Surfing the Web the PowerShell Way

I spend a lot of my time in the command line (surprised?). That said, I also spend a lot of time surfing the web. Here is a script that I wrote that lets me surf the web from PowerShell:


UrlTemplateMap = @{
“bs” = “http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q={0}&ie=UTF-8&scoring=d”
“dr” = “http://drudgereport.com”
“gtr” = “http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en” # GOOGLE TRANSLATE
“verb” = “http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms714428.aspx”
“v” = “http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms714428.aspx”
“ps” = “http://blogs.msdn.com/powershell/default.aspx”
}
$Script:OutIE = $Null
function Out-IE ($url, [Switch]$Reuse)
{
if ($Script:OutIE -eq $null -OR $Script:OutIE.Application -eq $null -OR !($Reuse))
{
$Script:OutIE = New-Object -Com InternetExplorer.Application
}
if ((!$url) -OR ($url -eq “?”) -OR ($url -eq “-?”))
{
$urlTemplateMap.GetEnumerator() |Sort Name |Format-Table @{Expression={$_.Name};Label=”Name”;Width=10},Value
return
}

$navOpenInBackGroundTab = 0
foreach ($u in @($url))
{
$templateUrl = $u
$MappedUrl = $UrlTemplateMap.$u
if ($MappedUrl)
{
$templateUrl = $MappedUrl
}

# Use the Template and $args to generage the final URL
$realUrl = $templateUrl -f $args
$Script:OutIE.Navigate2($realUrl, $navOpenInBackGroundTab)
$navOpenInBackGroundTab = 0x1000
}
$Script:OutIE.visible=1
}
Set-Alias oie Out-IE


This allows me a quick and easy way to navigate to my favorite URLs (I’ve included a subset of the ones I use). I put this into my profile file and then whenever I want to I can just type something like:


PS> Oie v,gtr,dr


And it will bring up IE (this is coded to Version 7 of IE) with 3 tabs for the corresponding URLS. This can also use parameterized URLS. For instance, I use google’s blogsearch which takes a parameter for the search term. To search blogs for PowerShell I do this:


PS> Oie bs Powershell


This brings up a new window with all the blogs that have PowerShell in them. If I want to reuse an IE window, I use the –REUSE flag.


PS> Oie bs WINRM -reuse


Enjoy!


Jeffrey Snover [MSFT]
Windows Management Partner Architect
Visit the Windows PowerShell Team blog at: http://blogs.msdn.com/PowerShell
Visit the Windows PowerShell ScriptCenter at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/hubs/msh.mspx