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Brett wrote:

I just want to know if _all_ nil keys/values will actually
be collected then,

Values that take a small, fixed amount of memory -- nils,
booleans, light userdatas, and numbers -- are not
garbage-collectable (or rather, their only garbage is the
reference to them, and when that disappears, there's nothing
left to collect).

(See the macro iscollectable in lobject.h and the LUA_T*
macros in lua.h.)