Argument and Option Handling

Cement defines an argument interface called IArgument, as well as the default ArgParseArgumentHandler that implements the interface. This handler is built on top of the ArgParse module which is included in the Python standard library.

Please note that there may be other handler’s that implement the IArgument interface. The documentation below only references usage based on the interface and not the full capabilities of the implementation.

The following argument handlers are included and maintained with Cement:

Please reference the IArgument interface documentation for writing your own argument handler.

Adding Arguments

The IArgument interface is loosely based on ArgParse directly. That said, it only defines a minimal set of params that must be honored by the handler implementation, even though the handler itself may except more than that. The following shows some basic examples of adding arguments based on the interface (meaning, these examples should work regardless of what the handler is):

from cement.core import foundation

# create the application
app = foundation.CementApp('myapp')

# then setup the application... which will use our 'mylog' handler

# add any arguments after setup(), and before run()
app.args.add_argument('-f', '--foo', action='store', dest='foo',
                      help='the notorious foo option')
app.args.add_argument('-V', action='store_true', dest='vendetta',
                      help='v for vendetta')
app.args.add_argument('-A', action='store_const', const=12345,
                      help='the big a option')

# then run the application

# access the parsed args from the app.pargs shortcut
    print "Received foo option with value %s" %
if app.pargs.vendetta:
    print "Received V for Vendetta!"
if app.pargs.A:
    print "Received the A option with value %s" % app.pargs.A

# close the application

Here we have setup a basic application, and then add a few arguments to the parser.

$ python --help
usage: [-h] [--debug] [--quiet] [-f FOO] [-V] [-A]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help         show this help message and exit
  --debug            toggle debug output
  --quiet            suppress all output
  -f FOO, --foo FOO  the notorious foo option
  -V                 v for vendetta
  -A                 the big a option

$ python --foo=bar
Received foo option with value bar

$ python -V
Received V for Vendetta!

Accessing Parsed Arguments

The IArgument interface defines that the parse() function return any type of object that stores the name of the argument as a class member. Meaning, when adding the foo option with action='store' and the value is stored as the foo destination… that would be accessible as In the case of the ArgParseArgumentHandler the return object is exactly what you would expect by calling parser.parse_args(), but may be different with other argument handler implementations.

The parsed arguments are actually stored as app._parsed_args, but are exposed as app.pargs. Accessing app.pargs can be seen in the examples above.