There are already several R packages which parse command-line arguments such as getopt, optparse, argparse, docopt. Here GetoptLong is another command-line argument parser (actually it was developed very early, the first CRAN version was in 2013) which wraps the powerful Perl module Getopt::Long. GetoptLong package also provides some adaptations for easier use in R.

Using GetoptLong is simple especially for users having Perl experience (Oops, age exposed :)) because the specification is almost the same as in Perl. The original website of Getopt::Long is always your best reference.

Note: to use this package, Perl should be installed.

Workflow of the wrapping

The GetoptLong R package automatically generates a Perl script according to the specifications in the R script. Later the Perl script is executed with the command-line arguments that user specified. The options are parsed and saved into a json file. Finally R reads back the json file and formats them as R variables.

Following figure shows how the R package works for parsing the command-line arguments.

A quick example

Specify as a vector

The following example gives you some feels of using GetoptLong package. The following code is saved in to an R script named foo.R.

library(GetoptLong)

cutoff = 0.05
GetoptLong(
    "number=i", "Number of items.",
    "cutoff=f", "Cutoff for filtering results.",
    "verbose",  "Print message."
)

The R script can be executed as:

~\> Rscript foo.R --number 4 --cutoff 0.01 --verbose
~\> Rscript foo.R --number=4 --cutoff=0.01 --verbose
~\> Rscript foo.R -n 4 -c 0.01 -v
~\> Rscript foo.R -n 4 --verbose

In this example, number is a mandatory option and it should only be in integer mode. cutoff is optional and it already has a default value 0.05. verbose is a logical option. If parsing is successful, two variables number and verbose will be imported into the working environment with the specified values. Value for cutoff will be updated if it is specified in command-line.

Data types are automatically checked. E.g., if cutoff is specified with a character, an error will be thrown.

The option usage triggered by --help is automatically generated. There are two styles:

The one-column style:

Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Options:
  --number, -n integer
    Number of items.
 
  --cutoff, -c numeric
    Cutoff for filtering results.
    [default: 0.05]
 
  --verbose
    Print message.
 
  --help, -h
    Print help message and exit.
 
  --version
    Print version information and exit.
 

Or the two-column style:

Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Options:
  --number, -n     Number of items.
    [type: int] 
  --cutoff, -c     Cutoff for filtering results.                 
    [type: num]    [default: 0.05] 
  --verbose        Print message. 
  --help, -h       Print help message and exit. 
  --version        Print version information and exit. 

You can find the short option names (in single letters) are automatically added. The information of default values is added as well.

Specify as a template

The specification can also be set as a template where the specifications are marked by <>.

spec = "
This is an example of using template to specify options.

Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Options:
  <number=i> Number of items.
  <cutoff=f> Cutoff for filtering results.               
  <verbose> Print messages.

Contact: name@address
"

GetoptLong(spec, template_control = list(opt_width = 21))

The parameter opt_width controls the maximal width of the option description (i.e., --number, -n integer, --cutoff, -c numeric and --verbose).

Calling Rscript foo.R --help generates the following message:

This is an example of using template to specify options.

Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Options:
  --number, -n integer  Number of items.
  --cutoff, -c numeric  Cutoff for filtering results.               
  --verbose             Print messages.

Contact: name@address 

Advantages

There are several advantages compared to other command-line argument parser packages. The major advantage comes from the Getopt::Long Perl module which actually parses the options. The Getopt::Long module provides a flexible, smart and compact way for specifying command-line arguments. The major features are:

  1. Various formats of specifying options with values, such as
-s 24 -s24

or

--size 24  --size=24 -size 24  -size=24
  1. Single-letter options can be bundled:
-a -b -c  -abs
  1. Options with multiple names. With the following specification, --length, --height are the same.
length|height=f
  1. Automatically support single-letter options. If the first letter of an option is unique to all other options, the first letter can be used as an optional option name. For example, if l and h are unique, --length, --height, -l and -h set the same option.
length|height=f  --length --height -l -h
  1. Rich option data types, including scalar, vector (array in Perl), list (hash in Perl). For example:
length=i     a single integer scalar
name=s       a single character scalar

can be specified as:

--length 1 --name a

or

length=i@       a integer vector
name=s@         a character vector
length=i{2,}    a integer vector, at least two elements
name=s{2,}      a character vector, at least two elements

can be specified as:

--length 1 2 3 --name a b c

or

length=i%    name-value pair, values should be integers
name=s%      name-value pair, values should be characters

to be specified as:

--length foo=1 bar=3 --name foo=a bar=b

The features from R part are:

  1. It automaticlly generates option usage in two styles. The data type and default value of options are automatically detected and included.

