Calling for Help

Calling for help

When your “on the command line” or “in the shell” why is that no standard help operator? The lack of standardization can become really annoying

Some need –help, some like ? other a simple -h will do.

Granted, it’s not something that you run into everyday, but when it’s late in the evening, nothing can be more annoying when you just need to double check an operator on some obscure litte program.

One thought on “Calling for Help

  1. Wholeheartedly agree. It’s been two years since this post, and it’s still not settled. Thankfully most programs aren’t help-deficient any longer. Still, would it really hurt for people to include all common help operators?

    The most common used are -? for Windows help (typically no distinction between brief/verbose), -h for brief help (most commonly syntax stuff), and –help for verbose help output.

    I understand that there’s a MAN page for everything these days, but come on? Some MAN writers think that the more powerful a program is, the more obscure its help file should be. Why do I need to dig through twenty pages of documentation just to check if I need to use -foo ‘bar’ or –foo ‘bar’? And why is it that the examples (if any?!) are disjoint from the stuff they explain? Meh…

    (by the way, I code on Windows and Mac, primarily, but I have a default-include help snippet that handles all of the above cases, because well… you never know who you’re dealing with…)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>