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        I think the ONLY worthy competition will be given to lua will
be by "io" , from in this small embedded low memory
footprint arena esp. in embedded devices. It also has a very clean
design / source code and VERY CLEAN PACKAGING too. The only thing is
that may be for initial first time coders , its syntax of loops etc.
may be somewhat confusing than lua, but once you get accustomed you
are through.
    by the way, i think its long time that apart from adding libs to
the lua , now we should now go for an opinion on adding new essential
language features to core lua language itself. Like jdk 1.5 extended
core java "language" itself on the demand of Java developers itself
through a proper well thought procedure.
    We can have a poll somewhere and chain of letters, on who thinks
what should be added. Later Luiz or any one else can think what can be
essential or sweet feature, and fits into lau philosophy too.  And
then we can aim for version roadmap. So that  people can aim  for
that. I am not saying that we add too many features, most of which are
useless should be added only to increase the core vm size. I am just
saying that borrowing some essential features from other languages,
implementing some ideas from academic concerns of computer languages
and taking the ideas of lua developers like the game developers who
are lua most, and asking them what they need most and why?
          I mean to say that mapping C libs to lua is an important
activity, but these days apart from bug fixing of core lua and adding
more and more libs to lua core, i have hardly seen any mail on core vm
discussion itself.
               Its just an idea.   
bye :-)
Ashish Ranjan, India