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Mike Pall writes:
> But for MSVC8 you need to use the "manifest" command right after
> the link command or the executables are unusable:

Right, at least to avoid having the .exe's depend on the .manifest files in the
same directory.

> Ok, now you only have to find out whether the manifest command is
> there or not, and optionally use it. Or provide two bat files?

Alternately, just test whether the linker generated manifest files.  Here's my
latest version, which works fine on both VC2005 (VC8) and VC6.  The .bat seems
compatible with both WinXP and Win2K at least:

@rem Script to build Lua under "Visual Studio .NET Command Prompt".
@rem Do not run from this directory; run it from the toplevel: etc\luavs.bat .
@rem It creates lua51.dll, lua51.lib, lua.exe, and luac.exe in src.

@set MYLINK=link /nologo
@set MYMT=mt /nologo

cd src
del lua.obj luac.obj
%MYLINK% /DLL /out:lua51.dll l*.obj
if exist lua51.dll.manifest^
  %MYMT% -manifest lua51.dll.manifest -outputresource:lua51.dll
%MYLINK% /out:lua.exe lua.obj lua51.lib
if exist lua.exe.manifest^
  %MYMT% -manifest lua.exe.manifest -outputresource:lua.exe
%MYCOMPILE% l*.c print.c
del lua.obj linit.obj lbaselib.obj ldblib.obj liolib.obj lmathlib.obj ^
    loslib.obj ltablib.obj lstrlib.obj loadlib.obj
%MYLINK% /out:luac.exe *.obj
if exist luac.exe.manifest^
  %MYMT% -manifest luac.exe.manifest -outputresource:luac.exe
del *.obj *.manifest
cd ..

Ideally we'd probably want to check errorlevel too for correct error reporting.