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Hello, thanks for all your advices. I didn't expect that so many people get interested in this matter :-)

setlocale works great with single byte encodings but C locale system is just not fit for multi bytes encodings (i.e. isalnum takes a 'character' as an argument, but one MBCS character is actually two characters.) 

well, eventually this situation gets better with wide character supporting functions such as iswalpha, iswdigit, etc (currently these 'w' functions does not support locales) but until then I will just simply use [_A-Za-z].

Best regards,

P.S. I seriously considered modifying all Lua source codes to use wchar_t* instead of char* and adjusting all string related library functions - thus making u(nicode)lua - but the amount of work is tremendous so I gave up :-)

P.S. 2 Is there really no tag method "equal?"