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IMO some of the things that make the lua 4 implementation simple make
lives for (some) programmers not-so-simple. The biggest issues in our
project were:
- the single numeric type
- the inability to tell the difference between "table[k] contains
false" and "table[k] does not exist" (causing us to use 0 and 1 for
false and true, which in turn caused bugs because 0 in a boolean
context is true)
- the way tables and arrays are conflated

A lot of these design decisions make sense given Lua's history as a
configuration language, but as the language moves to support larger
projects (eg, with a full-fledged package system), perhaps the
motivation can be reexamined? I do believe that the language and
implementation could support a slightly richer set of builtin types,
while still remaining small and simple.