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simple-cli-prompter

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simple-cli-prompter

Simple utility for prompting the user for input in a CLI environment


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Simple CLI prompter version

This repo contains simple utility methods for promting the user for input in a CLI application. There is deliberately only a few different types of prompts that behave consistently and are easy to use (both for the end-user and the developer).

When there are options to select you can always type to search for the option you want.
The search is case-insensitive and looks for subsequences, e.g. to find the item This is a test you can type is test, which will match (and highlight) is and test in the item.

API

There are 4 methods for prompting users for input.

ask

export type Choice = { message?: string; name: string; hint?: string };

export type StringOrChoice = string | Choice;

export async function ask(
  text: string,
  choices?: StringOrChoice[],
): Promise<string>;

The ask function prompts the user for a string, and if the choices parameter is provided, the user can only select one of the provided options. The selected option is returned as a string.

If using the Choice type the name field is the value that is returned when the user selects the option, and message and hint are used to display the option to the user.

confirm

export async function confirm(
  message: string,
  defaultChoice = true,
  secondsTimeout = 0,
): Promise<boolean>;

The confirm function prompts the user for a boolean value, and if the secondsTimeout parameter is provided the default choice is used after the timeout has passed.

file

export async function file(text: string, ext?: string, cwd?: string): Promise<string>;

The file function prompts the user for a file path, and if the ext parameter is provided the user can only select files with the provided extension. cwd is used as the base directory for the file path. It defaults to the current working directory.

multiple

export async function multiple(
  text: string,
  choices: StringOrChoice[],
  requiredAtLeastOne = true,
): Promise<string[]>;

Similar to ask but allows the user to select multiple options. Tapping the space key toggles the selection of the currently highlighted option.

logAbove

export function logAbove(str: string): void;

There is additionally a utility function logAbove that logs a string above current prompting UI. Simply logging a string using console.log(...) will overwrite the prompting UI, so this function has to be used if a user might be actively interacting with a prompt.

Guidelines for application developers

  • Provide options to select from whenever possible.
    The UI scales to an absurd amount of options, so it's fine to present a UI where there are thousands of options to select from.
  • Prepare things in the background using promises.
    Heavy work can often be prepared in the background. E.g. in the example app (see exampleApp) a git repository is cloned in the background while the user is prompted for what to do.
  • async all the things! Any synchronous IO that happens while the user is prompted will block the UI.

FAQs

Package last updated on 14 May 2024

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