Crate argmap[][src]

Expand description


parse command-line arguments into a hashmap and vec of positional args

This library doesn’t populate custom structs, format help messages, or convert types.

You provide an iterator of items that implement ToString and you get back a 2-tuple of (args,argv) where:

  • args is a Vec<String> of positional arguments
  • argv is a HashMap<String,Vec<String>> of all the values that map to a --key
let (args,argv) = argmap::parse(std::env::args());
eprintln!["args={:?}", &args];
eprintln!["argv={:?}", &argv];

Long (--file) and short (-x) options, with or without equal signs, clustered short options (example: tar -xvf file.tgz) and non-alpha short-circuiting (example: tail -n1) are all supported. You can also have numeric flags but not in short clusters.

Here’s an example of the junk you can throw at this parser:

$ cargo run -q --example parse -- -z 5 -y=6 -y8 --msg cool -7 --here=there \
  -xvf file.tgz -qrs=1234 -n -555 one two three -abc+5 -c-6 -- four -z 0
args=["target/debug/examples/parse", "one", "two", "three", "four", "-z", "0"]
argv={"z": ["5"], "7": [], "y": ["6", "8"], "x": [], "v": [], "f": ["file.tgz"], "a": [], "b": [], "here": ["there"], "n": ["-555"], "qrs": ["1234"], "c": ["+5", "-6"], "msg": ["cool"]}

The values for the argv HashMap are Vec<String> instead of String because you may have the same option specified multiple times. If you only want to deal with a single value for a given key, you can use the .first() or .last() inside an .and_then():

let (args,argv) = argmap::parse(std::env::args());
let cool = argv.get("cool").and_then(|v| v.last());

Boolean options will be stored as an empty vec![]. You can use .contains_key() to test for the presence of a boolean flag:

let (args,argv) = argmap::parse(std::env::args());
let show_help = argv.contains_key("h") || argv.contains_key("help");

HashMap has more ergonomic field access than any argument parser could hope to create and you can use the knowledge you already have for how to work with it instead of learning an argument-parser specific api.

Likewise, many of the usual features that a command-line parser has (aliasing and default values for example) can be obtained from methods on the core Option type such as .or_else(), .and_then(), or .unwrap_or().

Here is a longer example because how to string all of those together in a useful way is not necessarily obvious. This example is a word count program like wc, but overly-simplified and somewhat inaccurate for the sake of brevity.

use std::{io,fs::File};

type Error = Box<dyn std::error::Error+Send+Sync>;
type R = Box<dyn io::Read+Unpin>;

fn main() -> Result<(),Error> {
  let (args,argv) = argmap::new()
    .booleans(&[ "h", "help", "c", "bytes", "w", "words", "l", "lines" ])
  if argv.contains_key("h") || argv.contains_key("help") {
    indoc::printdoc![r#"usage: {} {{OPTIONS}} [FILE]

      Count the number of bytes, words, or lines in a file or stdin.

        -i, --infile  Count words from FILE or '-' for stdin (default).
        -c, --bytes   Show number of bytes.
        -w, --words   Show number of words.
        -l, --lines   Show number of lines.
        -h, --help    Show this message.

    "#, args.get(0).unwrap_or(&"???".to_string())];
    return Ok(());

  let mut show_bytes = argv.contains_key("c") || argv.contains_key("bytes");
  let mut show_words = argv.contains_key("w") || argv.contains_key("words");
  let mut show_lines = argv.contains_key("l") || argv.contains_key("lines");
  if !show_bytes && !show_words && !show_lines {
    show_bytes = true;
    show_words = true;
    show_lines = true;

  let stdin_file = "-".to_string();
  let infile = argv.get("infile").and_then(|v| v.first()) // --infile=file
    .or_else(|| argv.get("i").and_then(|v| v.first())) // -i file
    .or_else(|| args.get(1)) // first positional arg after $0
    .unwrap_or(&stdin_file) // default value: "-"

  let mut stream: R = match infile {
    "-" => Box::new(io::stdin()),
    f => Box::new(File::open(f)?),
  let mut buf = vec![0;4096];
  let mut byte_count = 0;
  let mut word_count = 0;
  let mut line_count = 0;
  loop {
    let len = buf)?;
    if len == 0 { break }
    byte_count += len;
    let s = std::str::from_utf8(&buf[0..len])?;
    word_count += s.split_whitespace().count();
    line_count += s.lines().count();
  let mut outline = "".to_string();
  if show_lines { outline += &format!["{:>4} ", line_count] }
  if show_words { outline += &format!["{:>4} ", word_count] }
  if show_bytes { outline += &format!["{:>4} ", byte_count] }
  println!["{}", outline.trim_end()];

This example also demonstrates how to tell the parser that certain fields are to be interpreted as boolean values. Right now that is the only configuration available.

Many libraries that do parsing also provide help messages, but I much prefer to write them out by hand as in the example above. This way, I have more control over how the help info is presented and formatted to be maximally helpful. For example, some flags might only make sense in combination with certain other flags, but that is hard to show with formatting options presented by an automated tool. And if the help message gets too long you can always split it out into a separate file.





Create a new ArgMap instance.


Parse an iterator of string arguments into a 2-tuple of positional arguments and a HashMap mapping String keys to Vec values.

Type Definitions