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   Somewhat lengthy message follows...

   It seems that I work with Lua for a while, feeling comfortable with the
static nature of upvalues, and then I make a dumb mistake and start to
wonder about them again.  I wonder why can't a local function access an
enclosing function's local variables?  (I'm sure this is caused by
expectactions picked up while working with Pascal, in particular; and
declared variables, in general)   I understand the explanation that the
variable might no longer exist - and I *assume* that this is because Lua
needs to be able to make a compile-time decision on this issue, yes? 
Consider the following contrived example:

function f(x)
  local fl

  local g = function(a)
    local gl = fl  -- ERROR: cannot access a variable in outer scope

  fl = 7
  g(123)    -- if allowed, this would have been a "good" call
  fl = nil
  g(234)    -- this is the situation Lua's visibility rule is trying to
            -- but why can't g see the "value" of fl as nil?

   Admittedly this is an extremely contrived example.  (simply passing fl
as a formal parameter would fix it)  But I can't get seem to get a firm
handle on why this should be illegal.  How is it different from this (which
does work):

   Also, just regarding local variable visibility in general:  I know some
discussion has gone on before in the list about local versus globals vars,
but...  Let's say I build a string like "fl = 123" and execute it via
dostring() within the body of f() above.  What happens?  The assignment
occurs to a global "fl" not a local "fl".  Is it another aspect of a
compile-time issue that prevents Lua from having some mechanism for forcing
an expression to be evaluated in a more local scope?

   It might be legitimate to ask why I care.  <grin>  The other thread
regarding macros got me thinking about this again.  If functions could
execute with local scope inside a function you could do a bit more
macro-type coding - defining "for" loops for example that process local
data.  Hmm, can I come up with an example...  This is probably the silliest
implementation of a "for" statement from a performance standpoint, but just
for amusement consider:

function testfor()
  local i

  local for = function(init, comp, incr, body)
    while dostring("return ("..comp..")") do

  for("i=1", "i <= 10", "i=i+1", [[
    local i2 = i * i
    print("square of "..i.." is "..i2)

  print(i) -- is still nil, not 11
           -- what we were attempting to get was *local* effects from the
function call

   Again, very contrived.  But I think that functions with local scope
*could* be made to behave very much like macros in many cases.  I'm looking
forward to real macros though.  :-)