  2. It supports specifying the usage in a template which allows more complex text of option usage.

  3. It allows grouping options.

  4. It provides a natural and convenient way to specify defaults.

Customize the specifications

Each specifier in options consists of two parts: the name specification and the argument specification:

length|size|l=i@

Here length|size|l is a list of alternative names separated by |. The remaining part is argument specification which defines the mode and amount of arguments.

Specify any of alternative option name from command-line is ok and it doesn’t matter whether using one or two slash in front of the option name. Sometimes you even don’t need to specify complete option names, you only need to make sure the partial name match is unique. If the partial match is not uniqe, it will throw an error. For above example, we can specify the argument like:

~\> Rscript foo.R --length 1
~\> Rscript foo.R --length=1 # adding "=" is also ok
~\> Rscript foo.R -len 1
~\> Rscript foo.R -lengt 1 # this is also ok, but not suggested
~\> Rscript foo.R --size 1
~\> Rscript foo.R -l 1

Options for argument specification are:

  • no argument specification: taking no argument. Options are logical.
  • !: taking no argument. Options are logical. You can set its oposite value by adding it with no or no-. E.g., foo! allows --foo as well as --nofoo and --no-foo.
  • =type[desttype][repeat]: options should have arguments (or options should have values specified). E.g. tag=i@ where i corresponds to type, and @ corresponds to desttype, or tag=i{2,} where {2,} corresponds to repeat.

Please note :[type][desttype] is not supported here. We use another way to define mandatory options and optional options. If you don’t know what it is, just ignore this paragraph.

Available type options are:

  • s: strings
  • i: integers
  • F: real numbers
  • o: extended integer, an octal string (0 followed by 0, 1 .. 7), or a hexadecimal string (0x followed by 0 .. 9, A .. F, case insensitive), or a binary string (0b followed by a series of 0 and 1).

Available desttype settings are:

  • @: array, allow more than one arguments for an option.
  • %: hash, allow arguments like name=value.
  • nothing: scalar, single argument for single option.

Available repeat settings are formatted as {\d,\d}. Note there is no space character inside:

  • {2}: exactly 2 arguments for an option.
  • {2,}: at least 2 arguments for an option.
  • {,4}: at most 4 arguments for an option.
  • {2,5}: minimal 2 and maximal 5 arguments for an option.

Note desttype and repeat cannot be used at the same time.

In the Perl module, tag=i@ only allows, e.g., specification of --tag 1 --tag 2 while --tag 1 2 is not allowed which is only possible by tag=i{1,}. In the R package, we made some adjustment and allow tag=i@ to also accept -tag 1 2. Similarly, tag=i% only allows --tag name1=value1 --tag name2=value2 in the Perl module. In the R package, it also allows --tag name1=value1 name2=value2.

Following table contains examples for each type of option specification:

Options Command-line arguments Value of tag
tag=i –tag 1 1
–tag=1 1
-t 1 1
–tag 1 –tag 2 2. Here only take the last one
–tag 0.1 Error: Value “0.1” invalid for option tag (number expected)
–tag a Error: Value “a” invalid for option tag (number expected)
–tag Error: Option tag requires an argument
no argument tag is mandatory, please specify it
tag=s –tag 1 “1”. Here double quote is used because it is specified as a string.
–tag 0.1 “0.1”
–tag a “a”
tag=f –tag 1 1
–tag 0.1 0.1
–tag a Error: Value “a” invalid for option tag (real number expected)
tag=o –tag 1 1
–tag 0b001001 9
–tag 0721 465
–tag 0xaf2 2802
-tag 0.1 Error: Value “0.1” invalid for option tag (extended number expected)
–tag a Error: Value “a” invalid for option tag (extended number expected)
tag –tag 1 TRUE
–tag 0 TRUE, it doesn’t care the value for the option.
–tag 0.1 TRUE
–tag a TRUE
–tag TRUE
no argument FALSE
tag! –tag TRUE
–no-tag FALSE
tag=i@ –tag 1 1
–tag 1 2 c(1, 2)
–tag 1 –tag 2 c(1, 2)
–tag=1 –tag=2 c(1, 2)
tag=i% –tag 1 Error: Option tag, key “1”, requires a value
–tag foo=1 –tag bar=2 list(foo = 1, bar = 2), tag is a list.
–tag foo=1 bar=2 list(foo = 1, bar = 2), tag is a list.
tag=i{2} –tag 1 Error: Insufficient arguments for option tag
–tag 1 2 c(1, 2)
–tag 1 –tag 2 Error: Value “–tag” invalid for option tag
tag=i{2,} –tag 1 Error: Insufficient arguments for option tag
–tag 1 2 c(1, 2)
–tag 1 2 3 c(1, 2, 3)
tag=i{,2} –tag 1 1
–tag 1 2 c(1, 2)
–tag 1 2 3 c(1, 2)

