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> this quick switch from work5 to alpha was quite a surprise (for me - my bad said that we were
getting close to an alpha version. Note that we're still at alpha-rc1.

> I noticed that Lua's build is quite customizable through luaconf.h, so I 
> wonder how a script can detect the different options used to compile the 
> Lua interpreter under it is running.

Try this:

  gcc -E -P - -I. <<EOF
  #include "lua.h"

But I understand that this is not from inside running a Lua interpreter.

> Couldn't some of those defines (or even some other parameters not found 
> in luaconf.h, like max number of item that can be unpacked) be made 
> available as "constants" in a table, or maybe through a function

You can do that yourself, using the technique above.

> Am I missing something why Lua doesn't provide such informations? Isn't 
> that so useful as I think?

It's probably not that useful. Plus it encourages complicated programming.