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- Subject: Unique directions for Lua?
- From: David Jeske <jeske@...>
- Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2002 21:44:09 -0800
In reading the recent list discussions about building a module system
for Lua, and having a few private discussions about the same topic, I
have an interesting question to those who have been happy embedding
Lua into an existing project:
What unique directions can Lua take which will make it better for
I've already voiced my opinion that amassing a large set of standard
modules for Lua (ala Perl, Python, Ruby, etc) is a wasted effort. One
motivation for that thought is that once Lua had exceptions, a
class-esq system, and a bunch of modules, it would largly be the same
as all those other systems, and it's just silly wheel-reinventing IMO,
to have so many similar systems.
Today, the way I see it, Lua has three major unique strengths:
1) It's Small and 100% ANSI C -- I don't think any other comperable
scripting language can say that.
2) It's VM is highly tuned and fast -- In fact, I'd like to see a
whitepaper written specifically about the Lua VM techniques so
it would be easier for languages such as Perl and Python to
adopt these techniques where it would help their performance.
3) It's terribly easy to embed -- This is partially due to #1 above.
In looking into it, the Python embedding API is really not very
different, but Python as a whole is more complicated, and that
contributes to some additional confusion. Although there are at
least as many examples of commercial software with Python embedded,
possibly more (IIS, Caligari Truespace, XCircuit, ABAQUS/CAE, and
My question is meant to fuel some interesting discussions about what
directions Lua can take which will make it more useful for it's
current target market, programmers choosing to add an embedded
Some examples of items discussed on the list which might be useful
1) Memory management optimizations for small memory for embedded use
2) More real-time Garbage collection optimizations for lowering
collection pause time (as it seems Lua has been picked up among
3) code-safety features such as "require variable declarations" or
static typing (ala unrealscript)
4) compiling Lua code into C
Do any of you have other ideas about unique features Lua could have
(or perhaps already has that I omitted above)?
David Jeske (N9LCA) + http://www.chat.net/~jeske/ + email@example.com