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About "+=", "while (foo(); x = bar()) ... end", etc:

What about resurrecting the yacc-based parser, adapting it to the new
syntax, and including it in Lua-4.1, even if the default would be to
not even compile it? Then it would be easier for users to experiment
with changes on the syntax...

Other ideas: one could load a library and replace the default "dofile"
and "dostring" functions on a certain Lua interpreter; one could write
in standard Lua a program that would work like the functions
"handle_argv" and "main" in src/lua/lua.c, but using a parser loaded
on the fly... etc, etc.

I think that Lua is a fantastic language, but its syntax is sometimes
too verbose for people (like me!) who would like to use it for
one-shot programs, not only for "serious stuff" or for (there's a lot
of irony here, of course) programs that have to be maintainable by
non-programmers later. I guess that one of the main reasons to keep it
so simple is to make it easier to construct metaprogramming tools, but
these aren't ready yet...

BTW, here's a link to a very interesting paper on metaprogramming:
"Building Source-Code Processors for Icon Programs", by Ralph E.


  Eduardo Ochs