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Here is the first draft of my "Lua short reference", part 1 (language and
libraries - part 2 will cover the C API):

It is undoubtedly full of the most horrible mistakes and omissions, so
feedback at any level is greatly appreciated.

Please do not distribute this draft version.


I first couldn't be able to download it, but since Virgil's message, I could.
It looks very nice and complete.


"escape sequences are not interpreted between [[ ]]" .. "but newlines are allowed."

In t = {x=5, y=10; "yes", "no"}
the semi-colon is no longer required in Lua 5.0, but of course is still valid.
Perhaps you should mention ';' and ',' are equivalent.

"function ( ... ) body [return values] end": it is not obvious that ellipsis can go after an actual list of parameters.

"Object function getting extra arg self": you should find a way to mention that self is the first argument, ie. equivalent to " = function(self, ...) ... end"

Strictly speaking, you mention '..' operator several times before explaining its function.

tonumber: "Converts string x to a number in base b": I would rather write something like "Convert string x representing a number in base b to a decimal number" or something shorter :-)

GC: I don't know what KiB are... You should write KB, or Kbytes as in the manual.

I don't like much the notation "print ([, values])", it may be ambiguous, perhaps use "print(val[, val...])", or "print(args)" like you do elsewhere.

I am not sure to understand what "normalized fraction" (math.frexp and math.ldexp) is, but that's not your fault :-)

Typo: "(index -1 refers to the last charactr)." in note about string indexes.

Some of my remarks are irrelevant if you are not looking for exhaustivity, but I believe the more infos you put, the better.

I like that you details stuff that Lua team didn't mention explicitely because it is part of the C library... (math library, format patterns...)

I don't see why you mention two times io.stdxxx (in Complete I/O and Simple I/O).

io.input: "in the latter case the file is opened for reading" .. " in text mode". Same of io.output.

It looks like a lot of criticism, but that's just to help you improve your excellent reference. Obviously you put a lot of work in it, and it will be a valuable document to keep next to the keyboard when programming Lua.

Thank you for your efforts.

Philippe Lhoste (Paris -- France)
Professional programmer and amateur artist (outdated) (in French, for files to download)