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Re: o'reilly zsh book?

On Jan 25, 11:48am, Sweth Chandramouli wrote:
> Subject: o'reilly zsh book?
> so i guess my questions are, would anyone else who is more involved
> in the development side (and thus has a better understanding of the
> internals) be interested in co-writing an o'reilly zsh book, and would the
> list as a whole be opposed to being a sounding board for any questions
> that might come up?  

I've actually been considering the idea.  (I work with Bob Glickstein, who
wrote ORA's "Writing GNU Emacs Extensions" book, and back in the days when
I worked with Dan Heller (author of Volume 6 of the X11 series) I even had
lunch with Tim to discuss book possibilities.  You can almost see Petaluma
from my office.)

The main reason I've been dragging my feet about making a proposal is that
I can't decide what really ought to be in the book.  Basic shell usage and
the important aspects of scripting are already covered in agonizing detail
by ORA's bash and ksh books; aside from a few oddities like "emulate", it
just isn't that much different to do those things in zsh.  (Intentionally
similar, in fact.)

So the book would have to be largely about the interactive zsh experience,
and would have to progress pretty quickly into the real esoterica.  That'd
certainly be fun to write, but isn't the kind of thing that sells to a big
audience; even Bob's emacs book isn't doing spectacular business, and there
are a lot more emacs users than zsh users.

An additional detail is that 3.1.x is a fast-moving target at the moment.
Several major new features have appeared since roughly early November, and
are still mutating towards their final form.  Until things stabalize a bit
again, a book about zsh esoterica would practically be obsolete before it
was even finished.

Nevertheless, it could be a worthwhile thing to talk about.  Bob's offered
to help me put the proposal together if I work out the details.  Anybody
have any ideas how we might estimate the size of the audience?

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