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> Is not the point of releasing these working revisions to gain feed back and
> to find what is working and what has problems?

Yes, but on their own code. We can test on those toy programs ourselves.
By releasing work versions we give a chance for people to try to build
the "upcoming" version of Lua an try their programs on it to see if or
how they break. This is very valuable feedback. But a work release is
nowhere near the quality of the final version, as as package (ie, sample
code may no run, the manual mau have errors or sections missing, etc.)

> I still do not know which tests passed.

The tests directory is probably misnamed. It should have been "examples"
or "samples". The code there was never meant to be a test suite.