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Re: PATCH: help text: presentation of optionally-repeated arguments

From: Julian Foad <julianfoad_at_btopenworld.com>
Date: 2003-06-27 01:59:02 CEST

Greg Hudson wrote:
> On Thu, 2003-06-26 at 13:06, Julian Foad wrote:
>>I don't see that "[OPTION]..." is ambiguous. Do you read it as
>>"brackets mean zero or more; dots mean one or more" mean that
> I read brackets as "zero or one" and dots as "one or more". In extended
> regexp notation, "(foo?)+" is an ambiguous grammar--because any number
> of empty strings matching "(foo?)" can be inserted into the
> sequence--while "(foo+)?" is not. (As I said before, I think some
> people find unambiguous grammars more intuitive, all other things being
> equal.)

OK, I see now what you mean by "ambiguous", and I agree.

> Thanks for rewriting the patch to my preference.

OK, but I messed up a bit as cmpilato pointed out.

>>My example of a possible reason was that it provides (as a free bonus)
>>a convenient way to specify that a group of words may be repeated.
>>However, this syntax cannot directly specify a group of words that may
>>be repeated ONE OR MORE times. In that case I would need to write
>>something like:
>> cc -D SYMBOL [-D SYMBOL]...
> Understood. I don't think that will ever be a concern for us.

I see no reason why we shouldn't ever have a command with this sort of syntax, but it may well be acceptable to document it in this way with part of it mentioned twice.

- Julian

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Received on Fri Jun 27 01:51:54 2003

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