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Author image Gregor N. Purdy, Sr.


Change log for psh - The Perl SHell


A reverse-chronological ordered list of changes

1.8.1 [2007-07-20]


  • Applied patch from rafalka: http://sourceforge.net/support/tracker.php?aid=1635389 to fix path behavior on Windows.

1.8 [2003-01-18]


  • Removed module-specific VERSION variables (some were based on their CVS revision numbers.

1.7 [2003-01-16]


  • Incremented version so $Psh::VERSION > 1.67, which was the version for that module in the 0.009 release (because at that time, version was set according to the CVS revision, rather than to match the release). This should (finally) make CPAN happy.

1.1 [2003-01-16]


  • Put VERSION back in Psh.pm instead of in the main psh script.

  • Some copyright updates.

1.0 [2003-01-02]

New Features

  • The new if builtin allows mixing evaluation strategies. Example:

       if ( -r 'README' ) {
           if ( grep -q "Perl Shell" README ) {
               print "OK\n";
  • New forfile builtin:

       forfile *.txt less $_

    is equivalent to

       for i in *; do less $i; done

    in (ba)sh

  • New redirection and piping syntax - incompatible to the old sh-like syntax. The new syntax is allowing many nice things like redirecting to opened Perl filehandles ( command >[=FILEHANDLE])

  • Perl shell now integrates with Perl backticks, you you can finally do things like:

       $foo=`help strategy`
       chomp $foo
       if ( $foo =~ /.../ ) ...
  • New -F command line switch to disable processing of any pshrc files

  • New default strategy perl - send everything after 'p!' unparsed to the perl interpreter (might be used later on for a special rc file compiler)

  • New strategy darwin_apps - tries to locate Darwin/Mac OS X Appbundle programs and execute them.

  • Alias expansion is escapable using backslash: alias ls='ls --color' \ls

  • The sequence ESC-h is now per default bound to the new readline function "run-help" which will display any help about the current input line it can find. (works only in Term::ReadLine::Gnu)

  • It's now possible to bind simple commands with && and || like in a normal shell.

  • Global precommand modifiers: You can put noglob, noalias, noexpand in front of any command to disable the specified expansion or all of them.

  • Prompt themes - see the theme builtin.

  • Completion modules - allows large sets of predefined completion rules without loading them all at startup time - see the complete builtin.

New/enhanced builtins

  • modules

  • ulimit

  • printenv

  • hash

  • rehash

  • jobs has new flags -rsp

  • fc has protection against endless loops and a more sensible range parsing

  • which largely extended with flags -mrav

  • package for switching Perl namespace

  • Added a sudo builtin which adds some capabilities to the sudo command. (Michael Graham)


  • Major startup speedup

  • There was a small, not very often occurring bug related to the usage of Env::Array, due to a typo

  • Handling of ~ for username expansion should be bug-free now

  • The help builtin sometimes returned the wrong help (e.g. help set returned the help of setenv)

  • The parser parsed '&&' as if the user entered '& &&'.

  • @_ and $_ are saved between input lines.

  • If you're redirecting perl code, a new fork will be created. You'll therefore lose all variable changes etc. in redirected perl code. That's not as bad as it seems, as before the change, psh segfaulted most of the time you tried redirecting perl code.

  • Completion was a improved a bit - completions of filenames like "foo\ bar" (where backslash is used to escape whitespace) works a little bit better now. A complete rewrite of Completion is currently scheduled for 0.11


  • The package Psh::Job is now in the same file with Psh::Joblist. Psh::Job stays an object while Psh::Joblist was converted to a procedural interface as there was no need for OO here.

  • The package Psh::Locale::Base was renamed to Psh::Locale, so the Psh::Locale:: tree now only contains valid locales.

  • Many configuration variables have been removed. Please see README.upgrade and the new option builtin. Tieable options by Michael Graham.

