cli_script 0.2.1
cli_script: ^0.2.1 copied to clipboard

Write scripts that call subprocesses with the ease of shell scripting and the power of Dart.

Dart CLI Scripting #

This package is designed to make it easy to write scripts that call out to subprocesses with the ease of shell scripting and the power of Dart. It captures the core virtues of shell scripting: terseness, pipelining, and composability. At the same time, it uses standard Dart idioms like exceptions, Streams, and Futures, with a few extensions to make them extra easy to work with in a scripting context.

While cli_script can be used as a library in any Dart application, its primary goal is to support stand-alone scripts that serve the same purpose as shell scripts. Because they're just normal Dart code, with static types and data structures and the entire Dart ecosystem at your fingertips, these scripts will be much more maintainable than their Shell counterparts without sacrificing ease of use.

Here's an example of a simple Hello World script:

import 'package:cli_script/cli_script.dart';

void main() {
  wrapMain(() async {
    await run('echo "Hello, world!");
  });
}

(Note that wrapMain() isn't strictly necessary here, but it handles errors much more nicely than Dart's built-in handling!)

Many programming environments have tried to make themselves suitable for shell scripting, but in the end they all fall far short of the ease of calling out to subprocesseses in Bash. As such, a principal design goal of cli_script is to identify the core virtues that make shell scripting so appealing and reproduce them as closely as possible in Dart:

Terseness #

Shell scripts make it very easy to write code that calls out to child processes tersely, without needing to write a bunch of boilerplate. Running a child process is as simple as calling run():

import 'package:cli_script/cli_script.dart';

void main() {
  wrapMain(() async {
    await run("mkdir -p path/to/dir");
    await run("touch path/to/dir/foo");
  });
}

Similarly, it's easy to get the output of a command just like you would using "$(command)" in a shell, using either output() to get a single string or lines() to get a stream of lines:

import 'package:cli_script/cli_script.dart';

void main() {
  wrapMain(() async {
    await for (var file in lines("find . -type f -maxdepth 1")) {
      var contents = await output("cat", args: [file]);
      if (contents.contains("needle")) print(file);
    }
  });
}

You can also use check() to test whether a script returns exit code 0 or not:

import 'package:cli_script/cli_script.dart';

void main() {
  wrapMain(() async {
    await for (var file in lines("find . -type f -maxdepth 1")) {
      if (await check("grep -q needle", args: [file])) print(file);
    }
  });
}

The Script Class

All of these top-level functions are just thin wrappers around the Script class at the heart of cli_script. This class represents a subprocess (or something process-like) and provides access to its stdin, stdout, stderr, and exitCode.

Although stdout and stderr are just simple Stream<List<int>>s, representing raw binary data, they're still easy to work with thanks to cli_script's extension methods. These make it easy to transform byte streams into line streams or just plain strings.

Do The Right Thing

Terseness also means that you don't need any extra boilerplate to ensure that the right thing happens when something goes wrong. In a shell script, if you don't redirect a subprocess's output it will automatically print it for the user to see, so you can automatically see any errors it prints. In cli_script, if you don't listen to a Script's stdout or stderr streams immediately after creating it, they'll be redirected to the parent script's stdout or stderr, respectively.

Similarly, in a shell script with set -e the script will abort as soon as a child process fails unless that process is in an if statement or similar. In cli_script, a Script will throw an exception if it exits with a failing exit code unless the exitCode or success fields are accessed.

Pipelining #

In shell scripts, it's easy to hook multiple processes together in a pipeline where each one passes its output to the next. cli_script supports this to, using the | operator. This pipes all stdout from one script into another script's stdin and returns a new script that encapsulates both. This new script works just like a Bash pipeline with set -o pipefail: it forwards the last script's stdout and stderr, but it'll fail if any script in the pipeline fails.

import 'package:cli_script/cli_script.dart';

void main() {
  wrapMain(() async {
    var pipeline = Script("find -name *.dart") |
        Script("xargs grep waitFor") |
        Script("wc -l");
    print("${await pipeline.stdout.text} instances of waitFor");
  });
}

Depending on how you're using a pipeline, you may find it more convenient to use the Script.pipeline constructor. This works just like the | operator, it just uses a different syntax.

import 'package:cli_script/cli_script.dart';

void main() {
  wrapMain(() async {
    var count = await Script.pipeline([
      Script("find -name *.dart"),
      Script("xargs grep waitFor"),
      Script("wc -l")
    ]).stdout.text;
    print("$count instances of waitFor");
  });
}

You can even include certain StreamTransformers in pipelines: those that transform byte streams (StreamTransformer<List<int>, List<int>>) and those that transform streams of lines (StreamTransformer<String, String>). These act like scripts that transform their stdin into stdout according to the logic of the transformer.

import 'dart:io';

import 'package:cli_script/cli_script.dart';

void main() {
  wrapMain(() async {
    Script("cat data.gz") |
        zlib.decoder |
        Script("grep needle");
  });
}

