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let me first say that Lua is a great language.  I agree with almost every 
design choice that's gone into it.   The exception is the use of 
'local'.  Perhaps I'm missing something, but I think having a keyword 
called 'global' would have been better.  Writing 'global x' would give 
you access to the global 'x'; writing 'global x=3' would assign/define 
the global.  Otherwise all references would be local.

Currently, 'local' is needed in front of almost every variable in a 
function and I've had several hard to track down bugs from inadvertant 
global access.

It's obviously too late to change Lua, but what about a function 
declaration (called 'method' maybe) that defaults to local and requires 
the use of the 'global' keyword to get outside the scope of the method.

So, you have 

function test()


method test()
global x=x+1
i='erer' --- global 'i' is unchanged

Just some thoughts,
Russ Webb