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> However, I cannot fathom why anyone would want to use 
> floating point keys in a hash table. Integer indexes and
> string indexes make sense, but what is ` x[1.5] = "foo" ' 
> supposed to express?

In my case, it means that at 1:30 AM, a simulator in my game should have value "foo".  (It maps a response curve based on time).

A couple of other examples; I could think of more if pressed:
x[0.5] = "foo"			-- there's a 50% chance of picking "foo"
x[0.5] = "one half"		-- translate common floats to human-readable forms

Part of what makes lua so simple and extensible is the concept of one single data structure that can hold *anything*.  Even though it's more efficient to limit the language to integer-based arrays, that seems to me to be hobbling the power of the language for the sake of an implementation.