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The answer is probably the same as why powershell isn't as usable as a unix shell is. Which in turn has a lot to do with why we're still programming text files and not clicking fancy objects, despite it is seemingly a more powerful system and the many projects which tried to take advantage of that.

Text is a useful common denominator. Text is possible to version control, tie to bug trackers, and handle with configuration management systems.

The same is true for the command line. If you handle structured data, or objects, you communicate using APIs. While it's not theoretically impossible to still use version control and configuration management, it turns out that it's much more difficult in practice. Plain text is a useful lowest common denominator.




We're already creating ad-hoc APIs using cut, sed and awk and grep (to name a but a few) all the time in order to massage the data into a format the next program in the chain will understand. This sometimes involves non-trivial invocation chains, I always feel like I'm working on a representation of the data rather than the data itself.

I would much rather have functional primitives (map, filter, reduce, zip, take, drop, etc) doing this work.




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