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> Can you explain the potential indeterminancy with the length operator a bit
> more, please?

Well, I am not sure it is a problem for you.
The fact is that if for example t={1,2,3,nil,nil,nil,4}, what is #t ?
>From Lua 5.1 manual, the result is not well defined: it can be 3 or 7.
>From Lua 5.2 manual, the result is even undefined.

As an illustration, consider the following snippet. Is there a smart
enough Lua specialist out there who can guess the result of that code
without trying it out ?

for n=2,10 do
  local t={}
  for i=1,1000 do
    if i%n~=0 then t[i] = i end

But I must admit that the result, although weird, seems perfectly reproducible.