Chapter 6: The future of zsh

6.1: What bugs are currently known and unfixed? (Plus recent important changes)

Bugs tend to be tracked on the zsh-workers mailing list; see the next section. Check the mailing list to see if a bug has been reported. (There is a bug tracker at the zsh development site at Sourceforge, but it's not in active use.)

To see how recent versions of the shell have changed, look at the README file in the source distribution. This indicates the most important changes, and in particular draws attention to incompatibilities you might notice.

6.2: Where do I report bugs, get more info / who's working on zsh?

The shell is being maintained by various (entirely self-appointed) subscribers to the mailing list,
so mail on any issues (bug reports, suggestions, complaints...) related to the development of the shell should be sent there. If you want someone to mail you directly, say so. Most patches to zsh appear there first.

Note that this location has just changed (January 1999), and the instructions to go with it are slightly different --- in particular, if you are already subscribed, the instructions about how to unsubscribe are different.

Please note when reporting bugs that many exist only on certain architectures, which the developers may not have access to. In this case debugging information, as detailed as possible, is particularly welcome.

Two progressively lower volume lists exist, one with messages concerning the use of zsh,
and one just containing announcements: about releases, about major changes in the shell, or this FAQ, for example,
(posting to the last one is currently restricted).

Note that you should only join one of these lists: people on zsh-workers receive all the lists, and people on zsh-users will also receive the announcements list.

The lists are handled by an automated server. The instructions for zsh-announce and zsh-users are the same as for zsh-workers: just change zsh-workers to whatever in the following.

To join zsh-workers, send email to
(the actual content is unimportant). Replace subscribe with unsubscribe to unsubscribe. The mailing software (ezlm) has various bells and whistles: you can retrieve archived messages. Mail for detailed information. Adminstrative matters are best sent to real name is Geoff Wing <>.

An archive of mailings for the last few years can be found at at the main zsh archive in Australia.

Of course, you can also post zsh queries to the Usenet group; if all else fails, you could even e-mail me.

6.3: What's on the wish-list?

The code bears the marks of the ages and many things could be done much better with a rewrite. A more efficient set of code for lexing/parsing/execution might also be an advantage. Volunteers are particularly welcome for these tasks.

Some future possibilities which have been suggested:

6.4: Did zsh have problems in the year 2000?

Not that I heard of; it's up to you to be careful with two-digit dates, though, which are produced by the prompt escapes %W and %D, and also by the command `print -P'. Earlier versions of zsh may show problems here.


Thanks to zsh-list, in particular Bart Schaefer, for suggestions regarding this document. Zsh has been in the hands of archivists Jim Mattson, Bas de Bakker, Richard Coleman, Zoltan Hidvegi and Andrew Main, and the mailing list has been run by Peter Gray, Rick Ohnemus, Richard Coleman, Karsten Thygesen and Geoff Wing, all of whom deserve thanks. The world is eternally in the debt of Paul Falstad for inventing zsh in the first place (though the wizzo extended completion is by Sven Wischnowsky).

Copyright Information:

This document is copyright (C) P.W. Stephenson, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2012. This text originates in the U.K. and the author asserts his moral rights under the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.

Permission is hereby granted, without written agreement and without license or royalty fees, to use, copy, modify, and distribute this documentation for any purpose, provided that the above copyright notice appears in all copies of this documentation. Remember, however, that this document changes monthly and it may be more useful to provide a pointer to it rather than the entire text. A suitable pointer is "information on the Z-shell can be obtained on the World Wide Web at URL".