A number of GNU commands like the gcc(1) compiler for example have a large number of options to support. Besides the fact that you can exhaust all possible characters for those options, a user just cannot remember them all. The GNU solution to this problem is the convention of long options.
FreeBSD 3.4 Release includes gcc(1), allowing the following demonstration of a long option:
$ gcc --version 184.108.40.206 $
Long options begin with two hyphens and must be followed by one or more characters. In order to process long options, the GNU function getopt_long(3) must be used.
The getopt_long(3) function will process both the traditional short options and the newer GNU long options. The synopsis ...