Parsing command-line arguments?

Asked by At

Hi I'm trying to write a program that can compare two files line by line, word by word, or character by character in C. It has to be able to read in command line options "-l -w -i or --"... if the option is -l it compares the files line by line. if the option is -w it compares the files word by word. if the options is -- it automatically assumes that the next arg is the first filename. and if the option is -i it compares them in a case insensitive manner. Otherwise it defaults to comparing the files character by character

It's not supposed to matter how many time the options are input as long as -w and -l aren't inputted at the same time and there are no more or less than 2 files.

I don't even know where to begin with parsing the command line arguments. PLEASE HELP :(

So this is the code that I came up with for everything. I haven't error checked it quite yet, but I was wondering if I'm writing things in an overcomplicated manner?

/*
 * Functions to compare files.
 */
int compare_line();
int compare_word();
int compare_char();
int case_insens();

/*
 * Program to compare the information in two files and print message saying 
 * whether or not this was successful.
 */
int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
/*Loop counter*/
  size_t i = 0;

  /*Variables for functions*/
  int caseIns = 0;
  int line = 0;
  int word = 0;

  /*File pointers*/
  FILE *fp1, *fp2;

  /*
   * Read through command-line arguments for options.
   */
  for (i = 1; i < argc; i++) {
    printf("argv[%u] = %s\n", i, argv[i]);
    if (argv[i][0] == '-') {
       if (argv[i][1] == 'i') 
       {
           caseIns = 1;
       }
       if (argv[i][1] == 'l')
       {
           line = 1;
       }
       if (argv[i][1] == 'w')
       {
           word = 1;
       }
       if (argv[i][1] == '-')
       {
           fp1 = argv[i][2];
           fp2 = argv[i][3];
       }
       else 
       {
           printf("Invalid option.");
           return 2;
       }
    } else {
       fp1(argv[i]);
       fp2(argv[i][1]);
    }
  }

  /*
   * Check that files can be opened.
   */
  if(((fp1 = fopen(fp1, "rb")) ==  NULL) || ((fp2 = fopen(fp2, "rb")) == NULL))
  {
      perror("fopen()");
      return 3;
  }
  else{
        if (caseIns == 1)
        {
            if(line == 1 && word == 1)
            {
                printf("That is invalid.");
                return 2;
            }
            if(line == 1 && word == 0)
            {
                if(compare_line(case_insens(fp1, fp2)) == 0)
                        return 0;
            }
            if(line == 0 && word == 1)
            {
                if(compare_word(case_insens(fp1, fp2)) == 0)
                    return 0;
            }
            else
            {
                if(compare_char(case_insens(fp1,fp2)) == 0)
                    return 0;
            }
        }
        else
        {
            if(line == 1 && word == 1)
            {
                printf("That is invalid.");
                return 2;
            }
            if(line == 1 && word == 0)
            {
                if(compare_line(fp1, fp2) == 0)
                    return 0;
            }
            if(line == 0 && word == 1)
            {
                if(compare_word(fp1, fp2) == 0)
                    return 0;
            }
            else
            {
                if(compare_char(fp1, fp2) == 0)
                    return 0;
            }
        }

  }
    return 1;
    if(((fp1 = fclose(fp1)) == NULL) || (((fp2 = fclose(fp2)) == NULL)))
        {
            perror("fclose()");
            return 3;
        }
        else
        {
            fp1 = fclose(fp1);
            fp2 = fclose(fp2);
        }
}

/*
 * Function to compare two files line-by-line.
 */
int compare_line(FILE *fp1, FILE *fp2)
{
    /*Buffer variables to store the lines in the file*/
    char buff1 [LINESIZE];
    char buff2 [LINESIZE];

    /*Check that neither is the end of file*/
    while((!feof(fp1)) && (!feof(fp2)))
    {
        /*Go through files line by line*/
        fgets(buff1, LINESIZE, fp1);
        fgets(buff2, LINESIZE, fp2);
    }
    /*Compare files line by line*/
    if(strcmp(buff1, buff2) == 0)
    {
        printf("Files are equal.\n");
        return 0;
    }
    printf("Files are not equal.\n");
    return 1;
}   

/*
 * Function to compare two files word-by-word.
 */
int compare_word(FILE *fp1, FILE *fp2)
{
    /*File pointers*/
    FILE *fp1, *fp2;

