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Please note that if you use a table as a list to store items at positions 1
to N it *is* actually implemented as a list (array of values).  It's just
that Lua's implementation is opaque for the programmer in order to offer a
simple unified interface.  (There is some heuristic involved to place
numeric indices either in the array part or hash part of a table.)  Have you
ever profiled Lua against Python in some actual scenario's involving lists?