  • Switch to new evaluation strategies system. Please also see README.upgrade

  • The builtin pshtokenize was removed as it duplicated code from the debug strategy.

  • The builtin which more conforms to the 'standard' which - it will only locate an executable by default. Strategy debug is similar to the old function of which. which knows some toggles tough for more advanced searches.

Other changes

  • The comment strategy was removed. Comments are now already recognized and ignored by the parser.

  • A limited version of the perlfunc strategy is now loaded by default. The old strategy perlfunc was renamed to perlfunc_heavy.

0.009 [2001-01-05]

New Features

  • New builtin rename - this does the same as Larry Wall's PPT program but profits from being integrated into psh (it can use psh subs and variables for the modification). - warp [2000-05-01]

  • Psh::OS::backtick() now can call and capture the output of psh builtins on Unix. - warp [2000-05-01]

  • Added new builtin fc which is similar to the command of the same name from bash - inspired by a comment on the SourceForge message board (and I finally start to like this command ;-). - warp [2000-05-03]

  • The builtin history now also accepts a text as argument. In that case it will only print commands containing that text. - warp [2000-07-08]

  • The builtin fc now understands the switch -p. Also it's more behaviour compatible with bash's fc.

  • New builtin bind which does keybindings (similar to bash). - Andrew Turner [2000-08-11]

  • New builtin drives which shows the available drives on Windows. - warp [2000-08-26]


  • New sub Psh::Util::prompt() for interactive prompting. - warp [2000-05-01]

  • Cleanups in Psh::OS::Unix::_setup_redirects and ...::_remove_redirects. - warp [2000-05-01]

  • Added Psh::add_history so builtins etc. can modify history easily. - warp [2000-07-08]

  • Quotes are removed from file names in redirections. - warp [2000-07-08]

  • Fixed variable substitution in Psh::PerlEval so that whitespace after a backslash does not split words anymore. - warp [2000-07-08]

  • Half-hearted attempt at getting whitespace and special characters in TAB completion right. - warp [2000-07-08]

  • Psh::OS::exit renamed to Psh::OS::exit_psh due to problems with POSIX's exit. - warp [2000-08-26]

  • Removed/reduced usage of Cwd.pm due to partly strange behaviour on non-UNIX systems. - warp [2000-08-26]

  • The help builtin cleans up the temp files it creates. - warp [2000-08-26]


  • The parser now allows usage of ->. - warp [2000-07-27]

  • Should work on Perl 5.004 again. - warp [2000-07-31]

  • Windows port works and tested on ActiveState Perl 5.6. - warp [2000-08-26]

  • Removed some errors and problems with Windows in prompt package. - warp [2000-07-31]

0.008 [2000-04-30]

New and Enhanced Built-ins

cd and dirs

The cd builtin now has a (currently unlimited) history list, accessible using:

  cd -/+/%number

The new builtin dirs displays the stack.


Adds a mightier and bash compatible way to define custom completions.


A firsttime user setup utility for the .pshrc file. It cannot do a lot currently but will grow in future.


Tries to emulate bash's behaviour.


Does not remove builtins of the same name anymore.

New Features

  • Extended Completion code for Perl (supports $#foo, $foo->{key, $foo->method, subroutine without &, perl reserved symbol)

  • Executable completion now even after initial ! for shell escape

  • Some minimal status code testing and error handling for user input.

  • Understands environment variable $IGNOREEOF.

  • Accepts the -i command line switch and ignores it for bash compatibility.

  • If the line you entered matches the last line it won't be added to the history.

  • On Unix, support for a global .pshrc file at /etc/pshrc.

  • New variable @Psh::executable_noexpand.

  • New variable $Psh::interactive which is set if psh is currently in interactive mode.

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed some small problems with globbing code.

  • Fixed problem with pod2man and CHANGES.pod reported on Sourceforge.

  • SIGTERM and SIGHUP are not ignored anymore and cause psh to exit instead.

