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- Subject: Re: Stackoverflow 2018 survey
- From: ThePhD <jm3689@...>
- Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2018 22:51:19 -0400
Here are my entirely non-researched and absolutely experience-based, opinion-based ideas on the subject.
- Using Lua for large projects is indeed a pain.
- 1-based array indexing and other things are minor errors that don't bother me much. (I still keep doing from 0 -- I did it yesterday -- but that is just about anyone's burden when they program in 4, 5, 6 languages.)
- Things explode at runtime, which a quick compiler check or linter check could have saved me on. (Not just parsing my code. 'Did you mean to type polx instead of polex?' Would have saved me 2 hours of tired, baggy-eyed print()-ing)
-- Subset of above, many libraries handle `nil` because there's no distinction in the language of `nil` versus `none`, making `nil` parameters from that mistyped global get defaulted to some default value that just manifests itself in specific runtime conditions and I guess it's time to do some more debugging and vigorous checking and aaaaaah.
- Why do I have to hand-modify my code just to run all of these flavors of debugger...? (Tooling leaves a lot to be desired, compared to many other languages. Even my C++ debuggers have less mental effort in several different IDEs.) (At least ZeroBrane can debug stuff decently, but good god is that editor tacky!)
- Why does Lua seem so fragmented? How do I easily get my hand on polyfill libraries? (lua-compat-5.x saved me here, but in other cases it just doesn't work (looking at you and all the bug reports and e-mails I get about you, "pairs(t)")) (Ravi seemed promising, and then also broke compatibility with the bytecode and such... but that might have changed? I have not read the latest announce e-mails for Ravi.)
- Asides from a plethora of (sometimes great, sometimes incredibly annoying/frustrating) game engines, operating system components, applications and databases (e.g., Redis Scripting), what compels a large swath of people to learn, use, and pick up Lua? JS is used because it's literally our only cross-platform browser option. What compels me to pick up Lua, other than knowing about it + pitching it to my company or letting Serendipity catch me when I find out it's used as part of Application X or Workflow Y?
-- Subset of Above: I've been thinking about developing a Typescript-alike for Lua that compiles to whatever version of Lua you desire and takes care of polyfills and other such things for you... but how would I fund such a thing? How would I get people to use such a thing? I'd love to make it compile to Lua of any version, and that way people could easily add types and some basic static safety to their code that all just gets stripped away and leaves them with regular functional Lua code at the end of the day... Maybe I can make it an academic research project as a grad student? I don't know.
I wish it was easier. I don't really have answers to a lot of my questions above. I'm still new at using Lua extensively, rather than just as a toy.
Maybe people here know some answers? I'd love to know.