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why
Z shell (zsh)
is cooler
than
your shell
   Brendon Rapp - Cave Lunch #1
why
Z shell (zsh)
is cooler
than
your shell
(unless your shell is zsh)

        Brendon Rapp - Cave Lunch #1
(alternate title)

she sells
Z shells
by the
sea shore
Donald Knuth
Professor Emeritus of
Computer Science at
Stanford

Author of The Art of
Computer Programming

"Father of algorithmic
analysis"

Creator of TeX
In 1986, Knuth was asked to write a guest
feature for the "Programming Pearls" column in
the Communications of the ACM journal.

The task was to write a program that would:
read a file of text, determine the n most
frequently used words, and print out a sorted
list of those words along with their frequencies.
Knuth produced a solution in Pascal that, when
printed, was about 10 pages in length. It was
well designed, thoroughly commented, and
used a novel data structure for managing the
word count list.
In response, Doug McIlroy wrote a shell script
that produced the same output.
In response, Doug McIlroy wrote a shell script
that produced the same output.

McIlroy's script was six lines long.
Doug McIlroy's Shell Script
tr -cs A-Za-z 'n' |
tr A-Z a-z |
sort |
uniq -c |
sort -rn |
sed ${1}q
A brief history of shells
1971: Thompson shell
    ● Ken Thompson, Bell Labs, first Unix shell
    ● interactive interpreter, not scripting environment

1977: Bourne shell
    ● scripting language
    ● Version 7 Unix, PDP-11
    ● 1984: The UNIX Programming Environment, Kernighan & Pike
    ● The shell of commercial Unixes
        ○ System V, AIX, HP-UX, SCO, Solaris, SunOS
        ○ Still the default on some of these (that are still alive)
    ● /bin/sh
        ○ compatibility mode in modern shells
        ○ symlink or hard link to compatible shells in modern Unixes
A brief history of shells
1978: C shell
    ● BSD Unix
    ● More "C-like" scripting syntax (kinda)
    ● Command history
    ● Aliasing
    ● tcsh - newer C shell, default on FreeBSD, and OS X systems
       10.0-10.2

1983: Korn shell
    ● Bell Labs (AT&T)
    ● Proprietary until 2000
    ● vi and emacs editing modes
    ● Lots of C shell features
    ● "middle road" between Bourne and C shell
    ● pdksh - default on OpenBSD
A brief history of shells
1989: Bourne Again shell (bash)
    ● GNU, GPL
    ● first legitimate Free shell (/bin/sh compatible)
        ○ shells like ksh and csh became Free only much later on
    ● standard shell for Linux distros, Mac OS X 10.3+
    ● TAB completion
    ● extended scripting syntax

1990: Z shell
    ● most closely resembles Korn shell
    ● /bin/bash compatibility, drop-in replacement for Bash
    ● "new" (despite being over 20 years old)
    ● awesome stuff I'll talk about next
Why use zsh?
First, a reason that's
   kind of lame...
If you're using Mac OS X...
... your Bash is old!



(OS X 10.8.2... and many earlier OS X versions too)
OS X: GPL Wasteland

● no GPLv3 on OS X

● OS X bash: final version released as GPLv2

● Homebrew has latest Bash (but many use
  situation as an excuse to try zsh instead)
Examples of Actual Zsh
   Awesomeness
zsh: cd completion
zsh: cd completion
zsh: cd completion
bash: cd completion
bash: cd completion
bash: cd completion
zsh: git completion
zsh: git completion
bash: git completion
bash: git completion




It's possible to get completion for git (and many other commands) in Bash
by installing bash-completion package, but the completion is still
rudimentary compared to zsh:
 ● no cycling through options with repeated tabs
 ● no accompanying info with commands, just a list
 ● breaks to new prompt line on each tab instead of updating in-place

There may be ways to improve that situation and bring it more in line with
zsh, but with zsh, you get it basically out-of-the-box, with a single command
in your .zshrc to enable completions.
zsh: path expansion




           (hit TAB, and then...)
zsh: path expansion




 (... the path is expanded in place, provided there is only
               one path matching that pattern)
zsh: path expansion




 (If there isn't only one distinct match for the pattern...)
zsh: path expansion




(... the first TAB will expand up until it hits an ambiguity... )
zsh: path expansion




    (... the next TAB lists the possible matches... )
zsh: path expansion




 (... then TAB begins cycling through the possibilities... )
zsh: path expansion




 (... until you get to the one you want, and hit the Right
                    arrow to "select" it ... )
zsh: path expansion




  (... and then TAB resumes matching through the rest
                       of the path)
bash: path expansion?




           (hit TAB ... nothing)
zsh: path replacement




       (Whoops. I meant /usr/local/share)
zsh: path replacement
zsh: path replacement




           (no more "cd ../../../")
bash: path replacement?
zsh: right prompt
PROMPT (or PS1): left prompt (like bash)

RPROMPT (or RPS1): right prompt!
zsh: right prompt
zsh: spelling correction
zsh: spelling correction
zsh: spelling correction
zsh: aliases
Normal aliases:

alias ls='ls --color=auto'
zsh: aliases
Global aliases - appear anywhere in command
string

alias -g gp='| grep -i'

% ps ax gp ruby
=> ps ax | grep -i ruby
zsh: aliases
Suffix aliases - "Open With..."

alias -s rb=vim
alias -s log="less -MN"
alias -s html=chromium

% user.rb
=> vim user.rb
% development.log
=> less -MN development.log
% index.html
=> chromium index.html
zsh: extended globbing




Normal globbed search
zsh: extended globbing




Extended globbed search: **/ = recursive
zsh: environment variable editing
zsh: programmable file renaming
zsh-history-substring-search




Down arrow = cycle through command history
zsh-history-substring-search




Type part of command and hit up arrow, cycle through only
commands that begin with that string
zsh-syntax-highlighting




Highlights valid commands in green, invalid commands in
red

Supports shell commands as well as executables in $PATH
oh-my-zsh
Other zsh bullet points
● Simple configuration style
● Shared history
  ○ simple & fast, requires some monkeying to replicate
     in bash
● Lots of additions for shell scripting
● Output redirection to multiple destinations

And, apparently, plenty of other stuff deeper than I've
gotten so far.
The End




          Go 49ers

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Why Zsh is Cooler than Your Shell