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2009/9/22 steve donovan <>:
> David M and myself were discussing the second question of the FAQ:
> He thought that Lua is not that commonly used as a general purpose
> language, but rather as an embedded scripting language.  This is
> probably true.
> But the question du jour is more whether Lua can be used as a good
> introduction to programming, not necessarily as a 'trade skill'.  In
> the same way, CS departments have variously used Pascal or Scheme for
> this purpose.  Although Pascal was a rather frustrating language at
> the time (Brian Kernighan has an interesting essay on the subject) it
> was very good when I was a recovering FORTRAN programmer. (And Scheme
> is definitely not a 'trade skill')
> So, in other words, does it teach the basic concepts well?  Your
> answers will help #T1.2 have a less idiosyncratic answer ;)

I think Lua would be a very good first programming language, it can
teach most procedural languages features. However teaching some of its
advanced features (like coroutines or tail calls) might make the
transition to real world languages (ie. C++ and Java) harder. But
hopefully raising programmer expectation might help the market improve
by itself.

Another point that could be problematic is that, still compared to C++
and Java, Lua is fully imperative, while these former two are part
imperative, part declarative. However most Lua programs and libraries
are written in a pseudo-declarative style anyway, so that might not be
a concern.