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October 11, 2009

Windows 7: Linux Has Something To Worry About

Filed under Computers, Programming, Software


Windows/DOS has had a *bad* command shell for a long time…but that is about to change with the October 22nd release of Windows 7.

Windows 7 ships with PowerShell 2.0…and it is *really* good.

PowerShell 2.0 features:

  • Unlimited output buffer (command prompt had 300 lines by default, and a max of 9999)
  • Easy text selection (command prompt could only do “screen space” selection, which made selecting multi-line text virtually impossible…no more!)
  • Aliases for standard Unix shell commands (pwd, cp, man, rm, rmdir, mv, ls, cat, grep, ps, kill, tee, clear)
  • Aliases for standard cmd.exe commands (cd, cls, copy, help, del, rmdir, rename, dir, type, find, findstr, tlist)
  • Support for paths with either forward or backward slashes
  • Support for network resources *without* mapping a drive (i.e. can do this: cd \\share\mypics)
  • All commands follow a consistent verb-noun naming convention (get-childitem, write-output, etc.) which makes the commands self descriptive and easy to learn
  • Can use standard file system commands (cd, dir, rm, cp, etc.) on…
    • The Registry
    • Environment Variables
    • Variables
    • Aliases
    • User supplied custom data
  • Command and parameter tab completion
  • Really good documentation, with examples via get-help (or help/man)
  • Script debugger with support for breakpoints, stepping, call stack, and hover over variables to see values
  • Commands are chained together via *objects* instead of text. Nice example of this powerful feature here.
  • Can output your results in rich text format to out-gridview. I *love* this feature. Read about it here.
  • Supported on Linux/Mac via Pash

Here is a nice table that compares all the different shells and their features. PowerShell comes out as the most advanced shell.

Windows 7 marks the first time Windows has had a better default shell than Linux or Mac.

Other Linux advantages that are no more with Windows 7:

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 11, 2009 11:58 PM.

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