Zsh Mailing List Archive
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Re: setopt interactivecomments

On 04/16/2014 10:37 AM, shawn wilson wrote:

It's disabled because it always has been, and therefore enabling it might
break longstanding usage.

My adoption of Linux was set back about ten years by this sort of thinking. The first time I ever succeeded in get a Linux to boot (Slackware I think it was in the mid 90's) I'm at a command line with no command recall, no nuthin' really, and even the bleeding backspace key does not work. I'm expected to work with that. "This is Linux?" I asks myself after a few hours of suffering, and run back to DOS, where I had become accustomed to the sweet, sublime perfection of the 4DOS shell. When I tried Linux again, I had benefit of some friends who explained to me that it was 'nix tradition that things be made as difficult as possible for the beginner, and that the shells especially, as they come out of the box, are particularly sadistically crippled, and *deliberately* so.

It was shown to me how to get the backspace key working and how to get the shell at least functioning up to half the level of command.com in DOS. Of course after some of the obligatory purgatory of getting to know a few things I now know that the shells (particularly zsh) have an almost unbelievable power if you get the incantations right. (Tho I think 4DOS spoiled me forever with it's combination of power, simplicity, consistency, transparency and intuitiveness. Learning new things in 4DOS was so easy that you could almost do it in your sleep, that's why I'm always bitchin' now ;-)

It was longstanding usage that we write with goose quill on parchment. Let's forget about longstanding usage, break with all tradition, and have zsh, as she comes out of the box, show folks what she can do. Let's enable all the stuff that almost everyone is almost sure to want anyway. Let's even be so bold as to have the backspace key working by default! Of course there should always be a 'longstanding usage' version for folks who still use a VT100 and teletype connected to a steam powered mainframe, but for the rest of us, I'd say the backspace key is here to stay.

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