If there is one Microsoft product that openly gets inspiration from and gives credit to UNIX and GNU Linux/Open Source, it is Microsoft PowerShell.
The PowerShell team is at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) in Las Vegas this week. And, they posted the PowerPoint 2007 slide deck for a peek at PowerShell V2 on their blog…
I’m not at the MMS. So, I didn’t see the presentation. However, the slidedeck (downloadable from the blog entry linked above) lists four main topic areas (labeled Themes in the slides):
1. GUI over PowerShell
2. Production Scripting
3. Universal Code Execution Model
4. Community Feedback
In the Linux world, I’ve been asking people to use Python or Ruby instead of Bash scripts so that we don’t have to refactor from one more basic scripting language (say Bash) to a more sophisticated object oriented dynamic language (say Python or Ruby). In the Windows world, the jump has been from DOS batch language to Windows scripting (which I never liked) or Visual Basic/C#. That’s not really an option at all IMHO. PowerShell, on the other hand, brings Windows into the 21st century for system administrators who may not come from a deep software development background. It gives them a first class language and .Net citizen as an alternative to DOS batch (I hesitate to call it a language).
Though PowerShell still seems to have a strange look to it from my point of view, its ability to deal directly with .Net objects gives it the ability to more easily deal with systems level information than we have on Linux with even high-level dynamic languages like Python and Ruby.
Me? I’m still waiting for a binary ready-to-install IronRuby to test with Windows Server 2008 :-)