Random thought: the forward-slash switch character as used by DOS programs (e.g. chkdisk.exe /f /whatever) is actually a better choice than the dash used by UNIX programs. The forward slash is not a valid character in a DOS filename, so a glob will not expand to include a forward slash, therefore you will never get switches and arguments mixed up.

However, DOS doesn't have a real glob as far as I know (or at least, it's handled by each app itself, rather than the shell).


DOS did have support for file globbing, and it wasn't something
you needed to handle yourself. The PSP (program segment prefix)
emulated that of CP/M and the primitives FindFirstFile + FindNextFile
allowed your script to easily iterate over a simple glob of files
if your program was invoked with:

foo.com *.txt"

-- Steve


You have the DOS/Windows situation backwards. MS-DOS 1 only had one directory per disk, and it used "/" as a switch character just like CP/M and the DEC operating system it was inspired by. MS-DOS 2 introduced several features from Unix like a hierarchical directory system (per disk), but because "/" was already a special character it allowed "" as an alternate directory separator for use on the command line. (Several versions also allowed the switch character to be changed so that "/" could be used on the command line.)

Some versions of bash protect against wildcard-expansion to options by setting an environment variable to specify arguments that should not be treated as options. glibc's getopt() and getopt_long() honour this, but bash no longer sets it. The only reliable way to protect against this is to add "./" in front of a leading wildcard character.

-- Ben Hutchings

Ben Hutchings,