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The Pragmatic Bookshelf | PragPub May 2012 | What Makes an Awesome Command-line Application?

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I thought this was a great article. It hit a chord with me as I have had to tackle some foolish command line apps recently where the devs have just dreamt up new commands and ways of working for themselves instead of just using the normal heuristics. Very annoying.

Something that I have just found and annoys me is setting up command line programs for schedules tasks. If you don't do this right, you end up with a complete mess! Like a list of emailers for different programs and clients:

- Emailer_01
- Emailer
- Emailer_New
- emailer_March2012

This is just annoying. I know you can still tell what the programs are if you look into them or work it out from the other columns but it's still a pain.

- The arguments the scheduled tasks take should be documented.
- The scheduled task itself should log to the event log.
- The error messages logged to the event log should be sensible (for example - give a list of the possible params if an incorrect one was given, if there are too many, wtf?).
- When you create a scheduled task, name the task nicely with something like - "company.program.program instanceName" so it's apparent what the scheduled task is for, this type of naming should apply to the source of the event log as well so they're easily filtered when trying to find information out about the program.

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