Scott Hanselman just mentioned using the PowerShellPlus editor as an IDE for PowerShell. You can always trust good old Scott to point out cool new tools!

Anyway, I was already aware of PowerShell+ (and its closely related product, PowerShell Analyzer), and I find the idea appealing in general and a it's probably a very useful tool to have around. That said, I don't have plans to install PowerShell+ anytime, for a few reasons:

  1. I've had little need of such a tool until now. Granted, if I need to create a lot more complex scripts than what I've been doing until now, then having a something like the PowerShell+ debugger would sure be useful.
  2. From the screenshots, at least, it looks like a fairly busy UI, a mix of a console, office and Visual Studio strung together. I understand the technical reason for having the dual UI mode (console + editor), but it seems like forcing such disconnected experience between the two modes to be disconcerting as a user.
  3. It's currently in beta (at least that's what the web site says).
  4. Right now the site mentions it is "free for non-commercial use"; didn't find any obvious references to what the cost of a full version will be. I don't object to such deals (indeed, it's a good way to promote your products to enthusiasts), but I'm not quite sure I see how it can apply all that easily to a tool like PowerShell. What exactly constitutes a non-commercial use of an editor for a scripting language [aimed at systems administration]?

Related to (2), I've fallen back into working under more minimalist environments since a few months ago. I found that it helps a lot my concentration and productivity and leads to far better use of my screen real state.

Does this mean I dislike IDEs and other complex environments? not at all; it just means I don't want my editor to flaunt all its features in my face all the time demanding my attention. Like John Lam, I run my Visual Studio in an almost clean environment: All tools windows set in auto-hide, and almost no toolbars visible (unlike John I do keep one toolbar around, but not the standard one). I  works great for me.

For PowerShell, I'm pretty happy using Vim + Console; seems to do the trick, and actually has forced me to learn more about PowerShell than I had done previously. One of the things I love about PowerShell was that it includes commands for exploring itself right for the beginning (i.e. alias, get-command, get-help and so on).


PowerShell V2

While on the subject of PowerShell, I've been reading a bit about the features coming in PowerShell V2, and there are some pretty cool things there.

The "Graphical PowerShell" tool looks cool and I'm sure it will be very useful to a lot of people, but personally, I wish this would become a separate download and not part of the core PowerShell installation (might as well wish I would win the lottery; that probably has better changes of happening).

On a related note, out-gridview gives the the shivers.

Side Note: Is it just me that finds it ironic that PowerShell V2 brings several UI-related features when the big thing about V1 was creating a fantastic shell scripting language? Just food for thought.

(And yes, I'm aware of PowerShell's hosting API, and it's great. In fact, I've used it to embed PowerShell capabilities into three different projects, so I'm pretty well aware of how sweet it is.)

Technorati tags: ,


Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia. Sr. PFE at Microsoft.