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On 9/30/2010 8:46 AM, Nilson wrote:
On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 8:01 PM, Tim Mensch wrote:

I get the difference. I really do. And yet a lot of users will NEVER get it
-- people who I will want to be able to extend my game, or my app, or
whatever. You're talking about an issue that, while it's obvious to an
expert (i.e., almost ANYONE reading this list), it's STILL easy to make a
mistake (especially if your life/job/habits/whatever causes you to ever use
other languages), and it simply is never a good answer to tell your end
users that they haven't tried hard enough to learn your product. That would
fall under "blaming the victim."

I agree with you. And if my damage English allows, I would like to say more:

I dream with Lua running in almost everywhere. Lua should have the the
popularity of PHP on Web servers, of Javascript in Web Browsers and
Delphi (in good times) as Desktop Client. IMO, Lua should be popular
even as a "Database Script Language" to run triggers functions like
Postgresql PL/Lua does.

This talk comes up often too. You're just one in a long line who have jumped in and shared such a notion.

Why it is not?

It would mean that the following should also be attempted:
(a) aggressive political maneuvering, evangelizing, marketing, branding, me-vs-you language competitions, fanning of religious fervor (standard contemporary marketing methods)
(b) promiscuous acceptance of features, or big libraries
(c) ceding to any one of those ISO labels and the attendant loss of creative control whilst exposed to political machinations (d) getting cozy with a big corporation who can drive adoption and the attendant loss of pretty much all control (e) agreeing to all kinds of syntax for people who simply must have them

And so on, blah blah blah. Nothing new here too.

I don't recall Lua wanting to compete in this way, or maybe I have been deaf and blind. This may not be in line with the enthusiasm and expectations of some new list members. Such dissonance is expected, I guess.

Of course, many of this did not apply to Python etc. But with many incumbents today (look around -- many, many people are putting out their own little language to take their own shot at greatness), getting a shot at web browsers and databases means a lot more than a patch here and there. JavaScript is entrenched and fortified, with its flaws and all, plus spiffy ISO/IEC/ECM tags to make corporate heads happy.

I don't know exactly why, but I would bet a nickel that the "colon
call" is part of the equation.

I actually agree, the average programmer feels more secure with stuff they are used to. Syntax compatibility is a play on psychology to help adoption. I expect to make significant cognitive switches to deal with different languages, so perhaps that's why I don't complain much about syntax.

But syntax tweaks are just a small part of "language wars" -- because if you want to engage in the competition, it is a given that the language has to move and change very fast. In Lua, very much more stuff is considered and rejected rather than accepted. It's a different philosophy in that people must appreciate the importance of saying 'no'.

Lua is not into fighting in the "language wars" openly, rather it sneaks stealthily into certain niches on merit and word-of-mouth. As a marketing strategy, I think it is no worse than the considerable expense of effort and resources in openly fighting a "language war".

Get real aggressive on adoption and before long, users will also complain very loudly why must they type a=a+1, why must they have to type all those locals, and why, use braces for blocks, wordy stuff must go away, I simply cannot and will not type so much of those keywords. All of this is again, nothing new on the list. Of course, it wouldn't be Lua any more -- but no problem if you're an aggressive competitor like Steve Jobs. Even so, without planning for a branding and marketing juggernaut, your barriers would be quite considerable with the many incumbents. See Groovy and those efforts.

There is nothing stopping anyone from doing their own and adapting Lua as many have done. I sincerely wish good luck to them, whether they succeed or fail. I hold nothing against them; I am language neutral -- I just use 'em.

Kein-Hong Man (esq.)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia