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I'm just looking at LUA for the first time.  It seems like a great
tool for an embedding language for other programs.  I'm wondering if
it's also useful as a full-blown scripting language in the vein of
Perl or even shell scripting.

The language does not seem to include many "high level" constructs
for dealing with directories, etc., so these are probably covered in
additional libraries.  Are these delivered in some uniform manner, or
do most people just create their own routines for these tasks?