AfterDawn: Glossary

Command Line Interface

A program which can be run from a Windows command prompt or UNIX/Linux terminal window or standard TTY interface has a Comand Line Interface, or CLI. Many programs which are built around a GUI also include command line options, allowing them to be controlled by third party applications through the CLI.

As video tools have matured its become fairly standard to include a CLI capable of automation via other software. An example would CinemaCraft Encoder, perhaps the best MPEG-2 encoder on the market, which includes a CLI that can be used to set any option available in the GUI. This has allowed programs from the old DVD2SVCD up to the modern DVD-RB (DVD Rebuilder) to use it as part of an automated encoding and Authoring solution.

CLI Options

In order to set the necessary options to properly use most tools using a CLI there will be options, which may also be called switches or arguments, that need to be set. This is typically done using the - or / character. Due to restrictions of UNIX syntax - or even -- is generally used, especially for cross-platform tools that have to use the same syntax across all platforms.

An example (made up) command line:

VideoEncoder --bitrate 1000 --interlace --minbr 100 --maxbr 5000


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