2016 - The year of CLI

2016 is officially the year of the monkey, but I am calling it the year of the CLI (Command Line Interface).

One of the recent talks I gave at DevIntersection was "Modern Web Toolchain". Mentioning CLI Tools and "Modern" does raise and eyebrow or two.

It covers npm, bower, grunt (http://gruntjs.com), gulp etc. But more interestingly, about 50% of the talk is about command line tools; and more than just Yeoman.

There are a number of either completely new or new versions of frameworks that are in the works for a version 1.0 release in 2016 and all of which are shipping a CLI tool.

Just to mention a few, and don't forget Docker!

It doesn't matter if you are on OS X, Linux or Windows; it is important to understand these tools, how to use them and how they work. If you're a Visual Studio user, there will undoubtedly be an add-in to use for "point and click" use. Task Runner Explorer, for example, just calls the gulp-cli and grunt-cli and surfaces the info in the GUI.

Having, a command line interface allows for -

  • build processes to leverage these commands for running tests harness, deployments without having to write custom code yourself
  • you can script scaffolding of new projects using your own templates or if the tool provides some, typically will adhere to a "best practice" for said framework
  • extending the tooling to meet your own needs or organization such as building GUI add-ins for editors etc.

There are many command line tools in use, the Azure CLI is another great one for scripting VMs, Websites, Scaling and more. My point is understand what is out there, don't be afraid (I mean that in a kind way) of the shell. It's even on Windows 10 now.

T-Shirt Learn the shell - Impress Your Friends available at DevTees

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Hi, I'm Shayne Boyer, I write this site, work on ASP.NET Core content and Open Source, speak at national and community events while helping teams architect web and cloud applications.

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