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Why PowerShell

Hsiao-nan Cheung edited this page Mar 11, 2019 · 1 revision

Scoop tries to 'just work' whether you run it from PowerShell or cmd.exe, but I recommend using PowerShell instead. Here's why.

Yes, Powershell has problems

  • The Verb-Noun verbosity, commands that were seemingly not designed to be typed
  • The ISE—a GUI for a command line interface. I know the commands are hard to type—but is point-and-clicking a solution?
  • The name PowerShell, and the unofficial abbreviation PoSH. Cringe.
  • “Everything's an object!” ends up feeling clumsy. Sometimes text is just easier to work with. Support for primitives, arrays and hashes would have been enough.
  • Modules. Who knows how they work?
  • Doesn't seem like a first class shell within Windows
  • The built-in parameter parsing isn't good
  • A heavy 'sysadmin' feel that makes developers/devops sad


You should still use PowerShell. Why? Because you can ignore most of these problems, and you're still left with a great, flexible, dynamic, functional scripting language.

You don't have to write Verb-Noun 'cmdlets', just write a script. Return text from your powershell scripts if you want—because text is the universal interface. Parse your own parameters (or dot-source getopt). If someone mentions PoSH, ridicule them publicly (kidding).

So once you ignore the bad points, what are you left with?

  • A very capable programming environment, much more so than cmd.exe.
  • A fast REPL (like ScriptCS, but easier and more dynamic)
  • The only scripting language that you can rely on being installed on Windows
  • Great language support for primitive types, arrays and hashes
  • The feeling of pride that comes from using an obscure shell. Zsh? Fish? Pfft. Virtually no-one uses PowerShell (not sure on the actual numbers there).

Yes, you're stuck using the ancient and seemingly-forgotten Windows Console, but you can get that working fairly nicely with a little customization.

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