- Paperback: 366 pages
- Publisher: Lua.org; 3 edition (January 3, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 859037985X
- ISBN-13: 978-8590379850
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 109 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #479,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Programming in Lua 3rd Edition
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That all said, this book covers everything that a practicing software developer needs to know about Lua -- from programming style to idioms for doing certain tasks, to syntax details, library APIs, and so on. Since the author is also one of the architects and developers of the language, there is a good amount of "why" as well as the "what" that most other books have.
The book is very thorough and I appreciate the attention that went into the sections on writing C applications that invoke Lua code and on writing Lua applications that invoke C libraries.
I took away a star because I felt a lot of the "stack" counting concepts could benefit from a simple graphic here or there and they didn't bother to make any; you just have to study the text and the examples until the stack indexing clicks in your head.
Overall, a great book for anyone programming in Lua.
The structure of the recent 3rd edition follows that of the "classic" of programming: "The C Programming Language", written by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie many years ago. A short introductory chapter describing Lua at large is followed by 30 chapters focusing specific areas. The first 10 chapters are about the essential aspects of Lua, but include more "advanced" issues such as iterators and coroutines. The next 7 chapters are about data structures and OO programming. Another 7 chapters describe Lua's standard libraries, and the last 8 chapters are about Lua's C API and discuss more advanced issues such as threads ans memory management. Many examples and case studies are spread all over the book.
The book has about 350 pages, what is still acceptable as a "bed lecture". Several chapters are a bit short (e.g., the one describing Lua's mathematical library, which essentially is the C standard math library, could have spent half a dozen more pages.) The 3rd edition has about 50 more pages than the 2nd; includes end-of-the-chapter exercises and reflects changes in Lua from version 5.1 to 5.2 (environments/global variables, extended coroutines, bit operations library,...). Overall it is a more polished work than the 2nd edition, and is a very inexpensive book (24 bucks today...), certainly due to Roberto's option of self-publishing. This option doesn't affect the quality: despite having already read a big chunk of the book, I didn't found noticeable typos or errors.
A must have book for Lua lovers.