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Pythonic argument parser, that will make you smile

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``docopt_plus`` is a fork of `Docopt <>`_.

This fork adds some features that are not GNU / POSIX standard, and
might not be as widely recognized.

Features specific to ``docopt_plus``:

- Pattern groups

See the original `Docopt <>`_ project
for a more stable and better supported package. If do not require any
of the features that ``docopt_plus`` adds to Docopt, I encourage you
to use the original project.


I will do my best to keep up with changes to Docopt. However, I make
no promises.

Current versions of ``dopcopt_plus`` is based on a working branch of
``docopt``, version ``pre-0.6.3``. Hence current ``docopt_plus``
version is ``0.6.3-alpha-1``

That said, ``docopt` comes with a very good test coverage, and
``docopt_plus`` adds to those tests, keeping 100% compatibility with



pip install docopt_plus



from docopt_plus import docopt

Original documentation

Below is the original documentation, with info about added features.

Everything should work the same with ``docopt_plus`` except that
Python imports should be changes from ``from docopt import docopt``
to ``from docopt_plus import docopt``.

``docopt`` creates *beautiful* command-line interfaces

Video introduction to **docopt**: `PyCon UK 2012: Create *beautiful*
command-line interfaces with Python <>`_

New in version 0.6.1:

- Fix issue `#85 <>`_
which caused improper handling of ``[options]`` shortcut
if it was present several times.

New in version 0.6.0:

- New argument ``options_first``, disallows interspersing options
and arguments. If you supply ``options_first=True`` to
``docopt``, it will interpret all arguments as positional
arguments after first positional argument.

- If option with argument could be repeated, its default value
will be interpreted as space-separated list. E.g. with
``[default: ./here ./there]`` will be interpreted as
``['./here', './there']``.

Breaking changes:

- Meaning of ``[options]`` shortcut slightly changed. Previously
it meant *"any known option"*. Now it means *"any option not in
usage-pattern"*. This avoids the situation when an option is
allowed to be repeated unintentionally.

- ``argv`` is ``None`` by default, not ``sys.argv[1:]``.
This allows ``docopt`` to always use the *latest* ``sys.argv``,
not ``sys.argv`` during import time.

Isn't it awesome how ``optparse`` and ``argparse`` generate help
messages based on your code?!

*Hell no!* You know what's awesome? It's when the option parser *is*
generated based on the beautiful help message that you write yourself!
This way you don't need to write this stupid repeatable parser-code,
and instead can write only the help message--*the way you want it*.

**docopt** helps you create most beautiful command-line interfaces

.. code:: python

"""Naval Fate.

Usage: ship new <name>... ship <name> move <x> <y> [--speed=<kn>] ship shoot <x> <y> mine (set|remove) <x> <y> [--moored | --drifting] (-h | --help) --version

-h --help Show this screen.
--version Show version.
--speed=<kn> Speed in knots [default: 10].
--moored Moored (anchored) mine.
--drifting Drifting mine.

from docopt import docopt

if __name__ == '__main__':
arguments = docopt(__doc__, version='Naval Fate 2.0')

Beat that! The option parser is generated based on the docstring above
that is passed to ``docopt`` function. ``docopt`` parses the usage
pattern (``"Usage: ..."``) and option descriptions (lines starting
with dash "``-``") and ensures that the program invocation matches the
usage pattern; it parses options, arguments and commands based on
that. The basic idea is that *a good help message has all necessary
information in it to make a parser*.

Also, `PEP 257 <>`_ recommends
putting help message in the module docstrings.


Use `pip <>`_ or easy_install::

pip install docopt==0.6.1

Alternatively, you can just drop ```` file into your
project--it is self-contained.

**docopt** is tested with Python 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 3.2, 3.3 and PyPy.


You can run unit tests using the command:

python test


.. code:: python

from docopt import docopt

.. code:: python

docopt(doc, argv=None, help=True, version=None, options_first=False)

``docopt`` takes 1 required and 4 optional arguments:

- ``doc`` could be a module docstring (``__doc__``) or some other
string that contains a **help message** that will be parsed to
create the option parser. The simple rules of how to write such a
help message are given in next sections. Here is a quick example of
such a string:

.. code:: python

"""Usage: [-hso FILE] [--quiet | --verbose] [INPUT ...]

