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> Could there be a compile-time option to enable some
> platform-specific/non-ANSI tricks such at this to improve performance?

Lua 5.1 already had such a platform-specific trick (lua_Number to int
conversion), and Lua 5.2 adds NaN trickery and 64-bits fseek
functions. So why not adding more of those tricks in the future,
provided that they remain optional.