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On Oct 26, 2011, at 19:01 , Ralph Eastwood wrote:

> I have to agree with what Dirk has said,
> "What the community needs (maybe) is a sort of overall design and quaiity control
> of module libraries" and "many others are pet projects
> that die within a year", I think highlights this particular problem; 
> who maintains all those old libraries with new lua versions across each platform in this theoretical
> centralised(e.g. luarocks) module repository?
Quality control and some centralized standard is definitely needed. The situation is even worse after the collapse of LuaForge. But I don't think it is really needed unless you expect Lua to replace Python and Ruby standard installations soon. Building customized Lua environments in semi-automated manner is possible with LuaRocks[1] and LuaDist[2] even now. Only once these systems mature can we expect module authors and library standards to emerge.
> There's lots of flavours of linux, and each flavour has their own set of maintainers, varying from less than 10 to more than a hundred.  However, it goes to show that there's a lot of folk out there, and I suspect if the framework was in place, lua could be maintained similarly.
> For ensuring cross-platform-ness, should automatic build systems be considered? I know the distribution of binaries would not be useful, but to ensure things can build, and give the option for pre-built libraries (on certain platforms - probably useless on linux, but fine on win+mac).
LuaRocks is a great attempt to make a cross-platform Lua distribution but it has design flaws that have become apparent with the move to Lua 5.2 and with the Windows release issues. However there is also the often overlooked LuaDist which centralizes most of Lua modules in a cross-plaform Repository[3] that uses CMake to build Lua and its modules from scratch on OSX,Linux,Unix and Windows. It works good enough that we are considering releasing the next Lua4Windows[4] releases using LuaDist as base. Nothing prevents Linux maintainers from using LuaDist builds to supply the modules on their flavor of Linux. However I and the LuaDist project prefer to build a self-contained Lua environment from scratch without using the host package manager and libraries. This way any OS becomes a Lua friendly OS.
> The role of the maintainer would probably be to just make sure things always compile. Should the module writer be encouraged to be the module's maintainer?
Yes, module author should be the maintainer. However in case of abandoned modules it is in the responsibility of the development team of the distribution to update the module (if license allows). This is technically not a problem when you have more maintainers available. For illustration LuaDist has 3 maintainers (me, davidm, kapecp) from which 2 are inactive at the moment. LuaRocks on the other hand requires module submission over mail and the module is usually picked up by Hisham himself. It would be on a whole new level if either of us had 10 maintainers or volunteers.