    /*Arrays to store words*/
    char fp1words[LINESIZE];
    char fp2words[LINESIZE];

    if(strtok(fp1, " ") == NULL || strtok(fp2, " ") == NULL)
    {
        printf("File is empty. Cannot compare.\n");
        return 0;
    }
    else
    {
        fp1words = strtok(fp1, " ");
        fp2words = strtok(fp2, " ");

        if(fp1words == fp2words)
        {
            fputs(fp1words);
            fputs(fp2words);
            printf("Files are equal.\n");
            return 0;
        }
    }
    return 1;
}

/*
 * Function to compare two files character by character.
 */
int compare_char(FILE *fp1,FILE *fp2)
{
    /*Variables to store the characters from both files*/
    int c;
    int d;

    /*Buffer variables to store chars*/
    char buff1 [LINESIZE];
    char buff2 [LINESIZE];

    while(((c = fgetc(fp1))!= EOF) && (((d = fgetc(fp2))!=EOF)))
    {
        if(c == d)
        {
            if((fscanf(fp1, "%c", buff1)) == (fscanf(fp2, "%c", buff2)))
            {
                printf("Files have equivalent characters.\n");
                return 1;
                break;
            }
        }

    }
        return 0;
}

/*
 * Function to compare two files in a case-insensitive manner.
 */
int case_insens(FILE *fp1, FILE *fp2, size_t n)
{
    /*Pointers for files.*/
    FILE *fp1, *fp2;

    /*Variable to go through files.*/
    size_t i = 0;

    /*Arrays to store file information.*/
    char fp1store[LINESIZE];
    char fp2store[LINESIZE];

    while(!feof(fp1) && !feof(fp2))
    {
         for(i = 0; i < n; i++)
         {
                fscanf(fp1, "%s", fp1store);
                fscanf(fp2, "%s", fp2store);

                fp1store = tolower(fp1store);
                fp2store = tolower(fp2store);

                return 1;
         }
    }
    return 0;
}

12 Answers

0
Pod On
#include <stdio.h>

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
    size_t i;
    size_t filename_i = -1;

    for (i = 0; i < argc; i++)
    {
        char const *option =  argv[i];
        if (option[0] == '-')
        {
            printf("I am a flagged option");
            switch (option[1])
            {
                case 'a':
                    /*someting*/
                    break;
                case 'b':
                    break;
                case '-':
                    /* "--" -- the next argument will be a file.*/
                    filename_i = i;
                    i = i + 1;
                    break;
                default:
                    printf("flag not recognised %s", option);
                    break;
            }
        }
        else
        {   
            printf("I am a positional argument");
        }

        /* At this point, if -- was specified, then filename_i contains the index
         into argv that contains the filename. If -- was not specified, then filename_i will be -1*/
     }
  return 0;
}
14
Jonathan Leffler On

Use getopt(), or perhaps getopt_long().

int iflag = 0;
enum { WORD_MODE, LINE_MODE } op_mode = WORD_MODE;  // Default set
int opt;

while ((opt = getopt(argc, argv, "ilw") != -1)
{
    switch (opt)
    {
    case 'i':
        iflag = 1;
        break;
    case 'l':
        op_mode = LINE_MODE;
        break;
    case 'w':
        op_mode = WORD_MODE;
        break;
    default:
        fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s [-ilw] [file ...]\n", argv[0]);
        exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
    }
}

/* Process file names or stdin */
if (optind >= argc)
    process(stdin, "(standard input)", op_mode);
else
{
    int i;
    for (i = optind; i < argc; i++)
    {
        FILE *fp = fopen(argv[i], "r");
        if (fp == 0)
            fprintf(stderr, "%s: failed to open %s (%d %s)\n",
                    argv[0], argv[i], errno, strerror(errno));
        else
        {
            process(fp, argv[i], op_mode);
            fclose(fp);
        }
    }
 }

Note that you need to determine which headers to include (I make it 4 that are required), and the way I wrote the op_mode type means you have a problem in the function process() - you can't access the enumeration down there. It's best to move the enumeration outside the function; you might even make op_mode a file-scope variable without external linkage (a fancy way of saying static) to avoid passing it to the function. This code does not handle - as a synonym for standard input, another exercise for the reader. Note that getopt() automatically takes care of -- to mark the end of options for you.

