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Thanks for that very excellent response.

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 11:32 PM, Aaron Faanes <> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 5:57 PM, Steven Degutis <> wrote:
>> Hello again.
>> As I mentioned in other posts, I've recently started embedding Lua
>> into my Objective-C (OS X) applications. Besides my short stint trying
>> to use and configure "awesome" (a window manager), this has been my
>> first real in-depth usage of Lua.
>> I really like where it is now! But I realize it has not always been
>> where it is now. Even as recently as Lua 5.1, there have been breaking
>> changes. But Lua has gone through massive changes from the time it was
>> publicly released at 1.1 all the way through the current 5.2. Not just
>> in the C API, but in syntax and semantics. Much of this was added
>> complexity, but fortunately it's all remained very orthogonal so far
>> and still relatively simple compared to other "scripting languages".
> Lua's API stability improved  dramatically from 4.0 onward. I would consider
> pre-4.0 to
> be development versions at this point. In practice, the oldest code you'll
> ever see is
> Lua 4.0 (and I'd be surprised if you only saw Lua 5.0).
> Within the 5.x epoch, it's been very easy for me to migrate my Lua code from
> version
> to version. Any breaking changes have been well-documented, and Lua itself
> has
> a very good specification to work from. (Perhaps the only thing that was
> troublesome was the
> addition of __ENV and the removal of setfenv for 5.2, but the migration was
> not impossible).
>> Now, looking at the timeline page[1], it looks like development is
>> rapidly declining. There have only been 4 years between 1.0 and 3.0, 3
>> years between 3.0 and 4.0, 3 years between 4.0 and 5.0 which was
>> released 11 years ago, and since then we've been seeing only minor
>> version changes.
>> It makes sense that Lua's development "progress" (for lack of a better
>> word) would be rapidly declining, if its features are stabilizing to
>> the point where it's good enough for the purpose it sets out for: to
>> be the ideal general purpose language to embed in a C host.
>> But a very small part of me is concerned that it will continue to grow
>> in breaking ways, eventually adding a disproportionate amount of
>> complexity simply for the sake of continuing to work on it when
>> there's nothing left to work on.
> This opinion depends on who you are, really. I'm excited for the addition of
> binary operators in 5.3, for example, but the upstream developers do not
> seem to add features arbitrarily. It truly is a solid project.
>> So what is the long-term roadmap? What's the plan after 5.3 is
>> released? Are there any major features for 6.0? I ask out of
>> curiosity, and to get a general idea of the roadmap which I may use to
>> form a long-term plan of my own personal future using Lua for
>> extensibility.
> As far as I've seen, public discussion doesn't extend past 5.3, but this is
> likely due to the Lua API's demonstrated usefulness (rather than
> stagnation). There just isn't a good reason currently to make major changes
> to the API, so there's no need to bump from 5 to 6.
> Lua's biggest downside is that they don't have an publicly accessible source
> code repository - the developers distribute work versions and releases via
> tarballs. The lack of public access to real-time development is a
> significant impediment to public involvement. Fortunately, that's about the
> only concern from this release-engineering angle that should give you pause.
> -- Aaron Faanes
> --
> Aaron Faanes <>