  • Switch -r now reserved for restricted mode, new switch -f for alternative resource file.

  • Fixed problem with quoting which was not removed for the executable strategy.

  • Piping is now possible in aliases.

  • The parser now allows nesting aliases.

0.007 [2000-02-14]

Contributions primarily by Markus Peter (warp) and Simon Huggins (huggie).

New Features

  • Support for window titles. New environment variable $PSH_TITLE, $Psh::change_title, $Psh::window_title. The behavior is like prompt strings.

  • Strategy perlfunc is a default strategy again. $Psh::perlfunc_builtins determines wether Perl builtins should be evaled (default 0)

  • Builtin kill now supports sending a signal to a named job (e.g. "emacs & ; kill emacs").

  • Builtin strategy for loading strategies on demand and adding them to the list of strategies to use. Handy for strategies that are used less often than the core strategies.

  • Properly pipeable aliases.

  • Fallback and most other builtins are loaded on demand.

  • Converted &Psh::symbols() into a builtin, symbols.

  • New builtin set. Acts like bash's set and returns environment. Could be extended to allow set -o noclobber bash-isms to work.

  • New strategy auto_cd.

  • Builtin strategy now knows command available to list available strategies

Bug Fixes

  • The Unix resize handler now works correctly in big xterms.

  • Added print "\n" on CTRL-C to clean up display.

  • Fixed generation of $Psh::history_file.

Other Changes

  • Added README.perl5.004 to explain about File::Spec

  • Strategies fallback_builtin and perlfunc modularized and moved into Psh::Strategy::*

  • Perlfunc configuration variables are now in Psh::Strategy::Perlfunc for cleanliness.

  • Removed &Psh::news() since there's no need for it being included in psh just for the tryme script.

  • List of builtins for which autoloading is supported is built automatically during startup.

0.006 [2000-01-03]

Refinements to 0.005.

New Features:

  • New builtin delenv.

  • Builtin kill accepts multiple PIDs.

  • Saving the history file now respects $Psh::history_size if Term::ReadLine::Perl is used

  • Manifest Filters for pipeline code, e.g. try:

        ls | s/y/k/                      # Substitution. Example is a Y2K fix.
        ls | { print ++$i, ": $_"; }q    # Quick. Iterate over lines.
        netstat | { $_[1]>2; }g          # Grepish. Print line if { ... } evaluates to true.

    See the psh documentation for more information.

  • New recursive globbing using **/ (Example: grep anything **/*.pm).

Win32 Port Enhancements:

  • It now works. 0.005 was missing a couple of patches.

  • Makes use of system registry.

  • Implementations of execute_complex_command(), get_hostname(), get_all_users(), get_home_dir(), and get_known_hosts().


  • Moved prompt code and perl evaluation code into own packages.

  • Implementing redirects and pipes in psh.

  • Clean-ups for all code using filenames (now using File::Spec).

  • More I18N.

  • Removed usage of $ENV{HOME} in portable code.

0.005 [1999-12-28]

A very functional release.

New Evaluation Strategies

  • brace

  • fallback_builtin

    Builtins of this type (currently searched in package Psh::Builtins::Fallback) will be executed AFTER no program of that name was found. This allows simulation of common commands like ls and env on systems not having such binaries.

  • auto_resume

New Bultins

  • builtin

  • env

    On systems with an env binary installed it will use the binary, on other systems (namely Win32) it will print a list of environment variables.

  • help

  • unalias

Builtin Enhancements

  • alias

    Changed builtin alias so that 'alias name' displays the alias definition for that name.

  • bg

    It's now possible to do 'bg commandname' (e.g. 'bg emacs') fg has the same behaviour for consistency.

  • cd

    Respects CDPATH now and sets OLDPWD.

Portability Enhancements

  • Added portability infrastructure.

  • Working Win32 port (though it has limited features).

Completion Enhancements

  • Variables for bookmark completion are now @Psh::Completion::bookmarks and @Psh::Completion::netprograms.

