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歌代 和正 (Kaz Utashiro)
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optex - General purpose command option wrapper


optex command [ -Mmodule ] ...

or command -> optex symlink, or

optex options [ -l | -m ] ...

    --link,   --ln  create symlink
    --unlink, --rm  remove symlink
    --ls            list link files
    --rc            list rc files
    --nop, -x       disable option processing
    --[no]module    disable module option on arguments


optex is a general purpose option handling wrapper utilizing Perl module Getopt::EX. It enables user to define their own option aliases for any commands on the system, and provide module style extendible capability.

Target command is given as an argument:

    % optex command

or symbolic link file linked to optex:

    command -> optex

If the configuration file ~/.optex.d/command.rc exists, it is read before execution and command arguments are pre-processed using that configuration.


Think of macOS's date command, which does not have -I[TIMESPEC] option. Using optex, these can be implemented by preparing following setting in ~/.optex.d/date.rc file.

    option -I        -Idate
    option -Idate    +%F
    option -Iseconds +%FT%T%z
    option -Iminutes +%FT%H:%M%z
    option -Ihours   +%FT%H%z

    option --iso-8601         -I
    option --iso-8601=date    -Idate
    option --iso-8601=seconds -Iseconds
    option --iso-8601=minutes -Iminutes
    option --iso-8601=hours   -Ihours

Then next command will work as expected.

    % optex date -Iseconds

If a symbolic link date -> optex is found in command search path, you can use it just same as standard command, but with unsupported options.

    % date -Iseconds

Common configuration is stored in ~/.optex.d/default.rc file, and those rules are applied to all commands executed through optex.

Actually, --iso-8601 option can be defined simpler as this:

    option --iso-8601 -I$<shift>

This works fine almost always, but fails with sole --iso-8601 option preceding other option like this:

    % date --iso-8601 -u


Command aliases can be set in the configuration file like this:

        pgrep = [ "greple", "-Mperl", "--code" ]

Alias name is used to find rc file and module directory. In above example, ~/.optex.d/pgrep.rc and ~/.optex.d/pgrep/ will be reffered.



Complex string can be composed using macro define. Next example is an awk script to count vowels in the text, to be declared in file ~/.optex.d/awk.rc.

    define __delete__ /[bcdfgkmnpsrtvwyz]e( |$)/
    define __match__  /ey|y[aeiou]*|[aeiou]+/
    define __count_vowels__ <<EOS
        s = tolower($0);
        gsub(__delete__, " ", s);
        for (count=0; match(s, __match__); count++) {
            s=substr(s, RSTART + RLENGTH);
        print count " " $0;
    option --vowels __count_vowels__

This can be used like this:

    % awk --vowels /usr/share/dict/words

When setting complex option, expand directive is useful. expand works almost same as option, but effective only within the file scope, and not available for command line option.

    expand repository   ( -name .git -o -name .svn -o -name RCS )
    expand no_dots      ! -name .*
    expand no_version   ! -name *,v
    expand no_backup    ! -name *~
    expand no_image     ! -iname *.jpg  ! -iname *.jpeg \
                        ! -iname *.gif  ! -iname *.png
    expand no_archive   ! -iname *.tar  ! -iname *.tbz  ! -iname *.tgz
    expand no_pdf       ! -iname *.pdf

    option --clean \
            repository -prune -o \
            -type f \
            no_dots \
            no_version no_backup \
            no_image \
            no_archive \

    % find . --clean -print


optex also supports module extension. In the example of date, module file is found at ~/.optex.d/date/ directory. If default module, ~/.optex.d/date/default.pm exists, it is loaded automatically on every execution.

This is a normal Perl module, so package declaration and the final true value is necessary. Between them, you can put any kind of Perl code. For example, next program set environment variable LANG to C before executing date command.

    package default;
    $ENV{LANG} = 'C';

    % /bin/date
    2017年 10月22日 日曜日 18時00分00秒 JST

    % date
    Sun Oct 22 18:00:00 JST 2017

Other modules are loaded using -M option. Unlike other options, -M have to be placed at the beginning of argument list. Module files in ~/.optex.d/date/ directory are used only for date command. If the module is placed on ~/.optex.d/ directory, it can be used from all commands.

If you want use -Mes module, make a file ~/.optex.d/es.pm with following content.

    package es;
    $ENV{LANG} = 'es_ES';

    % date -Mes
    domingo, 22 de octubre de 2017, 18:00:00 JST

When the specified module was not found in library path, optex ignores the option and stops argument processing immediately. Ignored options are passed through to the target command.

