VS Code – Terminal crashes when formatting script

I love VS Code. I love being able to press ALT + SHIFT + F and format my code.


The Problem

Yesterday all I got when I pressed ALT + SHIFT + F was this

format error.png

I could reproduce it will. This was very frustrating.

Turning on Verbose Logging

To turn on verbose logging for the PowerShell Editor Services go the Cog in the bottom left, click it and then click User Settings.

Search for powershell.developer.editorServicesLogLevel


If you hover over the left hand channel a pencil will appear, click it and then click replace in settings

edit settings.png

This will put the entry in the right hand side where you can change the value. Set it to Verbose and save

user settigns.png

a prompt will come up asking if you want to restart PowerShell

start a new session.png

When you restart PowerShell, if you click on  Output and choose PowerShell Extension Logs you will see the path to the log file


Reproduce the error

I then reproduced the error and opened the log file this is what I got

10/02/2018 09:11:19 [ERROR] – Method “OnListenTaskCompleted” at line 391 of C:\projects\powershelleditorservices\src\PowerShellEditorServices.Protocol\MessageProtocol\ProtocolEndpoint.cs

ProtocolEndpoint message loop terminated due to unhandled exception:

System.AggregateException: One or more errors occurred. —> System.Management.Automation.CommandNotFoundException: The term ‘Invoke-Formatter’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program. Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was included, verify that the path is correct and try again.
at System.Management.Automation.Runspaces.PipelineBase.Invoke(IEnumerable input)
at System.Management.Automation.PowerShell.Worker.ConstructPipelineAndDoWork(Runspace rs, Boolean performSyncInvoke)
at System.Management.Automation.PowerShell.Worker.CreateRunspaceIfNeededAndDoWork(Runspace rsToUse, Boolean isSync)
at System.Management.Automation.PowerShell.CoreInvokeHelper[TInput,TOutput](PSDataCollection1 input, PSDataCollection1 output, PSInvocationSettings settings)
at System.Management.Automation.PowerShell.CoreInvoke[TInput,TOutput](PSDataCollection1 input, PSDataCollection1 output, PSInvocationSettings settings)
at System.Management.Automation.PowerShell.Invoke(IEnumerable input, PSInvocationSettings settings)
at Microsoft.PowerShell.EditorServices.AnalysisService.InvokePowerShell(String command, IDictionary2 paramArgMap)
at System.Threading.Tasks.Task
at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.Execute()
— End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown —
at System.Runtime.ExceptionServices.ExceptionDispatchInfo.Throw()
at System.Runtime.CompilerServices.TaskAwaiter.HandleNonSuccessAndDebuggerNotification(Task task)
at Microsoft.PowerShell.EditorServices.AnalysisService.<InvokePowerShellAsync>d__31.MoveNext()
— End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown —
at System.Runtime.ExceptionServices.ExceptionDispatchInfo.Throw()
at System.Runtime.CompilerServices.TaskAwaiter.HandleNonSuccessAndDebuggerNotification(Task task)
at Microsoft.PowerShell.EditorServices.AnalysisService.<Format>d__22.MoveNext()
— End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown —
at System.Runtime.ExceptionServices.ExceptionDispatchInfo.Throw()

Open an issue on GitHub

I couldnt quickly see what was happening so I opened an issue on the vscode-powershell repo by going to issues and clicking new issue and following the instructions

new issue.png

The Resolution

Keith Hill b | t pointed me to the resolution. Thank you Keith.

Further up in the log file there is a line where the editor services is loading the PSScriptAnalyzer module and it should have the Invoke-Formatter command exported, but mine was not. It loaded the PsScriptAnalyzer module  from my users module directory

10/02/2018 09:11:01 [NORMAL] – Method “FindPSScriptAnalyzerModule” at line 354 of C:\projects\powershelleditorservices\src\PowerShellEditorServices\Analysis\AnalysisService.cs

PSScriptAnalyzer found at C:\Users\XXXX\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\PSScriptAnalyzer\1.10.0\PSScriptAnalyzer.psd1

10/02/2018 09:11:01 [VERBOSE] – Method “EnumeratePSScriptAnalyzerCmdlets” at line 389 of C:\projects\powershelleditorservices\src\PowerShellEditorServices\Analysis\AnalysisService.cs

The following cmdlets are available in the imported PSScriptAnalyzer module:

I ran

to see the module paths

module path.png

and looked in the .vscode-insiders\extensions\ms-vscode.powershell-1.5.1\modules directory. There was no PsScriptAnalyzer folder

no module.png

So I copied the PSScriptAnalyzer folder from the normal VS Code PowerShell Extension module folder into that folder and restarted PowerShell and I had my formatting back again 🙂

I then reset the logging mode in my user settings back to Normal

Thank you Keith

Using Plaster To Create a New PowerShell Module

Chrissy, CK and I presented a pre-con at PASS Summit in Seattle last week


Tracey Boggiano T | B came along to our pre-con and afterwards we were talking about creating PowerShell modules. In her blog post she explains how she creates modules by copying the code from another module (dbatools in this case!) and altering it to fit her needs. This is an absolutely perfect way to do things, in our pre-con we mentioned that there is no use in re-inventing the wheel, if someone else has already written the code then make use of it.

