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Tip of the Day
Language: Java
Expertise: Intermediate
Mar 11, 1999

Simplifying Switch Options

C/C++ programmers are used to parsing command line arguments using the "int argc" and "char *argv[]" parameters to the main() function. Java programmers can use a similar syntax to greatly simplify the processing of optional switches:
 
public class DemoSwitch {
	// Optional switch - default is false
	private boolean switch = false;

	// Execution starts here
	static public void main(String args[]) {
		int argc = args.length;		// Number of command line parameters
		int argv = 0;			// Index to first one
		String parameter;		// Expected parameter
	
		// Turn optional switch on if present in the command line    
		if (argc > 0 && (switch = args[argv].startsWith("-s"))) {
			// Skip for further processing
			--argc;
			++argv;
		}
    	
		// Continue processing command line parameters
		if (argc > 0) {
			parameter = args[argv];
		} else {
			System.err.println("Usage: java DemoSwitch [-s] ");
			return;
		}

	        // place useful code here...
    	}
}

Francois Bergeon
 
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