A Web-enabled, Monad front end: Monad hosting.
It’s a neat idea, and leads to even better ones (as Preston pointed out.) If we could have a fully-functioning web terminal over SSL, who needs SSH? In addition, who needs to worry about having access to a terminal emulator in order to securely administer thier machine? Although it appears that this demo gets us 90% of the way to running VI, it’s really more like 0.01%
However, all is not lost. If we drop the requirement (and support) for the high-degree interactivity, a web-enabled front end does become a useful administration utility. SSL secures the data in transport, and protects you from man-in-the-middle attacks. By using Windows authentication (along with the appropriate permission sets on the server,) you can even prevent users from doing things they shouldn’t.
This is a scenario that Monad allows you to accomplish much more cleanly than simply redirecting standard input and output from a console application. At its core, we’ve designed the Monad engine to be hosted by other applications. As long as the host application implements the functions from the hosting interface (below,) it can run and host most Monad cmdlets.
For example, our MSH.EXE is simply a host for Monad. Several enthusiastic members on BetaPlace have written a GUI host for Monad. Exchange 12 is built on Monad. And to bring this all full circle: one of the members in our team wrote a proof-of-concept ASP.Net host for Monad.
[Edit: Monad has now been renamed to Windows PowerShell. This script or discussion may require slight adjustments before it applies directly to newer builds.]