Zsh Mailing List Archive
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Re: Good, easy to use, upstream defaults for zsh (i.e. improving usability)

On 7/10/05, Mike Hernandez <sequethin@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 7/10/05, Keir Mierle <mierle@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > With one problem.
> >
> > Defaults. Or lack thereof. It is easy to claim that zsh is so customizable that
> > there cannot possibly be any set of defaults that will satisfy everyone. And
> > they would be correct. But it is incorrect to say that there cannot be a
> > default configuration that is superior to the current default, most of the
> > time, for the vast majority of people.
> Though I'm not a developer, I can't help but reply to this.   I've
> used many linux distributions, and have built linux from scratch
> (linuxfromscratch.org). I've also used FreeBSD and OpenBSD, and OS X.
> Each comes with it's own set of defaults (apart from LFS which has no
> default zsh config, due to it's being built directly from source).
> Most programs leave any customization to the end user.  If you use zsh
> with any of the above mentioned OSes you'll find a slightly different
> set of defaults.

So what? Did you stop to think for a second, that if the default zsh
config didn't
suck, then the various distributions might use it?
> I would prefer, as an end user, that the developers focus their
> efforts on producing the best possible shell, and leave the
> customization to us.

And as an end user, who on occasion tries to evangelize zsh, I would prefer if 
developers spent a a small amount of time making zsh work well, by default, most
of the time, for most people.

Me: Try zsh, it rocks.
Friend: Ok, I got zsh. This prompt sucks. How do I fix it?
Me: Go get a .zshrc from the net
Friend: Ok, completion doesn't complete .pdf's for acroread like you
said it would.
Me: Go spend hours tweaking your .zshrc.
Friend: Gah! Why don't they just include this by default?
Me: Beats me.
Friend: Screw this, I'm going back to bash. It's available on most
platforms anyway,
why go through the pain of copying around my .zshrc?

It is unclear to me why so many fight so hard to prevent good defaults from 
making it into many products (especially in open source). Not everyone has the
time or motivation to customize and tweak zsh for hours; why not at least try to
make it work well out of the box?


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