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Hi Tim

Roberto wrote:

I guess there is a difference in scale. The last version of Lua is
less than 2 years old. This is the timescale I am talking about. If
you do not see a new release of Lua in the next 20 years than you
should worry.

But do I have to worry that in five years the group at PUC-Rio will tire of Lua and move on to other projects, leaving me looking around for developers with their patched versions of Lua?  (Universities are notorious for their "what have you done for me lately" attitude, so new research and directions is a given, but can come at the expense of maintainence of existing research projects.)

actually lua being developped in an academic environment (already for many years) gives me a very comfortable feeling; add to that the fact that the language went though several stages, reaching a pretty mature state by now

(5 years is a long time, many software companies don't last that long, sell themselves, change product lines ...)

Anyway, what is the use of knowning that language X will be here
in 10 years, without knowing what language X will be in 10 years?

Sure, but Lua is more than a language, isn't it? "C" is a language, but has multiple compilers. I don't have to worry about the C language going away, although my choice of compiler may change. Since Lua doesn't run natively (object code), there's a piece that has to exist that is dependent on Lua as a whole.

since lua is written in c and since you have so many compilers ... no need to worry then

btw, i'd be more woried about changes in operating systems and their effects on implementations of languages; also, already having a major number '5' shows some development

What I'm trying to say is that beyond that advantages of using Lua for development, how do I convince myself and prospective clients that basing a solution on Lua is not risking their investment, when compared to the "permanence" of PHP and Perl?  That's the roadmap I was trying to ask for earlier, a realistic guide that shows Lua has "official support" five years out and how that will be accomplished.

Consider your own statement:
(2) we do not think it is a good idea to build a new
release for every bug found, so we wait for more bugs.

As far as I can tell, there's no (anonymous read-only) CVS repository to get an officially patched version of Lua (I'm happy to be corrected). That introduces a period of where bugs have been fixed but no releases include them, and I have seen projects terminate in that very state.

most of the bug reports that i see posted here concern border cases that the majority of lua users will not run into, so unless you're affected by the bugs (and in such cases probably also know how to patch and compile) there is not much to worry; using one of the other scripting languages with the truckload of libraries and dependencies is way more tricky (even if you only use the core language) then using lua

Also consider the FAQ page:

1.3 - When is the next version due?
Lua 5.1 was released on 21 Feb 2006; a bug-fix release (5.1.2) was made in 02 Apr 2007.

Work on Lua 5.2 has begun but there is no roadmap yet and no release date has been fixed; there aren't even any work versions yet.

i'd say .. a good sign, it's surely a sign of quality, personally i associate the way new versions show up (testing, portability, publications, etc) with pretty high quality assurance/assessment

also, given how active this list is and how responsive the authors are, the language and its users are kicking and alive

and ... maybe lua is finished -)

btw, a major addition to lua was lpeg, which shows that new things are considered cq. added; so, maybe the core language will not change much but new concepts may be introduced

1.4 - What changes will the next version bring?
 No roadmap exists for Lua 5.2 yet.

 If you're concerned with incompatibilities, you shouldn't, because we make every effort to avoid introducing any incompatibilities. When incompatibilities are unavoidable, previous code is usually supported unmodified, possibly by building Lua with a suitable compilation flag. In any case, the reference manual contains a list of incompatibilities.

I am aware of the long history of Lua, and I mean no disrespect, but those are not reassuring statements, not to MBA types.

walk into your MBA's office and watch around ... i bet that there are items in there that haven't changes in many years and that they never complained about that

maybe the keyword for your MBA is QA (Quality Assurance cq. Assessment), just tell them that the team has pretty high standards of QA and it may ring them a bell and makes them confident

(btw, what gives these MBA types the impression that they know what they are dealing with and/or qualified to have an opinion about? ok, maybe 'lua' reminds them of abandoned travel-to-the-moon projects)


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