-h --help show this
-s --sorted sorted output
-o FILE specify output file [default: ./test.txt]
--quiet print less text
--verbose print more text


- ``argv`` is an optional argument vector; by default ``docopt`` uses
the argument vector passed to your program (``sys.argv[1:]``).
Alternatively you can supply a list of strings like ``['--verbose',
'-o', 'hai.txt']``.

- ``help``, by default ``True``, specifies whether the parser should
automatically print the help message (supplied as ``doc``) and
terminate, in case ``-h`` or ``--help`` option is encountered
(options should exist in usage pattern, more on that below). If you
want to handle ``-h`` or ``--help`` options manually (as other
options), set ``help=False``.

- ``version``, by default ``None``, is an optional argument that
specifies the version of your program. If supplied, then, (assuming
``--version`` option is mentioned in usage pattern) when parser
encounters the ``--version`` option, it will print the supplied
version and terminate. ``version`` could be any printable object,
but most likely a string, e.g. ``"2.1.0rc1"``.

Note, when ``docopt`` is set to automatically handle ``-h``,
``--help`` and ``--version`` options, you still need to mention
them in usage pattern for this to work. Also, for your users to
know about them.

- ``options_first``, by default ``False``. If set to ``True`` will
disallow mixing options and positional argument. I.e. after first
positional argument, all arguments will be interpreted as positional
even if the look like options. This can be used for strict
compatibility with POSIX, or if you want to dispatch your arguments
to other programs.

The **return** value is a simple dictionary with options, arguments
and commands as keys, spelled exactly like in your help message. Long
versions of options are given priority. For example, if you invoke the
top example as:: ship Guardian move 100 150 --speed=15

the return dictionary will be:

.. code:: python

{'--drifting': False, 'mine': False,
'--help': False, 'move': True,
'--moored': False, 'new': False,
'--speed': '15', 'remove': False,
'--version': False, 'set': False,
'<name>': ['Guardian'], 'ship': True,
'<x>': '100', 'shoot': False,
'<y>': '150'}

Help message format

Help message consists of 3 parts:

- Usage pattern, e.g.::

Usage: [-hso FILE] [--quiet | --verbose] [INPUT ...]

- Option descriptions, e.g.::

-h --help show this
-s --sorted sorted output
-o FILE specify output file [default: ./test.txt]
--quiet print less text
--verbose print more text

- Group descriptions (optional, ``docopt_plus`` only), e.g.::

Group 1:
<arg1> --opt1 [--opt2=ARG2]

Group2: command2 | command3

Their format is described below; other text is ignored.

Usage pattern format

**Usage pattern** is a substring of ``doc`` that starts with
``usage:`` (case *insensitive*) and ends with a *visibly* empty line.
Minimum example:

.. code:: python



The first word after ``usage:`` is interpreted as your program's name.
You can specify your program's name several times to signify several
exclusive patterns:

.. code:: python



Each pattern can consist of the following elements:

- **<arguments>**, **ARGUMENTS**. Arguments are specified as either
upper-case words, e.g. `` CONTENT-PATH`` or words
surrounded by angular brackets: `` <content-path>``.
- **--options**. Options are words started with dash (``-``), e.g.
``--output``, ``-o``. You can "stack" several of one-letter
options, e.g. ``-oiv`` which will be the same as ``-o -i -v``. The
options can have arguments, e.g. ``--input=FILE`` or ``-i FILE`` or
even ``-iFILE``. However it is important that you specify option
descriptions if you want your option to have an argument, a default
value, or specify synonymous short/long versions of the option (see
next section on option descriptions).
- **commands** are words that do *not* follow the described above
conventions of ``--options`` or ``<arguments>`` or ``ARGUMENTS``,
plus two special commands: dash "``-``" and double dash "``--``"
(see below).
- **-groups-**. Groups are words that start and end with a dash (``-``), e.g.
``-my_group-``. Every group defined in usage patterns has to be
described in its own section. See "Group description format" below.