I've not run any version of the typing above past a compiler; there could be mistakes in it.


For extra credit, write a (library) function:

int filter(int argc, char **argv, int idx, int (*function)(FILE *fp, const char *fn));

which encapsulates the logic for processing file name options after the getopt() loop. It should handle - as standard input. Note that using this would indicate that op_mode should be a static file scope variable. The filter() function takes argc, argv, optind and a pointer to the processing function. It should return 0 (EXIT_SUCCESS) if it was able to open all the files and all invocations of the function reported 0, otherwise 1 (or EXIT_FAILURE). Having such a function simplifies writing Unix-style 'filter' programs that read files specified on the command line or standard input.

0
Java42 On

Instructional template for parsing command line arguments in C.

C:>programName -w -- fileOne.txt fileTwo.txt

BOOL argLine = FALSE;
BOOL argWord = FALSE;
BOOL argChar = FALSE;
char * fileName1 = NULL;
char * fileName2 = NULL;

int main(int argc, char * argv[]) {
    int i;
    printf("Argument count=%d\n",argc);
    for (i = 0; i < argc; i++) {
        printf("Argument %s\n",argv[i]);
        if (strcmp(argv[i],"-l")==0) {
            argLine = TRUE;
            printf("    argLine=TRUE\n");
        }
        else if (strcmp(argv[i],"-w")==0) {
            argWord = TRUE;
            printf("    argWord=TRUE\n");
        }
        else if (strcmp(argv[i],"-c")==0) {
            argChar = TRUE;
            printf("    argChar=TRUE\n");
        }
        else if (strcmp(argv[i],"--")==0) {
            if (i+1 <= argc) {
                fileName1 = argv[++i];
                printf("    fileName1=%s\n",fileName1);
            }
            if (i+1 <= argc) {
                fileName2 = argv[++i];
                printf("    fileName2=%s\n",fileName2);
            }
        }
    }
    return 0;
}
142
Christian Hujer On

To my knowledge, the three most popular ways how to parse command line arguments in C are:

  • Getopt (#include <unistd.h> from the POSIX C Library), which can solve simple argument parsing tasks. If you're a bit familiar with bash, the getopt built-in of bash is based on Getopt from the GNU libc.
  • Argp (#include <argp.h> from the GNU C Library), which can solve more complex tasks and takes care of stuff like, for example:
    • -?, --help for help message, including email address
    • -V, --version for version information
    • --usage for usage message
  • Doing it yourself, which I don't recommend for programs that would be given to somebody else, as there is too much that could go wrong or lower quality. The popular mistake of forgetting about '--' to stop option parsing is just one example.

The GNU C Library documentation has some nice examples for Getopt and Argp.

Example for using Getopt

#include <stdbool.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <unistd.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
    bool isCaseInsensitive = false;
    int opt;
    enum { CHARACTER_MODE, WORD_MODE, LINE_MODE } mode = CHARACTER_MODE;

    while ((opt = getopt(argc, argv, "ilw")) != -1) {
        switch (opt) {
        case 'i': isCaseInsensitive = true; break;
        case 'l': mode = LINE_MODE; break;
        case 'w': mode = WORD_MODE; break;
        default:
            fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s [-ilw] [file...]\n", argv[0]);
            exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
        }
    }

    // Now optind (declared extern int by <unistd.h>) is the index of the first non-option argument.
    // If it is >= argc, there were no non-option arguments.

    // ...
}

Example for using Argp

#include <argp.h>
#include <stdbool.h>

const char *argp_program_version = "programname programversion";
const char *argp_program_bug_address = "<[email protected]>";
static char doc[] = "Your program description.";
static char args_doc[] = "[FILENAME]...";
static struct argp_option options[] = { 
    { "line", 'l', 0, 0, "Compare lines instead of characters."},
    { "word", 'w', 0, 0, "Compare words instead of characters."},
    { "nocase", 'i', 0, 0, "Compare case insensitive instead of case sensitive."},
    { 0 } 
};

struct arguments {
    enum { CHARACTER_MODE, WORD_MODE, LINE_MODE } mode;
    bool isCaseInsensitive;
};

static error_t parse_opt(int key, char *arg, struct argp_state *state) {
    struct arguments *arguments = state->input;
    switch (key) {
    case 'l': arguments->mode = LINE_MODE; break;
    case 'w': arguments->mode = WORD_MODE; break;
    case 'i': arguments->isCaseInsensitive = true; break;
    case ARGP_KEY_ARG: return 0;
    default: return ARGP_ERR_UNKNOWN;
    }   
    return 0;
}

static struct argp argp = { options, parse_opt, args_doc, doc, 0, 0, 0 };

