Lamest command line tool ever

This post is more than 2 years old.

Today I needed to add Subversion as a Windows service. The docs pointed me to the "sc" tool. This seemed like a simple tool but for the life of me I couldn't get it to work. Every time I ran the tool I would get a help message back. Here is an example of what I was trying to run:

sc create svnserve binpath="c:\svnserve\svnserve.exe --service --root c:\repos" displayname="Subversion" depend=tcpip start=auto

I noticed something odd in the help message though:

The option name includes the equal sign.

I looked again at the web site instructions and noticed that after every option there was a space. I was convinced that was just a typo, or formatting used to wrap nicely in a browser. However, on a whim I tried it:

sc create svnserve binpath= "c:\svnserve\svnserve.exe --service --root c:\repos" displayname= "Subversion" depend= tcpip start= auto

Guess what? It worked. For some reason the person who created sc.exe decided to make the syntax: opt1= val1. I was just crazy thinking that this syntax would be fine: opt1=val1.

Seriously - can someone tell me why this syntax would be used? Would it have been so hard to support a simple opt1=val1 type syntax like, oh, most other command line tools?

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Raymond is a developer advocate for HERE Technologies. He focuses on JavaScript, serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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