[coreboot] flashrom command line syntax change

David Hendricks dhendrix at google.com
Thu May 13 22:26:04 CEST 2010

On Tue, May 11, 2010 at 10:16 PM, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger <
c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net> wrote:

> Hi,
> [please followup to flashrom at flashrom.org]
> since I didn't get any answers except "hmm..." on IRC, I hope that list
> feedback will be more verbose.
> In the past, flashrom served one purpose (developers writing LinuxBIOS
> images or parts thereof to onboard flash), but nowadays it can handle
> external programmers, graphics/network/storage cards and other hardware
> as well. Given that the flashrom user base is growing rapidly especially
> among less technically inclined people, we changed the flashrom command
> line interface in various ways to eliminate nasty surprises.
> The flashrom 0.9.2 release is impending (only one small bugfix and one
> big frontend/documentation patch left), and this is why I'd like
> comments about the following change:
> -r and -w and -v currently take a filename argument, but that filename
> can be anywhere on the command line. Examples:
> flashrom -p dummy backup.rom -r
> flashrom -rp dummy backup.rom
> flashrom -rV backup.rom
> flashrom -p dummy -r backup.rom
> This flashrom behaviour is confusing and contradicts the man page which
> says that -r/-w/-v are followed by a filename. Besides that, all other
> options with arguments want their arguments directly after the option.
> I posted a patch which will make the accepted command line syntax
> conform to the man page, but I'd like to hear about any problems this
> change may cause.
> The patch is at http://patchwork.coreboot.org/patch/1298/ (click on
> "patch" to download it in raw form) and applies cleanly against latest
> flashrom from svn.
> Tests of current svn flashrom with the patch applied are really
> appreciated, and feedback about the interface change will be taken
> seriously.

I like the suggestion.

There are lots of programs out there which presume that the first string
encountered that does not have a flag assigned to it, e.g. -p or -c or
whatever, is the filename to operate on. That behavior is nice when the
program does not require arguments to behave in a sane manner, e.g. *mplayer
foo.ogg*. This usage model doesn't make sense for Flashrom, so it makes
sense to treat the filename as any other argument and require that it has a
flag preceding it to define the behavior.

/my $0.02

David Hendricks (dhendrix)
Systems Software Engineer, Google Inc.
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