Use the following constructs to specify patterns:

- **[ ]** (brackets) **optional** elements. e.g.: ``
[-hvqo FILE]``
- **( )** (parens) **required** elements. All elements that are *not*
put in **[ ]** are also required, e.g.: ``
--path=<path> <file>...`` is the same as ``
(--path=<path> <file>...)``. (Note, "required options" might be not
a good idea for your users).
- **|** (pipe) **mutually exclusive** elements. Group them using **(
)** if one of the mutually exclusive elements is required:
`` (--clockwise | --counter-clockwise) TIME``. Group
them using **[ ]** if none of the mutually-exclusive elements are
required: `` [--left | --right]``.
- **...** (ellipsis) **one or more** elements. To specify that
arbitrary number of repeating elements could be accepted, use
ellipsis (``...``), e.g. `` FILE ...`` means one or
more ``FILE``-s are accepted. If you want to accept zero or more
elements, use brackets, e.g.: `` [FILE ...]``. Ellipsis
works as a unary operator on the expression to the left.
- **[options]** (case sensitive) shortcut for any options. You can
use it if you want to specify that the usage pattern could be
provided with any options defined below in the option-descriptions
and do not want to enumerate them all in usage-pattern.
- "``[--]``". Double dash "``--``" is used by convention to separate
positional arguments that can be mistaken for options. In order to
support this convention add "``[--]``" to your usage patterns.
- "``[-]``". Single dash "``-``" is used by convention to signify that
``stdin`` is used instead of a file. To support this add "``[-]``"
to your usage patterns. "``-``" acts as a normal command.

If your pattern allows to match argument-less option (a flag) several

Usage: [-v | -vv | -vvv]

then number of occurrences of the option will be counted. I.e.
``args['-v']`` will be ``2`` if program was invoked as ``my_program
-vv``. Same works for commands.

If your usage patterns allows to match same-named option with argument
or positional argument several times, the matched arguments will be
collected into a list::

Usage: <file> <file> --path=<path>...

I.e. invoked with `` file1 file2 --path=./here
--path=./there`` the returned dict will contain ``args['<file>'] ==
['file1', 'file2']`` and ``args['--path'] == ['./here', './there']``.

Option descriptions format

**Option descriptions** consist of a list of options that you put
below your usage patterns.

It is necessary to list option descriptions in order to specify:

- synonymous short and long options,
- if an option has an argument,
- if option's argument has a default value.

The rules are as follows:

- Every line in ``doc`` that starts with ``-`` or ``--`` (not counting
spaces) is treated as an option description, e.g.::

--verbose # GOOD
Other: --bad # BAD, line does not start with dash "-"

- To specify that option has an argument, put a word describing that
argument after space (or equals "``=``" sign) as shown below. Follow
either <angular-brackets> or UPPER-CASE convention for options'
arguments. You can use comma if you want to separate options. In
the example below, both lines are valid, however you are recommended
to stick to a single style.::

-o FILE --output=FILE # without comma, with "=" sign
-i <file>, --input <file> # with comma, without "=" sing

- Use two spaces to separate options with their informal description::

--verbose More text. # BAD, will be treated as if verbose option had
# an argument "More", so use 2 spaces instead
-q Quit. # GOOD
-o FILE Output file. # GOOD
--stdout Use stdout. # GOOD, 2 spaces

- If you want to set a default value for an option with an argument,
put it into the option-description, in form ``[default:

--coefficient=K The K coefficient [default: 2.95]
--output=FILE Output file [default: test.txt]
--directory=DIR Some directory [default: ./]

- If the option is not repeatable, the value inside ``[default: ...]``
will be interpreted as string. If it *is* repeatable, it will be
split into a list on whitespace::

Usage: [--repeatable=<arg> --repeatable=<arg>]

# will be ['./here', './there']
--repeatable=<arg> [default: ./here ./there]

# will be ['./here']
--another-repeatable=<arg> [default: ./here]

# will be './here ./there', because it is not repeatable
--not-repeatable=<arg> [default: ./here ./there]

Group descriptions format (``dopcopt_plus`` only)

The only function of groups is to make usage patterns more readable to
humans. Under the hood, docopt will replace group elements (e.g.
``-my_group-``) with their respective patterns.

