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'\"
'\" Generated from file 'cmdr_helpformats\&.man' by tcllib/doctools with format 'nroff'
'\" Copyright (c) 2013-2016 Andreas Kupries
'\" Copyright (c) 2013-2016 Documentation, Andreas Kupries
'\"
.TH "cmdr-user-helpformats" n 1\&.2 doc "Cmdr, a framework for command line parsing and dispatch"
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.BS
.SH NAME
cmdr-user-helpformats \- Cmdr - Writing custom help formats
.SH SYNOPSIS
package require \fBcmdr::help \fR
.sp
\fB::cmdr::help::format::<foo>\fR \fIroot\fR \fIwidth\fR \fIhelp\fR
.sp
.BE
.SH DESCRIPTION
.PP
Welcome to the Cmdr project, written by Andreas Kupries\&.
.PP
For availability please read \fICmdr - How To Get The Sources\fR\&.
.PP
This document describes the API expected of \fIhelp formats\fR
to make them usable within the Cmdr framework, and how to
write a custom help format\&.
.PP
Readers interested in the standard help formats of the
framework should read \fICmdr - (Internal) Utilities for help text formatting and setup\fR\&.
.SH BACKGROUND
Help formats are Cmdr's way of converting in-memory
information about a command hierarchy into something usable for human
consumption and obviating the need for writing separate documentation,
which may easily get out of sync with the specification\&.
.PP
The system was made extensible for while the standard formats
listed in \fICmdr - (Internal) Utilities for help text formatting and setup\fR should cover the common cases, and
the json format of \fICmdr - Formatting help as JSON object\fR is a general export,
it is always possible to run into unprediced non-standard situations
not covered as is\&.
.SH API
For the framework to automatically pick up a new help format
\fBfoo\fR the package implementing it has to specify a single
command \fB::cmdr::help::format::<\fBfoo\fR>\fR, and this package has
to be loaded before the command hierarchy you want to use it for is
specified\&.
.PP
In more detail:
.TP
\fB::cmdr::help::format::<foo>\fR \fIroot\fR \fIwidth\fR \fIhelp\fR
This command, having access to the root actor of a command hierarchy,
the number of columns to format the help towards, and a help data
structure itself, has to return a string, the formatted help generated
from the arguments\&.
.RS
.TP
cmdr::officer \fIroot\fR
The root officer of the command hierarchy\&.
With the exception of \fBby-category\fR the standard formats do not
use this argument\&. By providing it the format has access to the
toplevel common blocks, allowing for the transfer of custom
information from the specifiction to the format\&.
.sp
\fBby-category\fR for example looks for and uses the block
\fB*category-order*\fR for when the user wishes to override the
natural (alphabetical) order of display for the toplevel sections\&.
.TP
integer \fIwidth\fR
The number of columns to format the help towards\&.
.TP
dictionary \fIhelp\fR
A dictonary holding the help information to format\&. For more details
see section \fBHelp Dictionary\fR\&.
.RE
.PP
.SH "HELP DICTIONARY"
The help information generated by various places of the framework
is a dictionary containing the following keys:
.TP
arguments
A list of strings, the names of the command arguments, in order\&.
These names are keys into the \fBparameters\fR sub-dictionary\&.
.TP
desc
The command's description, i\&.e\&. help text\&.
.TP
opt2para
A dictionary mapping option flags to option names\&.
These names are keys into the \fBparameters\fR sub-dictionary\&.
.TP
options
A dictionary mapping option names to their descriptions\&.
.TP
parameters
A dictionary mapping parameter names to their definition\&.
Each definition is a dictionary containing the keys below\&.
See also package \fBcmdr::parameter\fR\&.
.RS
.TP
cmdline
Output of method \fBcmdline\fR\&.
.TP
code
Output of method \fBcode\fR\&.
.TP
default
Output of method \fBdefault\fR\&.
.TP
defered
Output of method \fBdefered\fR\&.
.TP
description
Output of method \fBdescription\fR\&.
.TP
documented
Output of method \fBdocumented\fR\&.
.TP
flags
A dictionary mapping flag names to flag
types, i\&.e\&. \fBprimary\fR, \fBalias\fR,
or \fBinverted\fR\&.
.TP
generator
Output of method \fBgenerator\fR\&.
.TP
interactive
Output of method \fBinteractive\fR\&.
.TP
isbool
Output of method \fBisbool\fR\&.
.TP
label
Output of method \fBlabel\fR\&.
.TP
list
Output of method \fBlist\fR\&.
.TP
ordered
Output of method \fBordered\fR\&.
.TP
presence
Output of method \fBpresence\fR\&.
.TP
prompt
Output of method \fBprompt\fR\&.
.TP
required
Output of method \fBrequired\fR\&.
.TP
threshold
Output of method \fBthreshold\fR\&.
.TP
type
Output of method \fBtype\fR\&.
.TP
validator
Output of method \fBvalidator\fR\&.
.RE
.TP
sections
A list of sections the command belongs to\&.
Each section name is a list itself, the path of the section and sub-sections\&.
.TP
states
A list of strings, the names of the command's hidden state parameters\&.
These names are keys into the \fBparameters\fR sub-dictionary\&.
.PP
.SH EXAMPLE
As an example the implementation of the standard help format
\fBlist\fR is shown here\&.
.CS


# Entrypoint
proc ::cmdr::help::format::list {root width help} {
    set result {}
    dict for {cmd desc} $help {
	lappend result [List $width $cmd $desc]
    }
    return [join $result \\n]
}

# Main work procedure for commands
proc ::cmdr::help::format::List {width name command} {
    dict with command {} ; # -> desc, options, arguments, parameters

    # Short line\&.
    lappend lines  [string trimright  "    [join $name] [HasOptions $options][Arguments $arguments $parameters]"]
    return [join $lines \\n]
}

# Support procedures
proc ::cmdr::help::format::HasOptions {options} {
    if {[dict size $options]} {
	return "\\[OPTIONS\\] "
    } else {
	return {}
    }
}

proc ::cmdr::help::format::Arguments {arguments parameters} {
    set result {}
    foreach a $arguments {
	set v [dict get $parameters $a]
	dict with v {} ; # -> code, desc, label
	switch -exact -- $code {
	    +  { set text "<$label>" }
	    ?  { set text "\\[<${label}>\\]" }
	    +* { set text "<${label}>\&.\&.\&." }
	    ?* { set text "\\[<${label}>\&.\&.\&.\\]" }
	}
	lappend result $text
    }
    return [join $result]
}

.CE
.SH "BUGS, IDEAS, FEEDBACK"
Both the package(s) and this documentation will undoubtedly contain
bugs and other problems\&.
Please report such at
\fICmdr Tickets\fR [https:/core\&.tcl\&.tk/akupries/cmdr]\&.
.PP
Please also report any ideas you may have for enhancements of
either package(s) and/or documentation\&.
.SH KEYWORDS
arguments, command hierarchy, command line completion, command line handling, command tree, editing command line, help for command line, hierarchy of commands, interactive command shell, optional arguments, options, parameters, processing command line, tree of commands
.SH COPYRIGHT
.nf
Copyright (c) 2013-2016 Andreas Kupries
Copyright (c) 2013-2016 Documentation, Andreas Kupries

.fi