Be Lured by LuaBy Peter Naulls. Published: 30th Jan 2003, 12:55:45 | Permalink | Printable
All about RiscLua.
In the next entry in our recent competition, Steve Knutson extolls the virtues of RiscLua.
Lua was developed by Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil's Computer Science Department. It is a very powerful, but extremely light-weight programming language, ideal for everything from scripting to full application development. Lua is Portuguese for moon, which makes sence when you see the logo.
Thanks to G.C. Wraith, a free, 32bit version (RiscLua) can be downloaded from http://www.lua.riscos.org.uk. It supports both RISC OS 4 and 5.
Lua is a modern programming language with built in memory management. It is designed to be extensible and small. It can be embedded in other programming languages such as C (by adding the appropriate header files) to provide scripting within an application.
Lua can be used as a smaller, faster alternative to Python and has a lower memory overhead. Python on the other hand, has a wider range of resources available, has a simple syntax and has more scientific features.
Lua was designed to be very portable (just remember that the RISC OS extensions are platform specfic), and is available on various platforms including Windows, UNIX, Mac OS, Mac OS X, BeOS and PalmOS. The source code is online for those who are keen to port a version or add some features.
RiscLua has been extended to allow access to SWIs and linking to ARM code. This allows the development of WIMP applications and access to Operating System functions. An excellent online tutorial is available on the RiscLua website, including information to get you started with WIMP applications, SWI calls and the basic syntax and features of the language.
Further information about Lua can be obtained from the official Lua website.
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