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(Answering two messages...)

> Moving onto page 181, the book says:
> "A char-set allows you to create your own character classes,
> combining different character classes and single characters between
> square brackets".
> Thus the regular expression "[.]" should match any single character.
> It consists of a char-set, and inside the char-set is a character
> class, namely ".".  If you want to match a period, you should really
> use this: "[%.]".

Yes, the book explanation is at least loose, if not wrong. Thanks for
the feedback.

> It's my understanding that the reference manual is authoritative,
> while PiL is not.

Sure. PiL itself says so:

  "Moreover, the manual is the authoritative document about Lua. Wherever   this book disagrees with the manual, trust the manual."

-- Roberto