[jeff writes] > Roland Walker wrote: > > There is absolutely a better way. Don't parse the help output. This [snip] > Actually, we've come up with a way to do the wrapping using connect-the-dots: > > http://www.bioinformatics.org/piper/documentation/command-compilation.html > > Sure, programmers will find it simpler to write one by hand, but perhaps > non-programmers will find it usable. In any case, it's been an academic > excercise to see how many things can be done using connect-the-dots. I do find the connect-the-dots hard. Remember that non-programmers find it easiest of all to just find a programmer to do it. It all comes down to settling on a spec. I don't know about getting FSF to accept your spec; they can be arbitrary and obtuse. But perhaps the XML buzzword would make people happy enough to follow it. Such a thing certainly needs to be done. With all the work that goes into CORBA and DCOP and the like, you'd think someone would formulate a simple standard for querying a CLI program for its options. Though I think that the principle benefit would be improving shells, not eliminating them. Anyway, if do you get a spec to me, I will support it, as I think you are working on some cool ideas. > > So I think that the only hitch between us and a world of excitement > > is the lamentable lack of a packaging system that can tame the SEALS > > monster. We have multiple revisions we need to reconcile, and > > tangles of code that we rather urgently need to clean up and push > > out the door in some usable form. > > Are you thinking along the line of RPM, Deb, or CPAN? We need to make CPAN-style packages first. And it suddenly looks like that project is on hold again for lack of manpower. R PS I wasn't able to get Piper to compile on my Solaris box. I'll try a later build, maybe on my Linux box, and give you some feedback.