Command Combinations

So I had an idea the other day. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could run EVERY single possible command combinations for my PoshProgressBar Module?

That would be awesome! Wny would that be so awesome?

  1. Automated testing – To guarantee that every single progress bar combination actually ran as expected
  2. Screenshots – The website has a cool dynamic command builder form to fill out that will generate your PowerShell command. It would be sweet to hit “Preview” and see a screenshot of exactly what that particular progress bar looks like.

So… doesn’t sound too bad right? All of the parameters you can use in the module have parameter sets so the possible inputs are definitely limited.

I also know you can get to all that metadata using Get-Command Stay tuned for a later blog post. But would I be able to get all the combinations?

Let’s start doing the math… wait… math is hard… let’s keep it simple.

I have two arrays of three words each:

  1. Cat’s are scary
  2. Dog’s are cool

I have three possible combinations of the first word “Cat’s” and each of the three words in the second array. Then I have three words in the first array so I can put it simply as 3 x 3 = 9 combinations.

If I add to that a third array of three words we get 33 or 27 possibilities. Yikes this could get complicated to build especially with the amount of values I have in each of my parameter sets.

I did however get a basic function together that would generate all possible combinations. It does not take into consideration parameter sets or required parameters yet though.

Now I just have to find the time to run through all 97920 possible command lines for my New-ProgressBar cmdlet with an Invoke-Expression calling them followed by a cmdlet to grab them with a screenshot.

One screenshot a second though… this is going to take awhile…

Check out the code

function Get-StringCombinations


    function Recursive-Combine($MultiArray, $Count, $String)
        foreach ($SubString in $MultiArray[$Count])
             if( $Count -lt ( $MultiArray.count - 1 ) )

                Recursive-Combine -MultiArray $MultiArray -Count ( $Count + 1 ) -String "$String $SubString"
                "$String $SubString"

    foreach ($String in $MultiArray[0]) {
            Recursive-Combine -MultiArray $MultiArray -Count ($Count+1) -String $String

$CommonParamaters = @(
    "Verbose", "Debug",
    "ErrorAction", "WarningAction",
    "InformationAction", "ErrorVariable",
    "WarningVariable", "InformationVariable",
    "OutVariable", "OutBuffer",

function Get-AllParameters ($Command)
    $Command = Get-Command $Command

    $Parameters = $Command.Parameters.Keys.ForEach({$Command.Parameters[$_]}) | where {$CommonParamaters -notcontains $_.Name}

    $ValidateSetParameters = $Parameters | where {
        ( $_.Attributes | foreach { $_.TypeId.FullName } ) -contains "System.Management.Automation.ValidateSetAttribute"

    $AllParameters = @()

    foreach($Parameter in $ValidateSetParameters) {

        $Array = @()

        ($Parameter.Attributes | where {
                            $_.TypeId.FullName -eq "System.Management.Automation.ValidateSetAttribute"
                        } ).validValues | foreach { $Array += ( "-$($Parameter.Name) $_") }

        $Array += ("")

        $AllParameters += @(,$Array)

    $OtherParameters = $Parameters | where { $ValidateSetParameters -notcontains $_ }

    $PossibleValues = @{

    foreach ($Parameter in $OtherParameters) {

        $Array = @()

        if($Parameter.ParameterType.FullName -eq "System.Management.Automation.SwitchParameter")
            $Array += ("-$($Parameter.Name)")
        } else {
            $PossibleValues["$($Parameter.ParameterType.FullName)"] | foreach {
                $Array += ("-$($Parameter.Name) $_")
        $Array += ("")
        $AllParameters += @(,$Array)

    return $AllParameters

$AllParameters = Get-AllParameters -Command "New-ProgressBar"
$AllPossibleCommandlines = Get-StringCombinations $AllParameters

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