Is Lua Really Wonderful?

The Scripting Language article appeared right after a friend sent me an email about Lua. About a year ago I had some script I was playing with that was in Lua and I thought it looked like a pretty interesting language. But, the thought quickly passed as I have, well, enough other things to do.

We'll, my friend had the following points:

  1. What a piece of crap JavaScript is
  2. How big Python is
  3. How cool it would be if browsers had Lua, not JavaScript in them

On the first point, let's just say that JavaScript and design fit together about as well as Perl and design. (Ok, that should have made me enough enemies.)

While Python is my first choice for a "big" language (awk is my first choice if the task makes sense within the confines of awk), it is a big language. Execution size is one issue but, for someone new to programming, there is a lot to learn to write good Python.

Now, my friend suggested that if Lua was in a browser then you could implement most anything (including JavaScript) in Lua. Ok, I haven't given this a lot of thought and I am far from an expert on Lua (or JavaScript—it's right up there with Perl on my "languages to avoid" list) but maybe he is right. Maybe we just need to embed Lua is some browser, write a JavaScript interpreter in it for the hard-core, a Lua tutorial and then just wait for Lua to take over the world.


Phil Hughes


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Scripting in the browsers should allow multiple languages !

Anonymous's picture

I still don't understand why there is only one language in browsers. As long as the language have a way to access the DOM, and some kind of access to browser functions, couldn't be the language engine a plugin for the browser !? . So, the browser have an API, and some scripting engines that can access that api. It would only be necessary a or , etc ..

! agreed !

arthur's picture

it would be _great_ if we had more choices
even stripped down plugins would be better
than having to learn yet-another-language.

i chose php for the web site i work on,
and it would be nice if some of that framework
could be off-loaded to the client side.

There's something similar available currently...

bch's picture

This lua article was linked to from this poll... which at this point has shown a lot of support for Tcl -- so I thought I'd point out this Tcl browser plugin project.