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It's nice to see bitwise operations implemented in stock Lua, even with
the current questions hanging over it.  (I'm especially concerned about
portability of programs between systems, and the limitation to 32 bit
wide bit fields)

But more importantly, if they're going to be standard in base Lua, why
aren't they implemented via (metamethod-overridable) new operators,
instead of functions?  I find bit-heavy algorithms that are easily
readable in other languages almost a mystery when called via
functions.  Plus, many of the operators might make many systems make
more sense, especially ones that use operators in the way Lpeg does.