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Re: [PATCH 2/2] hello: remove -h and -v short options

From: Reuben Thomas
Subject: Re: [PATCH 2/2] hello: remove -h and -v short options
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2015 16:38:31 +0000

On 3 January 2015 at 14:06, Benno Schulenberg <address@hidden>

> On 2015-01-01 14:33, Sami Kerola wrote:
> > * src/hello.c: Remove -h and -v options, and leave --help and --version
> >   as they were.
> Maybe the GNU standards say nothing about short options
> ​​
> , but it
> is *so* much a custom for command-line tools to recognize -h and
> -V for --help and --version, that I don't think it is a good idea
> to show as an example-to-be-imitated these two long options without
> any corresponding short options.  You may wish to poke some GNU
> people about this directly.  Karl Berry?  Eric Blake?  Maybe
> mister Stallman himself?

​The reference is


​which does not mention short options, except to say that they should have
corresponding long options.

> Also, if you remove -h and -v, why not also remove -g and -t?

​Because often one wants short options, so hello illustrates them.

I think the reasoning for hello (and other programs) often eschewing short
options for --help and --version is that the letters -h and -v may often be
useful for other more frequently-used options, e.g. -v for --verbose.​

Long options are nice for scripts, for clarity, so commands don't
> need comments.  Short options are great (nearly essential) for
> typing things on the command line.

​Less so now that we have bash-completion.

​Also, given an unknown program, it's more likely that --version or --help
will succeed, so I wouldn't generally type that (until I discover that a
particular program only accepts short options, grr).

So, given the tendency of GNU programs not to have short equivalents for
these two options, I don't see why hello should have them. If you disagree,
then indeed it might be worth raising on gnu-prog-discuss; but I think
hello should reflect the GCS and general practice.


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