A library to create a command-line program from a function

## autocommand

A library to automatically generate and run simple argparse parsers from function signatures.

### Installation

Autocommand is installed via pip:

$pip install autocommand ### Usage Autocommand turns a function into a command-line program. It converts the function’s parameter signature into command-line arguments, and automatically runs the function if the module was called as __main__. In effect, it lets your create a smart main function. from autocommand import autocommand # This program takes exactly one argument and echos it. @autocommand(__name__) def echo(thing) print(thing) $ python echo.py hello
hello
$python echo.py -h usage: echo [-h] thing positional arguments: thing optional arguments: -h, --help show this help message and exit$ python echo.py hello world  # too many arguments
usage: echo.py [-h] thing
echo.py: error: unrecognized arguments: world

As you can see, autocommand converts the signature of the function into an argument spec. When you run the file as a program, autocommand collects the command-line arguments and turns them into function arguments. The function is executed with these arguments, and then the program exits with the return value of the function, via sys.exit. Autocommand also automatically creates a usage message, which can be invoked with -h or --help, and automatically prints an error message when provided with invalid arguments.

#### Types

You can use a type annotation to give an argument a type. Any type (or in fact any callable) that returns an object when given a string argument can be used, though there are a few special cases that are described later.

@autocommand(__name__)
def net_client(host, port: int):
...

Autocommand will catch TypeErrors raised by the type during argument parsing, so you can supply a callable and do some basic argument validation as well.

#### Trailing Arguments

You can add a *args parameter to your function to give it trailing arguments. The command will collect 0 or more trailing arguments and supply them to args as a tuple. If a type annotation is supplied, the type is applied to each argument.

#Write the contents of each file, one by one
@autocommand(__name__)
def cat(*files):
for filename in files:
with open(filename) as file:
for line in file:
print(line.rstrip())
$python cat.py -h usage: ipython [-h] [file [file ...]] positional arguments: file optional arguments: -h, --help show this help message and exit #### Options To create --option switches, just assign a default. Autocommand will automatically create --long and -short switches. @autocommand(__name__) def do_with_config(argument, config='~/foo.conf'): pass $ python example.py -h
usage: example.py [-h] [-c CONFIG] argument

positional arguments:
argument

optional arguments:
-h, --help            show this help message and exit
-c CONFIG, --config CONFIG

The option’s type is automatically deduced from the default, unless one is explicitly given in an annotation:

@autocommand(__name__)
def http_connect(host, port=80):
print('{}:{}'.format(host, port))
$python http.py -h usage: http.py [-h] [-p PORT] host positional arguments: host optional arguments: -h, --help show this help message and exit -p PORT, --port PORT$ python http.py localhost
localhost:80
$python http.py localhost -p 8080 localhost:8080$ python http.py localhost -p blah
usage: http.py [-h] [-p PORT] host
http.py: error: argument -p/--port: invalid int value: 'blah'
##### None

If an option is given a default value of None, it reads in a value as normal, but supplies None if the option isn’t provided.

##### Switches

If an argument is given a default value of True or False, or given an explicit bool type, it becomes an option switch.

@autocommand(__name__)
def example(verbose=False, quiet=False):
pass
Hello World!
$python write_out.py --infile hello.txt Hello World! #### Descriptions and docstrings The autocommand decorator accepts description and epilog kwargs, corresponding to the description and epilog of the ArgumentParser. If no description is given, but the decorated function has a docstring, then it is taken as the description for the ArgumentParser @autocommand(__name__, epilog='Some extra documentation in the epilog') def copy(infile=sys.stdin, outfile=sys.stdout): ''' Copy an the contents of a file (or stdin) to another file (or stdout) ''' with smart_open(infile) as istr: with smart_open(outfile, 'w') as ostr: for line in istr: ostr.write(line) $ python copy.py -h
usage: copy.py [-h] [-i INFILE] [-o OUTFILE]

Copy an the contents of a file (or stdin) to another file (or stdout)

optional arguments:
-h, --help            show this help message and exit
-i INFILE, --infile INFILE
-o OUTFILE, --outfile OUTFILE

