back to article Troubling news for JSON tinkerers? Windows Terminal unveils The Settings

Microsoft has disappointed hair-shirted developers with the arrival of a settings screen preview for its Windows Terminal product, potentially – though not necessarily – heralding the end of JSON tinkering to make things just so. Thankfully, however, actually accessing the preview screen is not a simple case of selecting the " …

  1. elDog

    I sense a sea change at MS. And I'm not sure it is all swells from here on....

    Their support of more open languages, environments, even OS's is wonderful. As their flagship commercial products (Office) move into the cloud, perhaps the ancillary support pieces can not be treated as money makers.

    Still, I worry about honey pots. Embrace, extend, ...

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I sense a sea change at MS. And I'm not sure it is all swells from here on....

      After all the IT world has seen from MS in the past 30+ years, I fail to understand that support of more open languages, environments, even OS's could be so naïvely seen as just wonderful or a sea change.

      More so by someone who reads ElReg.

      I also fear The Bard would object to your use of the idiom in this context.

      No.

      It is not wonderful and certainly not a sea change of any sort.

      These are nothing but Trojan horse tools to do the same as always: Embrace, Extend and Extinguish.

      O.

      1. FIA Silver badge

        Re: I sense a sea change at MS. And I'm not sure it is all swells from here on....

        After all the IT world has seen from MS in the past 30+ years,

        Such as? All the really egregious examples I can think of happened a long time ago now. (DR DOS 'incompatabilities', Monopolising the PC market, trying to destroy Netscape, trying to extend the internet with a raft of incompatable protocols...)

        What terrible thing have they done (ie, more so than any large corporation) in the last 15 years?

        To assume that things can never change must make the world a bleak place?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I sense a sea change at MS. And I'm not sure it is all swells from here on....

          "What terrible thing have they done (ie, more so than any large corporation) in the last 15 years?"

          Has W10 been out that many years?

          1. sev.monster Bronze badge

            Re: I sense a sea change at MS. And I'm not sure it is all swells from here on....

            From a pure usability, technologic standpoint, 10 and almost evetything they've done with it has been a fantastic success.

            Yes, I think it's ugly as sin, yes they've had some major missteps with it, yes I still don't really like Windows or Microsoft—but there's no arguing that it doesn't do what it says on the tin really well.

            Worst part for me is all the telemetry, but what doesn't have that nowadays? Just rip it out, blackhole MS servers at the firewall, deploy your own curated updates with WSUS, and there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Despite everything there is a good product under all the stink, and with a little knob polishing...

        2. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: I sense a sea change at MS. And I'm not sure it is all swells from here on....

          Their languages tend to look a lot like slightly incompatible versions of what's been around for years. Windows Shell being a fine example -- Microsoft was late to the shell game with their poor copy of CP/M's command language being around for decades until it was finally obsoleted for a proper shell. Along comes something that's "nearly, but not quite, bash". Any compatibility is purely one way.

          Another example of this kind of embrace is Linux. I was really pleased to see the Linux comatibility in Win10 until I tried it. Compared to Cygwin it was a total bust, a mess of dangerous incompatibiltiies. Its improved a bit since then but its still essentially unusuable. Meanwhile they've made no attempt to support other filesystems than NTFS (and FAT, obviously).

          Everything they do is incompatible.They rely on corporate fiat to maintain and extend their business. Being retired I don't mind so much now but the sheer amount of workarounds and general hassle involved in working in Windows "because its the company standard" made work less and less inviting (because not everyone is developing for PCs.....).

          1. itzumee

            Re: I sense a sea change at MS. And I'm not sure it is all swells from here on....

            "nearly, but not quite, bash"

            Do you mean PowerShell? If so then yeah, it's not quite bash but it _is_ a lot more than bash

          2. FIA Silver badge

            Re: I sense a sea change at MS. And I'm not sure it is all swells from here on....

            I suppose it depends on how you view things. For years MS got criticised for not being scriptable, so they made Powershell, it's most definatly not bash, but it is very powerful, and very Microsoft, which is kind of what you'd expect really. (clever, but ever so slightly over complex. ;) ). It also shouldn't be bash, Windows isn't unix, it has a diferent mindset. I'm not really that versed in their other languages, (although the C/C++ standards support has improved a lot recently), but there's many many languages out there, all with their own quirks and idioms, I'm not sure I can blame MS for C# any more than Mozilla for Rust or Google for go.

