss the
merits of both approaches (i.e. "tla library-add|library-remove" versus
"tla library add|remove"), but I believe the multi-level subcommand
system makes quite a sense when implemented properly.

All commands are automatically provided with the "--help" option, and all
composite commands are automatically provided with the "help" subcommand.
This "help" subcommand by default lists one immediate level only, unless
called with --recursive option, so the help output is usually short.

Some meta-commands are available under "axp self" namespace. For example,
axp may dump the completion lines for several shells. Currently zsh and
tcsh are supported, and I think someone may easily add support for bash.
This is actually a good example of a multi-level subcommand:

  axp self completion zsh  [options]

where options are --compact, --output FILE and --help (this one is
provided automatically).  "axp self help --recursive" works as expected.
The multi-level system is very convenient when completion is used, you
just hit TAB to see what is available at any point with full description.
[Here the "full description" refers to zsh; tcsh is not as flexible.]

Another meta command is "axp self doc", it was used to generate the
"commands" part of the home page automatically. Take a look.

Adding a new subcommand is a matter of adding one file. No existing files
need to be modified; the new subcommand will be automatically available
and will be included in all features axp provides, like self-completion
and self-documentation.

This is a proof of concept release, so there are no many subcommands yet.
However all are pretty useful for me, such as "axp changelog", "axp fork",
"axp registry find", "axp revlib prune".

Question: Is axp a competitor of fai and xtla?

Answer: Not exactly, the ideology is a bit different. Unlike these tools,
there is no intention to replace tla and a shell. The current focus is on
the report functionality and the operations one usually puts in crontab. 
I may also add commands that I miss in tla, like fork and star-merge-undo.
So, certain intersection with fai is possible, but this is not necessarily
a bad thing. In any case, axp is intended to be used alongside with tla,  
so it is not quite a tla wrapper, but a multi-purpose arch extension tool.

Any feedback is welcome.


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