Why do people screw around with basic command options?

Jerry Feldman gaf at blu.org
Fri Aug 25 08:46:16 EDT 2006

On Friday 25 August 2006 8:32 am, Christoph Doerbeck wrote:
> One of my favorite option "standards" right now is....
>     -v  .... could mean verbose, or NOT
> example:
> fuser -v .... verbose
> pkill -v .... NOT (grep style)
> So, don't go using pkill thinking -v will give nice verbose output.
> Fortunately I RTFM, so there is no "story" for me to tell here...
You open up another can of worms that not only causes some interesting problems for us in the Linux/Unix community, but in virtually every area where different applications have different ways of doing the same task. 
gcc -v:
In this case, -v is version.
icc -v 
In this case, icc simply lists the short version number
icc -V
icc lists the version, build, package, and copyright.

Additionally, some older apps, like tar(1) and ps(1) do not require the hyphen before command line options:
tar xzf foo.tar.gz
ps ax
But, the system V version of ps requires it:
ps -ef

Jerry Feldman <gaf at blu.org>
Boston Linux and Unix user group
http://www.blu.org PGP key id:C5061EA9
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