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> Just for curiosity: what is the rationale behind this version bump
> with this new "int" transparent mechanism? It seems that it
> complicates the innards of Lua a lot and appears useful mostly for
> people working with some "float hostile" environments.

As other people already answered, the first rationale was to offer
64-bit integers, with a close second to help "float hostile"
environments (an area where Lua is growing).

> Wouldn't have
> been easier to improve support for int types at compile time for
> people needing Lua working with an int number type instead?

Many people that need Lua working with int numbers miss support
for floating points. Moreover, that creates two very different
versions of Lua (only floats versus only integers), which are
almost two different languages.

> Moreover it seems mostly a performance improvement (did I miss
> something?


> [...] I grew the
> gut-feeling that a new Lua version would have had some enhancement
> on the pattern matching side (lpeg or pattern improvements) or some
> enhanced/added meta-mechanisms (new metamehods to enhance table
> virtualization capability or some "macro-like" facility).

As I already said, this is not Lua 5.3.  This is a work version
specifically aimed at experimenting with this first implementation
of integers.

-- Roberto