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Programming in Lua, Second Edition Paperback – March 5, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-8590379829 ISBN-10: 8590379825 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher:; 2 edition (March 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8590379825
  • ISBN-13: 978-8590379829
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #553,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"the book presents so many good ideas, and presents them so artfully, that it's worth reading." --, May 2004

About the Author

Roberto Ierusalimschy is an Associate Professor at the Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro. He is the leading architect of Lua.

More About the Author

Roberto Ierusalimschy is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at PUC-Rio (the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro), where he works with programming-language design and implementation. He is the leading architect of the Lua programming language and the author of "Programming in Lua" (now in its third edition and translated to Chinese, Korean, German, and Japanese).

Roberto has a M.Sc. Degree and a D.Sc. Degree in Computer Science, both from PUC-Rio. He was a visiting researcher at the University of Waterloo, ICSI, GMD, and UIUC, and a Tinker Professor at Stanford. As a professor at PUC-Rio, Roberto was the advisor of several students that later became influential members of the Lua community. Roberto is also a Distinguished ACM Speaker.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The book Programming in Lua is an excellent book on the Lua language.
William Dere
The book provides valuable explanations of language and library features which even the careful reader of the Lua reference manual might miss.
Kurt Jung
This book is very approachable and has a clear, concise writing style.
Michael Lore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 112 people found the following review helpful By André Carregal on December 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
The Lua programming Language has been around for a while but this book by Roberto Ierusalimschy will be a mark in its history. The book managed to surpass every expectation I had for it, and I was eager! From someone with no Lua knowledge to those with Lua klocs in their backs, this book will be a great companion in a nice to read trip down the Lua 5.0 lane.
The book begins with the basic Lua elements and structures and then advances through control structures, functions, iterators and coroutines. Iterators and coroutines are one of those language features that may confuse the first timers, but the author manages to show the concepts and inter relations between them in a way that clarified the issues even for a seasoned Lua programmer. Alas, make no mistake, the whole first part is totally worthwhile for non beginners.
The second part of the book shows one of Lua biggest assets: tables and metatables. I've seen people sneer at Lua at first glance and then convert themselves to Lua evangelists simply for the features of tables and metatables. The author does his magic and makes a whole set of apparently complex concepts flow by the reader as fluid and logical as they can be.
By the way, fluency is arguably one of the major benefits of this book. The reader is taken from substrate to substrate of the Lua way of life without even taking notice. Every end of chapter left me with the satisfaction of having been presented with one more facet of Lua and with the tranquility that everything was falling in place at the right timing.
After tables and metatables, the book presents the concepts of Packages and Object Orientation in Lua. If you had any doubt ever that Lua was able to sustain "real" Modular/OO programming, be prepared to replace your dogmas.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Enrico Colombini on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Lua is a free scripting language with an interesting development history. It is a language that is gaining wider acceptance thanks to small size, readable syntax, expressive power, efficiency, ANSI C portability and easy two-way integration with C and C++. It is also useful as a data-description language that can be tailored to one's needs.
Written by the chief architect of the language, this book is aimed at programmers whishing to approach or to better understand Lua and the (often unsuspected) capabilities offered by a fully dynamic language.
Despite its deceptively small size (260 pages) and a plain, readable style with an eye-resting typesetting, "Programming in Lua" packs an impressive amount of information peppered with small, clear code examples to help digesting it; it reminds me of my favorite programming book: the K&R (Kernighan and Ritchie's "The C programming language"). It is a multi-level book that always gives something new at every reading.
Rather than offer a catalogue of functions (left to the downloadable reference manual), the book's four sections introduce capabilities, concepts and interesting techniques that may surprise programmers used to static languages.
The first section is devoted to the language itself, including not-so-common subjects like dynamic typing, multiple results, first-class functions, closures, iterators and coroutines. The following section shows how to build all sorts of data structures, from simple arrays and lists to packages and objects, using Lua's "tables" and the powerful idea of "metatables" that makes the language easily customizable.
The third section introduces the standard libraries (they are actually optional, e.g.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Jung on March 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Lua is a gem among programming languages. Its designers have commendably placed a high value on keeping the language small, readable and portable. The diminutive size and simple syntax of Lua, however, belie a very rich, highly factored and stable architecture. It is a fun language in which to program. Lua dovetails beautifully with lower level languages by means of a C interface, and its drum tight language processor and libraries are right at home in event-driven graphical applications as well as console programs.
The excellent book "Programming in Lua" by Roberto Ierusalimschy provides developers with a broad summary of the language. The author includes a myriad of small examples, each of which is well focused and easily grasped. Different solutions to a given problem are often accompanied by benchmark figures. Prof. Ierusalimschy has an educator's gift for finding the appropriate level at which to write, and readers will appreciate the conversational nature of his writing. Unlike many programming language books, "Programming in Lua" has a strong content-to-fluff ratio throughout.
The book provides valuable explanations of language and library features which even the careful reader of the Lua reference manual might miss. In addition, over twenty C library entry points are discussed (and, thankfully, indexed) which are not mentioned in the reference manual.
It is hard to conceive of a software project which would not benefit from using Lua, both as an embedded component and as a standalone interpreter of scripts. The book "Programming in Lua" is valuable for anyone with an interest in this lovely language.
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