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On Sun, 2006-01-08 at 22:16 +0000, Lisa Parratt wrote:
> On 8 Jan 2006, at 22:04, Ryanne Thomas Dolan wrote:
> > Certainly there are two different paradigms.  I just think that a  
> > thin API offers more power and performance, and allows the  
> > community to develop simpler interfaces on top of the standard.   
> > And though you say a high-level abstraction is simpler, I rather  
> > use the functions I already am familiar with than learn a Lua- 
> > specific abstraction that does the same thing.
> Interpreted code will *always* be slower than native code. You can  
> have power (expose the primitives) or performance (wrap function call  
> sequences in single Lua functions), but I severely doubt you can have  
> both.

I thought I'd share my opinion from a long-time lurker Game Developer
standpoint (IMHO we're the ones usually most concerned with the speed of
the language ;).

At the moment I think Lua is fulfilling both the speed and usability
goals.  That is, by providing just the interpret you are providing a
fast (for a dynamically-typed language ;) extensibility language.  By
providing extremely high-level libraries you are also catering for the
people that want to be divorced from the performance details as much as

If I'm going to implement lua on something closed like a games console I
will completely discard any libraries that come with the language and
provide every function myself (this allows me to know exactly what's
being passed between the engine and script code).  Those functions will
be bare-bones and as close to the platform as possible and there will
probably be a lot of them -- optimised for specific purposes.

If I'm going to implement lua in an open environment (eg. as language
that homebrew rangers can mod our game with) then I will provide the
same libraries that they've used before (at a speed-cost) so that my
game script is familiar and easy to pick-up.  As another matter, the
security of the language and the libraries provided is very import too.

Just my 2c,
- Mab