Programmer Craig Muth Kickstarts A New Version Of His (Arguably Amazing) Shell, Xiki

Put on your nerd hats, kids, and let’s sit back and bask in the glory of Xiki. Created by Craig Muth, founder of Memorize, Xiki and its shell product, xsh, allows for some amazing autocompletion tricks, as well as interactive command line trickery that would make the average bash ninja salivate. The previous version of the shell is available now but Muth is Kickstarting a new, improved version for you and yours.

“Originally I created Xiki for my own use,” said Muth. “When I was supposed to be doing my boring job as a software dev at banks and insurance companies in Ohio 13 years ago, I started making this thing that let me run commands and navigate files directly from my notes. Ever since then I’ve found myself unable to resist working on it. I use it for everything.”

Muth is looking to raise $80,000 to finish development of the project. He writes:

If this campaign succeeds, the money will let me dedicate the time needed to bring this next, drastically improved, version of Xiki to the world. Xiki plugins for Sublime and Vim will be created. The installer and initial user experience will be greatly improved (largely by adding contextual menus everywhere). The integration with the shell will be improved. To enable supporting new Xiki plugins, the core of Xiki will be refactored. It will do the heavy lifting so the plugins will no longer have to.

Learning the new shell definitely requires a bit of time. Essentially it offers a text-editor-based view of your operating system and allows you to pipe anything to anything. It mixes the power of the shell with the ease of the GUI and, from the videos and my testing of the original version, it appears to be very powerful.

“Xsh is a friendly command interface for interacting with hundreds of modern tools like Gmail, Twitter, and Bootstrap, and many tech-focused features for things like database browsing, and web development. Xsh has a common UI paradigm (just text outlines, indented with two space
characters) that lets you interact with any tool or API,” said Muth. “Unlike other command lines, it lets you create and use commands not just from the command line, but also from text editors and web browsers. And you can create commands for your own use as you go along. Just type ‘xsh +foo’ to make a new ‘foo’ command.”

“Xsh is a command interface that’s not scary,” said Muth. Given the ease with which he slides through directories and creates commands in the demo videos, I think what’s scary is the power behind the platform. He’s simply looking for donations for his project and is offering T-shirts and the like as perks. The real perk will come when he launches the new version to the world and, since the project is open source, you’ll be able to get that for free.