  • New Perl Hashkey completion will TAB complete the name of keys for Perl hashes (if they are not written in quotes).

  • Support for user defined completions by %Psh::Completion::custom_completions.

  • Perl Symbol completion now supports package names and package name completion.

  • Support for TAB completions for builtins.

  • A custom_completions entry may now also be code. If the value of a custom_completions key/value pair is a sub that sub will be called and the result used as rules.

  • A rule for custom_completions may now have an optional third argument. If that argument is true, the custom_completion will replace the standard completions instead of adding to them.

  • Filename Completion respects the FIGNORE environment variable now.

Other Changes

  • Documentation updates.

  • Locales defined for: Default (English), French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

  • New fallback builtins: ls

  • Prompt evaluation is now more bash compatible and handles even more complex prompts.

  • Replaced Psh::OS::Unix::glob() - now uses its own glob routine instead of CORE::glob() - and is significantly faster (important for executable completion).

  • New variables: $Psh::Prompt_cont, $Psh::result_array.

  • Moved almost all code from psh into Psh, Psh::Builtins and Psh::Util.

  • Environment variable CURRENT_SHELL is set to the path to psh.

Bug Fixes

  • Generation of weekday names.

  • Small fixes for setenv, print_list and abs_path.

  • Fixed signal description generation.

0.004 [1999-12-13]

This release fixes bugs, refactors the code, and adds the following features:

  • Background process management much more like bash.

  • Perl code in addition to executables may be put in the background.

  • Pipelines.

  • Initial internationalization.

  • New built-ins: alias, export, setenv.

  • A flexible set of evaluation strategies that can be selected or reordered by setting a configuration variable.

  • Prompt strings can have escapes like \07 (ASCII BEL) or \10 (ASCII LF).

  • avoided trying to save history if there wasn't even a ReadLine module.

  • added $psh::debugging variable to hold the debugging state, so it can be turned on and off in a running psh.

  • A $psh::echo variable to control whether perl results of evaluation are printed.

  • The which builtin now shows which strategy will apply to a given command line

  • Grab more input automatically if <<BLOCK appears anywhere on the line, or if the line ends with an open brace.

  • results of &psh::which() searches are hashed.

  • Thorough documentation of every user-accessible variable and function

0.003 [1999-11-23]

Contributions from Markus Peter:

  • Rudimentary background jobs handling and job management.

  • Signal handling.

  • Filename completion.

  • Updates to history handling.

  • Flexible %built_ins mechanism for adding built-in functions.

  • Smart mode is on by default.

0.00205 [1999-11-08]

  • Changed prompting to pass prompt string into &iget(), which passes it on to &Term::ReadLine::readline() or prints it out if the ReadLine module is not available. Thanks to Sam Tregar and tmb at lumo.com.

  • Changed history handling so that empty lines and those consisting of entirely whitespace are not recorded.

  • Fixed a couple of typos.

  • Changed the regular expression for `smart mode' to allow vi +3 psh in addition to ls -l.

  • Now uses Getopt::Std for option processing.

  • Fixed the code that detects the presence of Term::ReadLine.

  • Made more use of debug mode to print out advisory information.

  • Use zero instead of undef to set Term::ReadLine::MinLine so that we don't get undef usage trouble in the guts of Term::ReadLine::Gnu.

0.00204 [1999-11-01]

  • Added a bunch of stuff to the TODO file.

  • Added parens around each part of the $interactive detection expression.

  • Prompt variables are now dealt with via %prompt_vars, which can be modified, so that custom prompt variables can be created.

  • Added %built_ins.

0.00203 [1999-08-28]

  • Fixed typo that caused a bug where prompt variable $ didn't work. Thanks to John Labovitz.

0.00202 [1999-08-23]


0.00201 [1999-08-23]


0.002 [1999-07-23]

Second release.

0.001 [1999-07-23]

Initial release