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2013/4/11 Roberto Ierusalimschy <>:
>> The test for alpha in lstrlib.c uses `isalpha`, not `lislalpha`.
>> I suppose this is a feature, not a bug, so that the definition
>> of "letter" can be locale-dependent.
> Yes, it is a feature. (The same is valid for other tests, too.)

It is tricky to capture the longest valid Lua identifier from the start of
a string.

- The pattern "^([%a_][%w_]*)" is locale-dependent.

- The pattern "^([A-Za-Z_][A-Za-Z0-9_]*)" works only with the original

If we reduce the requirement to merely testing whether a given string
is a valid name, then

- 'load("local "..str) and str' almost works, but gives false positives
  if the rest of "str" completes a valid chunk.

- 'load("local "..str) and load("local "..str.."=nil") and str' reduces
the false positives to the point where I have not yet found any, but
I have no doubt that the clever people on this list will find an

Much neater, especially to people who have already been willing to patch
lctype.c, would be to add two lines to the function match_class in
lstrlib.c, defining new class types that return lislapha(c) and
lislalnum(c). Half the alphabet is still available. But wait, that would
require `lctype.h` to be included, breaking the convention that
Lua-callable C functions should use only the official API.

Any better ideas?