Where do the option values go

Options will be imported into user’s environment as R variables by default. The first option name in all alternative names will be taken as the name of the variable, (e.g. for specification of length|size=s, length will be used as the variable name.), which means, it must be a valid R variable name. Any definition of these variables in front of GetoptLong() will be treated as default values for the corresponding options. If options already have default values, they are optional in command-line. If the variable is defined as a function before GetoptLong() is called, it is treated as undefined. Please note your option names should not start with the dot. Although it is valid for R variables but it is not allowed for Getopt::Long module.

For the following example:

library(GetoptLong)

cutoff = 0.05
GetoptLong(
    "number=i{1,}", "Number of items.",
    "cutoff=f", "Cutoff for filtering results.",
    "param=s%", "Parameters specified by name=value pairs.",
    "verbose",  "Print message."
)

print(number)
print(cutoff)
print(param)
print(verbose)

a calling from command-line:

Rscript foo.R --number 1 2 --param var1=a var2=b --verbose

will print

[1] 1 2
[1] 0.05
$var1
[1] "a"

$var2
[1] "b"

[1] TRUE

There are two ways to specify logical options, e.g., verbose and verbose!. verbose always takes FALSE as default and you cannot set default value for it, while you can set default for verbose!. E.g.:

verbose = TRUE
GetoptLong(
    "verbose!",  "Print message."
)

If --verbose/--no-verbose is not specified, the variable verbose is TRUE. If --verbose is specified, verbose is TRUE and if --no-verbose is specified, verbose is FALSE.

If you don’t want to directly export options as variables, you can assign envir argument with an environment variable so that all the option values go there.

opt = new.env()

opt$cutoff = 0.05
GetoptLong(
    "number=i@", "Number of items.",
    "cutoff=f", "Cutoff for filtering results.",
    "param=s%", "Parameters specified by name=value pairs.",
    "verbose",  "Print message.",

    envir = opt
)
print(as.list(opt))

a calling from command-line:

Rscript foo.R --number 1 2 --param var1=a var2=b --verbose

will print

$cutoff
[1] 0.05

$number
[1] 1 2

$param
$param$var1
[1] "a"

$param$var2
[1] "b"


$verbose
[1] TRUE

Help option

help is a reserved option, which means, you can not use it as yours.

Option usage is automatically generated and can be retrieved by setting --help in the command. In following example, I create an option specification that contains all types of options (with long descriptions):

GetoptLong(
    "count=i",  paste("This is a count. This is a count. This is a count.",
                      "This is a count.  This is a count. This is a count."),
    "number=f", paste("This is a number. This is a number. This is a number.",
                      "This is a number. This is a number. This is a number."),
    "array=f@", paste("This is an array. This is an array. This is an array.",
                      "This is an array. This is an array. This is an array."),
    "hash=s%",  paste("This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash.",
                      "This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash."),
    "verbose!", "Whether show messages",
    "flag",     "a non-sense option"
)

The option usage is as follows. Here, for example, the single-letter option -c for --count is automatically extracted while not for --help because h matches two options.

Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Options:
  --count, -c integer
    This is a count. This is a count. This is a count. This is a count.  This is
    a count. This is a count.
 
  --number, -n numeric
    This is a number. This is a number. This is a number. This is a number. This
    is a number. This is a number.
 
  --array, -a [numeric, ...]
    This is an array. This is an array. This is an array. This is an array. This
    is an array. This is an array.
 
  --hash {name=character, ...}
    This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a
    hash. This is a hash.
 
  --verbose, -no-verbose
    Whether show messages
    [default: off]
 
  --flag, -f
    a non-sense option
 
  --help
    Print help message and exit.
 
  --version
    Print version information and exit.
 

