Friday, July 27, 2007

The Shell is Back!

As of Windows XP, the shell is back. Microsoft now distributes PowerShell (PoSH). It has lots of nice features. See the Microsoft website where you can download it for free. You can find other PoSH links at Wikipedia.

Notice how command-line interfaces (CLI's) are making a huge comeback? After years of mousing, people have finally come to the (correct) realization that mousing sucks. So now we have things like QuickSilver, Spotlight (and Vista's equivalent), SlickRun, and others [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Mozilla Quick Searches and Google Desktop are just as much examples of this. The real hacker moves around with hot keys, macros, and short commands. Dare I say it is hip and trendy to stay close to the keyboard and use the mouse as little as possible?

I'm not saying the mouse has no place. Certainly, there are lots of applications where that interface is needed. However, the operating system is not one of those places. We need multiple interfaces, and the mouse probably belongs best to graphics applications that call for tugging and shifting things around in continuous ways. For the rest of the computer, just give me the keyboard.


Anonymous said...

Take a look at Keybreeze. It's probably the most advanced command-line utility out right now, and it's free. It's only compatible with Windows, but its loaded with features and has a pretty good UI.

Theo said...

Thanks for the link. I've added it as one of the references.

I'm happy with Slickrun. I like the plugin support that is starting to come with some of these... None of these will match QuickSilver until I can (a) configure triggers and (b) get them to shell out to scripts, do operations, and return to me the results.