Long live the command line interface

Josh links to the VSCMDShell project, which is an effort to provide an addin to Visual Studio to host the command prompt as a tool window.  Very useful, plus a trivial WinForms app makes it a replacement to the default cmd.exe as well.  I know there are thousands of you with lots of spare time on your hands 🙂 so why not join the GotDotNet workspace and make this a kick-ass component?

Monad should shake things up and prove that the command line interface is as powerful and useful as ever, but one often overlooked element of the command line is the user interface.  It goes without saying that what we currently have is pretty crude and outdated.  Besides the elimination of the column-centric non-resizable window and the poor selection (and copy & paste) model I'd personally like to see much better use of syntax highlighting, Visual Studio style autocomple, better font selection, splitters, multiple buffers, mouse support, etc.  There's a lot of potential and room for new ideas; if you have any I'll make sure the Monad team sees your comments.  No need to wait for Longhorn either - add them yourself to VSCMDShell!

The tip of the day today is adding extra fonts to use from the command line - stop being limited to “raster fonts” and Lucida Console!  The trick is to add string values under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont.  Each string value must increment the 0's, for example:

0    (reg_sz) Lucida Console
00   (reg_sz) Andale Mono
000  (reg_sz) Your Monospaced Font


You get the idea, although not all monospaced fonts work.  Yes, as discoverable and usable as the command line itself!  😛

Comments (7)

  1. milbertus says:

    Are you sure that you can have as many fonts as you want? I tried adding a fourth font (using the key name ‘0000’), and it didn’t work. However, I know that the font that I was trying to add does work, because when I added that font using another key (’00’, for example), it did work properly.

  2. Interesting, I’ll have to play with it more. I usually just add one font.

    More details in a KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q247815

  3. There is a very old Mozilla project called XML term (http://www.xmlterm.org) that uses Gecko to render an xterm… it has lots of nifty ideas and concepts.

  4. Erik – yep, good link. I sent it to the Monad folks along with a bunch of other ideas at least a year ago.

  5. Long live the command line interface: I’d missed this post… and it better support emacs binding to make me happy….

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