argparse vs getopt

Gary E. Miller gem at
Sat Jun 10 17:48:13 UTC 2017

Yo Eric!

On Sat, 10 Jun 2017 09:45:17 -0400
"Eric S. Raymond via devel" <devel at> wrote:

> There is one thing you have failed to check: whether argparse is
> portable to the oldest Python we support.

It is.  Supported by the fact NTPsec Pthon programs have been using it
for a while without complaint.

> The rest of your observations about both getopt and argparse are
> certainly on target.


> You might want to think about this, though: the problem with argparse
> is that it has hidden state and magic action at a distance.  You
> shouldn't stop at the correct observation that the compactness of an
> argparse spec makes it look simpler; you should ask whether the gains
> in compactness are outdone by the probable increase in downstream
> error rates due to unexpected behavior that you can't spot by looking
> at the surface code.

Whoa!  Where did that come from!  Please support that argument with
some facts.

> Overall, well done.  I said I was looking for quality of fact
> gathering and reasoning, and you supplied that.  Once you've done the
> portability check I'll call it successful task completion.


Gary E. Miller Rellim 109 NW Wilmington Ave., Suite E, Bend, OR 97703
	gem at  Tel:+1 541 382 8588

	    Veritas liberabit vos. -- Quid est veritas?
    "If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it." - Lord Kelvin
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