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> Lua 5.3.3  Copyright (C) 1994-2016, PUC-Rio
> > =(";a;"):gsub("a-", "ITEM")
> I.e. the substring 'a' in ";a;" is not recognized as an instance
> of the pattern "a-".

The substring 'a' is not an instance of the pattern "a-", given that
'' is also valid and shorter than 'a'. So, this behavior seems correct.

> The new behaviour is so far documented only in the list of changes
> [2], not in the manual.

Officially, the behavior is still undefined :-)

-- Roberto