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The "no batteries included" philosophy does divide the lua / (python,perl,ruby,etc) camps, and the no batteries included camp is probably just smaller.  I work with embedded systems and I like not having a huge standard library that I have to distribute or try to trim down, or worry about figuring out what I need to add to my images when I add a package.  I love ruby too, but once you have a large set of batteries included packages, the problem is that everybody starts using them.  If I want to add a simple package it may require installing five other packages it depends on.  And batteries included is often overkill.  If I want to parse XML, I may just need a simple function to turn some subset of XML into lua tables.  I don't need a default package that exposes every nook and cranny of XML to my scripting language and gives me 5 different paradigms to choose from.

The fantastic thing about lua is that it's so easy to connect with C/C++ that I don't really care whether it comes with batteries.  If there's a library that has a C/C++ API I write a quick class to provide the functionality, have the class bound automatically into lua and boom, I have what I need in lua.  I don't have to worry about integrating some 3rd party package into my build and distribution with whatever dependencies the developer of the package thought were reasonable to have.