Want to Influence the PowerShell Cookbook V2?

We've started working on the next edition of the PowerShell Cookbook, and one obvious goal is to improve on the first version.

As the first version has been in print, I've taken notes on where people get confused with certain recipes. I've taken notes on what I felt were content gaps, and taken the feedback from reviews on Amazon.com and random blogs. Reviews on Amazon are GOLD for authors. They help readers form educated opinions, and provide helpful feedback about the book itself. If you want to thank the author of a book you like, write a review on Amazon.

The second edition of the PowerShell Cookbook continues in the same tradition as the first. Topical, real-world solutions to everyday problems. Packed with an appendix of reference material that matters. It will continue to be a purposefully distinct approach from PowerShell in Action.

With that, here's your chance to influence the next edition. What did you find too basic? Too advanced? Missing altogether? Were there any recurring issues with the approach or content?

Another question we're pondering is the unique value that the printed edition brings to the table. Much of the content in the PowerShell Cookbook was pre-published to this blog, newsgroups, or other channels. Many of the topics it addresses can be found through internet searches and forums. Many copies are floating around on Bit Torrent. Given all of that, why did you still purchase the printed version?

I know -- a lot of questions, very few answers! Let 'er rip.

6 Responses to “Want to Influence the PowerShell Cookbook V2?”

  1. Chuck Heatherly writes:

    I have a subscription to O’Reilly’s Safari Books Online service, and so I have online access to the Cookbook, but I
    still chose to purchase a hardcopy, mainly for the appendices, particularly the list of automatic variables and
    Appendix A, the usage summary. I actually MUCH preferred your book over Payette’s because his first edition was so
    disorganized, in my opinion. What good is the material if you can’t find what you need? Thankfully he’s correcting
    that with the 2nd edition, but I really like the cookbook style for just browsing when you don’t really know how
    exactly you’re going to tackle a problem. I also found excellent utility in the included programs in the book,
    particularly Connect-WebService and the one for creating generic objects (which will be a feature in PSH v2).
    Well done Lee, on your first edition, and I am eagerly awaiting the second!

  2. Vicaro writes:

    <p>I only just learned of the existence of PowerShell through coming across a copy of Andrew Watt’s Professional Windows PowerShell in a Waterstone’s book sale. As an old DOS hack I’ve been increasingly frustrated at my inability to access Vista’s innards and was pinning my hopes on Python, which I just learned (at great personal cost: at least to my evenings).</p>

    <p>When I first flicked through the book I thought: this is only going to be relevant for network admins, but as I looked further I began to realize that it could be what I’d longed for. I realized about the same time that I was a network administrator—it may only be me &amp; the kids but their security is extremely important to me.</p>

    <p>After my first couple of evenings with the book I knew I’d found what I was looking for, and more. Not only could I easily navigate and automate the file system as I’d used to when DOS was still staggering under the weight of a Windows GUI on top of it, but I could access the registry too (my least favourite place).</p>

    <p>Every page on the Knowledge Base that tells you to tinker with the registry warns you, pretty much, that you’d be an utter fool to even open regedit, let alone change a value.</p>

    <p>On the latter I beg to differ, on the former I agree with caps, underlining, and the old DOS flashing text—could you actually program something more tedious and difficult to navigate and with a slower search if you tried? I thought database searches were supposed to be lightning fast…</p>

    <p>About the second evening I found I’d managed to cobble together a script which did pretty much all my second favourite DOS util did (CCD, a util that changes directory according to wildcards, meaning you only need type the first letter or two of each branch of the directory. The first favourite was, of course, Doskey, which eventually became part of the system, as I think CCD should have been). </p>

    <p>At this point I was gut-hooked. It really does deserve the name ‘PowerShell'</p>

    <p>Andrew Watt’s book is an admirable introduction which is perfect for setting out PowerShell’s methods and structure—I’ve had it less than a couple of weeks and it’s already got more than a dozen index tabs.</p>

    <p>But I knew I needed more in depth scripting technique and short cuts (or should I say ‘cut and pastes’ J). There are several excellent blogs (like this one), e-books, forums, but I knew I’d need another book.</p>

