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There has been some interesting commentary dispersed amongst a few
different threads. I know starting a new thread takes my comments out of
the context of the threads I speak of.

As one who as used or dabbled with a few languages preferring to use
Squeak (Smalltalk) and/or Python.

I believe there is great potential for the future of Lua. I think Lua
could offer an excellent alternative to Perl, Python, Ruby, etc.
Yes, like many here, I believe it already does. But I believe could be
in a stronger position.

Lua is a nice and clean language. It is small and performs excellently.
I think Lua core can remain nice and small. Have a bunch of C and Lua
modules available as a part of a standard Lua distribution. Sort of like Python's batteries included.

The language landscape is constantly changing. All of the other
languages are working towards their next version, Perl 6, Python 3, Ruby
2. All of these are a ways off. Ruby and Python are 1+ year(s) away.

I know in 1 year Lua won't achieve the libraries in the other languages. However, I do believe that progress can be made which would make Lua a more attractive and viable alternative and one which would get chosen by more people until such a time that the community is large enough to build comparable libraries.

As a newcomer to Lua I love the language. Clean, fast, no whitespace issues like Python. But it is quite a challenge to search and find the community contributed libraries. I think it would be wonderful if the community would select and bless certain libraries as standard. Make them available for the various platforms compiled and ready to use.

I am not a C programmer or use Lua embedded. However, I love many of the characteristics of Lua which enable C programmers and embedders. But I would dearly love for Lua to be able to compete most excellently with Python, Ruby, et al.

As can be seen in the switch from Python to Ruby, or any other language. There is plenty of room for gains for a nice language like Lua provided it meets a sufficient amount of the needs of the developer.

There are always people just beginning to learn to program. Why not Lua?

People who want something clean like Python but without the whitespace issue. People who want blocks without the line noise issue of Ruby.
Lua, Lua, Lua... :)

I almost went with Python because it is simpler to use when on Windows. I wanted to use Luiz libraries for some things but they are in C and I don't compile on Windows. But fortunately I am not deploying on Windows and have never let the limitations of Windows stop me before. :)

From my limited view it seems that Lua to be optimally available for a Python/Ruby candidate that it desires a few things.

A standardized object oriented programming model. But one that does not eliminate or reduce the available to program in other paradigms.

Standardized, packaged, compiled libraries. Especially for the platforms that binary packages are standard. For Linux a nice tarball, configure and make files are often enough. That would be enough for package maintainers to package for their distributions.

I am trying to encourage Lua developers and mean no disrespect. I think that Lua is great. But I think that the future of Lua to be better than Python 3, Ruby 2, Perl 6, is a very real and possible opportunity.

None of those currently exist. And currently neither does the Lua that can beat them. But I think Lua can. The language is close. The performance is there. The libraries need help. Some of them exist. But they need packaged together, compiled and standardized.

Am I wrong? What do the long time Lua users think? What can we, the Lua community do to achieve a better future for Lua? for programming?

Apologies for the length. I just wanted to get these thoughts off my mind. I really, really believe that in the time that it will take for the future versions of Python, Perl, Ruby to exist that Lua can be a most excellent and viable alternative for people choosing a language. I would like to do what I can for that future.

How do we get there?

In hope for a bright future.

Jimmie Houchin