Home > General Development > The A-Z of Programming Languages: Lua The A-Z of Programming Languages: Lua Submitted by Frank Lopez 2008-09-11 General Development 13 Comments Professor Roberto Ierusalimschy offers an in-depth examination of what he believes to be the most successful programming language not born in a developed country. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 13 Comments 2008-09-11 7:15 pm boudewijn Wow, Roberto Ierusalimschy sounds really like a relaxed and contented hacker. I loved this interview. 2008-09-11 7:34 pm dindin I guess that even a GPL-like license would hurt its spread. This i agree with. We would not have used it (and contributed) if not for the liberal license. But may not be everyone’s choice. 2008-09-11 8:01 pm Linwood Could computer world fit more ads into their site? I don’t think i’ve seen a site where the content is 1/5 the page and 4/5ths is all ads like that. To bad the article is a pretty decent one. 2008-09-12 12:02 am bannor99 I hear you. Sites like that ( and Computer World is far from being unique in this regard ) irritate me. Try clicking the “Print this story” on the right – it’ll take you to http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;1028768484;fp;;fpid;;p… which only has a single ad box. 2008-09-12 1:45 pm _df_ Lua is a great binding language, and I’m impressed the lua guys are willing to drop things from the language and streamline it without regards to backcompat between major versions. I’d love for 6 to clean up (and i know it will never happen) and use 0 indexing instead of 1 indexeing. It also needs a better C api for table manipulation. 2008-09-12 2:21 pm reduz On the plus side, it’s a very, very fast language. We use it as scripting for game development. The table model makes it incredibly flexible. On the negative side, there’s a couple things I don’t like about it. First, I know you can use fallbacks to make”your own object model” but i think this is a double edged sword, as it requires more hacking and it slows down the language overall. Second, I wish it had local scoping by default, not global. I understand that by forcing you to write “local”, the “compiler” can use temporaries/indices instead of strings and run faster overall, but it’s still annoying. Third, while the ada-like syntax is not that bad, I find that having to be capable at two different kind of syntaxes at the same time (specially when it needs “end”, and more specially having indexing begin at 1) is annoying and I believe based more on an academic decision than practice, where you are actually binding from C. Fourth, I find the incremental GC method more difficult to keep track of than using refcounts+cycle collector. I have found that “squirrel” as a language, solves most of my shortcomings with lua (being based on it), as it’s like a more real-world usage oriented version of it. 2008-09-12 4:50 pm sanctus are squirrel performance similar? 2008-09-12 5:11 pm _df_ last time I looked at it, lua was faster than squirrel. 2008-09-12 7:26 pm axel I have found that “squirrel” as a language, solves most of my shortcomings with lua (being based on it), as it’s like a more real-world usage oriented version of it. oh the irony 2008-09-12 6:08 pm rycamor I had been really interested in using Lua for web applications a couple years ago, and was disappointed by the lack of a decent Apache 2 module. And the old mod_lua for Apache 1.x was not being maintained. Yes, I am aware there is Kepler and a couple other solutions, but I need deployment through Apache for a number of reasons. Anyway, I was happy to read that there is a new Apache module in progress: mod_wombat – http://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/httpd/mod_wombat/ Here’s the developer’s website: http://kasparov.skife.org/blog/src/wombat/ The info is pretty minimal at present, and to read the documentation you have to browse /docs in the source, but it looks like they are approaching it the right way. Here is some more information: http://luanova.org/category/mod_wombat/ and here is a small presentation by the developer: http://kasparov.skife.org/wombat_ac_us_07.pdf 2008-09-14 4:55 pm DarkGod I can attest first hand that mod_wombat rocks. I have made 3 websites with it (http://netpim.info/ (an online PIM), http://mailcatch.com/ (a temporary inbox service) and http://www.maxiblingbling.com/ (a lottery site, in french) ). Mod_wombat does indeed rock for web coding, it is light, fast and plain out of the way. While it is still young it is already quite good. I was using Xavante (from Kepler) before proxied by a front-end apache, but performance was subpar, now with wombat I dont have any problems 2008-09-12 6:20 pm Lennie If they like Debian so much and want to use some parts of OpenSolaris, why didn’t they just start a Debian/kSolaris project ? 2008-09-13 4:08 pm erast GNU libc port means => no Zones, no ZFS, no SMF, no anything..