option vs parameter

Randy McMurchy randy at linuxfromscratch.org
Wed Aug 5 09:48:19 PDT 2009

Guy Dalziel wrote these words on 08/05/09 10:53 CST:
> In a recent discussion it was debated whether or not there is any real
> difference between option and parameter. Parameter places a slight
> emphasis on the parameter, while option does not. Docbook states
> (http://docbook.org/tdg/en/html/option.html) that "Options may or may
> not be required.", "The optional element can be used to explicitly
> identify options that are not required." Using optional places the
> parameter within brackets [--this-option]: and makes it much clearer
> that the parameter is optional.
> I propose that we start using optional for optional parameters as it is
> clearer and is in accordance with docbook.

I would probably be against this as the brackets might throw some folks
off by thinking they need them. Additionally, because we've set a standard
and been using it for many years, I suggest we maintain status quo.


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