PowerShell 7.1 Release Candidate is lurking around the corner, but first there’s Preview 6 to poke and prod

Squeaking in a few late changes

Microsoft has emitted an update to the preview of its cross-platform scripting language, PowerShell 7.1.…

Microsoft has emitted an update to the preview of its cross-platform scripting language, PowerShell 7.1.

Preview 6 brings the open-source framework a step closer to Release Candidate status, expected to arrive in September. There will be production support from then on, but in the meantime the preview moniker is firmly attached.

Despite the proximity to the first Release Candidate release, the gang has continued tinkering and made both breaking and non-breaking changes of note. Experimental features are also enabled by default, something that will change with the first RC.

One significant change that might catch out early adopters is a switch from -FromUnixTime to -UnixTimeSeconds for the handy get-date cmdlet. The gang reckoned that the From was inconsistent with the existing parameters (-UnixTime also works, although forget to pass an argument and PowerShell will whine about UnixTimeSeconds regardless).

Those looking glumly at automation scripts that might now be a little broken would do well to remember that this is, after all, still preview code (-FromUnixTime turned up in Preview 2).

Other features among the usual round of fixes and improvements include stderr being treated like an information stream and explicitly named parameters superseding that defined in a hashtable.

As well as an experimental feature to assist in debugging, Steve Lee, principal software engineer for PowerShell, also shared some statistics on usage of the platform from the public dashboard for the project (containing information that watchers of the Windows operating system can only dream of).

The migration from PowerShell Core 6.2 to 7.0 is well under way by all accounts (handy, because support for the latter will soon be pulled) and the gang has hit more than 4.5 million startups in a day of the platform.

While the Linux useragent continues to be responsible for the lion’s share of daily usage (and Ubuntu the distro of choice), Windows has continued to rise in popularity, according to the figures.

The team expect to make further changes before September’s first release candidate and subsequent release to general availability later in the year. ®

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