Our standard policy regarding command-line flags states that one should count the space before the dash (
-) too, when there aren't any "free" options, since it doesn't exist in the shortest possible invocation. For example this:
language -option program.p
is 8 bytes longer than the shortest possible invocation being:
However, in TIO, you don't include a space and instead click a button to add an argument. Also, you don't need to escape it either. This may apply to other online interpreters as well.
One could say that TIO is an implementation of a language, and therefore you can use flags at a lower cost. However, another opinion may be that it's just a front end and doesn't count as an implementation.
So the question is, how should we handle a situation where a front end automatically handles command-line flags with less separators and escaping? Count just like if we use the underlying interpreter directly or not?. Please note that this doesn't apply to "free" flags like Perl's
-e, which shouldn't be counted anyways. Also, this question isn't about the front end being an implementation of a language itself, apart from the interpreter used underneath (e.g. interpreter wrappers with special configuration).
This question was inspired by Οurous's doubt for what is being asked here.