**Group description** has to define a pattern of argument, option, and
command elements. Group elements withing groups are not allowed.


My Group: --an_option | (--another_option | command) [-o <arg>]

Case for group names is irrelevant. Underscores (``_``) in group elements
are translated to spaces when looking for group description.

It is possible to span pattern definitions on multiple lines. This
definition is equivalent to the previous example::

My Group:
--an_option |
(--another_option | command)
[-o <arg>]

Since groups are just readability replacements for other patterns,
they can be enclosed in optional or required parenthesis, etc.
These are all valid usage patterns using groups::

Usage: prog [-v] -input- [-out_file- | (-out_db- [--create])]

Input: <in_file>

Out File: <out_file>

Out DB:


The indentation is completely optional, at all levels, and has no relevance
to finding definitions. However, it does make the usage instructions more
readable, and is therefore encouraged.

Also, group descriptions can be placed below or above "Options" section, the
order bears has relevance to parsing.

Similarly to Options, group patterns can have descriptions on every line,
separated by at least two spaces. Unlike with Options, having comments on a
separate line is not supported::

Out DB:
<db_name> database name # GOOD, 2 spaces
database credentials # BAD, will be mistaken for a pattern!
[<host>] local or remote host name # BAD, has only 1 space!

Every group that is defined in usage patterns (e.g. ``-my_group-``) must
also be described.

Currently group name must not end with ``Options`` because parser will confuse
it with the special group used to describe common options.


We have an extensive list of `examples
<>`_ which cover
every aspect of functionality of **docopt**. Try them out, read the
source if in doubt.

Subparsers, multi-level help and *huge* applications (like git)

If you want to split your usage-pattern into several, implement
multi-level help (with separate help-screen for each sub-command),
want to interface with existing scripts that don't use **docopt**, or
you're building the next "git", you will need the new ``options_first``
parameter (described in API section above). To get you started quickly
we implemented a subset of git command-line interface as an example:

Data validation

**docopt** does one thing and does it well: it implements your
command-line interface. However it does not validate the input data.
On the other hand there are libraries like `python schema
<>`_ which make validating data a
breeze. Take a look at `
which uses **schema** to validate data and report an error to the

Using docopt with config-files

Often configuration files are used to provide default values which
could be overridden by command-line arguments. Since **docopt**
returns a simple dictionary it is very easy to integrate with
config-files written in JSON, YAML or INI formats.
` <examples/>`_ provides
and example of how to use **docopt** with JSON or INI config-file.


We would *love* to hear what you think about **docopt** on our `issues
page <>`_

Make pull requests, report bugs, suggest ideas and discuss
**docopt**. You can also drop a line directly to

Porting ``docopt`` to other languages

We think **docopt** is so good, we want to share it beyond the Python
community! All official docopt ports to other languages can be found
under the `docopt organization page <>`_
on GitHub.

If your favourite language isn't among then, you can always create a
port for it! You are encouraged to use the Python version as a
reference implementation. A Language-agnostic test suite is bundled
with `Python implementation <>`_.

Porting discussion is on `issues page


**docopt** follows `semantic versioning <>`_. The
first release with stable API will be 1.0.0 (soon). Until then, you
are encouraged to specify explicitly the version in your dependency
tools, e.g.::

pip install docopt==0.6.1

- 0.6.1 Bugfix release.
- 0.6.0 ``options_first`` parameter.
**Breaking changes**: Corrected ``[options]`` meaning.
``argv`` defaults to ``None``.
- 0.5.0 Repeated options/commands are counted or accumulated into a
- 0.4.2 Bugfix release.
- 0.4.0 Option descriptions become optional,
support for "``--``" and "``-``" commands.
- 0.3.0 Support for (sub)commands like `git remote add`.
Introduce ``[options]`` shortcut for any options.
**Breaking changes**: ``docopt`` returns dictionary.
- 0.2.0 Usage pattern matching. Positional arguments parsing based on
usage patterns.
**Breaking changes**: ``docopt`` returns namespace (for arguments),
not list. Usage pattern is formalized.
- 0.1.0 Initial release. Options-parsing only (based on options

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