Patch to support --help

Joseph S. Myers jsm at
Fri Jan 2 17:31:05 UTC 2009

On Fri, 2 Jan 2009, Sascha Wildner wrote:

> Joseph S. Myers schrieb:
> > The tools zdump and zic support the GNU-standard --version option (output
> > version information to stdout and exit successfully), but not the associated
> > --help option (output usage and bug reporting information to stdout and exit
> > successfully).  This patch adds such support.  tzselect supports neither
> > option, so this patch adds support for both options to it.
> I've never understood the reasoning of the "GNU standard" (?!) behind this.
> Will not '--help' without this patch show the usage as well? Is it just the
> successful exit that is so important here?

It will show the usage with a previous "invalid option -- '-'" error, on 
stderr which is less user-friendly if the output is piped through a pager 
(which is a natural enough habit given that many commands have rather long 
--help output).

If you support one of the options I think you may as well support both of 
them properly, and I think doing so is strictly better than the present 
handling of --help.

Joseph S. Myers
jsm at

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