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
    struct arguments arguments;

    arguments.mode = CHARACTER_MODE;
    arguments.isCaseInsensitive = false;

    argp_parse(&argp, argc, argv, 0, 0, &arguments);

    // ...
}

Example for Doing it Yourself

#include <stdbool.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{   
    bool isCaseInsensitive = false;
    enum { CHARACTER_MODE, WORD_MODE, LINE_MODE } mode = CHARACTER_MODE;
    size_t optind;
    for (optind = 1; optind < argc && argv[optind][0] == '-'; optind++) {
        switch (argv[optind][1]) {
        case 'i': isCaseInsensitive = true; break;
        case 'l': mode = LINE_MODE; break;
        case 'w': mode = WORD_MODE; break;
        default:
            fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s [-ilw] [file...]\n", argv[0]);
            exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
        }   
    }   

    // *argv points to the remaining non-option arguments.
    // If *argv is NULL, there were no non-option arguments.

    // ...
}   

Disclaimer: I am new to Argp, the example might contain errors.

0
Anonymous On
    /*
      Here's a rough one not relying on any libraries.
      Example:
      -wi | -iw //word case insensitive
      -li | -il //line case insensitive
      -- file  //specify the first filename (you could just get the files
      as positional arguments in the else statement instead)
      PS: don't mind the #define's, they're just pasting code :D
    */
    #ifndef OPT_H
    #define OPT_H

    //specify option requires argument
    #define require \
      optarg = opt_pointer + 1; \
      if (*optarg == '\0') \
      { \
        if (++optind == argc) \
          goto opt_err_arg; \
        else \
          optarg = argv[optind]; \
      } \
      opt_pointer = opt_null_terminator;

    //start processing argv
    #define opt \
    int   optind                 = 1; \
    char *opt_pointer            = argv[1]; \
    char *optarg                 = NULL; \
    char  opt_null_terminator[2] = {'\0','\0'}; \
    if (0) \
    { \
      opt_err_arg: \
        fprintf(stderr,"option %c requires argument.\n",*opt_pointer); \
        return 1; \
      opt_err_opt: \
        fprintf(stderr,"option %c is invalid.\n",*opt_pointer); \
        return 1; \
    } \
    for (; optind < argc; opt_pointer = argv[++optind]) \
      if (*opt_pointer++ == '-') \
      { \
        for (;;++opt_pointer) \
          switch (*opt_pointer) \
          {

    //stop processing argv
    #define done \
          default: \
            if (*opt_pointer != '\0') \
              goto opt_err_opt; \
            else \
              goto opt_next; \
            break; \
          } \
        opt_next:; \
      }
    #endif //opt.h

    #include <stdio.h>
    #include "opt.h"
    int
    main (int argc, char **argv)
    {
      #define by_character 0
      #define by_word      1
      #define by_line      2
      int cmp = by_character;
      int case_insensitive = 0;
      opt
      case 'h':
        puts ("HELP!");
        break;
      case 'v':
        puts ("fileCMP Version 1.0");
        break;
      case 'i':
        case_insensitive = 1;
        break;
      case 'w':
        cmp = by_word;
        break;
      case 'l':
        cmp = by_line;
        break;
      case '-':required
        printf("first filename: %s\n", optarg);
        break;
      done
      else printf ("Positional Argument %s\n", argv[optind]);
      return 0;
    }
8
davidA On

I've found Gengetopt to be quite useful - you specify the options you want with a simple configuration file, and it generates a .c/.h pair that you simply include and link with your application. The generated code makes use of getopt_long, appears to handle most common sorts of command line parameters, and it can save a lot of time.

A gengetopt input file might look something like this:

version "0.1"
package "myApp"
purpose "Does something useful."

