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On 9 July 2015 at 02:10, Simon Green <> wrote:
Hi all,

I’m relatively new to Lua
Noting that there are no exceptions in Lua.

If you're 1) new to Lua, from some C++/C# like language, 2) not mega-concerned about speed and memory allocations, and 3) Not ready to think about metatables, tail calls and other advanced features mentioned in previous answers, then IMO a variation of Soni L's first answer is the most readable for noobs:

local thing = nil
pcall (function() thing = a.b.c.d.e end) -- swallows the error, thing remains nil
if thing == something then

You say "Noting that there are no exceptions in Lua".  There are errors, which are very much like exceptions.  They can be caught with pcall.