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I've asked this question on StackOverflow (see link [1] bellow), and
@lhf suggested that I ask it here.

After I get answers here I'll summarize them on StackOverflow.

--- I'm hereby pasting my question: ---

Lua 5.3 deprecates luaL_checkint, luaL_checklong, luaL_optint,
luaL_optlong, which were just convenience macros calling

While we can still use them (because of -DLUA_COMPAT_5_2), they aren't
mentioned in the user manual and we're advised to use
luaL_{check|opt}integer "with a type cast".

Now, I'm not an expert in C and I was wondering:

(1) Is a cast needed in simple cases like the following?

    int i;
    i = (int)luaL_checkinteger(L, 1);

(2) If a cast isn't needed here, where *is* it needed?

(3) Why were those deprecated macros born in the first place if we can
do without them? In other words: what did they serve?

(4) Aren't we losing "documentation" by not having the words
"int"/"long" embedded in the function name?