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.