bash has been my command shell for my entire Linux-using life. It was the default on the first Linux distribution I had ever tried and I never questioned it.
On a recent project I was forced to use a shared account (which is bad practice in general, but that’s another story) and noticed that zsh was the default shell. After my initial revulsion at how weird it was, I stumbled across a surprisingly pleasant feature: command history was actually, like, good? I started typing a long command and forgot the rest of the arguments. At that point I hit the up arrow to start scrolling through my command history, but zsh actually went ahead and searched my command history for the best match. A trivial but pleasant feature.
Intrigued, I wondered what else zsh could do. Now the usual way you learn about anything IT related is to Google search it, but having done a lot of home projects the past few years I discovered late what contractors and hobbyists have known for a long time: do a YouTube DIY video search instead.
So, I tried it out for zsh and found this slick, high-effort video by a pretty cool dude with 115,000 views on why zsh rules, why you should switch, and step-by-step on how to do it. Check it out. The rest of this post is my marveling at how cool the internet is.
Yes, the internet might be better than ever? I’m blown away that something as boring as an alternative command-shell video is so popular. If you told me 115,000 people in the world cared about this topic and found this video I never would’ve believed it, at first blush. As bizarre and eclectic and unpopular as your interests might be, there are still probably hundreds of thousands of people in the world just like you.
Long-term internet users have complained for years about how dumbed down it has become with each billion people that have been added. While true, the common surface of the internet is stupider than ever, being able to connect with a large community of people with interests less than, say, 1 in 50,000 people have, is incredible.
Go forth and find your soul tribe, weirdos.