Why PowerShell uses objects in VB.NET

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Why PowerShell uses objects
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Another reason to use objects is because they ultimately make things easier on you and give you more power and flexibility. For just a second, I want to pretend that PowerShell doesn t produce objects as the output of its commands. Instead, it produces simple text tables, which is what you probably thought it was doing in the first place. When you run a command like Get-Process, you re getting formatted text as the output:
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PS C:\> get-process Handles ------39 31 29 574 181 306 125 5159 NPM(K) -----5 4 4 12 13 29 15 7329 PM(K) ----1876 792 828 1864 5892 13936 2528 85052 WS(K) ----4340 2260 2284 3896 6348 18312 6048 86436 VM(M) ----52 22 41 43 59 139 37 118 CPU(s) -----11.33 0.00 0.25 1.30 9.14 4.36 0.17 1.80 Id ---1920 2460 3192 316 356 1300 1756 1356 ProcessName ----------conhost conhost conhost csrss csrss dfsrs dfssvc dns
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What if you wanted to do something else with this information Perhaps you want to do something to all of the processes running Conhost. That means you re going to have to filter this list down a bit. In a Unix or Linux shell, you d use a command like Grep, telling it, Look at this text list for me. Keep only those rows where columns 58 64 contain the characters conhost. Delete all of the other rows. The resulting list would contain just those processes you specified:
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Handles ------39 31 29 NPM(K) -----5 4 4 PM(K) ----1876 792 828 WS(K) ----4340 2260 2284 VM(M) ----52 22 41 CPU(s) -----11.33 0.00 0.25 Id ---1920 2460 3192 ProcessName ----------conhost conhost conhost
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You d then pipe that text to another command, perhaps telling it to extract the process ID from the list. Go through this and get the characters from columns 52 56, but drop the first two rows. The result might be this:
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Finally, you d pipe that text to yet another command, asking it to kill the processes (or whatever else you were trying to do) represented by those ID numbers. This is, in fact, exactly how Unix and Linux administrators work. They spend a lot of time learning how to get very good at parsing text, using tools like Grep, Awk, and Sed, and becoming very proficient in the use of regular expressions, which make it easier for them to define text patterns that they want their computer to look for. Unix and Linux folks like programming languages like Perl because those languages contain rich text-parsing and text-manipulation functions. There are, however, some problems with this text-based approach:
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You can spend more time messing around with text than doing your real job.
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Objects: just data by another name
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If the output of a command changes say, moving the ProcessName column to the start of the table then you have to rewrite all of your commands, because they re all dependent on things like column positions. You have to become very proficient in languages and tools that parse text. Not because your job actually involves parsing text, but because parsing text is a means to an end.
PowerShell s use of objects helps to remove all of that text-manipulation overhead. Because objects work like a table in memory, you don t have to tell PowerShell which text column a piece of information is located at. Instead, you tell it the column name, and PowerShell knows exactly where to go to get that data. Regardless of how you arrange the final output on the screen or in a file, the in-memory table is always the same, so you never have to rewrite your commands because a column moved. You spend a lot less time on overhead tasks, and more time focusing on what it is you want to accomplish. True, you do have to learn a few syntax elements that let you instruct PowerShell properly, but you ll have to learn a lot less than if you were working in a purely textbased shell.
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