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Given the frequency with which these issues come up, it seems pretty clear
that we need standard libraries for Lua which, if not part of the standard
distribution, can be readily pointed to.

1. A UTF8 version of string. string.byte presumably turns into something
like string.char. The answer to encoded strings is to use this library
instead of the standard string library. (If writing this, I would probably
optimize for the pure ASCII case and fallback to the standard distribution

2. A StringBuffer class that implements editable strings. The table approach
handles efficient concatenation, but doesn't allow for other changes. Of
course, combined with the preceding, one actually needs a UTF8 buffer

If such things already exist, maybe we just need to make their existence
more prominently known.