1

For instance:

python3 -m

What is the technical term for the "-m" ?

And, where can I find a list of these "modifiers" that correspond to a command? Then, how would I find out what each of these "-modifiers" do?

  • command line: switch, modifier, option or parameter, take your pick. also each program can have its own switches, often -? -h or --help will list the options; on windows /? might be required, windows programs often use / for switches. – esoterik Jun 22 '18 at 18:13
  • NOTE: the tags python and object-oriented-design aren't really associated with the question asked. Are you asking for how to implement them yourself? Considering the python tag, you would check out this: pythonforbeginners.com/argparse/argparse-tutorial – Berin Loritsch Jun 22 '18 at 18:26
10

What is the technical term for the "-m" ?

The "technical term" for command line options is command line options1.
There general usage is to specify parameters for the program, either of boolean (flag/switch) kind to control behavior, or give some specific additional input parameters like names of input/output filenames/databases/strategy-names whatever.

And, where can I find a list of these "modifiers" that correspond to a command?

Usually these are listed if you use --help or -?.

Then, how would I find out what each of these "-modifiers" do?

The --help or -? options might provide you with a brief description.
In a Linux/Unix environment, a more in depth description can be achieved using the man command. You can have a detailed description similar like this printed at the console terminal.


1)Also referred as command line switches, parameters, arguments or flags sometimes.

  • 3
    ... or command line arguments. – Bryan Oakley Jun 22 '18 at 19:12
  • @BryanOakley Thanks, I added that to the footnote. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jun 22 '18 at 19:24
  • @Doc Thanks for your edit. I left out to notice about that specifically, since the question already is tagged with the linux tag. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jun 23 '18 at 8:45
  • Even if OP mistakenly seems to believe their question is only valid for a Linux environment, a good answer becomes even better by not making the same error. ;-) – Doc Brown Jun 23 '18 at 10:30
  • @Doc Fair point. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jun 23 '18 at 10:31
1
python3 -m

What is the technical term for the "-m" ?

Different environments, different projects, different communities, and different people call them different things. There is no standard technical term.

Some that are often used, are

  • option
  • flag
  • switch
  • argument
  • parameter

Some people use these interchangeably, some differentiate between them. For example, according to some people, in

foo -bar -baz qux dudley

-bar would be a switch (because it can only be on or off), -baz would be an option, qux would be an argument to the -baz option, and dudley would an argument to the foo command.

And, where can I find a list of these "modifiers" that correspond to a command?

In the documentation for the command. Where to find that documentation depends on the command.

Unix commands typically have a corresponding man page.

GNU commands typically have a corresponding info page.

Commands that follow the standard GNU command line pattern, will print an abbreviated explanation of the most important flags/switches/options/arguments/parameters when called with -h or --help.

Commands that follow the standard DOS command line pattern will do the same when called with /?. In DOS, and inherited in Windows, there is also the HELP command, which can print some help information about commands it knows about (but only about commands it knows about, which is typically builtin commands of the shell).

Commands that are built into the shell, are typically documented as part of the shell.

Commands that use a subcommand pattern (for example iproute2), often have a help subcommand.

Some commands have printed manuals. Some have websites. Some have README files.

Then, how would I find out what each of these "-modifiers" do?

By reading the documentation for the command.

0

Usually, these are referred to as options, switches or flags.

-3

You can use the --help option to see more details. So

python3 --help

  • 4
    consider expanding on this, the user is asking in general, not just for python3 – esoterik Jun 22 '18 at 18:16

protected by gnat Jun 24 '18 at 7:56

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