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> [...] So the real
> challenge is to make something like LuaRocks understand how to get and
> install those external dependencies. [...] and you can see that the module author
> (or maintainer) has to be an unusually dedicated person!

However, there's really no other way. The infrastructure people
(LuaRocks authors, Lua authors, etc.) are the only ones who can make
auto-building happen. Shifting this responsibility to other developer
groups won't make it happen because of the simple fact that - in this
free market as it is - they pursue different objectives - they
represent different groups of interests that are only _marginally_
intersecting. Those developer groups are 1a) application
developers/standalone, 1b) application developers/embedded, 2) library
developers, 3) Lua language and platform developers.

With this perspective in mind, it's easy to observe why people in
different groups whine about what they perceive as being someone
else's responsibility. They are all right of course.

Standalone app developersare right that compilation and C knowledge is
not their primary goal and should not be inflicted upon them -- be
they afraid, lazy or unknowlegeable -- it simply doesn't serve their
best interest to build modules by hand, so it's futile to continue
calling them names. They will simply move away to other more
integrated platforms.

Not sure why embedded devs complain about the module system and
distribution of binaries -these things weren't made for them in the
first place :)

API developers are right that (the portability part of) building
process is not their primary goal and should not be inflicted upon
them -- bad Makefiles reflect that very clearly (they also reflect
that Make doesn't by itself provide any facilities to help with the
portability goal, unlike LuaRocks or autotools). They are happy if an
automated build system helps the widespread of their libraries, but
they won't produce one unless the effort pays off in _their_ currency
(that is, adoption of their libraries). I think it's what made
LuaRocks possible.

Finally, the language/platform people are like the government, they
provide the infrastructure for all other to do their business, except
they are not _invested_ by other people to do so, they don't tax other
people and don't produce inflation :) They have their own reasons for
doing what they do as does everyone else in the ecosystem. But however
those are, the pressure to make an appealing app. platform out of Lua
is on them and there's little that the other groups can do about that.
Some people from other groups might jump in and help, but again, only
if the effort pays off in _their_ own currency. Good or bad as it is,
it's a fact of the market.

Just another point and and then I kick myself out of this long rant.
It's about the binaries vs sources issue. Windows app devs don't have
anything against sources _because_ of cultural reasons, it's the other
way around. As long as the build process is fully automated and
_works_, they wouldn't care less how the modules are installed and
found at runtime.