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I've been following this thread with interest, but I don't really understand what it's all about.

From what I've read so far:

Nil isn't really a first class value in Lua because you can't have nils in tables. So if you want to have nils in tables, can't.

So what? So don't have nils in tables.

The only change I can see the point of in this thread is to consider making # work more predictably (e.g. that it always finds the lowest N such than items 1..N are in the table but N+1 isn't). But I gather that # is implemented as it is for efficiency reasons. So don't have holes in arrays :-)