If default values for options are provided, they are properly inserted to the usage message.

count = 1
number = 0.1
array = c(1, 2)
hash = list("foo" = "a", "bar" = "b")
verbose = TRUE
GetoptLong(
  ...
)
Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Options:
  --count, -c integer
    This is a count. This is a count. This is a count. This is a count.  This is
    a count. This is a count.
    [default: 1]
 
  --number, -n numeric
    This is a number. This is a number. This is a number. This is a number. This
    is a number. This is a number.
    [default: 0.1]
 
  --array, -a [numeric, ...]
    This is an array. This is an array. This is an array. This is an array. This
    is an array. This is an array.
    [default: 1, 2]
 
  --hash {name=character, ...}
    This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a
    hash. This is a hash.
    [default: foo=a, bar=b]
 
  --verbose, -no-verbose
    Whether show messages
    [default: on]
 
  --flag, -f
    a non-sense option
 
  --help
    Print help message and exit.
 
  --version
    Print version information and exit.
 

The global parameters help_style can be set to two-column to change to another style:

GetoptLong.options(help_style = "two-column")
# specifying the defaults
GetoptLong{
    ...
}
Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Options:
  --count, -c                  This is a count. This is a count. This is a count.
    [type: int]                This is a count.  This is a count. This is a count.                             
                               [default: 1] 
  --number, -n                 This is a number. This is a number. This is a
    [type: num]                number. This is a number. This is a number. This is
                               a number.                             
                               [default: 0.1] 
  --array, -a                  This is an array. This is an array. This is an
    [type: [num, ...]]         array. This is an array. This is an array. This is
                               an array.                             
                               [default: 1, 2] 
  --hash                       This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash. This
    [type: {name=chr, ...}]    is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash.                             
                               [default: foo=a, bar=b] 
  --verbose, -no-verbose       Whether show messages                             
                               [default: on] 
  --flag, -f                   a non-sense option 
  --help                       Print help message and exit. 
  --version                    Print version information and exit. 

When options are specified as name-value pairs, these sub options can be documented as follows. Note the specifications of e.g. foo$name1 are only for the usage message.

foo = list(a = 1, b = 2)
GetoptLong(
    "foo=i%", paste("This is foo. This is foo. This is foo. This is foo.",
                    "This is foo. This is foo. This is foo. This is foo."),
    "foo$name1", paste("name1 in foo. name1 in foo. name1 in foo. name1 in foo.",
                       "name1 in foo. name1 in foo. name1 in foo. name1 in foo."),
    "foo$name2", paste("name2 in foo. name2 in foo. name2 in foo. name2 in foo.",
                       "name2 in foo. name2 in foo. name2 in foo. name2 in foo."),
    "bar=s%", paste("This is bar. This is bar. This is bar. This is bar.",
                    "This is bar. This is bar. This is bar. This is bar."),
    "bar$name3", paste("name3 in bar. name3 in bar. name3 in bar. name3 in bar.",
                       "name3 in bar. name3 in bar. name3 in bar. name3 in bar."),
    "bar$name4", paste("name4 in bar. name4 in bar. name4 in bar. name4 in bar.",
                       "name4 in bar. name4 in bar. name4 in bar. name4 in bar.")
)
Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Options:
  --foo, -f {name=integer, ...}
    This is foo. This is foo. This is foo. This is foo. This is foo. This is
    foo. This is foo. This is foo.
    [default: a=1, b=2]

    Sub named options:
    name1=integer name1 in foo. name1 in foo. name1 in foo. name1 in foo. name1
                  in foo. name1 in foo. name1 in foo. name1 in foo.
    name2=integer name2 in foo. name2 in foo. name2 in foo. name2 in foo. name2
                  in foo. name2 in foo. name2 in foo. name2 in foo.
 
  --bar, -b {name=character, ...}
    This is bar. This is bar. This is bar. This is bar. This is bar. This is
    bar. This is bar. This is bar.

    Sub named options:
    name3=character name3 in bar. name3 in bar. name3 in bar. name3 in bar. name3
                    in bar. name3 in bar. name3 in bar. name3 in bar.
    name4=character name4 in bar. name4 in bar. name4 in bar. name4 in bar. name4
                    in bar. name4 in bar. name4 in bar. name4 in bar.
 
  --help, -h
    Print help message and exit.
 
  --version, -v
    Print version information and exit.
 

And the two-column style for the sub options.

GetoptLong.options(help_style = "two-column")
GetoptLong{
    ...
}
Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Options:
  --foo, -f                    This is foo. This is foo. This is foo. This is foo.
    [type: {name=int, ...}]    This is foo. This is foo. This is foo. This is foo.                             
                               [default: a=1, b=2]                             
                             
                               Sub named options:
                               name1=int name1 in foo. name1 in foo. name1 in foo.
                                         name1 in foo. name1 in foo. name1 in foo.
                                         name1 in foo. name1 in foo.
                               name2=int name2 in foo. name2 in foo. name2 in foo.
                                         name2 in foo. name2 in foo. name2 in foo.
                                         name2 in foo. name2 in foo.
 
