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I'm currently writing a command-line application which takes multiple arguments. Among those arguments are input and output filenames, modifiers and an option to choose the output. If the option is omitted the application will use the default.

4 different forms of output are available:

  • Terminal (default)
  • Terminal and text file
  • Terminal and graphical file
  • Terminal, text file and graphical file

I was thinking about naming this option "output", but this may be confusing since the input and output filenames can also be specified (with the helpful argument-names "inputfile" and "outputfile").

What would be an intuitive name for this option?

Target audience is programmers with varying levels of experience.

Example usage:

python application.py inputfile outputfile option
  • Sorry, I'm not following. Are you looking for a name for the arguments? – Paul Dessert Oct 1 '15 at 0:50
  • @PaulDessert Yes, a name for the last argument, which is to be used in the code and documentation. – Mast Oct 1 '15 at 0:53
  • What about fileformat – Paul Dessert Oct 1 '15 at 0:56
  • Or python application.py filein fileout output – Paul Dessert Oct 1 '15 at 0:57
  • @PaulDessert Something along those lines could work. – Mast Oct 1 '15 at 0:58
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It seems that last parameter determines what the output is generated as, or generated to. "as type" or "to type" sounds right then, depending on what the actual name of application.py is.

Now, you have 4 possible (combinations of) outputs, and terminal is always in. Use switches?

Output to terminal:

python application.py inputfile outputfile

Output to terminal and text file:

python application.py inputfile outputfile -t

Output to terminal and graphic file:

python application.py inputfile outputfile -g

Output to terminal, text and graphic file:

python application.py inputfile outputfile -t -g

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