# Options
option "filename" f "Input filename" string required
option "verbose" v "Increase program verbosity" flag off
option "id" i "Data ID" int required
option "value" r "Data value" multiple(1-) int optional 

Generating the code is easy and spits out cmdline.h and cmdline.c:

$ gengetopt --input=myApp.cmdline --include-getopt

The generated code is easily integrated:

#include <stdio.h>
#include "cmdline.h"

int main(int argc, char ** argv) {
  struct gengetopt_args_info ai;
  if (cmdline_parser(argc, argv, &ai) != 0) {
    exit(1);
  }
  printf("ai.filename_arg: %s\n", ai.filename_arg);
  printf("ai.verbose_flag: %d\n", ai.verbose_flag);
  printf("ai.id_arg: %d\n", ai.id_arg);
  int i;
  for (i = 0; i < ai.value_given; ++i) {
    printf("ai.value_arg[%d]: %d\n", i, ai.value_arg[i]);
  }
}

If you need to do any extra checking (such as ensuring flags are mutually exclusive), you can do this fairly easily with the data stored in the gengetopt_args_info struct.

4
markgalassi On

I'm very surprised nobody brought up James Theiler's "opt" package.

You can find opt at http://public.lanl.gov/jt/Software/

and a flattering post with some examples of how it is so much simpler than other approaches is here:

http://www.decompile.com/not_invented_here/opt/

2
Tomáš Gavenčiak On

There is a great general-purpose C library libUCW which includes neat command-line option parsing and config file loading.

The library also comes with good documentation and includes some other useful stuff (fast IO, data structures, allocators, ...) but this can be used separately.

Example libUCW option parser (from the library docs)

#include <ucw/lib.h>
#include <ucw/opt.h>

int english;
int sugar;
int verbose;
char *tea_name;

static struct opt_section options = {
  OPT_ITEMS {
    OPT_HELP("A simple tea boiling console."),
    OPT_HELP("Usage: teapot [options] name-of-the-tea"),
    OPT_HELP(""),
    OPT_HELP("Options:"),
    OPT_HELP_OPTION,
    OPT_BOOL('e', "english-style", english, 0, "\tEnglish style (with milk)"),
    OPT_INT('s', "sugar", sugar, OPT_REQUIRED_VALUE, "<spoons>\tAmount of sugar (in teaspoons)"),
    OPT_INC('v', "verbose", verbose, 0, "\tVerbose (the more -v, the more verbose)"),
    OPT_STRING(OPT_POSITIONAL(1), NULL, tea_name, OPT_REQUIRED, ""),
    OPT_END
  }
};

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
  opt_parse(&options, argv+1);
  return 0;
}
0
jamesdlin On

Tooting my own horn if I may, I'd also like to suggest taking a look at an option parsing library that I've written: dropt.

  • It's a C library (with a C++ wrapper if desired).
  • It's lightweight.
  • It's extensible (custom argument types can be easily added and have equal footing with built-in argument types).
  • It should be very portable (it's written in standard C) with no dependencies (other than the C standard library).
  • It has a very unrestrictive license (zlib/libpng).

One feature that it offers that many others don't is the ability to override earlier options. For example, if you have a shell alias:

alias bar="foo --flag1 --flag2 --flag3"

and you want to use bar but with--flag1 disabled, it allows you to do:

bar --flag1=0
1
Qix On

I wrote a tiny library that parses arguments similar to POpt, which I had several issues with, called XOpt. Uses GNU-style argument parsing and has a very similar interface to POpt.

I use it from time to time with great success, and it works pretty much anywhere.

3
gvoysey On

Docopt has a C implementation that I thought was quite nice: https://github.com/docopt/docopt.c

From a man-page standardized format describing command line options, docopt infers and creates an argument parser. This got started in python; the python version literally just parses the docstring and returns a dict. To do this in C takes a little more work, but it's clean to use and has no external dependencies.

0
Nadu On

Okay that's the start of long story - made short 'bort parsing a command line in C ...

