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On 1/12/2016 3:40 AM, Jonathan Goble wrote:
While I can see the benefit of making a rock, said rock would
contain large amounts of duplicated code that would need to be updated
for almost every release of Lua, same as a fork.

The string matching is quite stable. From 5.1 to 5.2 matching of embedded NULL bytes was added, the %g pattern, and an optimization to skip pattern matching when the search string has no special characters. From 5.2 to 5.3 a bug with empty matches was fixed and a recursion limit was added.

As with most things regarding Lua, the size of relatively "large" is practically quite small.

Plus, a side-effect of having it as a module is older versions of Lua benefit from the more recent changes.