Undoubtedly a cool example… WebCmd: web-based command-line interpreter (shell) What I cannot decide is if this is only a gimmick, or the start of something big. I suspect it is the latter.

So … if you have a web-based command-line interpreter over HTTPS, do we still need SSH? Sure, if you want to run ‘vi’ … but … could a mutant ‘vi’ use a web browser as a screen? Certainly you could launch a browser-based editor (either an editable textarea for small bits, or perhaps a Java applet for larger?).

Microsoft’s new MSH shell (or ‘Monad’ - which may not see release any time soon) is a pretty interesting piece of work, because it changes the nature of the data flowing through the pipe between commands. What MSH does not change is the display surface. The WebCmd example has the web browser as a display surface. Browsers inherently understand HTML and XML. If both the pipe between commands and the display (web browser) understand richly structured data … interesting stuff.