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Miles Bader wrote:
> KHMan <...> writes:
>> busybox is a small and terribly useful bit of
>> software, and Lua has those same attributes, so it makes sense to
>> have Lua in there, at least for people on this list.
>> Unfortunately, we have to contend with religious/evangelist types
>> brandishing other languages... the Lua community is however, not
>> very skilled at creating and disseminating overblown hype, so we
>> are at a disadvantage.
> But practically speaking, is there any other language that can even
> compete in this area (space-limited embedded systems)?

I don't think those planning these 'open' handphone specs is very
concerned about RAM limitations. System memory will increase;
Flash memory isn't a problem. Like Windows, they may be happy with
using software bloat to drive hardware improvements. The handphone
OS can be slim and trim, and putting busybox in to simplify the
file hierarchy (which normal users will never touch anyway) makes
sense, but apps can and will be bloated.

Lua being small isn't that big a 'win', and I think, say, Android
sticking to Java is safer and more logical than going out on a
limb with Lua or multiple native languages. IIRC, Maemo was using
Gnome? Hardly slim and trim...

> All the popular alternatives I know about (e.g. perl, python) are huge
> bloated pigs with [typically] complicated installations, all of which is
> a pretty big disadvantage regardless of how much some people might like
> the languages...

It didn't stop some from using a Linux kernel or a WinCE kernel
and putting a Java ecosystem with many layers and many libraries
in there. I guess most of us agree about bloat, but I don't think
them bloated software are at much of a disadvantage in practice.

Perhaps this is a case where the best engineering solution(s) (in
our eyes) have to take a back seat to other non-optimal
engineering solutions (but which has the best business case and
the bigger ecosystem, that is, a big corporation evangelizing it
plus the commitment of masses of regular developers who are

Still, it would be nice to script in Lua on a smartphone... but we
are minority and it will probably only be possible as an
additional install on an 'open' smartphone. I'm crossing my
fingers for open smartphones...

Kein-Hong Man (esq.)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia