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> However, from what I've gleaned on the web, I had the impression that "local
> by default" policy was what prevented Python from having proper lexical
> scoping, and vice versa - that lexical scoping prevents Lua from implementing "local
> by default".
> Is this true?

Pretty much, yeah.

I already wanted to argue that C++ implements proper local scoping without having a 'local' keyword. ;-)
But hey, 'int' introduces a local variable... Occasional thinking doesn't hurt, that's my today's lesson.