Over the course of the last year I’ve been using markdown files much more, especially as part of the Platyps module. Even though I have a markdown editor and I can also preview files in VS Code, sometimes I want to see the file in my browser which has a markdown viewer plugin. Or I might want to see something else in my browser. I had been pasting the file path and pasting it into the browser, but of course realized I should get smart about this and write a PowerShell function to make this easier. Thus was born Out-Browser. Although it proved a bit trickier than I expected because the registry was involved.
It has taken some discipline but I have finally gotten the hang of using the command history file maintained by PSReadline. Even though Set-PSReadlineOption has a few options on how to use this file, in my experience I have felt the need to handle a few things on my own. Here’s my take.
For awhile now I’ve been working on a PowerShell project that I use every day. I am always in a PowerShell prompt and because I always seem to have little things like phone calls or family events that I need to keep track of, I wrote a “tickler” system. The events are stored in a SQL database any my PowerShell commands query for upcoming events. My module has commands for setting up the database, querying commands and modifying data. All the SQL stuff is done without using the SQL PowerShell module because I didn’t want to take a dependency on it and I want to write something that will work cross-platform. I wasn’t sure if the SQL cmdlets would be 100% compatible, plus my needs were simple so I found it easier to write my own query function. Today, I decided to launch a semi-public beta and share it with you.
The other day I was watching a good intro video from Shane Young on getting started with PowerShell profiles. I use profile scripts extensively, and they can be extremely useful in configuring your PowerShell experience. One element you could add to your profile is a customized PowerShell prompt. Microsoft provides one by default. It creates a simple function called prompt. The best part is that you can define your own function called prompt, and PowerShell will run it every time you hit enter.
Microsoft has been busy with the next iteration of PowerShell. As you should already know, this version will run cross-platform. The executable, or engine, is naturally different than what you are used to with Windows PowerShell. As I was trying out the latest PowerShell beta, I needed to identify the path to the current PowerShell engine. I then thought it might be helpful to get even more details so I put together a quick PowerShell function called Get-PowerShellEngine.