StudioShell 1.0 Released

§ February 28, 2011 13:28 by beefarino |

istock_-cupcake-one-candle-large_2This evening (a few hours later than planned) I managed to pull together the first public release of StudioShell!  I know a lot of you have been waiting for that private beta, and I apologize that the beta will be a bit more public than I initially intended…

I’ve chosen to release StudioShell to open source under the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL).  You can download the installer and pull the source code at

I can’t say this was my original plan for the project, but after evaluating the options I think this is the best one.  With tools like PowerGUI VSX and  NuGet exposing developers to the deliciousness that is PowerShell, this space is already staked as open source.  StudioShell has the potential to be the ultimate “awesome sauce” in this space, adding its flavor to any of these tools.  And what better reason would a developer have to learn PowerShell than to be able to extend and manipulate their own development environment?

I agree with Hal Rottenburg who said that adoption of PowerShell will hockey-stick in 2011.  I want developers to be a part of that.  I’ve advocated developing tools around PowerShell as a great way to keep your software limber and spry, and hopefully StudioShell will give the development community a solid idea as to what’s possible.

Looking Ahead

I still have plenty to do.  This initial release is help iron out the wrinkles and solidify the core.  I expect issues.

The next new goal on my list is to get all of StudioShell’s features working from the other popular Visual Studio PowerShell hosts.  I already have a branch of NuGet working with StudioShell, but I need to rebase and get a pull request in and see if that team will accept the changes.  I’ve also been in touch with Adam Driscoll about PowerGUI VSX, which is next on my list.

In the meantime, please download the installer, and start liberating your IDE one-liner at a time…

StudioShell at CodeStock 2011(tentative)

§ January 18, 2011 11:11 by beefarino |

I’ve submitted a session abstract for CodeStock 2011: Using StudioShell to Extend Visual Studio.  The plan is to cover Visual Studio extensibility with StudioShell through practical and applicable examples.

At the moment I plan to include demos of the following:

  • remapping the build process to use the psake module to running builds inside of Visual Studio;
  • some kind of code generator – probably an automated object pattern implementation like Decorator or Composite.
  • something I’m calling “UI Profiles” – sets of UI settings appropriate for different work scenarios – e.g., when I dock my laptop, I want most of my tool windows to undock and move to the other monitor…
  • … anything awesome people suggest in the comments to this post …

Of course, all of this depends on your vote.  If you’re interested in learning more about StudioShell and plan to attend CodeStock, please vote for my session!

StudioShell on PowerScripting

§ January 13, 2011 08:46 by beefarino |

Hal and Jon have been kind enough to invite me on to the PowerScripting broadcast tonight to discuss StudioShell!  Details here:

If tonight’s show holds true to form, you can join in live and post any questions you have on UStream chat.  The show starts at 9:30 EST…

Announcing StudioShell

§ January 11, 2011 16:33 by beefarino |

Last September I came up with a project idea, and since the end of the year tends to slow down for contractors like myself I made plans to pursue the project and see how far I could take it in a few weeks.  So it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to my latest brainchild: StudioShell. 

studioshellStudioShell is a deeply integrated PowerShell host available inside of Visual Studio 2010 and 2008.  It’s goal is to fundamentally change the way you interact with your IDE and your code. 

You’re probably thinking “we already have nuGet” or “we already have PowerGui VSX.”  So why another PowerShell host in Visual Studio?   

If you’ve ever implemented a Visual Studio extension, such as an add-in or a package, you know how convoluted this space has become.  You have to be aware of the many commandments of COM.  You have to research the various services offered by the shell.  The API is inconsistent and opaque.  The documentation is lax.  In short, you have to become an expert in your tooling if you want to change it.

StudioShell exposes many of Visual Studio’s extensibility points in a simple and consistent way, and it makes the Visual Studio DTE interactive and discoverable.  What an add-in does in a compiled binary, StudioShell can accomplish with a one-liner.

I’ve made a few screencasts to show off what StudioShell can do.  I’d love to hear any feedback you want to provide…

If you’d like to stay on beat with this project, please follow StudioShell on twitter and keep an eye on this blog.  I’ll be soliciting beta participants in a few weeks.