PowerShell with a Purpose Blog

MS launches PowerShell Visual Guide Thingy on Bing

Bing's "Visual Search" doohickey has a new friend:Windows PowerShell cmdlets. Basically, you get a page full of big, colorful boxes that each represent one of the core (e.g., built-in) PowerShell cmdlets. They're color-grouped based on noun, so that the "ACL" cmdlets are dark grey, while the "Alias" cmdlets are... er... slightly lighter grey... and so forth. Clicking one brings up a link to the online help, a brief syntax outline, and a couple of Web search results - one of which is almost invariably the same online documentation, since msdn.microsoft.com ranks so highly in search engines.

I am, however, having some difficulty in figuring the value of this kind of reference. Sure, it's flashy. I like shiny stuff. But it's not faster than just pulling the help up in the shell, or in a standalone help viewer. It doesn't include anything but built-in cmdlets, which is sad - maybe it'll be extended someday (it is brand new, so I'll be patient). It doesn't include the critical "about" topics that are often so tough for new users to realize are there.

There are some nice filters: You can filter by PowerShell version, by a few parameters, by remoting uses, and so forth. You can easily, for example, pull up all the WMI-related cmdlets. So I guess there's some exploratory value. I'm promising myself to make use of this over the next few weeks and see if I start relying on it - if I do, then it's obviously got some value!

What's your take? Is this a useful way to explore cmdlets and look up syntax? Will it help you find cmdlets that you might have otherwise overlooked? What do you dislike about it - what could change to make you use it more?
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.