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On 18-Sep-04, at 10:27 AM, David Given wrote:

The _ idiom does *part* of this, but it can occasionally trip you up because it doesn't do what you expect it to do.

I guess that depends what you expect it to do :) My point was that you can use any arbitrary local name at (almost) no cost:

  local unused, unused, capture = string.find(str, pat)

  local _, _, capture = string.find(str, pat)

No magic required.

I wasn't proposing making life easier for the compiler; rather the contrary. I was suggesting that it would be reasonably easy for the compiler to optimise away unused variables if someone wanted to do that; I doubt that it would make an observable difference in execution time, though.

I personally like the _ convention, but I don't think the language should insist on it.