option vs parameter

Tobias Gasser lfs at ebp-gasser.ch
Wed Aug 5 09:28:09 PDT 2009

Guy Dalziel schrieb:
> Parameter places a slight
> emphasis on the parameter, while option does not.

you might be right with your arguments, but i still don't agree with you.

i have another look at the terms "parameter" and "option" (in the
context of the blfs book):

definitions as i understand the book:

- "parameter" is an option which is used in the books receipt. i agree
for the configure-script it's an option, but it is one of the REQUIRED
BY THE BOOK (or at least RECOMMENDED) options. a non optional option
seems to be called a parameter in the books context.

- "option" is an additional and OPTIONAL option which in the books
context is not used by default. it's just a hint what to consider if i'm
not following the book litteraly.

as both are "options" from the configure script point of view you are
partly right with your arguments. but i still think it's worth to have 2
different entries for the view used in the book: one for the
recomended/required options, one for the optional options.

reading the book online (html), the parameter is italic where as an
option is not. i'm getting used to this an would really miss it.

an fine example is openldap:

the options which are called parameters in italic show all those used in
the receipe. they are almost all required by the book. the one which is
not required but recommendet is --disable-sql, which still is a
parameter (italic) but with the comment when to omit. the optional
options (not italic) are not in the receipe, but give the hint what to
add to get gdbm instad of db.

i vote to keep it as it is.

maybe other "names" instad of "parameter" and "option" could be choosen
to clearify. it's quite strange to write "required/recommendetd option"
and "optional option" (as option implies optional for me). but i have no
better idea...


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