Zsh Mailing List Archive
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Re: ZSH's future

> I know, I hate these vague and open-ended subject lines, too. This is
> not really related to zsh development either. So feel free to quit
> reading, if you've even gotten this far...

Well, it's been a while since we had a `future of zsh' discussion,
so I'll jump in.

> How do the people actively involved in ZSH development think zsh
> compares with ksh93? (Windows95, ksh93. Yuck. What's the world coming
> to? ;-) 
> But I'm wondering if people will start flocking to ksh93 (now that it
> appears to be easier to get a hold of), and the incentive and impetus
> for actively developing zsh will wane such that zsh will be more of a
> "hobby" than it already is.

As long as we enjoy using and developing zsh, it doesn't really matter
what everyone else does, but I predict the use of zsh will rise rather
than fall in the future.  We've made some really good progress since
zsh-2.5.03 and I think things will continue to get better.  Also, considering
the number of hours I've been devoting to zsh, I believe it's gone way beyond
a hobby for me :-)

> I think zsh's niche is being king of the interactive features and
> conveniences. Perhaps that should be stressed more in the ZSH WWW
> pages?

I think this is the key point.  From an interactive standpoint, zsh is
the most `natural' feeling shell I've used.  In particular, zsh's
completion facilities, csh-style history mechanisms, and extended
globbing facilities make it much better at interactive use than ksh.
Ksh (especially with the new features) is probably better for heavy-duty
scripts, but since Perl is widely available, I don't think this is such
a big deal.

This is not to say that we won't add any of these features to zsh.
We will probably add some of these at some time in the future.  But if we
add any of them, it should be because it is generally useful and not just
because ksh has it.

I agree that we would stress the interactive facilities of zsh in the
documentation and web pages.  I've been thinking about adding such wording
to the man pages, but couldn't decide exactly what to say.

Richard Coleman

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