The Home windows 7 console did not assist VT codes, so it fully garbles the output of functions that depend upon VT codes. The Home windows 10 console, nevertheless, does assist VT codes, making it rather more succesful.

One of many sore factors of the Home windows command-line setting is that the command-line home windows themselves, the “console” home windows, have all the time been a bit unusual. Again in Home windows XP, for instance, common Home windows apps had been themed, with their blobby title bars and bulbous purple X button. However command-line home windows did not get the theme; that they had an everyday Home windows title bar and borders. That is as a result of the console home windows had been “particular.” A particular, moderately delicate working system course of drew them, and if that course of crashed, your laptop would blue display screen. So, no themes allowed.

Over the previous few years, Microsoft has been working to enhance the Home windows console. Console home windows now maximize correctly, for instance. Within the olden days hitting maximize would make the window taller, however not wider. At the moment, it will fill the entire display screen, identical to some other window. Particularly motivated by the Home windows subsystem for Linux, the console in Home windows 10 helps 16 million colours and VT escape sequences, enabling a lot richer console output than has historically been attainable on Home windows.

Even with this work, nevertheless, the Home windows console nonetheless leaves loads to be desired when in comparison with its counterparts on Linux and macOS. Linux specifically has a variety of console functions providing, for instance, tabbed consoles. It additionally has functions like display screen and tmux that enable a number of functions to share the identical console. Whereas there are third-party efforts to do the identical on Home windows (with applications akin to ConEmu), all of them are usually fairly restricted: they work by making a Home windows console window, hiding it someplace off-screen, and scraping the characters from that console window. This method is not sturdy; command-line functions that attempt to do advanced issues (akin to exhibiting full display screen interfaces) usually find yourself breaking.

However change is afoot. Microsoft is working to construct a greater console for Home windows, one which, we hope, will open the door to the identical flexibility and capabilities that Unix customers have loved for greater than 40 years. The APIs appear to be within the newest Home windows 10 Insider builds, although documentation is a bit of scarce for now. The command-line staff is publishing a collection of weblog posts describing the historical past of the Home windows command-line, and the way the working system’s console works. The massive reveal of the brand new API is coming quickly, and with this, Home windows ought to lastly be capable of have dependable, efficient tabbed consoles, with emoji assist, wealthy Unicode, and all the opposite issues that the Home windows console would not do… but.

The weblog collection is value trying out when you have any curiosity within the historical past, design, and growth of Home windows. We’re nonetheless residing in the present day with selections made 30 years in the past. Home windows does issues very otherwise from Unix—moderately than Unix’s “all the pieces is a file,” Home windows’ method is “all the pieces is an object”—and a few of these selections have produced the very totally different console system that Home windows has.


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