I suggested however that she used the PowerShell module Plaster to do this. We didnt have enough time to really talk about Plaster, so Tracy, this is for you (and I am looking forward to your blog about using it to 😉 )

What is Plaster?

Plaster is a template-based file and project generator written in PowerShell. Its purpose is to streamline the creation of PowerShell module projects, Pester tests, DSC configurations, and more. File generation is performed using crafted templates which allow the user to fill in details and choose from options to get their desired output.

How Do I Get Plaster?

The best way to get Plaster is also the best way to get any PowerShell module, from the PowerShell Gallery

You can just run

If you get a prompt about the repository not being trusted, don’t worry you can say yes.

Following PowerShell’s Security Guiding Principles, Microsoft doesn’t trust its own repository by default. The advice as always is never trust anything from the internet even if a bearded fellow from the UK recommends it!!

The PowerShell Gallery is a centralised repository where anyone can upload code to share and whilst all uploads are analyzed for viruses and malicious code by Microsoft, user discretion is always advised. If you do not want to be prompted every time that you install a module then you can run

if you and/or your organisation think that that is the correct way forward.

What Can We Do With Plaster?

Now that we have installed the module we can get to the nitty gritty. You can (and should) use Plaster to automate the creation of your module structure. If you are going to something more than once then automate it!

I created a repository for my Plaster Template You are welcome to take it and modify it for your own needs. I created a folder structure and some default files that I always want to have in my module folder

module framework.png

So in my template I have created all of the folders to organise the files in the way that I want to for my modules. I have also included the license file and some markdown documents for readme, contributing and installation. If we look in the tests folder

tests folder.png

There are some default test files included as well.

But Plaster is more than just a file and folder template repository, if we look in the installation markdown file,  it looks like this

We can paramatarise the content of our files. This will create a very simple markdown showing how to find and install the module from the PowerShell Gallery which saves us from having to type the same thing again and again. Lets see how to do that

The Manifest XML file

The magic happens in the manifest file You can create one with the New-PlasterManifest command in the template directory

This will create a PlasterManifest.xml file that looks like this
You can see that the parameters and content tags are empty. This is where we will define the parameters which will replace the tokens in our files and the details for how to create our module folder.

Plaster Parameters

At present my parameters tag looks like this
So we can set up various parameters with their names and data types defined and a prompt and if we want a default value.
We can then use
in our files to make use of the parameters.

Plaster Content

The other part of the manifest file to create is the content. This tells Plaster what to do when it runs.

Mine is split into 3 parts

We can provide messages to the user with the message tag. I create the folders using the filesource tag
This part creates all of the required files. You can see that the static files (those which do not require any sort of parameterisation for the contents use the same file source tag as the folders with the source defined. The files that have content which is parameterised use a tag of templateFile Source telling Plaster to look inside there for the tokens to be replaced.
The last part of the content creates the module manifest.
which I have filled in with the parameters for each of the values.

Creating a new module at the command line

Now you can easily create a module with all of the required folders and files that you want by creating a directory and running

which looks like this

Its that easy 🙂

Create a module without prompts

You can also create a module without needing to answer prompts. We can prefill them in our parameter splat
Which will look like this

Make Your Own

Hopefully this have given you enough information and shown you how easy it is to automate creating the framework for your new PowerShell modules and parameterising them. Let me know how you get on and share your examples

Further Reading

Kevin Marquettes blog post is an excellent and detailed post on using Plaster which you should also read for reference as well as David Christians post which has some great content on adding user choice to the parameters enabling one plaster template to fulfill multiple requirements.

Automatically updating the version number in a PowerShell Module – How I do regex

I am presenting Continuous Delivery for your PowerShell Module to the PowerShell Gallery at PSDayUK in London. Go and register if you will be close to London on Friday 22nd September.

In 45 minutes we will

– Use Plaster to create our module framework
– Use GitHub for Version Control
– Use Pester to develop our module with TDD
– Use VSTS to Build, Test (with Pester) and Release our changes to the PowerShell Gallery

45 minutes will not give me much time to dive deep into what is done but I will release all of my code on GitHub.

One of the things I needed to accomplish was to update the version number in the module manifest file. I did this with some regex and this is how I achieved it.

I went to regex101.com and pasted in the contents of a module file into the test string box and start to work out what I need. I need the value after ModuleVersion = ‘ so I started like this

01 - regex101.png

Under the quick reference it has some explanations which will help you. Keep going until you have the correct value in the match information. In the image below you can see that it has a Group 1 in green which matches the value I want (0.9.13). There is also an explanation of how it has got there. This is what I shall use in the PowerShell script

01 - regex.png

Now we can go to PowerShell. First get the contents of the file

Then we use [regex]::matches() to get our value as shown below. I always like to write in the comments what the regex is doing so that I (or others) know what was intended. We also set the value to a type of Version. I reference the group 1 value that I saw in the website.

Next we need to add one to the version number

and then replace the value in the file, notice the Get-Content has braces around it

That’s how I do it and the process I use when I need regex!

Here is the full script


An easier way

My fabulous friend and MVP Ravikanth Chaganti has told me of a better way using Import-PowerShellDataFile

This command is available on PowerShell v5 and above. There is no need to use regex now 🙂 You can just get the manifest as an object and then use the Update-ModuleManifest to update the file