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This question does not have an easy answer. For large strings that you
typically have in IO bound server applications, I think C buffers are worth
considering. I guess it depnds on the lifetime of your strings and the
results of your benchmarks. The rule of /make it work first/ (using Lua
strings) and if you need to optimize with C buffers do it when a benchmark
justifies it.

Jerome Vuarand
Related to network I have another question. Are Lua strings well suited to handle arbitrarily long binary data objects ?