But yeah I still think that idea has merit... Somewhere on my blog I made the observation that Python 3 and Perl 6 are both worse than their predecessors for the shell scripting domain. They're better languages in general, but worse for that domain -- which is still important and getting bigger along with the rest of computing, IMO.
I think Oil would be useful in any case, but both Python 3 and Perl 6 opened up that gap in the design space even wider. I mean the string is the CORE TYPE of such programs, so it's important that it be logically applicable to the problem.
I'm sure many people saw the Mercurial / Python 3 thread on HN last week: https://lobste.rs/s/pnuak4/mercurial_s_journey_reflections_o...
Basically the same story, although I questioned their decision of not embedding the Python 2 interpreter instead. I think the only reason not to do that is "memes".
With regards to being better / worse in the shell scripting domain, I would say that currently performance wise, Perl is better for shell scripting. But development of shell script-wise, I think Raku has superior handling of command line parameters built in: https://docs.raku.org/language/create-cli