What are positional arguments for?

In case it wasn't clear from the above example: positional arguments are for those pieces of information that your program absolutely, positively requires to run.

A good user interface should have as few absolute requirements as possible. If your program requires 17 distinct pieces of information in order to run successfully, it doesn't much matter how you get that information from the user--most people will give up and walk away before they successfully run the program. This applies whether the user interface is a command-line, a configuration file, a GUI, or whatever: if you make that many demands on your users, most of them will just give up.

In short, try to minimize the amount of information that users are absolutely required to supply--use sensible defaults whenever possible. Of course, you also want to make your programs reasonably flexible. That's what options are for. Again, it doesn't matter if they are entries in a config file, checkboxes in the ``Preferences'' dialog of a GUI, or command-line options--the more options you implement, the more flexible your program is, and the more complicated its implementation becomes. It's quite easy to overwhelm users (and yourself!) with too much flexibility, so be careful there.

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