The hflags package

[ Tags: apache, console, library ] [ Propose Tags ]

The HFlags library supports easy definition of command line flags, reimplementing the ideas from Google's gflags (

Command line flags can be declared in any file at the toplevel, using defineFlag. At runtime, the actual values are assigned to the toplevel flags_name constants. Those can be used purely throughout the program.

At the beginning of the main function, $(initHFlags "program description") has to be called to initialize the flags. All flags will be initialized that are transitively reachable via imports from main. This means, that any Haskell package can easily define command line flags with HFlags. This feature is demonstrated by

A simple example (more in the directory):

#!/usr/bin/env runhaskell

{-# LANGUAGE TemplateHaskell #-}

import HFlags

defineFlag "name" "Indiana Jones" "Who to greet."
defineFlag "r:repeat" (3 + 4 :: Int) "Number of times to repeat the message."

main = do s <- $(initHFlags "Simple program v0.1")
          sequence_ $ replicate flags_repeat greet
          putStrLn $ "Your additional arguments were: " ++ show s
          putStrLn $ "Which is the same as: " ++ show HFlags.arguments
    greet = putStrLn $ "Hello " ++ flags_name ++ ", very nice to meet you!"

At initHFlags time, the library also tries to gather flags out of environment variables. HFLAGS_verbose=True is equivalent to specify --verbose=True. This environment feature only works with long options and the user has to specify a value even for Bools.


Versions 0.1, 0.1.1, 0.1.2, 0.1.3, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.4.1, 0.4.2, 0.4.3
Dependencies base (>=4.6 && <5), containers (>=0.4), template-haskell (>=2.8 && <2.11), text (>=0.11) [details]
License OtherLicense
Author Mihaly Barasz <>, Gergely Risko <>
Maintainer Gergely Risko <>
Category Console
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Uploaded Mon Apr 22 11:49:54 UTC 2013 by GergelyRisko
Updated Sun Jul 17 21:07:46 UTC 2016 by phadej to revision 1   [What is this?]
Distributions NixOS:0.4.3, openSUSE:0.4.3
Downloads 5305 total (31 in the last 30 days)
Rating 2.0 (votes: 1) [estimated by rule of succession]
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