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On Sat, 27 Feb 2010, Drake Wilson wrote:

> More specifically, I imagine "improving" it in this case would
> introduce a distinctly nonportable element for not very much gain.

io.popen() is already a distinctly nonportable element.  I think 
ignoring SIGPIPE at the lua.c level and letting any resulting EPIPE 
errors propagate through normal means of file:write(), file:close(), 
etc. is probably the right thing to do here.