Lua, Lunatic and Python

Gustavo Niemeyer niemeyer at
Sat Dec 13 22:29:41 CET 2003

Hello John!

> I'll make some predictions now: in a few years there will be flame
> wars at between the people wanting to keep distinguishing
> characteristics of Lua (fooprint and speed) intact, versus the
> incorrigible programmers who will inevitably add feature after feature
> to their favorite language until it approaches Pythonesque
> proportions. Among these features, of course, will be memory- and
> infrastructure-intensive operations leading to language bloat. In
> short, there is (and will most likely be) nothing new under the sun as
> far as evangelical fervor and the dynamics of programming language
> evolution go.

That's the only point I disagree (including the Tom Jobim stuff :-).
Flame wars have already started, and it sounds pretty acceptable to
have these flamewars in any language development forum. There will
always be people wanting to include massive stuff in the language,
and people wanting to get them out. It will be the maintainers'
responsibility to point the direction, and ensure that the overall
idea is being followed. Notice that the Lua language started 10
years ago, and the language static library is still at 100kb.

I really don't see Python and Lua overlapping in their fields right
now. Lua is clearly not developed with general system tasks in mind,
and Python is clearly not developed to be a configuration language,
or as small as possible. This may change in the future, but I belive
(and hope) that instead of Lua becoming a general purpose language,
the Python core will get smaller, with something like the pypy

For a real world example, have a look at the article I wrote
a few months ago:

  Why Lua was embedded in APT-RPM

Gustavo Niemeyer

More information about the Python-list mailing list