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>Is there any way to access the precompiler from within lua?

Lua always precompiles chunks before running them.

>I want to have my lua code precompile files before executing dofile()
>so the next time the script is run it will run the precompiled version
>if this source file hasn't changed.

The easiest solution for this is to define a function around the whole chunk
and return it. Something like

	return function ()
		... (chunk code)

Then do
	if CACHE[name]==nil or file "name" has changed then

Of course, you could redefined "dofile" to do this, using %dofile to get the
original "dofile". You can also hide CACHE as an upvalue to the new "dofile".