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Chris and I are building a complex application called Keyapt SMS. It has a mobile component, a server component and a pure JavaScript front end. The source and build control requirements for this are complex. We manage the source and build control in FogBugz and Kiln (Mercurial). [We also provide training in these].

Chris a Unix expert and I find myself following his practices and working a lot at the command prompt in Windows 7. The Windows 7 command shell is pretty good and with a couple of batch files you can make some pretty cool build scripts.

But with Windows 7 there is more, much, much, more because it comes with PowerShell which supersedes the command shell.

So if you need to do powerful scripting on Windows you now have two obvious choices. Cygwin, which provides Unix tools for Windows or PowerShell. Daniel Petri gives a good introduction to both.

If you would like to compare and contrast the use of the tools on a reasonably complex task a couple of authors have taken up the challenge.

Which tool is intrinsically better? Well I will let you read the articles and come to your own conclusion.

Which will I use? Well my command shell skills and batch files are go enough for now, when I need more I will probably use Cygwin. Our production hosting is Linux and Chris develops on Ubuntu so it is the sensible choice.

–Updated 2011-06-24

Microsoft have created an online tutorial that uses the bing seach engine as a sort of help and navigation system.


This is a pretty novel (weird?) use of a search engine. If anyone has any insight into why they have done this and how it effects how we should view search engines please make a comment and I will read it with interest.