lua-users home
lua-l archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

On 5/25/07, Luiz Henrique de Figueiredo <> wrote:
Aren't these features covered in the "about" page?

My 2 cents:

Technically, all relevant informations are on the site indeed. However, I'm not sure it's very efficient at grabbing the attention of a person scanning the web for a solution to his problem, even if Lua actually *is* that solution.

It sucks to make a blattantly comparative page such as "Lua is better than $FOOBARLANGUAGE because such and that etc.". However, most people potentially interested by Lua already know of Python, Ruby, _javascript_ and maybe another couple of other languages which look like safe bets. Their real question is "What does Lua provide, which is not provided by these safe bets?". So  even if you can't be too blattant, you must keep in mind that it *is* the question you must actually answer.

Therefore I'd advocate a reordering of about.html which highlights the differenciating factors, and maybe moving/copying parts of it to the front page. All languages brag about being efficient, supporting advanced features etc. IMO, the decreasing order of importance, to be reflected in the paragraphs ordering, should be:

- portability and symbiosis with C/C++.

- clean, orthogonal semantics. Some hint should be somehow provided that you're doing *way* better than anything else save Scheme with this respect, without seaming too pretentious...

- there is a useful subset of the language accessible to non-programmers: that can make your applications' power users very happy.

- there has been serious apps written with it. This shouldn't come first, I only care about this if I'm already attracted to the language. Heck, COBOL probably has a bigger code base than Lua: lack of significant apps is a show-stopper, but existence of some is a weak argument.

- speed and licencing also are about relieving show stopper issues, they shouldn't come first.

Another nitpicking: most of the time, when I click on an "About" button on my computer, I get a boring credits nag screen and some copyright info. My Pavlovian reflex is to expect whatever is behind "about" to have a signal/noise ratio close to zero. Maybe a more obvious name, such as "Lua in a nutshell", would help driving people to that page? Also, the links are very dark and without underlines, it takes a real effort to notice them. It especially matters for that page, which is addressed to first-time visitors who're likely to have a dozen other tabs open, pointing to groovy, rebol, io, forth, guile, etc. and are likely to eliminate anything which won't grab their short attention span within the first minute.

I've been first interested by Lua because of its ability to run on tiny embedded devices (which I learned about through word of mouth, not through the web, incidentally). Then I had an occasion to discover its other, much more lovey and impressive features, because I was already hooked; but I would never had guessed how great a language it was by just looking at Couldn't PUC hire some marketing intern? :D