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Tim Kelly wrote:
Hi Hans,

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

I agree with appreciating that Lua is developed within an academic environment.  However, that isn't reassuring to business managers.  The reality is that open source projects are only acceptable if there is a clear cut profit motive (i.e. Red Hat sells service contracts).  Clearly the environment for proposing open source solutions is much better than only a few years ago, but it is still difficult to compete with a solution based on Microsoft's C# (as mentioned in another email).  MS isn't going away any time soon.

then, maybe an argument in favor of lua is that it is open source but controlled by a small group (which is good, since it guarantees stability)

concerning microsoft and alike ... just buy them a few manuals (ASP(X) and visual basic are a good candidates), also by them the lua book and let them suggest which language will give them less headaches ... or take java ans ask them to write a hello world example (of course after installing java) ... we have been using perl, ruby and now lua for all kind of applications in non academic environments and in the end it;s only the solution that matters; also, often the MBA's are gone while your project are still running

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

I don't agree.  That is what appeals to business managers - if a company has to constantly "evolve" their product to continue a revenue stream, that in itself is motivation for continued development, and therefore continued support.  Five years is not a long time for a project lifetime.  "Middle aged" is how I would refer to it.

i think that it's a sure bet that lua can be compiled (and is around) for 10 yeare from now, but C# ...

maybe it helps to mention that lua is used in gaming ... sell for many years, evolve over time, can be money-making things, etc etc

(and a few years ago i saw an example of lua being used in space indusstry, not if there's one industry with long running projects ...)

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

This appears to be misunderstood.  "Lua" compiles, if the Lua code isn't broken, but Lua is not a standalone language specification like C is.  The Lua interpreter might compile but be broken.  Are there alternative Lua interpreters?

no, because it's a waste of time to write one if there's a good one; if a language needs multiple competing compilers, well, that would worry me, but maybe someone sees it as a challenge to write a (probably less efficient) lua interpreter; if i remember well there are lua interpreters written in jave

(i have bad experiences with changing modula2 compilers, which proved to me that a standardized language was not standard at all)

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

That's not how it works.  In business, "change is good, it's hip, it's happening, the company is forward-looking and on top of new technologies."  That's why there is a phrase "buzzword-compliant."  I'm not arguing in favor of this - quite the opposite, it infuriates me but I still have to overcome it when bidding on projects.  I don't have to overcome it if I pitch PHP or Perl or MS.  They don't stand still.

sure, but that's the application, not the toolkit; in some areas (i've heard of cases in the military) they tend to choose languages and platforms that are real stable and sometimes even may look ancient compared to the latest hot gaming machine

There's even a certain amount of self-contradiction in the responses.  I've been accused of being unreasonable, asking for a document signed in blood, and asking for the Moon, because five years is too long to expect to rely on a product.  By extension, then, I should not expect to rely on Lua for five years.  (And yes, I have had to answer a client's question "What happens if you get hit by a bus tomorrow and die?" as part of the bid process. That's the difference between being an employee and an independent business owner.)

that's a pity, todays choices suffering of past experiences; i suppose that your boss is happy that you want a new high end laptop each year, the latest mobile phone, want a ferari car, etc etc. -)

i understand your problem, but the only way out is probably talking sense into your boss

What I am looking for is a "roadmap" that says official releases will be available, these are the people in place to ensure the servers are up and running, here is a list of bugs to be addressed, here is why stability is not "end-of-lifed."  I am puzzled that such a simple request is met with such responses.

(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)

They approve the bids and write the checks.

can't you fake a roadmap? just cut and paste some ideas posted on this list and present them as possible roadmap (eventually rejected for sound academic reasons)

of maybe ask them for alternative languages and then google a bit for failures


                                          Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
              Ridderstraat 27 | 8061 GH Hasselt | The Netherlands
     tel: 038 477 53 69 | fax: 038 477 53 74 |