Running argparse with optional arguments that won’t require specifying output filename

I have read through a bunch of the questions already answered, but I don't see this covered--at least not that I recognized.

I am using argparse to take a file and convert it to a different type. The input filename is required. The output filename is NOT required as the optional argument should handle that. Here is the code so far:

import sys
import argparse
parser = argparse.ArgumentParser(description='Convert file to new type')
parser.add_argument('--json', type=str, help='Converts to json format')
parser.add_argument('--bibtex', type=str, help="Converts to bibtex format')
parser.add_argument('--html', type=str, help='Converts to html format')
parser.add_argument('inputfilename', type=str, help='enter the original filename')
args = parser.parse_args()
filename=args.filename
if args.json:
    print('Converting to json ...')
    #conversion code here
elif args.bibtex:
    print('Converting to bibtex ...')
    #conversion code here
elif args.html:
    print('Converting to html ...')
    #conversion code here
else:
    print('No conversion type indicated')

The problem is that whenever I use one of these flags. If I do

$ ./orsconvert.py --json inputfilename

I get an error saying

orsconvert.py: error: the following arguments are required: inputfilename

It does this because it interprets the provided inputfilename as an outputfilename connected to the --json. It is trying to force me to actually state the output filename after the optional argument and before the input filename, similar to this:

$ ./orsconvert.py --json outputfilename inputfileneame

However, I do not want to do that if there is a way around it. I want it to accept --json as the indication of what to do and then use inputfilename as the input and automatically save it as outputfilename according to what the code will specify.

Yes, I am looking at making the 3 optional arguments a group to simplify the code ... but that still doesn't explain how to get it to not require another argument after the optional one and before the final inputfilename required argument.

Is there something else I can put in the parser.add_argument('...') field that will stop requiring me to specify an outputfilename? I would like to change the code as little as possible because I am already pushing the limits of my coding comprehension.



Read more here: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/68473969/running-argparse-with-optional-arguments-that-wont-require-specifying-output-fi

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