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C:\files>set prompt PROMPT=$P$G
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APPENDIX A: COMPARING POWERSHELL
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In PowerShell, the prompt is controlled by the prompt function. This is a function that should return a single string. The equivalent of $P$G is
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PS (31) > function prompt {"$PWD> "} C:\files>
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The nice thing about prompt being a function in PowerShell is that it can do anything. For example, if you wanted to display the day of the week as your prompt, we could do:
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C:\files> function prompt { "$((get-date).DayOfWeek)> " } Monday>
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We redefine the function and now we see what day it is. Here s something else we can do: the problem with displaying the path in the prompt is that it can get quite long. As a consequence, many people prefer to show it in the window title. This can be done using a function like what is shown in listing A.4:
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Listing A.4 Prompt function example
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function prompt { $host.ui.rawui.WindowTitle = "PS $pwd" "PS > " }
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The result of this prompt definition is shown in figure A.1. The string PS > is still displayed as the actual prompt, but the function also sets the window title. These examples produce results as shown in figure A.1.
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Figure A.1 Setting in the prompt in PowerShell
Because the prompt is a function, it can do pretty much anything log commands, play sounds, print quotes, and so on. A.1.9 Using doskey in PowerShell The doskey tool lets us define keyboard macros in a console window. What do we mean by this Doskey macros are processed by the console subsystem the part of the Windows operating system that handles rendering the console window and reading from the keyboard. When a console program does a Readline() call, the console subsystem checks to see whether any macros are available for that program. If there are, it does the macro substitution on the string before they are returned to the user. So why 485
APPENDIX A: COMPARING POWERSHELL
do we care Because it means that we can also use doskey macros in PowerShell. Here s an example that shows how to use the doskey utility from PowerShell. First we ll take a look to see whether there are any macros defined for PowerShell initially.
PS (2) > doskey /macros:powershell.exe
Nothing is returned so, obviously, there are currently no doskey macros for PowerShell. Notice that we have to specify the full name of the executable file. The default is cmd.exe, so to make our doskey commands apply to PowerShell we always have to specify the name powershell.exe . Now let s define a macro:
PS (3) > doskey /exename=powershell.exe ` >> ddir = dir `$* `| `{ '$_.PSIsContainer' `} >>
This requires a fair bit of quoting to make sure that the arguments get passed through to doskey properly. If you want to define a number of macros, it s probably easiest to define them using the doskey /file option. Now let s make sure that the macro was defined properly. Remember, the text will be substituted on the command line, so the resulting command line has to be syntactically correct.
PS (4) > doskey /macros:powershell.exe ddir=dir $* | { $_.PSIsContainer }
It looks fine. Notice the use of $* in the macros. When doskey macro substitution is done, $* will be replaced by any arguments to the macro. Now let s try it.
PS (5) > ddir Directory: Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::C:\files Mode ---d---d---d---LastWriteTime ------------8/19/2006 2:35 PM 8/19/2006 2:36 PM 8/19/2006 2:35 PM Length Name ------ ---d1 d2 d3
It displays only the directories in the current directory. Let s give it the option -rec and see what happens.
PS (6) > ddir -rec Directory: Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::C:\files Mode ---d---d---d---LastWriteTime ------------8/19/2006 2:35 PM 8/19/2006 2:36 PM 8/19/2006 2:35 PM Length Name ------ ---d1 d2 d3
APPENDIX A: COMPARING POWERSHELL
Directory: Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::C:\files\d2 Mode ---d---d---LastWriteTime ------------8/19/2006 2:36 PM 8/19/2006 2:36 PM Length Name ------ ---dd1 dd2
This time, we get all of the directories including subdirectories. doskey also lets you look at the console command history. Let s try it. Again we have to specify the full executable name.
PS (7) > doskey /exename=powershell.exe /h cd c:\files doskey /macros:powershell.exe doskey /exename=powershell.exe ` ddir = dir `$* `| `{ '$_.PSIsContainer' `} doskey /macros:powershell.exe ddir ddir -rec doskey /exename=powershell.exe /h
This shows us all of the commands we ve typed. But PowerShell also maintains a history of all of the commands that it executed. Since these commands are recorded after the doskey substitutions, it should have the expanded commands instead of what you actually typed.
PS (8) > get-history Id -1 2 3 4 5 6 7 CommandLine ----------cd c:\files doskey /macros:powershell.exe doskey /exename=powershell.exe `... doskey /macros:powershell.exe dir | { $_.PSIsContainer } dir -rec | { $_.PSIsContainer } doskey /exename=powershell.exe /h
Notice the commands with IDs 5 and 6. These are the expanded commands that correspond to the typed commands ddir and ddir rec . This is a way you can see what the macro expansion actually did. doskey is another tool that you can use to help ease your transition from cmd.exe to PowerShell. It let s you define parameterized macros that can expand simple strings into more complex PowerShell expressions. A.1.10 Using cmd.exe from PowerShell. The final topic is how we can use cmd.exe from PowerShell. In particular, how can we use our existing scripts The answer is that, for the most part, you can just use them. If PowerShell sees a file with a .cmd file extension, it will simply run it. The part that doesn t work comes in with all of the configuration scripts that people use. These are 487
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