6.20 optparse -- Powerful parser for command line options.

New in version 2.3.

The optparse module is a powerful, flexible, extensible, easy-to-use command-line parsing library for Python. Using optparse, you can add intelligent, sophisticated handling of command-line options to your scripts with very little overhead.

Here's an example of using optparse to add some command-line options to a simple script:

from optparse import OptionParser

parser = OptionParser()
parser.add_option("-f", "--file", dest="filename",
                  help="write report to FILE", metavar="FILE")
parser.add_option("-q", "--quiet",
                  action="store_false", dest="verbose", default=True,
                  help="don't print status messages to stdout")

(options, args) = parser.parse_args()

With these few lines of code, users of your script can now do the ``usual thing'' on the command-line:

$ <yourscript> -f outfile --quiet
$ <yourscript> -qfoutfile
$ <yourscript> --file=outfile -q
$ <yourscript> --quiet --file outfile

(All of these result in options.filename == "outfile" and options.verbose == False, just as you might expect.)

Even niftier, users can run one of

$ <yourscript> -h
$ <yourscript> --help
and optparse will print out a brief summary of your script's options:

usage: <yourscript> [options]

  -h, --help           show this help message and exit
  -fFILE, --file=FILE  write report to FILE
  -q, --quiet          don't print status messages to stdout

That's just a taste of the flexibility optparse gives you in parsing your command-line.

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