Monday, 5 July 2010

PowerShell help system and reference site

So I've been reading various bits of information about PowerShell recently, and I think perhaps the most important thing I've seen is the quality of the help system. After all, who wants to try memorising masses of cmdlet switches and options, when you might only use them once in a blue moon!

Checking out the wealth of information flowing forth from the get-help cmdlet was very satisfying, made me reminisce of my days with the Linux Man pages, in fact it's nice to see that not only has 'man' been setup as an alias for get-help, but it's even been aliased to use ' more', making it function more like the traditional man system.

I have got one complaint though which I've yet to find a resolve for (if there is one), and that's the inability to scroll back up the page. Great I can page down with Space, go down a line with Enter, but how do I go back up!?! It would have been nice to be able to use the up and down arrows as well like you can with man, so you can view the detail of an option, and then scroll back up to the syntax list or where ever without having to leave help and start again.

Hopefully I'm just missing something somewhere, but so far I don't think so.

By the way, if you're looking for a good guide to PowerShell then I can highly recommend the Windows PowerShell v2.0 Reference from the Microsoft scripting guys which you can find here
http://blogs.technet.com/b/csps/p/psref.aspx. It covers all the basics you'll need to know, and points you in the right direction to find out more. Plus I've always liked the informal writing style of the scripting guys, it's a much nicer read than your average MS reference.

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