For the record, I completely agree Jon Udell, both in regarding Monad (aka MSH) as a brilliant piece of work, and as having spent a fair amount of time battling antibodies myself. Episodes I remember:

  • “You have to write in assembly for efficiency, not Pascal!” When writing an application in Pascal that ended up more efficient than it’s competitors written in assembly.
  • “Why can’t I have a main program in my application, instead of event callbacks?” When writing a GUI framework (long before Windows).
  • “Why do we need encryption and authentication?” When working on a distributed system long before widespread use of networks.
  • “Writing upwards/downwards compatible client/server applications is too hard.” Right after having done just that at a prior job.
  • “Web applications just cannot be practical.” When pointing out that most applications can and should end up as web applications.

Jeffrey Snover’s Monad is a brilliant piece of work (wish this guy had a website). It really does capture the strength of shell scripting in Unix, and takes things to a whole new level.

Doubtless the Unix folks can and will replicate this new abstraction in shell scripting, but in this case someone at Microsoft got there first.