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Beginning Lua Programming Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0470069172 ISBN-10: 0470069171 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox; 1 edition (January 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470069171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470069172
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Lua offers a wide range of features that you can utilize to support and enhance your applications. With this book as your guide, you'll gain a thorough understanding of all aspects of programming with this powerful language. It will walk you through the basics, covering everything from installing Lua on your system to developing games and web sites.

Experts Jung and Brown first present the fundamentals of programming and explain standard Lua functions. They then show you how to take advantage of all of the free Lua community resources that are available. Complete code samples are integrated throughout the chapters to clearly demonstrate how to apply the information. Diagrams are also included to highlight important Lua features such as stacks, hash tables, garbage collection, and function closures. All of this will help you to quickly write your own effective programs.

What you will learn from this book

  • Ways to extend Lua's operators with metamethods
  • Methods on how to use tables, strings, and modules
  • How to handle events naturally with coroutines
  • Techniques for managing information with databases
  • Tips for handling and avoiding programming errors
  • Ways to create your own innovative games
  • How to enhance application development using packages contributed by the Lua community
  • Steps for presenting dynamic information on your web site

Who this book is for

This book is for beginning programmers, game developers, and web site developers who are interested in a simple yet powerful introduction to programming.

Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.

About the Author

Between his first programs submitted to a Burroughs 5500 on Hollerith punch cards and his latest programs tapped into a Palm Pilot, Kurt Jung has been the principal programmer on various projects ranging from airline yield management to state machine–driven workflow.

Aaron Brown began programming in elementary school on a Commodore 64. He plays various musical instruments and speaks Esperanto.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Matthew M. Burke on April 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'd like to give this book 4.5 stars, but that doesn't seem to be an option. I think quite highly of Lua and use it a lot. So I like to keep a collection of references that I can loan out to my colleagues and my students in a nut-so-subtle attempt to get them hooked. This book fulfills that role quite nicely.

I think this is an excellent book for several reasons: 1) I can loan it out both to intro students (who have not had much experience in compiling/installing software, coding anything other than toy programs, etc.) and I can loan it to colleagues who can skip all the fundamental material and yet still learn something interesting about Lua, and programming in general; 2) although it's close to 650 pages, it's 650ish pages of useful material, it doesn't achieve its bulk by being filled with gazillions of pages of on-line API documentation, and other fluff like many other intro books; 3) it has exercises (with answers in the back) for each chapter.

There are only two complaints I have with the book and neither are major. In Chapter 18 (Carrying Lua with you) there is no mention of the Lua port for PocketPC and a handful of other platforms. Although I don't use Windows much, there is a nice port of Lua that I use on an HP iPAQ. The other complaint is perhaps a little curmudgeonly: I don't like the authors' usage of the term "side-effect". While technically correct, it doesn't really align well with how most people, particularly in an intro setting, use the term.

That said, I think this is an excellent intro to Lua, contains good examples of programming in general, and I'm quite pleased to have a copy on my book collection.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Real Time Embedded on November 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
First of all, I am impressed with this book. It is easy reading. The technical content is cohesive. It flows from one topic to the next in a smooth logical manor. The writers did a very good job of directing the text to me, the reader, and not to empty space. I have been programming with real time embedded systems since 1975. My first programming experience was writing assembler code in Octal for an Intel 8080a processor. Since those days, I have had the opportunity, or the misfortune as some would say, to read volumes of manuals. Most manuals were written by the supplier of the CPU, such as Intel, Motorola, Zilog, TI, ST Micro, etc. To say the least, the information was mostly there. Although it took an enormous amount of time to `extract' the information. The point of this, is to say time is precious. Having to read a manual while under a time deadline is not much fun. So when I began reading Lua Programming by Jung and Brown, was I pleasantly surprised! It is as though the writers were in the room talking directly to me. Not talking to empty space, but actually talking to me, the reader. Because they took the time to write clearly and concisely, this book will be in my library with my 8080a assembly language primer.

However before I finish, I feel that I must address an injustice. At this time, there are two other reviews of this book, those reviews did a terrible hack job in the form of a review. It appears nothing more that an amateurish attempt to discredit a fine book. Since both refer to the exact same book, I can only image they were paid to write those disingenuous reviews.

I would honestly rate this book as a solid 4.5 for the above mentioned items. But because of the two hacks, I shall rate the book a 5 to right the afore mentioned injustice.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ricardo Dapaz on May 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
I think that some of the reviewers might have been a little harsh on this book. I do agree that the coverage of some of the more in-depth topics such as metatables, closures, upvalues to mention a few may have been better presented in the PIL but this book does offer value in its presentation of web programming, database programming and compiling Lua for various platforms, all of which are not covered in the PIL.

Also on the plus side, the typesetting is a bit richer and you can download all of the examples in the book from the wrox web site. Also, you will find that the examples covered in this book are quite extensive. PIL is better suited for more experienced programmers but if you are starting out with a scripting language, you have chosen well in Lua and you can't really go wrong with this book.
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23 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Chirp Skip on April 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
First let me describe my background, so you know where I'm coming from.

I'm an experienced programmer by trade and was interested in writing a C application in my spare time that used Lua as an internal scripting engine.

Much to my surprise I found this book to be confusing. I found the description of upvalues, closures and tail calls hard to understand. I found the way the book handled Lua's object-oriented programming methodology (and modules) was very sparse and not very useful.

Finally, most pertinent to me is the content on how to integrate and use Lua from a host C application. It was disappointingly lacking. First, that content is split over two chapters haphazardly (Chapter 12 - Using Community Libraries, where the book describes calling a C function from Lua, and Chapter 13 - Interfacing Lua with Other Languages, where the rest of the content resides). In addition the book totally omits information on how to setup a full hosting environment to Lua - such as making all the standard Lua libraries available to your scripts. Hint: use luaL_openLibs... this isn't mentioned anywhere in the book. This is important to know, because if you don't provide the libraries, your script won't be able to use io, strings, etc. A quick search on the internet revealed all I needed to get started on this topic - google Christian Larsen's "Using Lua with C++" tutorial for something that is actually WELL WRITTEN, and that something the book should have covered.

I would recommend people stay away from this book and get Programming in Lua, Second Edition by Roberto Ierusalimschy instead. I ended up buying this book after finding myself in circles from reading Beginning Lua Programming.
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