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- Subject: RE: Lua's opportunity
- From: "Gavin Kistner" <gavin.kistner@...>
- Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 10:35:29 -0700
From: Jimmie Houchin
> 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?
As I posted in another thread, my perspective is that it is not (currently?) possible to have a best-for-all-cases swiss-army knife language. When I *need* absolute speed, I turn to C or C++. (Or rather, I turn to people who are used to programming in it to do it for me :) When I need good speed, software embedding, and a reasonably enjoyable language, I turn to Lua. When I don't need speed or embedding, I use Ruby.
Is there necessarily a trade off between speed of execution and high-level, feature rich languages? I'm not experienced enough to say, but all evidence indicates to me that it is so.
Lua is fast. Lua embeds well. Lua has a tiny core. Lua is crazy portable. Lua is well-suited for some things.
Lua is moderately verbose. Lua is not OOP at the core. Lua's tiny feature set does not include support for some common, really useful programming constructs. (Times, dates, ranges, (full) regexp, integers vs. floats, arbitrary size numbers.) Lua is not well-suited for other things, and (I think) the addition of libraries will not change the base of that.
It's about preference, of course. If you prefer to learn only one language, and are happy programming in it, then perhaps adding a plethora of libraries (file system, internet protocols, socket communication, csv parsing, benchmarking frameworks, testing frameworks, template and code generation, logging, win32OLE, complex math, vectors and matrices, times, dates, OOP, XML parsing and token streaming, parsing and lexing, system/shell integration, threading, etc.) to Lua is all you need to achieve Nirvana.
For me, I prefer to switch to a higher-level language than Lua (with a much richer set of core features, terser syntax, and all the libraries already available) when I have the chance.
But I still love Lua. ;)