Accepting configure files

Reading a configure file

You can tell your app to allow configure files with set_config("--config"). There are arguments: the first is the option name. If empty, it will clear the config flag. The second item is the default file name. If that is specified, the config will try to read that file. The third item is the help string, with a reasonable default, and the final argument is a boolean (default: false) that indicates that the configuration file is required and an error will be thrown if the file is not found and this is set to true.

Configure file format

Here is an example configuration file, in INI format:

; Commments are supported, using a ;
; The default section is [default], case insensitive

value = 1
str = "A string"
vector = 1 2 3

; Section map to subcommands
in_subcommand = Wow
sub.subcommand = true

Spaces before and after the name and argument are ignored. Multiple arguments are separated by spaces. One set of quotes will be removed, preserving spaces (the same way the command line works). Boolean options can be true, on, 1, yes; or false, off, 0, no (case insensitive). Sections (and . separated names) are treated as subcommands (note: this does not mean that subcommand was passed, it just sets the "defaults".

Writing out a configure file

To print a configuration file from the passed arguments, use .config_to_str(default_also=false, prefix="", write_description=false), where default_also will also show any defaulted arguments, prefix will add a prefix, and write_description will include option descriptions.

Custom formats

New in CLI11 1.6

You can invent a custom format and set that instead of the default INI formatter. You need to inherit from CLI::Config and implement the following two functions:

std::string to_config(const CLI::App *app, bool default_also, bool, std::string) const;
std::vector<CLI::ConfigItem> from_config(std::istream &input) const;

The CLI::ConfigItems that you return are simple structures with a name, a vector of parents, and a vector of results. A optionally customizable to_flag method on the formatter lets you change what happens when a ConfigItem turns into a flag.

Finally, set your new class as new config formatter:


See examples/json.cpp for a complete JSON config example.

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