/**
* Helper function to parse the command line
* @param argc Argument Counter
* @param argv Argument Vector
* @param prog Program Instance Reference to fill with options
*/
bool parseCommandLine(int argc, char* argv[], DuplicateFileHardLinker* prog) {
  bool pathAdded = false;

  // iterate over all arguments...
  for ( int i = 1; i<argc; i++ ) {

    // is argv a command line option ?
    if ( argv[i][0] == '-' || argv[i][0] == '/' ) {

// ~~~~~~ Optionally Cut that part vvvvvvvvvvvvv for sake of simplicity ~~~~~~~
      // check for longer options
            if ( stricmp( &argv[i][1], "NoFileName"  ) == 0
              ||  strcmp( &argv[i][1], "q1"          ) == 0 ) {

        boNoFileNameLog = true;
      } else if ( strcmp( &argv[i][1], "HowAreYou?"    ) == 0 ) {
          logInfo( "SECRET FOUND: Well - wow I'm glad ya ask me.");
      } else {

// ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
// Now here comes the main thing:
//
        // check for one char options
        while ( char option = *++argv[i] ) {

          switch ( option ) {
          case '?':
            // Show program usage

            logInfo(L"Options:");
            logInfo(L"  /q\t>Quite mode");
            logInfo(L"  /v\t>Verbose mode");
            logInfo(L"  /d\t>Debug mode");
            return false;

            // Log options
          case 'q':
            setLogLevel(LOG_ERROR);
            break;

          case 'v':
            setLogLevel(LOG_VERBOSE);
            break;

          case 'd':
            setLogLevel(LOG_DEBUG);
            break;

          default:
            logError(L"'%s' is an illegal command line option!"
                      "  Use /? to see valid options!", option);
            return false;
          } // switch one-char-option
        } //while one-char-options
      }  //else one vs longer options
    } // if isArgAnOption

// 
// ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  So that's it! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
// What follows now is are some usefull extras...
//
    else {


      // the command line options seems to be a path...
      WCHAR tmpPath[MAX_PATH_LENGTH];
      mbstowcs(tmpPath, argv[i], sizeof(tmpPath));

      // check if the path is existing!
      //...

      prog->addPath(tmpPath); //Comment or remove to get a working example
      pathAdded = true;
    }
  }

  // check for parameters
  if ( !pathAdded ) {
    logError("You need to specify at least one folder to process!\n"
             "Use /? to see valid options!");
    return false;
  }

  return true;
}



int main(int argc, char* argv[]) {

  try {
    // parse the command line
    if ( !parseCommandLine(argc, argv, prog) ) {
      return 1; 
    }

// I know that sample is just to show how the nicely parse commandline Arguments
// So Please excuse more nice useful C-glatter that follows now...
  }
  catch ( LPCWSTR err ) {
    DWORD dwError = GetLastError();
    if ( wcslen(err) > 0 ) {
      if ( dwError != 0 ) {
        logError(dwError, err);
      }
      else {
        logError(err);
      }
    }
    return 2;
  }
}

#define LOG_ERROR               1
#define LOG_INFO                0
#define LOG_VERBOSE             -1
#define LOG_DEBUG               -2

/** Logging Level for the console output */
int logLevel = LOG_INFO;

void logError(LPCWSTR message, ...) {
  va_list argp;
  fwprintf(stderr, L"ERROR: ");
  va_start(argp, message);
  vfwprintf(stderr, message, argp);
  va_end(argp);
  fwprintf(stderr, L"\n");
}


void logInfo(LPCWSTR message, ...) {
  if ( logLevel <= LOG_INFO ) {
    va_list argp;
    va_start(argp, message);
    vwprintf(message, argp);
    va_end(argp);
    wprintf(L"\n");
  }
}

Note that this version will also support combining arguments: So instead of writing /h /s -> /hs will also work.

Sorry for being the n-th person posting here - however I wasn't really satisfied with all the stand-alone-versions I saw here. Well the lib ones are quit nice. So I would prefere libUCW option parser, Arg or Getopt over a home-made ones.

Note you may change:

*++argv[i] -> (++argv*)[0] longer less cryptic but still cryptic.

Okay let's break it down: 1. argv[i]-> access i-th element in the argv-char pointer field

  1. ++*... -> will forward the argv-pointer by one char

  2. ... [0]-> will follow the pointer read the char

  3. ++(...) -> bracket are there so we'll increase the pointer and not the char value itself.

So nice that In C## the pointers 'died' - long live the pointers !!!