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Thank you for the prompt reply!

On 09/04/2011 20.27, Luiz Henrique de Figueiredo wrote:
I was wondering whether it would be sensible to modify the table.sort
function so that it returns its first argument.

table.sort does not return the table to avoid giving the impression that
it creates a new table. In other words, it stresses the point that the
sort in performed in place.

Mmmm. I see, but still I'm not truly convinced that it is worth the inconvenience.

After all, library functions are so few, and the manual clearly states that table.sort works "in-place" (I find it fairly easy to remember - I read it the first time and never got it wrong) - there are no other library functions that may cause "interference" in remembering its behaviour (if I'm not mistaken, there are no functions whatsoever returning a new table, besides debug.getinfo and, which are rather particular in themselves).

<nitpickers-corner mode=":-)" >
On a related note, there is a little inconsistence in this respect: setmetatable returns its first argument. Although it is not a classical example of "in-place" modification of a data structure (I must admit it), it still does modify the "virtual" structure of a table (at least potentially, depending on what metamethods are defined). Moreover both setmetatable's arguments are tables, so it could be more confusing than table.sort. Well, at least it was for me :-)


-- Lorenzo