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On 3/27/2017 1:52 AM, Enrico Colombini wrote:

Or simply precompiled DLLs, assuming this is still possible on current Windows systems.

That was the strength of Lua for Windows. It provided pre-compiled DLLs and Lua.exe that were all built with the same compiler, C runtime, and so forth. The important bit was not so much the C modules being pre-compiled, but that the libraries they wrapped were supplied also compiled with the same toolchain and C runtime. The handy all-in-one standard installer worked well on a range of versions of Windows (and still works on Win 10!).

This made it easy for me to confidently build hardware test fixtures in Lua, and know that I could document how to get them working at my customer's site without much hassle beyond "install LfW, now use this script". The inclusion of IUP (and friends) meant that even GUI tools were easy to put together.

The big hassle was (and will always be, for Windows) the choice of C runtime. VS2005's runtime was a pragmatic choice at the time. Being able to build all of the supporting libraries with VS2005 was necessary. And of course every useful wrapped library had its own, usually quirky, build system. Some very useful libraries are surprisingly difficult to build from source, so the service of providing pre-built binaries with consistent naming of the Lua core and C runtime DLLs really was quite valuable.

Ross Berteig                     
Cheshire Engineering Corp. 
+1 626 303 1602