ClearIce provides command line argument parsing for PHP applications. You can define the options and commands that will be passed to your application, and ClearICE will parse them for you, complete with error reporting and help generation. Option styles accepted through ClearIce are quite similar to what you would expect from most GNU style applications. Arguments passed to your application could be commands that your users may use to select specific modes in your application, options that your users can pass through flags, or stand-alone arguments that serve other purposes (such as providing file paths) in your application.
You can access the argument parser through the
<?php $argumentParser = new \clearice\argparser\ArgumentParser();
Defining argument options
addOption method in the
ArgumentParser class allows you to define the options that can be parsed from your application's command line arguments. Each option's definition is passed as a single structured array to the
addOption method. For example, the following listing shows how an instance of the argument parser can be configured to take two parameters.
use clearice\argparser\ArgumentParser; $argumentParser = new ArgumentParser(); $argumentParser->addOption([ 'short_name' => 'o', 'name' => 'output', 'type' => 'string', 'help' => 'specifies output directory of wiki', 'value' => 'DIRECTORY', 'required' => true ]); $argumentParser->addOption([ 'short_name' => 'i', 'name' => 'input', 'type' => 'string', 'help' => 'specifies input sources for the wiki', 'default' => '.' ]);
The structured array can have specific parameters, and whenever an array with invalid parameters is passed, the
clearice\argparser\InvalidArgumentDescriptionException is thrown. In all, there are eight different parameters for the options array. These are described in the sections below.
This parameter specifies the name of the option. In addition, it also represents the flag that must be passed as a command line argument to activate the option. Because of its use as both an identifier and a flag, the name cannot contain spaces or wild card characters. For names, the parser only recognizes alpha numeric characters, hyphens, and dots.
In our example above, the two options are named
input. And when passing command arguments, the input option can be activated as
myprogram --input ..., and similarly for the
This parameter defines a single, case-sensitive character that is typically used as a short-form synonym of an existing name parameter. As such, in the case of our example listing above,
o is used as a short-form for
input. Although mostly used as a short-form option, in cases where an option does not define a
short_name parameter ends up being the identifier of the option. This means for any option definition to be valid, either the
name or the
short_name option must be set.
Users of your application can pass the short name on the command line by prefixing it with a single dash. If we re-visit our example listing above, if we intend to pass the input, we could simply use
When parsed, any option defined in ClearIce is assigned a specific value. The
type parameter specifies the type of data that an option accepts. This type can either be set to
flag. When set as
number, the option is validated to contain a string or a number as specified. When set as a
flag, however, the option doesn't take any values, and acts as a boolean flag that is set to true whenever the option is part of arguments passed or false when absent. By default any option acts as a
flag unless the type is specified.
The help parameter accepts a line of text that is rendered as the description for the option whenever the user requests for help through ClearICE's automated help system.
By default, when an option's value is repeated in the command line, newer values ovewrite older ones. When the repeats parameter is set to
true, however, arguments for options can be passed multiple times. All values passed will be combined into an array after parsing.
The parameter provides the default value an option can have when the option's corresponding arguments are never passed on the command line.
When displaying help for options, this value is used as an example value for options that take values. In case this is not supplied, a default value of
VALUE is used instead
Ensures that this option is always passed as part of the arguments. An error message is displayed, and the application is terminated when a required option is omitted. Whenever the required option is attached to a command group (see Defining Command Groups for more information), the enforcement of the option takes place only when the command is activated. In the cases where an option has a default value, this parameter becomes uneccessary.
Parsing argument options
Options are parsed by invoking the
parse() method of the
ArgumentParser class. This method returns an associative array that maps the names of all options that were parsed to their corresponding values. The output array will have values for options for which arguments were actually passed on the command line, options with default values, and options that are of the
flag type. For options with default values, the assigned defaults will be returned when they are not in the arguments, and for options that are flags, a value of
false will be returned. The snippet below extends the running example with a call the parse method.
The following snippet extends our running example with more arguments and
use clearice\argparser\ArgumentParser; $argumentParser = new ArgumentParser(); $argumentParser->addOption([ 'short_name' => 'o', 'name' => 'output', 'type' => 'string', 'help' => 'specifies output directory of wiki', 'value' => 'DIRECTORY', 'required' => true ]); $argumentParser->addOption([ 'short_name' => 'i', 'name' => 'input', 'type' => 'string', 'help' => 'specifies input sources for the wiki', 'default' => '.' ]); $options = $argumentParser->parse();
Users of your application can specify an option with its name preceded by a double dash
--, or its short name preceded with a single dash
-. This means we can use
-s for a short option, and
--long-option for a longer name option. As you may have already noticed, options can have values assigned to them. A longer option name that takes a value can be assigned with a with an equals expression like
--long-option=value, or simply following the option with the value like
--long-option value. Short options can also take values, but this time the assignment can be a simple concatenation of the option and the value like
-svalue, or also presented after a space like
As an example, if we wish to pass arguments to our little wiki example we could do the following:
php wiki.php -i source --output destination
Which would yield the following values in the options array:
Array ( [input] => source [output] => destination [__executed] => wiki.php )
The following shell commands will also return the same output.
php wiki.php -isource -odestination php wiki.php --input=source --output=destination
Also when it comes to short-form arguments. there's a convenience feature in ClearIce that allows you to precede a group of short options with a single dash. For example if
c are all valid options that do not take values, passing
-abc would be equivalent to passing
-a -b -c.
More on Parser output
You may have noticed the
__executed key that is returned as part of the output. This key contains the name of the php script that invoked the parser. Other keys that may be returned include the
__args key, which will contain an array of free standing arguments — useful for collecting filenames, especially since the terminal will expand any wildcards — and the
__command which will contains any commands that were identified (see Defining Command Groups). Another thing worth noting is that ClearIce doesn't consider stand alone options to be errors; you are expected to deal with them as you please.
For an example of how the
__args key behaves, executing this ...
php wiki.php -i source --output destination some free standing arguments
Will yield an output ...
Array ( [input] => source [output] => destination [__args] => Array (  => some  => free  => standing  => arguments ) [__executed] => wiki.php )
Validation and Termination
Arguments passed to an application are validated by ClearICE to ensure they meet the constraints specified in the option definition. Validations that are enforced are for required options and the option's types. If a user fails to pass a required option or if a user passes an option with a type different from what is expected, ClearIce presents a message and terminates.
Values for the following options are required: output. Pass the --help option for more information about possible options.
Termination of the application occurs internally within ClearICE. If for any reason you want to intercept this process and terminate on your own, you can pass a callable to the argument parser through the
setExitCallback method. Note that the callable passed will now be responsible for terminating execution.