Microsoft has made its living building software applications that are more self-documenting and otherwise easier to use than its competitors. Thus, I was unsurprised to learn that my feature team wants to gather customer ideas for alternatives to the “unix-y” stdout option.
Wait! That’s you. Already have an opinion. Let it be known.
If you’re one of the 99.99999% of human beings that don’t know what stdout is, don’t worry about it. I did not learn what erudite means until high school. Obtuse still trips me up. And orthogonal? Orthagonal must be the most abused English word at Microsoft after heuristic, which is a good description of this post, don’t you think?
Have your eyes glazed over yet? When we read words (or quasi-words) like orthogonal and stdout out of context, our brains reel and our eyes glaze over. What the heck is stdout? Who cares!
For Team Foundation’s source control command line, I think that stdout be replaced with either “>[format]“ or “sendto:[format]“.
The following examples display the contents of a source-controlled file in the default viewer for that type of file. Note that – and / are interchangeable command line option identifiers.
vstf View myfile.doc /sendto:viewer
vstf View foo.txt ->viewer
The following examples display the contents of the specified source-controlled files in the command console (a quick view):
vstf View header.h -sendto:console
vstf View foo.txt />console
What do you think? Should > replace stdout? What about sendto:? Record your comments here.