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I noticed that the Lua arithmetic operators in 5.4 will not coerce
strings to numbers ... is my understanding correct? I think this is
good for performance as it avoids a function call for converting
values but presumably this is a breaking change for existing code that
may be relying on this feature?

Is it likely that this change will remain?

Also noticed that var args will now be put into a table - wanted to
check if this is just an implementation detail - i.e. no user visible
impact on either Lua or the C API?

Finally noted the change to handling of upvalues - upvalues are o
longer reference counted and instead managed as regular GC objects.
Presumably this doesn't affect performance?

Thanks and Regards