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That's a key specificity of Lua that its API is not stable. Lua is an
evoluting language. You just have to look at Lua 4 manual to figure
the heavy changes that have happened. Maybe you should consider each
Lua version as a different language.

This may be a source of troubles for people having a large codebase
relying on a specific API. For long term project you should stick to a
specific version of Lua. But according to that page
(, Lua 5.0 first alpha/beta releases are
already 4 years old, and Lua 5.0 is still maintained and supported by
the mailing list. I think it's quite a long time already.

Lua 5.1 has a lot of optionnal compatibility features that helps make
the transition smoother. And Lua releases become more and more distant
from each other. Lua 5.2 may take several years to come (the graph on
that page looks like a reassuring exponential distribution :

My 2 (or 3) cents.

2006/11/12, Mike Kreuzer <>:
Just noticed some other 5.2 wish list items, and, well, Christmas is
coming up. :-)

My wish: a stable API between versions.  Every time Lua increments a
version all the Lua DLL (and equivalent) users have a lot of back-end
re-writing to do.  Some is sometimes inevitable, but less would be

If a project takes several years to develop, and it's hoped that it'll
be useful for several years after it's finished, that's two lots of
several years worth of stable API to aim for.

Mike Kreuzer