In addition to piping scripts together, you can pipe the following types into scripts:

  • Stream<List<int>> (a stream of chunked binary data)
  • Stream<String> (a stream of lines of text)
  • List<List<int>> (chunked binary data)
  • List<int> (a single binary blob)
  • List<String> (lines of text)
  • String (a single text blob)

This makes it easy to pass standard Dart data into process, such as files:

import 'dart:io';

import 'package:cli_script/cli_script.dart';

void main() {
  wrapMain(() async {
    var pipeline = read("names.txt") |
        Script("grep Natalie") |
        Script("wc -l");
    print("There are ${await pipeline.stdout.text} Natalies");
  });
}

Script, Stream<List<int>>, and Stream<String> also support the > operator as a shorthand for Stream.pipe(). This makes it easy to write the output of a script or pipeline to a file on disk:

import 'dart:io';

import 'package:cli_script/cli_script.dart';

void main() {
  wrapMain(() {
    Script.capture((_) async {
      await for (var file in lines("find . -type f -maxdepth 1")) {
        var contents = await output("cat", args: [file]);
        if (contents.contains("needle")) print(file);
      }
    }) > write("needles.txt");
  });
}

Composability #

In shell scripts, everything is a process. Obviously child processes are processes, but functions also have input/output streams and exit codes so that they work like processes to. You can even group a block of code into a virtual process using {}!

In cli_script, anything can be a Script. The most common way to make a script that's not a subprocess is using Script.capture(). This factory constructor runs a block of code and captures all stdout and stderr produced by child scripts (or calls to print()) into that Script's stdout and stderr:

import 'package:cli_script/cli_script.dart';

void main() {
  wrapMain(() async {
    var script = Script.capture((_) async {
      await run("find . -type f -maxdepth 1");
      print("subdir/extra-file");
    });

    await for (var file in script.stdout.lines) {
      if (await check("grep -q needle", args: [file])) print(file);
    }
  });
}

If an exception is thrown within Script.capture(), including by a child process returning an unhandled non-zero exit code, the entire capture block will fail—but it'll fail like a process: by printing error messages to its stderr and emitting a non-zero exit code that can be handled like any other Script's.

Script.capture() also provides access to the script's stdin, as a stream that's passed into the callback. The capture block can ignore this completely, it can use it as input to a child process or, it can do really whatever it wants!

Other Features #

Argument Parsing

(This section describes how cli_script parses arguments that your script passes into child processes. For parsing arguments passed into your script, we recommend the args package)

All cli_script functions that spawn subprocesses accept arguments in the same format: a string named executableAndArgs along with a named List<String> parameter named args. This makes it easy to invoke simple commands with very little boilerplate (lines("find . -type f -name '*.dart'")) and easy to pass in dynamically-generated arguments without worrying whether they contain spaces (run("cp -r", args: [source, destination])).

The executableAndArgs string is parsed as a space-separated string. Components can also be surrounded by single quotes or double quotes, which will allow them to contain spaces, as in run("git commit -m 'A commit message'"). Characters can also be escaped with \. The best way to make sure the backslash isn't just consumed by Dart itself is to use a raw string, as in run(r"git commit -m A\ commit\ message").

The arguments from executableAndArgs always come before the arguments in args. You can also manually escape an argument for interpolation into executableAndArgs using the [arg()] function, as in run("cp -r ${arg(source)} build/").

Globs

On Linux and Mac OS, the executableAndArgs string also automatically performs glob expansions. This means it takes arguments like *.txt and expands them into a list of all matching files. It uses Dart's glob package to expand these globs, so it uses the same syntax as that package.

Just like in a shell, globs aren't used if they appear within quoted strings or if their active characters are backslash-escaped (so find -name '*.dart' or find -name \*.dart will pass the string "*.dart" to the find process). Also, if a glob doesn't match any files, it'll be passed to the child process as a normal argument rather than just omitting the argument.

Search and Replace

You can always continue to use grep and sed for your search-and-replace needs, but cli_script has some useful functions to make that possible without even bothering with a subprocess. The grep(), replace(), and replaceMapped() functions return StreamTransformers that can be used in pipelines just like Scripts:

import 'dart:io';

import 'package:cli_script/cli_script.dart';

void main() {
  wrapMain(() async {
    var pipeline = File("names.txt").openRead() |
        grep("Natalie") |
        Script("wc -l");
    print("There are ${await pipeline.stdout.text} Natalies");
  });
}

There are also corresponding Stream<String>.grep(), Stream<String>.replace(), and Stream<String>.replaceMapped() extension methods that make it easy to do these transformations on individual streams if you need.

1
likes
110
pub points
0%
popularity

Publisher

Unknown

Write scripts that call subprocesses with the ease of shell scripting and the power of Dart.

Repository (GitHub)
View/report issues

Documentation

API reference

License

Apache 2.0 (LICENSE)

Dependencies

async, charcode, collection, glob, meta, path, stack_trace, string_scanner

More

Packages that depend on cli_script