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Re: Proposal to standardize the shell
- X-seq: zsh-workers 15405
- From: Felix Rosencrantz <f_rosencrantz@xxxxxxxxx>
- To: dgk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, zsh-workers <zsh-workers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: Proposal to standardize the shell
- Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 23:12:54 -0700 (PDT)
- Mailing-list: contact zsh-workers-help@xxxxxxxxxx; run by ezmlm
I'm more interested in zsh for it's interactive features than it's
scripting capabilities. I think it would be very useful if the
interactive features became standard.
Some of the things I think that would be useful to standardize would
include CSH-style history, and zsh-style completion.
Though it would also be useful if there were some additional work
generalizing and developing some additional interactive features
that are already in some shells. Some of these topics to me would
be command line correction, command line validation, command line
prediction, and command line building.
Command line correction: There are already several shells that will
suggest alternatives to a command that is not found. It would be great
if that could be made more general to also correct arguments and flags
of the command line. This seems related to completion, though even
with zsh's completion it's not easy to do.
Command line validation: There are already several shells that
provide some sort of "rm *" protection. It would be great if this
functionality could somehow be made more general to allow the shell to
verify other dangerous/questionable commands.
Command line prediction: It would be great if the shell could
effectively use command history and user hints to predict what the
user wants to do next. There has been some academic research in this
area that might help. Prediction is already effectively used in the
text fields of GUI tools (e.g. web browsers). And zsh has a prediction-like
widget based on completion.
Command line building: The VMS OS could check command arguments before
running the command, and ask the user for missing arguments. It might
be useful if the shells could also do this.
Some of these features might be done by providing some hooks into the
shell and providing some good mechanisms for parsing command lines.
Parsing is not easy to do from a script, it's a little more involved
than just a getopt function. First one has to deal with the shell syntax,
and then with the command line syntax of individual commands. Shells
make it easy to work with files and the filesystems. It would be great
if it was just as easy to work with command lines.
Another thing that might be useful to standardize is the API for
loadable modules. Not sure if that can be done in a generic way across
shells, but providing a mechanism for extensions that could be written
in other languages would be very useful. I would expect that it would
be possible to use C/C++ and Java to write such modules/extensions.
I would be interested in hearing discussions (e.g. mailing
list/archive) of the enhanced shell standard.
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