Some extra documentation in the epilog
$echo "Hello World" | python copy.py --outfile hello.txt$ python copy.py --infile hello.txt --outfile hello2.txt
$python copy.py --infile hello2.txt Hello World #### Parameter descriptions You can also attach description text to individual parameters in the annotation. To attach both a type and a description, supply them both in any order in a tuple @autocommand(__name__) def copy_net( infile: 'The name of the file to send', host: 'The host to send the file to', port: (int, 'The port to connect to')): ''' Copy a file over raw TCP to a remote destination. ''' # Left as an exercise to the reader #### Decorators and wrappers Autocommand automatically follows wrapper chains created by @functools.wraps. This means that you can apply other wrapping decorators to your main function, and autocommand will still correctly detect the signature. from functools import wraps from autocommand import autocommand def print_yielded(func): ''' Convert a generator into a function that prints all yielded elements ''' @wraps(func) def wrapper(*args, **kwargs): for thing in func(*args, **kwargs): print(thing) return wrapper @autocommand(__name__, description= 'Print all the values from START to STOP, inclusive, in steps of STEP', epilog= 'STOP and STEP default to 1') @print_yielded def seq(stop, start=1, step=1): for i in range(start, stop + 1, step): yield i $ seq.py -h
usage: seq.py [-h] [-s START] [-S STEP] stop

Print all the values from START to STOP, inclusive, in steps of STEP

positional arguments:
stop

optional arguments:
-h, --help            show this help message and exit
-s START, --start START
-S STEP, --step STEP

STOP and STEP default to 1

Even though autocommand is being applied to the wrapper returned by print_yielded, it still retreives the signature of the underlying seq function to create the argument parsing.

### Testing and Library use

The decorated function is only called and exited from if the first argument to autocommand is '__main__' or True. If it is neither of these values, or no argument is given, then a new main function is created by the decorator. This function has the signature main(*argv), and is intended to be called with arguments as if via main(*sys.argv[1:]). The function has the attributes parser and main, which are the generated ArgumentParser and the original main function that was decorated. This is to facilitate testing and library use of your main. Calling the function triggers a parse_args() with the supplied arguments, and returns the result of the main function. Note that, while it returns instead of calling sys.exit, the parse_args() function will raise a SystemExit in the event of a parsing error or -h/--help argument.

@autocommand()
def test_prog(arg1, arg2: int, quiet=False, verbose=False):
if not quiet:
print(arg1, arg2)
if verbose:
print("LOUD NOISES")

return 0

# Note that argv[0] must be included.
print(test_prog('test', '-v', 'hello', '80'))
$python test_prog.py hello 80 LOUD NOISES 0 ### Features, notes, and limitations • --options are given single character -short options as well, if possible. Each capitalization of the first letter in the parameter name is tried. If any parameters have only a single letter name, they aren’t given --long versions. • autocommand supports a few other kwargs: • If a parser is given, that parser object is used instead of one being generated on from the function signature. This allows you to use a more elaborate parser, with features that aren’t supported by the automation system in autocommand. • If add_nos is set to True, then for each boolean --switch in the parameter list, a --no-switch is added, to cancel it out. • There are a few possible exceptions that autocommand can raise. All of them derive from autocommand.AutocommandError, which is a TypeError. • If an invalid annotation is given (that is, it isn’t a type, str, (type, str), or (str, type), an AnnotationError is raised • If the function has a **kwargs parameter, a KWargError is raised. • If, somehow, the function has a positional-only parameter, a PositionalArgError is raised. This means that the argument doesn’t have a name, which is currently not possible with a plain def or lambda, though many built-in functions have this kind of parameter. • There are a few argparse features that are not supported by autocommand. • It isn’t possible to have an optional positional argument (as opposed to a --option). POSIX thinks this is bad form anyway. • It isn’t possible to have mutually exclusive arguments or options • It isn’t possible to have subcommands or subparsers, though I’m working on a few solutions involving classes or nested function definitions to allow this. ### Development Autocommand cannot be important from the project root; this is to enforce separation of concerns and prevent accidental importing of setup.py or tests. To develop, install the project in editable mode: $ python setup.py develop

This will create a link to the source files in the deployment directory, so that any source changes are reflected when it is imported.

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