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- Subject: Re: Why isn't Lua more widely used?
- From: David Favro <lua@...>
- Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2012 12:45:34 -0500
On 02/02/2012 10:10 AM, Jay Carlson wrote:
>> - It's really difficult to find good tutorials or examples for LUA.
> If you have not read it already, ISBN 8590379825. In my opinion, the
> best-written "here's my language" book since K&R.
Yet, append to the original complaint, "... available for free on the
internet" and you are left with very little. Someone who is dabbling,
trying out several different languages, is not likely to want to buy a book
just to get the basics of the language before deciding whether to get in
deeper. When K&R came out, expectations were different -- extremely few
people had access to the internet, such as it was (ARPANET), uucp was in its
infancy, and USENET didn't even exist yet. "Popular" means WRT other
languages, and *today* other languages have resources available on the
newfangled World Wide Web.
Lua's reference manual is minimalist to the point of being spartan -- I like
a minimalist reference manual so I can get just what I need without a lot of
fluff, but this one lacks even such 'redundancies' as return-value
documentation for functions in the IO library, relying instead on an 'unless
otherwise stated' coda in the introduction to the library, the existence of
which someone who went straight to function entry would not know. There's a
real need for an _annotated_ reference manual, which briefly explains the
real-world implications of the terse statements of syntactic grammar and raw
semantic value. A good example is the recent discussion on the list of goto
scope. Annotations could be kept separately denoted from actual reference
material, and if done as a structured document, they could be completely
filtered out of a "unannotated" view of the manual.
The major user guide is PiL, the free version of which was already
out-of-date as of the release of 5.1 (6 years ago), and given recent
discussions on the list, likely to get even further out-of-date.
Yes, there is a tutorial in the wiki,
and it is good for beginners, if a little terse and fragmented. And I'm
sure there are some other resources, although my Googling wasn't very
Yet compare with Python; here's just a tiny fraction of what's available:
(to be fair, on that last one, he seems to have planned a future Lua
version, but as of this writing he's not done it yet).
... and a *plethora* of other choices, many listed at
... also some nice videos such as those at the Kahn Academy.