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Note: I stopped development on this version of Hoisin and started an OS X native version on the wip branch. It's not in a working state yet but feel free to look at the code.


Hoisin is an HTML-based shell with a few ambitious goals:

  • Commands’ inputs and outputs can be, instead of a stream of text, a data structure like a list or a dictionary.

  • Long-running commands can update their output. For example, a long running version of ps will post updates to its output as processes come and go.

  • Instead of taking over the terminal, commands can instanciate HTML-based UIs and communicate with them out of band.

  • If you want to save a command's output or keep working while a long running command does its thing, you can "fork" a new shell. This takes the form of iPython-style cells: each cell has its own command history and can run commands independently.

  • All of your shell's state, including command inputs and outputs, can be saved to/loaded from a file.

  • Commands don't have to be built in to modify shell state. Any command can talk to the shell and ask it to change the working directory, change environment variables, etc. These changes are always shown to the user.


Hoisin’s pretty early in development.


Hoisin running stock ls

Hoisin running psw, a live-updating ps

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