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The Z-Shell Guide to Developing a Replacement Shell

Perhaps the best and worst part of developing something like a replacement shell is how many undocumented functions you must use and implement. A large portion of the APIs used by Windows shells are either non- or poorly documented by Microsoft. For the most part, this makes sense. Who besides Microsoft would ever write a Windows shell? Not to mention the fact that the millions of Windows users out there have become familiar with the default Windows shell, Explorer. In fact, many think of it as the operating system.

As it turns out, there is a large group of power users out there that want to customize their desktop experience to the fullest extent (which, of course, includes you). Consequently, many projects have sprung up aiming to design a "better" Windows shell (obviously Z-Shell is one of those projects). However, anyone wanting to create a Windows shell replacement must be willing to spend countless hours researching and experimenting.

In order to help future shell developers, this "online book" has been started in order to provide a valuable source of shell related information. As Z-Shell is developed and problems are solved, more chapters will appear and existing ones will grow. Check back often for updated and new chapters on various topics.


Last edited Jul 9, 2007 at 7:40 PM by zhuman, version 4


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