lua-users home
lua-l archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 12:05 PM, Marc Balmer <> wrote:
> Am 18.04.17 um 18:53 schrieb Andrew Starks:
>> Has something like the idea of a Lua Foundation ever come up?
>> The reason that I ask is because there seem to be many opportunities to
>> explore, all of which require some kind of momentum to be formed or strict
>> adherence to Lua's specific mission. As a result, many efforts feels like
>> hearding cats or sounding like an unwanted extension to Lua itself.
>> I believe that it might be good if some blessed governing forum exist for
>> certain things to be decided,
> What have you in mind that would like to decide?  Why need a governing
> forum?

I'm one of those that would like Lua to remain as it is: a simple
language designed for embedding and extending. I would also like to
see more rapid adoption for new/independent projects, but this would
require cooperation and organization in order for useful limitations
to be established and enforced.

I don't believe that these two use cases are incompatible. In order
for them to coexist, they need to be at different organizational
layers: some kind of foundation uses whatever the authors of Lua
publish as the language that is the basis for an ecosystem, which
includes everything needed to build software systems and applications
with Lua and a host of curated libraries in the middle.

My understanding is that the authors of Lua probably wouldn't mind if
Lua was adopted for more of the roles that JavaScript and Python get
used for. I also understand that they do not want to manage and more
importantly, the do not want to organize that effort. They don't even
want to bless it.

The "standard library" often comes up in various threads. Progress as
a general purpose language means having an ecosystem and that means
picking some basic libraries, enforcing one way to version things, one
package system, etc. Without some way to enforce limitations new users
in this segment are left befuddled with too many plausible options
that have very little commonality and they have little sense of what
is current and what is abandonware. Apart from LuaRocks, it's
difficult to know which horse to back.

LuaRocks is an extremely successful project, but a project does not
enforce much of anything, including quality standards. There have been
other excellent efforts, but they haven't included a political
structure, either.

>> independently from the authors of Lua. I don't wish to speak for the
>> authors, but I understand that they do not want the responsibility of
>> managing a desktop eco-system for Lua, be an advocate to Linux distributors,
>> bless a set of standard libraries, etc.
> Who wants a desktop eco-system for Lua?  I don't, for example. Oh, and there

I believe that Lua *would* be very successful as a desktop language.
For those coming from JavaScript, it is simple to learn and it has
many advantages, especially in projects that have IoT applications or
that have heavy C library integration. However, if I am looking to
take advantage of the momentum in the Lua community, I quickly find
that the idea of "community" is quite fragmented and that there is
little/no curation of libraries, whose quality is there for is uneven
and utility and productivity is more difficult to discover than other

> is more to the world than Linux.

Are you assuming that I'm unaware of Mac OS, Windows, the Amiga and
others? I'm not. I was using an example that is most pervasive in the
world of Linux, where distributions are a thing. Getting Lua 5.3
included in distributions is something that can help Lua's adaptation
for some number of users. Promoting the adoption of patches is
something else that could be done.

>> Since many people might choose to benefit from the results of some of
>> these activities, it seems to me that if there is a desire to see Lua expand
>> into more common use, while also letting Lua be Lua for those that like
>> things more as they are, that this path would be a decent option to explore.
>> -Andrew
> I see not much benefit, tbh, i your proposal.

In an important way, what I am suggesting would benefit you. Lua is
excellent as it is and I would hate to see the project moved in this
direction. However, I think it would be a testament to its
architectural design if it could be used as the root for a separate,
independently governed ecosystem.

Most obstacles to creating change (here change is outside, not inside
Lua) are not technical --- they are political, which is to say they
are people problems. Today, we occasionally herd cats because most
people on this list don't care; they are on this list because they use
Lua precisely because it is how it is. Those that do see a benefit to
an ecosystem, and would like to see a more powerful desktop
experience, haven't yet decided to form the kind of organizing body
that could actually make it a reality.

My .02 cents. Consider this an observation with a proposed outline of
a solution.

Andrew Starks