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Task #666

Updated by Teemu Murtola over 8 years ago

These issues should be considered:

1. Formatting of the help output should be improved. The main issue is in line wrapping, but it should also be thought about how closely we want to follow the help format from the old tools. The new option handling mechanism allows a lot of things that the old one did not, so the format could perhaps also be improved.

2. src/gromacs/options/AsciiHelpWriter.* should be renamed to something like CommandLineHelpWriter, because writing a generic help that would apply to something else than a command-line tool is probably too difficult. Separate help writers can be implemented in other contexts if needed (and common functionality refactored back to src/gromacs/options/ if the need arises).

3. It should be thought about how much of the functionality from the old wman.c is really needed, and that should be ported to the new system. It should also be possible to refactor things such that both implementations use the same underlying routines for text handling.

4. In 4.5, some help is accessible with (using g_select as an example) @g_select -h@, some with @g_select -select help@ and friends. In 5.0, these become @g_ana select -h@, @g_ana select -select help@, and there can additionally be @g_ana -h@ (see #672). It would be good to consolidate these. Also, different tools may provide the selection option under a different name than @-select@, or may provide multiple options, which may make it confusing to use them for printing help. Suggestions of how it would work best for the user would be welcome. Also, how extensive should the command-line help be? An alternative is to refer to the manual or to a wiki page. If the command-line help contains a lot of information, we may want to add a script that extracts it and inserts it into the manual automatically (see #679).

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