    <p>Online information is great if you know fairly exactly what you’re looking for, and the search terms happen to be fairly uncommon, or for information that drops in your lap and can be stored away for use later.</p>

    <p>There are times, however, when you aren’t certain of the way to proceed with a problem, need an overview, or need to use complex code in a hurry which you’re not fully qualified to assess the safety of.</p>

    <p>To fill this need I’ve just ordered The Windows PowerShell Cookbook. I can tell from Lee’s blog and the book reviews that it will be just what I need to initially supplement, then, as I grow familiar enough with all the issues, to replace my use of Professional Windows PowerShell. I wish I could wait for the 2<sup>nd</sup> ed, but I’ve a huge hunger to be sated that ain’t gonna wait J</p>

    <p>The consolation is being around to watch the development, and maybe even have some input, in the second edition</p>

    <p>[I Just checked out CCD.cpp, the original which equals 220 lines of C++ , boiled down to 55 lines of PowerShell script, and that’s written by a novice with two evenings experience! (without even looking at the CPP code, either—I’d only ever used the executable)]</p>

  3. Lee Holmes writes:

    Vicaro: CCD in PowerShell is a zero-liner — it’s built in:

    [C:\Users\Lee]
    PS:441 > Set-Location c:\win*\mic*\f*\v2*

    [C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727]
    PS:442 >

    Lee

  4. Markus Lindemann writes:

    As convenient as it is to find recipes and tips online, I still like having an actual printed book to refer to as well. It allows me to add notes either on the page or by sticking pieces of paper in to add my own descriptions.

    Having now used your book for a while I find myself sometimes wanting more examples as the one in the book either didn’t fully to my issue or was difficult to learn. When learning a new concept it helps to have more than one example on how to do something, that way I can pick up on the pattern.

    An example might be for modifying xml files. The examples in the book are pretty basic but if I need to do something to a little more complex file, more examples might have helped.

  5. Sean Bober writes:

    Does the cookbook contain a script that would allow me to search the registry for all keys, values, and data that
    contain "sometext" and delete the key or value if it contains "sometext"?

    Thanks,

    Sean

  6. ed boyhan writes:

    I like the cookbook format, although I thought the powershell one was a little thin (not perhaps surprising for a v1 product). In v2 I wish to see coverage of things new to posh v2 (naturally). Chapters on the new servers using PS in particular IIS7 and the System Center Virtual Machine Console. More stuff on PS dev (since there are no good books on this — the wrox one is not so good). So modules — especially as they relate to the replacement of snapins. Coverage of custom cmdlet and provider creation. Some stuff on use of posh in the creation of DSLs. Use of posh to replace MSbuild/make — take a look at psake (although it relies on MSbuild); also take a look at Channel9 pres tween snover/payette on future of ps — payette demos a small poshmake DSL (somewhat rake-like). Also on my list of current interests would be PS/Gui interactions: PS/Winforms, PS/WPF!!!, PS/XAML techniques.
    While pipelines are pipes of connected .Net objects, not all objects (even .Net ones) are the same — so some words on compatability tween objects/cmdlets within a pipeline would be appreciated; and approaches to object conversions. Think about putting a hypothetical Show-WpfForm (e.g.)in a pipeline where the input from the pipeline is an xaml file with perhaps some addtl stuff (code behinds?) in the input object as well?? Then what should the output object of this cmdlet look like? any conversions needed to get the input into the required shape? or new custom -format parameters? Look at the channel9 session tween snover/erik meijer on object flow engine/bindings. I realize this latter is getting a little deep, but a cookbook should at least give us some pointers. Lastly, PS is going to be (is already) used from hosting applications — so a chapter on hosting ps would be great — most importantly: hosting ps from an MMC snapin (as quite a lot of server mgt going forward is going to use ps in this fashion — i believe exchange already does some of this). Oh and I mustn’t forget the ISE, not sure what ought to be here save some stuff on customizing the environment (profiles, etc) also some stuff on useful customizations/aliases/etc for both ISE and the command line environments.) How can u make ps be your logon shell (or can u; or is this os dependent)? Maybe some words on lexical and stylistics (comment headers, indenting…) for posh scripts would also be useful

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