Module is also used with subroutine call. Suppose ~/.optex.d/env.pm module look like:

    package env;
    sub setenv {
        while (($a, $b) = splice @_, 0, 2) {
            $ENV{$a} = $b;

Then it can be used in more generic fashion. In the next example, first format is easy to read, but second one is more easy to type because it does not have special characters to be escaped.

    % date -Menv::setenv(LANG=de_DE) # need shell quote
    % date -Menv::setenv=LANG=de_DE  # alternative format
    So 22 Okt 2017 18:00:00 JST

Option aliases can be also declared in the module, at the end of file, following special literal __DATA__. Using this, you can prepare multiple set of options for different purposes. Think about generic i18n module:

    package i18n;
    option --cn -Menv::setenv(LANG=zh_CN) // 中国語 - 簡体字
    option --tw -Menv::setenv(LANG=zh_TW) // 中国語 - 繁体字
    option --us -Menv::setenv(LANG=en_US) // 英語
    option --fr -Menv::setenv(LANG=fr_FR) // フランス語
    option --de -Menv::setenv(LANG=de_DE) // ドイツ語
    option --it -Menv::setenv(LANG=it_IT) // イタリア語
    option --jp -Menv::setenv(LANG=ja_JP) // 日本語
    option --kr -Menv::setenv(LANG=ko_KR) // 韓国語
    option --br -Menv::setenv(LANG=pt_BR) // ポルトガル語 - ブラジル
    option --es -Menv::setenv(LANG=es_ES) // スペイン語
    option --ru -Menv::setenv(LANG=ru_RU) // ロシア語

This can be used like:

    % date -Mi18n --tw
    2017年10月22日 週日 18時00分00秒 JST

You can declare autoload module in your ~/.optex.d/optex.rc like:

    autoload -Mi18n --cn --tw --us --fr --de --it --jp --kr --br --es --ru

Then you can use them without module option. In this case, option --ru is replaced by -Mi18n --ru automatically.

    % date --ru
    воскресенье, 22 октября 2017 г. 18:00:00 (JST)


Standard modules are installed at App::optex, and they can be addressed with and without App::optex prefix.


Print available option list. Option name is printed with substitution form, or help message if defined. Use -x option to omit help message.

Option --man or -h will print document if available. Option -l will print module path. Option -m will show the module itself. When used after other modules, print information about the last declared module. Next command show the document about second module.

    optex -Mfirst -Msecond -Mhelp --man

Print debug messages.


These options are not effective when optex was executed from symbolic link.

--link, --ln [ command ]

Create symbolic link in ~/.optex.d/bin directory.

--unlink, --rm [ -f ] [ command ]

Remove symbolic link in ~/.optex.d/bin directory.

--ls [ -l ] [ command ]

List symbolic link files in ~/.optex.d/bin directory.

--rc [ -l ] [ -m ] [ command ]

List rc files in ~/.optex.d directory.

--nop, -x command

Stop option manipulation. Use full pathname otherwise.


optex deals with module option (-M) on target command by default. However, there is a command which also uses same option for own purpose. Option --nomodule disables that behavior. Other option interpretation is still effective, and there is no problem using module option in rc or module files.

--exit status

Usually optex exits with status of executed command. This option override it and force to exit with specified status code.


When starting up, optex reads configuration file ~/.optex.d/config.toml which is supposed to be written in TOML format.



Set commands for which optex does not interpret module option -M. If the target command is found in this list, it is executed as if option --no-module is given to optex.

    no-module = [

Set command aliases. Example:

        pgrep = [ "greple", "-Mperl", "--code" ]
        hello = "echo -n 'hello world!'"

Command alias can be invoked either from symbolic link and command argument.



System module directory.


Personal root directory.


Configuration file.


Common startup file.


Startup file for command.


Module directory for command.


Default module for command.


Default directory to store symbolic links.

This is not necessary, but it seems a good idea to make special directory to contain symbolic links for optex, placing it in your command search path. Then you can easily add/remove it from the path, or create/remove symbolic links.



Override default root directory ~/.optex.d.


Override default configuration file OPTEX_ROOT/config.toml.


Set module paths separated by colon (:). These are inserted before standard path.


Override default symbolic link directory OPTEX_ROOT/bin.


Getopt::EX, Getopt::EX::Loader, Getopt::EX::Module


Kazumasa Utashiro


You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


The following copyright notice applies to all the files provided in this distribution, including binary files, unless explicitly noted otherwise.

Copyright 2017-2019 Kazumasa Utashiro