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Yet another argparse helper: complex sub-command trees made simple

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Yet another argparse helper: complex sub-command trees made simple

Writing complex subcommand parsers using argparse is certainly possible, but it involves a lot of laborious repetition.

This library provides a small wrapper around argparse that adds a convenience method. That lets you specify a sequence of words that form a command, together with flags - and the definitions of those flags are passed at the same time.

parser = ArgumentParser()
parser.add_command("foo bar baz --json",
                   func=lambda *args: print("foo-bar-baz"),
                   json=dict(default=False, action="store_true"),
                   )
parser.add_command("foo bar quux",
                   func=lambda *args: print("foo-bar-quux"),
                   )

The func parameter will be set on the resulting namespace. Note, there is no particular requirement for the arguments that must be passed to func - this is down to the library user to define.

Additionally, a new argparse.Action subclass is provided, OptionalOverride. This supports having the same flag appear in a global position and be repeated by a subcommand. It works well - in as much as defaults set by the global position won't be re-set in the subordinate position.

parser.add_command("--flag", flag=dict(default="foo"))
parser.add_command("xyzzy --flag", flag=dict(action=OptionalOverride))

Where a flag is repeated in an add_command call, the second and subsequent values receive an OptionalOveride setting automatically.

parser.add_command("--glob xyzzy --glob", glob=dict(action=AtMostOnce))
# the second iteration becomes OptionalOverride

AtMostOnce is supplied as an action type; this causes an explicit error (rather than just overriding the previous value) if a flag is specified more than once.

We also have AppendN(t) as an action type. It works like Append, but the type constructor t is applied to its collected argument(s) before the result is appended to the list.

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