Standard command line syntax ambigiuty in interpretation rules?

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http://unix.stackexchange.com – This question is somewhat similar to this: Unix/Linux command syntax Suppose I have a program foo that takes arguments -a and -b. If both a and b take a string argument what is the meaning of this foo -b -a bar If multiple b:s are allowed foo -b -a -b ?? Is there a true specification of the command line syntax somewhere? (HowTos)