ManyConsole

by fschwiet

fschwiet / ManyConsole

An extension to Mono.Options for writing console applications with multiple commands

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ManyConsole

Available on Nuget: http://nuget.org/List/Packages/ManyConsole

Thanks to Daniel González for providing some additional documentation: http://dgondotnet.blogspot.dk/2013/08/my-last-console-application-manyconsole.html

Mono.Options (formerly NDesk.Options) is a great library for processing command-line parameters. ManyConsole extends Mono.Options to allow building console applications that support separate commands.

If you are not familiar with Mono.Options, you should start by using that: https://components.xamarin.com/gettingstarted/mono.options?version=5.3.0. Add ManyConsole when you feel the urge to differentiate commands (you'll still need the Mono.Options usage).

ManyConsole provides a console interface for the user to list available commands, call and get help for each.

To use ManyConsole:

  • Create a command line app referencing the ManyConsole nuget.
  • Have Program.Main call ConsoleCommandDispatcher (see https://github.com/fschwiet/ManyConsole/blob/master/SampleConsole/Program.cs)
    • You can use ConsoleCommandDispatcher to find commands in an assembly, or not.
  • To add a command to your console application, inherit from ConsoleCommand.
    • See the sample comands at https://github.com/fschwiet/ManyConsole/tree/master/SampleConsole
    • Commands can be forced to show the user the help text by throwing an exception of type: ConsoleHelpAsException
    • There are a handful of methods you can call from the derived class's constructor to add metadata to the command. Use autocompete to find them.

Quick Start Guide

Run this from NuGet Package Management Console:

Install-Package ManyConsole

Drop this in to automatically load all of the commands that we'll create next:

public class Program
{
    public static int Main(string[] args)
    {
        var commands = GetCommands();

    return ConsoleCommandDispatcher.DispatchCommand(commands, args, Console.Out);
}

public static IEnumerable<consolecommand> GetCommands()
{
    return ConsoleCommandDispatcher.FindCommandsInSameAssemblyAs(typeof(Program));
}

}

Create a command with one optional, one required and a short and long description:

public class PrintFileCommand : ConsoleCommand
{
    private const int Success = 0;
    private const int Failure = 2;

public string FileLocation { get; set; }
public bool StripCommaCharacter { get; set; }

public PrintFileCommand()
{
    // Register the actual command with a simple (optional) description.
    IsCommand("PrintFile", "Quick print utility.");

    // Add a longer description for the help on that specific command.
    HasLongDescription("This can be used to quickly read a file's contents " +
    "while optionally stripping out the ',' character.");

    // Required options/flags, append '=' to obtain the required value.
    HasRequiredOption("f|file=", "The full path of the file.", p =&gt; FileLocation = p);

    // Optional options/flags, append ':' to obtain an optional value, or null if not specified.
    HasOption("s|strip:", "Strips ',' from the file before writing to output.",
        t =&gt; StripCommaCharacter = t == null ? true : Convert.ToBoolean(t));
}

public override int Run(string[] remainingArguments)
{
    try
    {
        var fileContents = File.ReadAllText(FileLocation);

        if (StripCommaCharacter)
            fileContents = fileContents.Replace(",", string.Empty);

        Console.Out.WriteLine(fileContents);

        return Success;
    }
    catch (Exception ex)
    {
        Console.Error.WriteLine(ex.Message);
        Console.Error.WriteLine(ex.StackTrace);

        return Failure;
    }
}

}

Ok, now when you run it, it should work:

>ManyConsoleDocumentation PrintFile -f "C:\HelloWorld.txt"

Extra parameters specified: C:\HelloWorld.txt

'PrintFile' - Quick print utility.

This can be used to quickly read a file's contents while optionally stripping out the ',' character.

Expected usage: ManyConsoleDocumentation.exe PrintFile available: -f, --file The full path of the file. -s, --strip Strips ',' from the file before writing to output.

It doesn't work and thinks we specified an invalid parameter. This is because options that are followed by a parameter must have an '=' symbol, so update the two commands with

f|file=
and
s|strip=
, it should now work:
>ManyConsoleDocumentation PrintFile -f "C:\HelloWorld.txt"

Executing PrintFile (Quick print utility.): FileLocation : C:\HelloWorld.txt StripCommaCharacter : False

Hello, world!

>ManyConsoleDocumentation PrintFile -f "C:\HelloWorld.txt" -s true

Executing PrintFile (Quick print utility.): FileLocation : C:\HelloWorld.txt StripCommaCharacter : True

Hello world!

Now you can easily supply multiple commands with their own set of unique arguments:

public class EchoCommand : ConsoleCommand
{
    public string ToEcho { get; set; }

public EchoCommand()
{
    IsCommand("Echo", "Echo's text");
    HasRequiredOption("t|text=", "The text to echo back.", t =&gt; ToEcho = t);
}

public override int Run(string[] remainingArguments)
{
    Console.Out.WriteLine(ToEcho);

    return 0;
}

}

Here's how the help looks, plus help for our two commands:

>ManyConsoleDocumentation help

Available commands are:

Echo        - Echo's text
PrintFile   - Quick print utility.

help <name> - For help with one of the above commands

>ManyConsoleDocumentation help PrintFile

'PrintFile' - Quick print utility.

This can be used to quickly read a file's contents while optionally stripping out the ',' character.

Expected usage: ManyConsoleDocumentation.exe PrintFile available: -f, --file=VALUE The full path of the file. -s, --strip=VALUE Strips ',' from the file before writing to output.

>ManyConsoleDocumentation help Echo

'Echo' - Echo's text

Expected usage: ManyConsoleDocumentation.exe Echo available: -t, --text=VALUE The text to echo back.

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