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I've found the Lua for Windows distribution to be magnificent for this. Its stated goal is to be a "batteries included" distribution of Lua, and I've found that to be pretty accurate (although IUP, CD, IM, LuaGL and LuaSocket are the only batteries I ever need). Now what we need is a Debian metapackage so we can have the equivalent on Ubuntu...

From: "Eike Decker" <>
Sent: Sunday, February 14, 2010 A5:49
Newsgroups: gmane.comp.lang.lua.general
To: "Lua list" <>
Subject: Re: Why nobody talks about Lua

This arises the question who talks the most - I wouldn't be surprised
if professional developers are simply not that talkative on the web as
mediocre programmers or beginners are:
It's dead simple to get PHP, Ruby or Python running some kind of Hello
world project that is extended step by step until the beginner has
adapted to that language and believes that it's the best language in
the world. And they talk about it - a lot.
Hello world in Lua is simple as well, but anything after that is damn
hard: As Steve wrote, you need to get your batteries yourself (point
2) - which is not so easy in Lua since it doesn't provide any at all
in the standard distribution. To get that job done, you need to know
what you need in advance, if you are a beginner, you hardly know what
you are actually using right now! I think it's frustrating for
beginners to get started with Lua. It mostly depends on the project
they get known with Lua. E.g., WoW is providing a fairly nice
framework to get into Lua development. Just like many other game
engines do. But it's scattered, and I would not be surprised if a lot
of WoW addon authors don't even know that Lua is actually good for
anything as long as the right batteries are used.
I think Lua programmers are too smart to follow the buzz and too
reluctant to write down how they solved a particular problem, simply
assuming, that if oneself solved the problem, it can't be so hard for
anyone else to solve it as well...
But is all that actually a problem?