  --bar, -b                    This is bar. This is bar. This is bar. This is bar.
    [type: {name=chr, ...}]    This is bar. This is bar. This is bar. This is bar.                             
                             
                               Sub named options:
                               name3=chr name3 in bar. name3 in bar. name3 in bar.
                                         name3 in bar. name3 in bar. name3 in bar.
                                         name3 in bar. name3 in bar.
                               name4=chr name4 in bar. name4 in bar. name4 in bar.
                                         name4 in bar. name4 in bar. name4 in bar.
                                         name4 in bar. name4 in bar.
 
  --help, -h                   Print help message and exit. 
  --version, -v                Print version information and exit. 

Extra text such head and foot of the usage message can be set with help_head and help_foot arguments:

GetoptLong(
    help_head = "This is a demonstration of adding usage head and foot.",

    "number=i", "Number of items.",
    "cutoff=f", "Cutoff for filtering results.",
    "verbose",  "Print message.",

    help_foot = "Please contact name@address."
)
This is a demonstration of adding usage head and foot.

Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Options:
  --number, -n integer
    Number of items.
 
  --cutoff, -c numeric
    Cutoff for filtering results.
 
  --verbose
    Print message.
 
  --help, -h
    Print help message and exit.
 
  --version
    Print version information and exit.
 
Please contact name@address.

The options in the usage text can be grouped by setting separator lines. The separator line should contain two elements: the separator and the description. The separator can be any character in -+=#% with any length.

count = 1
array = c(0.1, 0.2)
GetoptLong(
    "--------", "Binary options:",
    "verbose!", "Whether show messages",
    "flag",     "a non-sense option",

    "-------", "Single-value options:",
    "count=i",  paste("This is a count. This is a count. This is a count.",
                      "This is a count.  This is a count. This is a count."),
    "number=f", paste("This is a number. This is a number. This is a number.",
                      "This is a number. This is a number. This is a number."),
    
    "--------", paste("Multiple-vlaue options: long text long text long text",
                      " long text long text long text long text long text"),
    "array=f@", paste("This is an array. This is an array. This is an array.",
                      "This is an array. This is an array. This is an array."),
    "hash=s%",  paste("This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash.",
                      "This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash."),
    
    "-------", "Other options:"
)
Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Binary options:
  --verbose, -no-verbose
    Whether show messages
    [default: off]
 
  --flag, -f
    a non-sense option
 
Single-value options:
  --count, -c integer
    This is a count. This is a count. This is a count. This is a count.  This is
    a count. This is a count.
    [default: 1]
 
  --number, -n numeric
    This is a number. This is a number. This is a number. This is a number. This
    is a number. This is a number.
 
Multiple-vlaue options: long text long text long text long text long text long
text long text long text
  --array, -a [numeric, ...]
    This is an array. This is an array. This is an array. This is an array. This
    is an array. This is an array.
    [default: 0.1, 0.2]
 
  --hash {name=character, ...}
    This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a
    hash. This is a hash.
 
Other options:
  --help
    Print help message and exit.
 
  --version
    Print version information and exit.
 

And the two-column style for the grouped options.

GetoptLong.options(help_style = "two-column")
GetoptLong{
    ...
}
Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Binary options:
  --verbose, -no-verbose    Whether show messages                          
                            [default: off] 
  --flag, -f                a non-sense option 

Single-value options:
  --count, -c      This is a count. This is a count. This is a count. This is a
    [type: int]    count.  This is a count. This is a count.                 
                   [default: 1] 
  --number, -n     This is a number. This is a number. This is a number. This is
    [type: num]    a number. This is a number. This is a number. 

Multiple-vlaue options: long text long text long text long text long text long
text long text long text
  --array, -a                  This is an array. This is an array. This is an
    [type: [num, ...]]         array. This is an array. This is an array. This is
                               an array.                             
                               [default: 0.1, 0.2] 
  --hash                       This is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash. This
    [type: {name=chr, ...}]    is a hash. This is a hash. This is a hash. 

Other options:
  --help       Print help message and exit. 
  --version    Print version information and exit. 

The global option GetoptLong.options$help_width controls the maximal width of the usage message.

