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> A change that might be possible in a minor release is to make
> `x[nil]` mean "the length of the table literal from which `x` was
> constructed, if still known".

With the "if still known" as part of the specification, Lua already
does that:

  a = {1, 2, 3}
  print(a[nil])  --> nil   (meaning, "original length not known anymore" :-)

That satisfies your especification, does it not?

-- Roberto