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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
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  • Sorry, I'm not following. Are you looking for a name for the arguments? Oct 1, 2015 at 0:50
  • @PaulDessert Yes, a name for the last argument, which is to be used in the code and documentation.
    – Mast
    Oct 1, 2015 at 0:53
  • What about fileformat Oct 1, 2015 at 0:56
  • Or python application.py filein fileout output Oct 1, 2015 at 0:57
  • @PaulDessert Something along those lines could work.
    – Mast
    Oct 1, 2015 at 0:58

1 Answer 1

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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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