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Application command-line interfaces::Command-line interface

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Application command-line interfaces Application programs (as opposed to operating systems) may also have command line interfaces.

An application program may support none, any, or all of these three major types of command line interface mechanisms:

  1. Parameters: Most operating systems support a means to pass additional information to a program when it is launched. When a program is launched from an OS command line shell, additional text provided along with the program name is passed to the launched program.
  2. Interactive command line sessions: After launch, a program may provide an operator with an independent means to enter commands in the form of text.
  3. OS inter-process communication: Most operating systems support means of inter-process communication (for example; standard streams or named pipes). Command lines from client processes may be redirected to a CLI program by one of these methods.

CLI software

Some applications support only a CLI, presenting a CLI prompt to the user and acting upon command lines as they are entered. Some examples of CLI-only applications are:

Hybrid software

Some computer programs support both a CLI and a GUI. In some cases, a GUI is simply a wrapper around a separate CLI executable file. In other cases, a program may provide a CLI as an optional alternative to its GUI. CLIs and GUIs often support different functionality. For example, all features of MATLAB, a numerical analysis computer program, are available via the CLI, whereas the MATLAB GUI exposes only a subset of features.

The early Sierra games, like the first three King's Quest games (1984–1986), used commands from an internal command line to move the character around in the graphic window.


Command-line interface sections
Intro  Advantages  Criticisms  Operating system command-line interfaces  Application command-line interfaces  History  Usage  Anatomy of a shell CLI  Command-line interpreter  Scripting  Other command-line interfaces  See also  References  External links  

Application command-line interfaces
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