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>> "getargs" needs access to argv, which only lua.c has.
>??? Surely getargs is passed argv, so it can quite happily be in a library!
>getopts works this way. Am I missing something?

As you know, a library function in Lua is a function of the form

	static int f (lua_State *L) { ... }

which is then registered in Lua.
This means that you cannot send argv to f directly.
So, argv must either be available as a global variable or as an upvale,
as lua.c does for l_getargs with register_getargs. In any case, whoever
opens the library needs to give access to argv, either by copying it to
a global variable or by pushing it as an upvalue. It seems to me that
only main can do that.