Why I Love Powershell

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

PowerShell, a better shell, after 30 years of unix crap

Here's reasons why PowerShell is a magnitude better than bash + unix util bags.

Consistent Command Names

PowerShell has proper command names. Names are full and meaningful. Example:

they follow a verb-noun design. I don't like it, but at least it's consistent and not cryptic.

Systematic Alias and Name Completion

PowerShell has systematic alias and name completion. Completion works for parameter names too. e.g. Get-ChildItem has abbrev gci. (and also dir and ls for cmd.exe and bash adoption) [see PowerShell: List of Aliases]

Consistent Parameter Syntax, Parameter Names, Parameter Semantic

PowerShell's parameters, are consistent in syntax, name, and meaning, of their order, position, default values, for ALL commands.

For example, -Recurse has the same meaning for every command, and every command that recurses have that parameter. For example, -Path, -LiteralPath, are parameters for any command that takes a path, and path expansion is handled in a universal way. Boolean parameters are handled consistently. Unlike the unix situation where every command has its own wild parameter names and meaning. [see Unix Pipe as Functional Language]

Best Documentation

PowerShell documentation is superb, well written, consistent format, with plenty code examples. I'd rate PowerShell doc to be one of the best in computing. [see Which Programing Language Has Best Documentation?]

Strongly Typed, But Type Optional

PowerShell has formalized data types and pipe. It's not just strings. every value in PowerShell is a object, of specific type, of the dotnet framework. Numbers, string, and other argument values, expression, all have proper type, and object with methods. You can annotate types when writing a function that prevents many errors.

General Purpose Language, Not Just Text Processing

PowerShell commands are more general. e.g. Get-ChildItem is not just for listing directory, but for listing any list and tree structures. For example, registry, environment variables.

PowerShell is now cross-platform since 2016. Works on linux and macOS too.

Programing Language Love and Hate