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Mike Pall  wrote:

Note that the main speed disadvantage of functions vs. operators
(around 5x) in interpreted Lua is due to the call frame setup and
teardown overhead. One way to speed this up would be to add
"frameless" C functions which operate in the frame of the caller.
Especially trivial functions (math.*) would benefit a lot.

It would also settle the operator vs. function discussion (as far
as performance is concerned).

A very valuable suggestion. Please dont let this idea get lost
in the more detailed discussion.