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- Subject: Re: Lua's 20th
- From: Roberto Ierusalimschy <roberto@...>
- Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 11:10:55 -0300
> When the two developing groups decided to fusion the two languages
> into a single more powerful one, it was clear that the successor of
> SOL (meaning Sun in Portuguese) should be LUA (Moon) ! And to complete
> the joke, that acronym was supposed to mean "Linguagem para Usuarios
> de Aplicação" (Language for Application Users).
> You can have a proof of this if you look inside the source code of the
> first Lua versions . From version 1.0 up to 2.5, the header lua.h
> contains the following copyright notice:
> ** LUA - Linguagem para Usuarios de Aplicacao
> ** Grupo de Tecnologia em Computacao Grafica
> ** TeCGraf - PUC-Rio
> Starting at Lua 3.0 and up to 5.1, the acronym is gone and replaced by
> the motto "Lua - An Extensible Extension Language". And Lua 5.2 now
> states "Lua - A Scripting Language".
> The reason for which Lua authors decided to change the spelling to
> "Lua" seems to be that not-Portuguese speakers have problems
> understanding the acronym and the underlying joke; an astronomical
> object name is easier to explain. Please respect their naming decision
> ! But this not does mean we should all forget the history.
It is true that the header lua.h had that acronym, but since version
1.0 the manual already spelled it as "Lua". The first paper about the
language, from 1994, also spelled it "Lua", as did the first public
announcement, also from 1994. I guess in English we always have written
it as "Lua", as the acronym did not make sense (as you mentioned).
(Note that the first motivation for the name, the transition SOL -> Lua,
already favors a proper capitalization, even in Portuguese.)
Mainly, though, I guess we did not bother much about that in the
beginning. We started the campaign about "Write Lua right" only around
2007. I think that was a little after Microsoft introduced its "LUA"
concept. Then, Microsoft's LUA started to be a popular term and we
thought it would be useful to distinguish both names (even if search
engines usually disregard case).