Robert Krimen


Getopt::Chain - Command-line processing like svn and git


version 0.017


Getopt::Chain can be used to provide svn(1)- and git(1)-style option and command processing. Any option specification covered by Getopt::Long is fair game.

This is a new version of Getopt::Chain that uses Path::Dispatcher

CAVEAT 1: This is pretty beta, so the sugar/interface above WILL be tweaked

CAVEAT 2: Unfortunately, Getopt::Long slurps up the entire arguments array at once. Usually, this isn't a problem (as Getopt::Chain uses pass_through). However, if a subcommand has an option with the same name or alias as an option for a parent, then that option won't be available for the subcommand. For example:

    ./script --verbose --revision 36 edit --revision 48 --file xyzzy.c
    # Getopt::Chain will not associate the second --revision with "edit"

So, for now, try to use distinct option names/aliases :)

DEBUG: You can get some extra information about what Getopt::Chain is doing by setting the environment variable GOC_TRACE to 1


    package My::Command;

    use Getopt::Chain::Declare;

    start [qw/ verbose|v /]; # These are "global"
                             # my-command --verbose initialize ...

    # my-command ? initialize ... --> my-command help initialize ...
    rewrite qr/^\?(.*)/ => sub { "help ".($1||'') };

    # NOTE: Rewriting applies to the command sequence, NOT options

    # my-command about ... --> my-command help about
    rewrite [ ['about', 'copying'] ] => sub { "help $1" };

    # my-command initialize --dir=...
    on initialize => [qw/ dir|d=s /], sub {
        my $context = shift;

        my $dir = $context->option( 'dir' )

        # Do initialize stuff with $dir

    # my-command help
    on help => undef, sub {
        my $context = shift;

        # Do help stuff ...
        # First argument is undef because help
        # doesn't take any options

    under help => sub {

        # my-command help create
        # my-command help initialize
        on [ [ qw/create initialize/ ] ] => undef, sub {
            my $context = shift;

            # Do help for create/initialize
            # Both: "help create" and "help initialize" go here

        # my-command help about
        on 'about' => undef, sub {
            my $context = shift;

            # Help for about...

        # my-command help copying
        on 'copying' => undef, sub {
            my $context = shift;

            # Help for copying...

        # my-command help ...
        on qr/^(\S+)$/ => undef, sub {
           my $context = shift;
           my $topic = $1;

           # Catch-all for anything not fitting into the above...

           warn "I don't know about \"$topic\"\n"

    # ... elsewhere ...

    My::Command->new->run( [ @arguments ] )
    My::Command->new->run # Just run with @ARGV


The old-style, non Path::Dispatcher version is still available at Getopt::Chain::v005






Sartak for Path::Dispatcher

obra for inspiration on the CLI (via Prophet & Sd:


Robert Krimen <>


This software is copyright (c) 2011 by Robert Krimen.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.