Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 24th Oct 2005 04:14 UTC, submitted by Eric
Windows Ars Technica has posted a lengthy article on the new promising Microsoft Command Shell. It looks at MSH from the point of view of both coders and Windows admins.
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On Standards
by shaunm on Mon 24th Oct 2005 15:26 UTC
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Prefix: All of this is coming from a GNU user, and somebody who uses tcsh as his day-to-day shell.

On standards: If Apple didn't include an sh-compliant interpreter on OS X, I would complain, but only because they plaster the word "UNIX" all over their advertisements. Windows is not a Unix. It never was. There's no reason they should have to include sh.

Having sh on all Unixes is useful. It means we can develop portable shell scripts. It means we can build things like make on top of sh. It doesn't mean nobody should ever try to make any other interpreted languages. csh added some nice features for interactive use. bash then got all those features and added a few more. tcsh grabbed some of the new stuff in bash. zsh does everything.

I use tcsh every day. I like it, but mostly, I'm used to it. I also maintain highly portable build utilites, and that means I regularly write portable sh, which isn't as trivial as you may think. I also regularly use python.

Microsoft has made an interpreted environment for .Net. Will many people start using it for day-to-day work? Probably not. Will people find it useful as a better scripting language than DOS batch files? It seems likely. Does it matter that those scripts aren't compatible with sh? Not one bit, just like it doesn't matter that python isn't compatible.

I'm sure if you actually looked at the technical merits of MSH, you could find something worthwhile to complain about.

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