bin/160689: FreeBSD should have .cshrc updated for modern hardware and useful aliases installed by default

Martin Tournoij martin at
Mon Sep 26 17:40:11 UTC 2011

The following reply was made to PR bin/160689; it has been noted by GNATS.

From: Martin Tournoij <martin at>
To: bug-followup at, wkoszek at
Cc: tcsh at
Subject: Re: bin/160689: FreeBSD should have .cshrc updated for modern
 hardware and useful aliases installed by default
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2011 19:38:44 +0200

 Incidentally, I was thinking of the same thing yesterday. Too many times I've
 heard people complain about the "backward" tcsh shell, and everyone's heard
 about (but few have actually read) "csh programming considered harmful" and
 just assume tcsh is an old relic from the dark ages...  Well, in part it is of
 course, but then again, one might argue half of UNIX is, in any case, it's an
 excellent interactive shell which works quite well IMHO.
 My two cents however:
 - Aliases are user specific. I don't think the default config should set a lot
   of complicated aliases (or completions).
 - Colors do not always work, the default tcsh/ls colors assume a white
   background and don't work too well on a black one. Good ol' grey/white
   *always* works.
   Linux, for example, almost always assumes a black background, as a white
   background user this can be *very* annoying if yellow or bright green text
   flashes across your screen).
   And white and black are only two choices ...  Using the default monochrome
   is the only "safe" default.
 - A few options can be turned on by default, a quick look at my tcshrc:
   # Show options when autocompleting
   set autolist
   # Basic corrections when completing
   set autocorrect
   # Use history to aid expansion (Best hidden tcsh feature IMHO)
   set autoexpand
   # file completion
   set filec
   And maybe a few others such as rmstar or printexitval ...
 - Sourcing from /usr/share/tcs/misc.csh *by default* seems like a bad idea.
   Either make the changes to /etc/csh.cshrc or change the defaults upstream
 - There is already an advanced completion example in /usr/share/examples/tcsh/
   ... More examples (aliases, options) can always be added ... A pointer in
 	the login message or default cshrc might be a good idea ...
 ... Maybe it's a good idea to discus these changed upstream? tcsh has an
 active(-ish) mailing list with a few developers.
 I've CC-ed this email to the tcsh discussion list (tcsh at
 Link to FreeBSD PR for tcsh people:
 Martin Tournoij <martin at> | |
 These activities have their own rules and methods of concealment which
 seek to mislead and obscure.
 		-- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960

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