Subject: Re: RFC: getopt_long(3) change
To: None <>
From: James K. Lowden <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 06/28/2007 23:53:54
David Laight wrote:
> Actually it is a stupid idea!
> Or rather allowing partial matches is what is stupid.

It's not stupid, not even a little bit.  And before anyone blames/credits
the GNU folks, does no one remember, say, VMS?  Or I'm sure there are
other obvious examples of prior art.  

$ /usr/games/trek

   * * *   S T A R   T R E K   * * *

Press return to continue.

What length game: ?
         short        medium          long       restart
What length game: sh
What skill game: ?
        novice          fair          good        expert
     commodore    impossible
What skill game: no
Enter a password: 
5 Klingons
5 starbases at 0,2, 1,2, 7,1, 6,3, 3,6
It takes 250 units to kill a Klingon

I used VMS for a few years.  I quickly learned to type the least at the
console and to spell everything out in my scripts.  

Only a sadist would require that every long command be spelled out
precisely and completely.  The alternative is very short options, which
eventually become impossibly cryptic.  (Quick, what does "ls -m" do?)