The specification can also be set as a template which provides more flexibilities for the usage message. Here option specifications are maked by <> where the specifications will be extracted and the text will be replaced by the option description. The mark can be set by GetoptLong.options$template_tag global option.

The option descriptions have different widths. To properly align the text, you need to manually adjust the width (spaces are filled if the width is larger than the option description) by setting opt_width parameter via template_control argument. See the following example.

GetoptLong("
This is a demonstration of using template as the option specification.

Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Binary options:
  <verbose!> Whether show messages
  <flag> A non-sense option

Single-value options:
  <count=i> This is a count. This is a count.
  <number=f> This is a number. This is a number. 

Multiple-vlaue options:
  <array=f@> This is an array. This is an array. 
  <hash=s%> This is a hash. This is a hash.

Questions, please contact your.name@email
", template_control = list(opt_width = c(verbose = 23, flag = 23,
                                         count = 22, number = 22,
                                         array = 30, hash = 30)
))
This is a demonstration of using template as the option specification.

Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

Binary options:
  --verbose, -no-verbose  Whether show messages
  --flag, -f              A non-sense option

Single-value options:
  --count, -c integer    This is a count. This is a count.
  --number, -n numeric   This is a number. This is a number. 

Multiple-vlaue options:
  --array, -a [numeric, ...]     This is an array. This is an array. 
  --hash {name=character, ...}   This is a hash. This is a hash.

Questions, please contact your.name@email 

If the option explanation lies in more than one lines, in front from the second line, you should add a tag in form of <#tag> where tag is the option name of the current option block, so that proper spaces in front of the text can be calculated and the text will be properly aligned. See the following example:

GetoptLong("
Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

  <count=i{2,}> This is a count. This is a count. This is a count.
  <#count> This is a count. This is a count.
  <number=f> This is a number. This is a number. This is a number.
  <#number> This is a number. This is a number.
", template_control = list(opt_width = c(count = 28, number = 28))
)
Usage: Rscript foo.R [options]

  --count, -c [integer, ...]   This is a count. This is a count. This is a count.
                               This is a count. This is a count.
  --number, -n numeric         This is a number. This is a number. This is a number.
                               This is a number. This is a number. 

Version option

version is also a reserved option.

Version should be stored in a variable VERSION before the call of GetoptLong(), then --version prints the corresponding version value.

VERSION = "0.0.1"
GetoptLong(
    "tag=i", "...", 
)
~\> Rscript foo.R --version
0.0.1

Configuring Getopt::Long

Configuration of Getopt::Long can be set by GetoptLong.options("config"):

GetoptLong.options("config" = "bundling")
GetoptLong.options("config" = c("no_ignore_case", "bundling"))

With different configurations, it can support more types of option specifications:

-a -b -c  -abc
-s 24 -s24 -s=24

Please refer to website of Getopt::Long for more information.

Specify path of Perl in command line

In some conditions that path of binary Perl is not in the PATH environment variable and you do not have permission to modify PATH. You can specify your Perl path from command line like:

~\> Rscript foo.R -a -b -c -- /your/perl/bin/perl

Since arguments following after -- will be ignored by Getopt::Long, we take the first argument next to -- as the path of user-specified Perl path.

Specify command-line options within R session

When in an interactive R session, arguments can be set when calling source_script(), so it would be convinient to load external R scripts with different comand-line arguments. E.g.:

source_script("foo.R", argv_str = "--cutoff 0.01 --input file=foo.txt --verbose")

Session info

sessionInfo()
R version 4.0.2 (2020-06-22)
Platform: x86_64-apple-darwin17.0 (64-bit)
Running under: macOS Catalina 10.15.5

Matrix products: default
BLAS:   /Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Versions/4.0/Resources/lib/libRblas.dylib
LAPACK: /Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Versions/4.0/Resources/lib/libRlapack.dylib

locale:
[1] C/en_GB.UTF-8/en_GB.UTF-8/C/en_GB.UTF-8/en_GB.UTF-8

attached base packages:
[1] stats     graphics  grDevices utils     datasets  methods   base     

other attached packages:
[1] GetoptLong_1.0.4 knitr_1.29      

loaded via a namespace (and not attached):
 [1] compiler_4.0.2      rjson_0.2.20        magrittr_1.5       
 [4] htmltools_0.5.0     tools_4.0.2         GlobalOptions_0.1.2
 [7] yaml_2.2.1          crayon_1.3.4        stringi_1.4.6      
[10] rmarkdown_2.3       stringr_1.4.0       digest_0.6.25      
[13] xfun_0.16           rlang_0.4.7         evaluate_0.14