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I have yet to encounter a dynamic typed language that really solves
this nil vs nothing problem satisfactory. Lua may be better than
others but is no exception.

> It is clear that at the level of the C API, there is a difference
> between a stack of length 1 containing a nil and a stack of length
> 0.  The Lua libraries are written in C and make use of the C API.

It is obvious it is, but not obvious it has to be that way.