curl needs a fresh take on command line options

I just posted about this on the curl-users mailing list and I'll just echo it here to reach a slightly larger audience:

One of the not so good behaviors of curl is how many of the command line options work when being repeated: toggling on/off.

We've got bug reports about this in the past and I know for a fact that this behavior has burnt more than one guy who's tried to set default options for curl in their .curlrc etc. When they then re-use the same option on the command line or in a script, it effectively disables the option again...

I'd like this corrected. I want people to be able to explicitly enable and disable features with the command line options. I think the toggling is very rarely useful and something we can just abandon - unless we can figure out a way to keep it for backwards compatibility when we introduce the new behavior.

I'm willing to sacrifice some backwards compatibility to get this done, but I would of course like to hurt as few users as possible.

I'm very interested to get ideas and feedback from you guys on how we can accomplish this!

My first thoughts on how to do this, is simply to convert all the current options to enable options and then introduce a new concept that negates the option. Like -v or --verbose to enable verbose, and --no-verbose to disable verbose.

Any bright ideas?

Update: my suggestion above is what has now been committed targeted for the upcoming 7.19.0 release...

One thought on “curl needs a fresh take on command line options”

  1. I like the idea that you put forward, but I would like to add a warning message when a setting is changed between the .curlrc and command line, i.e. when you change something that has already been set.

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