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> A couple use cases just off the top of my head: machine generated XML
> files with long lines; log files with lots of data on each entry (line);
> scientific data files where a single line holds dozens of values in text
> form.

There seems to be miscommunication here:
The width in %45s is used to right-justify the string by padding on
the left with spaces.
If the string is longer than the width, it is printed in full.
These statements are valid in both Lua and C.