The Lua Programming Language

Published on 19 April 2018 (Updated: 15 May 2023)

Welcome to the Lua page! Here, you'll find a description of the language as well as a list of sample programs in that language.

This article was written by:


As usual, I'm not super familiar with the language we're working with today, so let's consult Wikipedia.

Like many of the languages we've touched on already, Lua is a scripting language. Unlike many of the scripting languages we've covered, Lua is extremely lightweight, so it shines in embedded applications.

Perhaps the oddest featured of Lua is the fact that it's compiled, but this is not readily apparent to the user. That's because the compilation occurs at run-time where the bytecode is then interpreted. However, it's possible to precompile Lua to save a few CPU cycles during runtime.

Because Lua is built for embedded applications, it has its own C API which can be used to write Lua code in C. Personally, I don't find the API to be that user-friendly, but it does eliminate the need for reference management, so I can't really complain.

Due to its lightweight and embedded nature, Lua has also found a home in the gaming community. How have I never used it?