2016 – The Year of the Command-Line

2016 was the year when David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Keith Emerson, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, Leonhard Cohen, Sharon Jones, George Michael, John Glenn, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and many other musicians, actors, and celebrities died.
2016 also was the year of Brexit and Donald Trump.
I will not talk about these, but instead focus on the year 2016 for software development.
For me, 2016 was the year of the command line.

Abstract keyboard

I’ve been using the command line for many years in my career. I’ve used the DCL commands on the VMS operating system, used different shells (bsh, csh, ksh) on different UNIX variants, using commands such as grep and awk, and knew many of the different options by heart. I also used the command prompt on the Windows operating system, but on Windows it was not that much needed as in the years before. This changed in the year 2016, when the command line had a big recovery.
You want some examples where I use the command line?

Git

After struggling some time using Git from within Visual Studio, I switched using the command-line entering commands like git clone, git add, git pull, git push, git status and others to work with different branches, resolve conflicts, and more.
In the meantime, the Visual Studio integration was becoming better and better. Maybe I should give it another try, but I’m happy with the command line.

I like the name git as either global information tracker or g*dd*mn idiotic truckload of sh*t. Check the Wikipedia article for more information.

.NET Core

.NET Core can be used by the command-line as well. dotnet new, dotnet restore, dotnet build, dotnet run, dotnet test are just a few commands that I’m using on a nearly daily base. While the project file format changes from project.json to .csproj, the command line stays the same.

npm, Bower, Gulp, Grunt

With ASP.NET Core and the integration within Visual Studio 2015, but also using TypeScript, other tools have been becoming really important, such as package managers npm and Bower, automation tools or task runners such as Gulp and Grunt. Where would be these tools without the command-line? And yes, I like how these tools are integrated with Visual Studio. For me this was a starter using these tools. But now I’m using the command-line in many cases.

Docker

Containers are becoming an important technology for easy virtualization – and the command line is leading here as well. I’m running my docker images with docker commands. Let’s see how this changes with Visual Studio 2017 and the docker integration.

And More

Of course, 2016 was more than the command-line. .NET Core 1.0 was released. This was not as smooth as it should be – mainly because the tools have not been released yet. The year 2017 will make this easier.

My book Professional C# 6 and .NET Core 1.0 was released, and I’m preparing PDF files for downloads to make it easier using it with Visual Studio 2017 as well.

Windows 10 received great updates, and so did Microsoft Azure.

Summary

There are many scenarios where I’ve used the command line more and more in 2016. Git, .NET Core, npm, and Docker have been a few examples. There are more. Now as Windows 10 includes the bash shell, of course I’m using this as well. For me also UNIX made a recovery as .NET Core is available here as well. Of course, I’m using the command line here as well.

Probably we’ll see some recovery of graphical tools in the next year. Did you see the docker integration in Visual Studio 2017? While many of the features will be better integrated with graphical tools, it helps to know the command line and resolve issues if something breaks from the graphical UI.

Looking forward to my next article and what I’m expecting in 2017.

Have fun with programming and learning!
Christian

More information about using .NET Core, git, npm, Bower, Gulp, Grunt, and Docker is available in my workshops

Image © Orlando Florin Rosu | Dreamstime.com – Abstract keyboard

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