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On the other hand, ls isn't showing you the file type, and will never show you content. And you're mixing presentation with content, which is poor engineering - see the guys coming up with regexs to handle time because the only way time is presented to them is as text,

Good shells have prompted object pipeline based tools before - PoSH is only a few years old. And it's still possible for older tools to run with no degradation in quality from their previous environments.

This is really compelling.

ls shows file type by coloring - check out ~/.dircolors/dircolors/LS_COLORS and ls --color=auto - and kind by extension - ls -F. Showing things like thumbnails seems to me to be of limited use. When I want to see the directory in all its glory, I'll do the moral equivalent of "cygstart/open/whatever .". That'll give me a proper shell window designed for viewing content with thumbnails etc., rather than trying to stick it into the terminal. I've had enough experience with things like dodgy video decoders crashing the shell's thumbnail preview mechanism to know I don't want that stuff anywhere near my terminal unless I specifically ask for it.

Powershell - I do indeed wish Unix shells worked a little more like it for jobs like parsing ps output portably across platforms, but it has poor performance for what I use the shell for, because it doesn't run each pipeline process as a separate process or thread - everything is single-threaded. I frequently run sed, awk, grep, sort over multi-GB files and rely on processes and job control (fork-join through mktemp, & and wait, and xargs -P) to make it work quickly.

But if, as I mentioned, the terminal supported a richer communication protocol - one smart enough to show render full 32-bit images including alpha - then a version of ls could be written that does what his ls command does, without needing to go as far as he does.

Consider these bugs to be fixed, not irreparable complaints ;).

On the other hand, imagine being able to 'jump' into the output with a cursor, hit enter and open any file, or hit delete, or F2 to rename etc. From a UI point of view, it could be great (notwithstanding my other comments).

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