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>Is there other ways that lua outputs feedback?

The Lua core *never* outputs anything, not even error messages. That was an
important change introduced in Lua 5.0.

>> plus of course print to handle "=" lines in
>> interactive mode. It seems to me that it's easier to replace two 3 functions.
>Hmm... I've seen this before; at the prompt, you enter an equal sign
>followed by something.  Being new to lua, I don't know what that signifies.
>Can you explain?

This only applies to lua.c: in interactive mode, values listed in a line
beginnning with "=" are printed (with "print"). This is for convenience only.

>From the lua man page:

  If a line starts with `=', then lua displays the values of all the
  expressions in the remainder of the line. The expressions must be
  separated by commas.