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- Subject: Re: Standard libraries (was Re: Virgin tables)
- From: Sean Conner <sean@...>
- Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2011 17:58:17 -0500
It was thus said that the Great Chris Babcock once stated:
> On Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 11:03 AM, kevin beckford <email@example.com> wrote:
> > You do not need standard libraries like Python, you need a "Lua
> > Cookbook" like Perl's "Perl Cookbook", and even then "Programming in
> > Lua" is quite helpful with that sort of thing.
> > "Do-it-yourself": Good for learning, but automation and abstraction
> > are always welcome.
> I've scripted an SMTP dialog before... There are some things you do
> not want to learn. :)
I never fond SMTP to be that difficult myself (this from someone who has
hacked sendmail.cf, so your milage may vary).
> Something like a standard library is necessary for a cookbook. You
> can't create a recipe for "How-to use Lua with Protocol X" without
> either a recognized abstraction layer for Protocol X or so much domain
> specific knowledge that the cookbook becomes a ten volume set.
> I honestly don't understand the resistance to a standard library.
Where do you stop? At the minimal end, you have Lua (where we are now).
At the other end you have Perl + all of CPAN (or maybe Java now that I think
about it). And what's useful *now* doesn't mean it's useful *later*---just
look at Common Lisp. Huge function set, but lacks a lot of functionality
that's now considered *standard* like threads, sockets and XML/JSON support,
but didn't even exist (or wasn't in widespread use) when the standard was
> is a requirement for Lua to be competitive as a mainstream language,
Is Lua a mainstream language? Do the creators consider Lua a mainstream
language? Is that even a goal for Lua?
> Those who want a standard library are generally talking about
> comparatively high level code that isn't going to have much impact on
> those applications or even compete much with them for developer time.
The one syslog interface in Lua I found didn't offer the appropriate
functionality I wanted (for instance, hard coded paramters to the C function
openlog(); took only numeric constants for the levels instead of a string,
etc). The getopt functions I found were also lacking. That's another issue
with a "standard" library---they require *very* careful planning or they're
annoying to use.
> I think the problem is that the Lua maintainers are too successful at
> maintaining the illusion that the feature set of Lua is responsive to
> democratic process. There's an irrational fear that the 'ballot box'
> will be stuffed with feature requests from former Pythonistas who,
> like a plague of Calfornians, bring with them the causes of the taxes
> they are fleeing. We need to get past that somehow.
Anybody that uses Microsoft Word on average uses only 20% of the features.
The problem is---that 20% is different from person to person, and thus, you
end up with a bloated application.
I like Lua *precicely* becuase it doesn't have a bloated standard library,
and for features that are missing, I've been able to find bindings or create