.NET and Console Tools – We’re Getting There, But…

[Listening to: We Have Explosive – The Future Sound of London – We Have Explosive (03:26)]

I’ve been going through Visual Basic .NET 2003 Resource Kit this morning, looking for goodies I can reuse elsewhere. One of the “metrics” I use is how good console tool support is.

Strictly speaking, this is not a VB issue, it is a .NET issue, and I’m finding myself wandering off to think about the whole issue of console tool support as a concept in Windows systems. The real underlying problem is not one of what classes are available here and there for console tools. The problem is that programmers don’t usually realize that a console application is to an administrator what a class is to a programmer.

A CLI application is really a component, and to be the best at what it does, it needs to be self-contained, use common switches, and understand working with stream for input, output, and error. It needs to be self-describing as well, so that help is just moments away.

I’m not quite sure what the “best” answer is, but there is no doubt that a core library which allows simple, single-step generation of help text and internal primitives for scripts and for compiled applications could make an immense difference to the growth of well-behaved, admin-friendly building block applications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *