Monad, it isn't just danom backwards anymore.

I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been paying a whole lot of attention to Longhorn. I went to the token meeting, I listen to Barry and Dave, but that's about as far as my indoctrination goes. However, maybe today that changes. I started to read a couple articles on the Monad Shell (MSH).

The Monad Shell is Microsoft's kick at the powerful shell engines you find in the *nix systems. As a recent graduate from the academic world which is ruled by the *nix systems, I've always held that a decent shell engine is what Windows lacked the most (I've also added a decent file search engine now).

MSH introduces the new concept of a Commandlet (Cmdlet), these cmdlet's are the new .exe, .bat, or .com with a twist. The cmdlets are in fact .NET libraries, more closely related to a DLL than an EXE.

With the help of reflection and metadata inside the class, MSH will validate and map command line parameters to the properties of your class/cmdlet. Metadata is also the mechanism that MSH uses to identify a normal class library from a cmdlet.

So far this all sounds somewhat interesting, and maybe useful, but the best is yet to come.
Piping. Microsoft has done something great here, they have taken the already great idea of piping and improved it 100%. Gone are the days of piping text, here are the days of piping objects. Here is one of the examples from the WinHEC presentation. get-process | where “handlecount –gt 400” | sort handlecount | out-chart processname,handlecount I think its pretty self-evident what is happening here except perhaps the last piping command. out-chart will apparently output the results into an excel chart using the associated values of processname and handlecount. All of these commands now return an output stream that contains and object, not just a flat string representation of what SHOULD have be an object. The cmdlets have access to more than just the single output stream as well, by default they have the output stream, and an error stream. Also available are verbose, debug, and progress streams.

Seamless Navigation. I haven't tried this myself, but it would be nice if it turns out to be true. Microsoft claims that the new shell will enable seamless navigation between the: File system, Registry, AD, and WMI. Lets hope that's the case.

Now, I just need to find a place to install longhorn so I can try all this great stuff out.

The slides from WinHEC can be found here.

Anyone played with this yet? Let me know what you think/thought.