What does DCli do?

DCli has a singular focus:
make it easy to build command line apps using the Dart programming language.
DCli has the following aims:
  • make building CLI apps as easy as walking.
  • fully utilise the expressiveness of Dart.
  • works seamlessly with the core Dart libraries.
  • provide a cross platform API for Windows, OSx and Linux.
  • call any CLI app.
  • make debugging CLI apps easy.
  • generate error messages that make it easy to resolve problems.
  • provide quality documentation and examples.

DCli's API covers a number of areas:

User input

Asking the user to input data into a CLI application should be simple. DCli provides a number of functions to facilitate user input.
  • ask
  • confirm
  • menu
import 'package:dcli/dcli.dart';
void main(){
var username = ask('Username:', validator: Ask.required);
if (confirm('Are you over 18')) {
print(orange('Welcome to the club'));
var selected = menu('Select your poison', options: ['beer', 'wine', 'spirits']
defaultOption: 'beer');
print(green('You choice was: $selected'));
DCli provides an extensive API designed specifically for building command-line apps.

Displaying information

Out-of-the-box Dart provides the basic 'print' statement which DCli extends to provide common features.
  • print
  • printerr - prints to stderr.
  • colour coding
  • cursor management
  • clear screen/clear line
print(orange("I'm an important message"));
printerr(red('Oops, something went wrong here'));

Manage files and directories

A fundamental task of most CLI applications is the management of files and directories. DCli provides a large set of tools for file management such as:
  • find
  • which
  • copy
  • copyTree
  • move
  • moveTree
  • delete
  • deleteDir
  • touch
  • exists
  • isWritable/isReadable/isExecutable
  • isFile
  • isLink
  • isDirectory
  • lastModified
Dart has a large ecosystem of packages that you can use to extend the DCli such as the excellent paths package that lets you easily manipulate file paths.
import 'package:dcli/dcli.dart';
void main() {
if (!exists('/keep')) {
var images = find('*.png', root: '/images');
for (var image in images) {
if (image.startsWith('nsfw')) {
copy(image, '/keep');

Read/Write files

You are often going to need to read/write and modify text and binary files.
  • read
  • write
  • truncate
  • append
  • replace
  • tail
  • cat
You still have full access to the full set of Dart APIs
// write lines to myfile.ini
var settings = 'myfile.ini';
// fix the spelling in myfile.ini
replace(settings, 'color', 'colour');

Call command line apps

A core feature of DCli is the ability to call other CLI apps and process their output.
  • run
  • start
  • toList
  • forEach
  • firstLine
  • lastLine
  • | (pipe)
  • stream
Run mysql with all output being displayed to the console.
var user = ask('username');
var password = ask('password', hidden:true);
'mysql -u $user --password=$password customerdb -e "select 1"'.run;
Run a mysql command and store the results in a list (users).
var users = 'mysql customerdb -e "select fname, sname from user"'
.toList(skipLines: 1);
/// now parse each user and print their name
for (var user in users) {
var parts = user.split(',');
print('Firstname: ${parts[0]} Surname: ${parts[1]});
/// Run grep and print each line that it finds
'grep error /var/lib/syslog'.forEach((line) => print(line));

Explore you environment

DCli makes it easy to explore your environment with direct manipulation of environment variables.
var user = env['USER'];
env['JAVA_HOME'] = '/usr/lib/java';
PATH management tools:
And the ability to explore the Dart environment.
/// Get details of the current dart script that is running.
You can explore the complete API here.