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

Bart Schaefer wrote:
> Here's something that occurred to me:
> During startup, if none of the ${ZDOTDIR:-$HOME}/.z* files are found,
> zsh looks for (but does not complain if it does not find) a "new user"
> module, e.g. zsh/newuser, and loads it.
> (Or the module could be loaded unconditionally, and the test for whether
> the .z* files exist could be part of the module bootup.)

The second alternative is more natural from the point of view of
modularity, although a little less efficient.  Presumably we could
safely attempt to unload the module immediately.

> We could provide a default implementation of zsh/newuser that looks
> for files in /usr/share/zsh/$VERSION (or the equivalent configure-
> time path) and either simply reads them, or copies them to the .z*
> locations.  Admins who don't want this could choose not to install
> the module, or could provide their own rewrite.

This is a neat idea.

One thing that occurs to me is that we need to make it easy for admins
to override the defaults.  Hence I think it should look in, say,
<install-path>/newuser/ and <install-path>/$VERSION/newuser/, probably
in that order since the latter will be installed by default, for
whatever files seem appropriate, where <install-path> is /usr/share/zsh
or whatever.  It's possible that version specific code might be
necessary, but the same problem turns up with all initialisation files,
so I don't think that need stop us allowing a global override.  (This
could then decide to look for version specific code, of course.)

Peter Stephenson <pws@xxxxxxx>                  Software Engineer
CSR PLC, Churchill House, Cambridge Business Park, Cowley Road
Cambridge, CB4 0WZ, UK                          Tel: +44 (0)1223 692070

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