Zsh Mailing List Archive
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o'reilly zsh book?

On Jan 25,  5:06pm, Bruce Stephens wrote:

> There's a potential problem of market: does anyone have any idea how
> many people use zsh?  I'd buy an O'Reilly book on it.

I may be wrong but I suspect that there isn't a vast number and most
wouldn't buy a book.

> Alternatively, you could help to improve the documentation that comes
> with zsh.  That would have the disadvantages that you wouldn't get any
> money from it, and there wouldn't be a nice printed version (which
> would be nice).  But even if O'Reilly (or whoever) turned down your
> proposal, you could still contribute to the free documentation.

The current documentation is a reference and I would be against
augmenting it with lots of examples and tutorials. Certainly time could
be well spent in updating it for any of the new or undocumented

When I first switched to zsh from tcsh, I read a document titled "An
introduction to the Z shell" by Paul Falstad and Bas de Bakker. It
provided quite a good introductory tutorial while also giving me a taste
for what I was missing out on by using tcsh. It might be a good idea to
write a number of smallish free tutorials. They could each be targeted
at different audiences. For example, there could be a guide for bash
users, a guide for tcsh users, completion tutorial, zle tutorial,
advanced zsh scripting etc.

> "Linux Programming Tools" has a chapter on zsh, but it's horribly
> limited.  It doesn't even mention things like $(...), which also exist

One possibility would be to contact the author of another O'Reilly book
about adding a significant chapter about zsh in the next edition. The
advantage would be that the market for the book wouldn't be limited to
current zsh users and it might persuade some new users to give zsh a
try. The trouble would be that it couldn't be as detailed.

On Jan 25, 12:52pm, Sweth Chandramouli wrote:

> 	all of the basic documentation is really already there, although
> often in very cryptic langauge; even so, as you pointed out earlier, what 
> is really needed is good tutorial info.  part and parcel with good examples
> and tutorials, however, is having a way for someone who wants to do something
> to easily find it, and that's where i think that having the docs done
> professionally would be of greatest use: making a really good index.  i'd

For examples rather than tutorials, it might be a good idea to set up an
archive of a example shell scripts, completions and zle widgets on the
web site. A well designed web page is a lot easier to navigate than
printed pages, however well indexed.

On Jan 25,  5:58pm, Bruce Stephens wrote:

> No.  I suspect most Linux distributions ship with zsh.  It's on the
> 1-CD RedHat, for example.  But typically the default for new users is
> bash, so presumably most people will end up using bash.  Of other
> Unices, who can tell?

I've never seen zsh bundled with any UNIX other than Linux. In my
experience most people stick with whatever they are given, which I think
is ksh on most unices.

Anyway, I'd be happy to help with writing sections of a book or short
tutorials or whatever but, similarly to Sweth, I'm "far from the most
knowledgeable person about zsh".

Oliver Kiddle

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