Subject: Re: Usability and the default shell
To: Roland Illig <>
From: Aleksey Cheusov <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 12/05/2006 20:40:05
> Alan Barrett wrote:
 >> On Fri, 06 Oct 2006, Pavel Cahyna wrote:
 >>>>a) /bin/sh's built-in default is no line editing at all.
 >>>>b) There is no default /etc/skel/.shrc.
 >> Oh, I missed that.  Thanks.
 >> What do people think about adding "set -o tabcomplete" to /etc/shrc?
 >> Changing tabcomplete to treat the first word specially (look for
 >> commands instead of files)?
 >> Implementing braceexpand?  (Which should definitely be off in sh's
 >> built-in defaults, because it breaks script compatibility.)
 >> If all that was done, I could stop using bash.

> I didn't know that the NetBSD /bin/sh was so powerful. I think for an
> interactive shell all those nice-to-have features should be
> enabled. This will make users think twice if they need Bash at all. I
> just need Bash for command line editing and tab completion. :)

I use UNIX-like OSes for several years and still don't understand for
what reason people tend to combine two completely different shells:
interactive shell and command shell (/bin/sh). Why not to completely
seperate /bin/sh from the interactive shell, make it as small as
possible, make it statically linked (or at least without linking it
with libedit and libtermcap). Additional benefit for this is that such
a lighweight /bin/sh will be faster for configure-like things.

Best regards, Aleksey Cheusov.