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The presence of nil (and only nil) keeps things simple.  For the Perl programmers out there, the following will look familiar:

if (!defined $hash{'foo'})

is not the same as

The difference between the above is lost in Lua.  As Lua keeps things rather simple, I'd prefer we keep it that way.  Luckily, Lua only has the concept of nil, and not both null and undefined like in _javascript_ or Perl.

Brandon Zeeb