            As for WSL, I'd never really considered it as the 'embrace' part, but yeah, you're right, it is, embracing Linux, isn't that a good thing? Doesn't it help change the 'incompatabilities'? I mean I can run the linux build of Firefox on Windows, using nothing other than MS supplied software and a copy of mobaxterm. You'd not believe me if I said that 15 years ago.

            It's the extend and extinguish part that is the problem, and I don't really see that being the MS of today. For example if that's their plan why not stick with WSL 1 and make it more compatable, that keeps the source in house and extensable. Instead they took the quickest route to fixing the issues and basically now run Linux in a specialised VM. Including contributing their changes back to Linux. How do they 'extend' and 'extinguish' with this?

            Meanwhile they've made no attempt to support other filesystems than NTFS (and FAT, obviously).

            Why should they? There's nothing stopping anyone else writing one, unlike 20 years ago the Windows DDK is a free download, as is the compiler and toolset you need for it. (It even works with git these days, another thing they contribute to). There's example file system driver code here.

            Right, after writing my second post defending MS in the last 2 days I need to go and wash off the shame.

      2. jgard

        Re: I sense a sea change at MS. And I'm not sure it is all swells from here on....

        OK, Microsoft are the root of all evil, their products are rubbish and only good for mouse monkeys. Yeah yeah.... And if you get the ASCII value of each board member's initials, divide by the number of pages in revelations, multiply by no. of animals on Noahs Ark, back into ASCII, reverse the order, the string reads "George Soros 666, invent COVID, fund Bill re vaccine micro chip trackers, destroy software industry with our Bilderburgh friends. Build global sun shield, charge for daylight like Mr Burns. Give MS Research green light for operation SPIDER PIG - make it with that Hugo Chavez DNA we've got in the fridge as its starting to go mouldy". They have a lot of directors, obviously.

        When will people stop spinning this tired old nonsense about Microsoft? It's boring, out of touch and nearly always wrong. I honestly believe it's the older guys who like a bit of nostalgia for when they were up to date with tech before all this new fangled stuff came along. It makes them feel sage-like. It also comes with built in safeguards - when it doesnt come true, no one will remember, but in the unlikely event it does, you can point to you post 8 years ago. It being such a vague claim makes it even more foolproof!

        If you really want to see this type of thing - being forced to pay extortionate prices while they crush your testicles, Oracle might be a good place to start.

        Back to the original point. Microsoft took in $43,000,000,000 last quarter, their sales keep rising sharply, and will continue to do so. This open strategy is delivering beyond expectations. As the previous commenter said Microsoft havent done anything of which you speak for a very long time (but feel free to inform otherwise). Satya Nadella shows absolutely no inclination to do as you claim, he's also outrageously succesful and very smart. So why would he risk another strategy, that he probably wouldnt support ethically anyway, and potentially fuck up his legacy?

    2. Tim99 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: I sense a sea change at MS. And I'm not sure it is all swells from here on....

      Sea change - Before getting something rich & strange you are drowned and submerged 30'...

  2. chuBb. Silver badge

    Mixed feelings

    I for one must be hair shirted windows terminal has quickly displaced superputty as my primary terminal manager, but the json file doesn't bother me, guess I spend so much time at a terminal plain text config files are a norm for me so no bother at all

    That said I'm increasingly concerned by uber tweak able settings files stored as plain text in predictable locations, especially in light the North Korean hacking via toxic visual studio project files, the worry for me with something like windows terminal is the fact it's so editable, such as where the path to shell exe's is set or overridden. For arguments sake some browser based exploit enables a script to be run on victims machine which detects Windows terminals presence, downloads a payload then parses the json config and changes the shell location to that of the payload, if ur lucky its just some malware, if ur unlucky part of the payload is a key logging rat shimed in front of the real shell that would be pretty nasty...

    So would be in favour of the config at least being encrypted and requiring authentication to edit, at least that would be a speed bump, like viewing saved passwords in a browser.

    1. don't you hate it when you lose your account Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Mixed feelings

      I fear your request would require rewriting Windows from the ground up

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