Hello to the list!

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Hello to the list!

Juergen Fuhrmann
Hi,

I am new to this list, and I'd like to introduce myself because we are
considering rather seriously to use lua for some projects. 

I am  working at the   Weierstrass Institute for Applied  Analysis and
Stochastics (see  http://www.wias-berlin.de  -  the Server   isn't too
informative  for some administrative reasons,  we  are about to change
that...) in the   departement of numerical   matematics and scientific
computing.  We are   concerned  with  numerical  solution of   partial
differential  equations which  model  porous media flow, semiconductor
devices, phase transition processes in steel etc. We try to do this on
the base of a modular library of matrices, iterations etc. 

This library  has also some kind  of batch processing language, and we
also tried to write our own pascal like extension  language. As we are
numerical mathematicians and not informatics people, we naturally have
not enough time  for this  job, so  we  decided to stop  these efforts
(some years ago already) and to use  one of the extension languages on
the "market". 

But which one ? As we had our own experiences and  ideas with that, we
have some strong demands  to this kind of languages.  This led  to the
situation  now  that  in  our   opinion, all   the  standard extension
languages (tcl, perl,python,slang,java,scheme)  do not  fulfill one of
the following: 

* small, compact language kernel which is _absolutely portable and stable_
* easy syntax - we want that our project partners who are engineers not 
  experienced in informatics to be able to understand and to write scripts
* license conditions which allow flexible use in application projects
* C code integration not by generated interface stubs but by calling 
  register methods from C.
* code development policy with strong commitment to interface stability

Up to now, slang seemed to be closest to these demands, but now I have
the enthusiastic feeling that lua is just exactly what we need! 

So my first questions to the list:

What experiences do you  have with using  lua in medium to large scale
projects  ?  How stable  is it's behaviour ? How  portable is it ? ( I
got it  to work just  for  fun on an  old 386sx  with a five  year old
TurboC and msdos, and _absolutely no problem_ ! Great!) 

Best regards
Juergen

Dr. Juergen Fuhrmann                   [hidden email]
                         Numerical Mathematics & Scientific Computing
    Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics Berlin
                    if you believe me they put a man on the moon /rem

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RE: Hello to the list!

Jim Jackl-Mochel
Here at Foliage we used Lua as the testing script language for a medium sized project. 
(6 veteran engineers for 6 months - 4 Developers/2 QA) . It was easy to integrate into 
a client server environment and took only two days to create the project specific LUA 
library calls (112 Functions ) and most of the time was spent getting the error handling 
scheme to work (in other words: LUA was not the bottleneck).

We used LUA to generate full coverage testing scripts (High, Low, and bogus parameter calls ) and 
short tours system abuse scripts. The code generated the scripts based on function descriptions in 
a table and then executed the scripts in order. 

It is very stable and the move from LUA 2.X to 3.0 was just a recompile. The only problem we had was that
LUA represented all reals as floats rather than doubles. It was trivial to fix (one day of discovery, a few hours of testing) .

> But which one ? As we had our own experiences and  ideas with that, we
> have some strong demands  to this kind of languages.  This led  to the
> situation  now  that  in  our   opinion, all   the  standard extension
> languages (tcl, perl,python,slang,java,scheme)  do not  fulfill one of
> the following: 
> 
> * small, compact language kernel which is _absolutely portable and stable_

I have gotten it work on QNX, Linux, NT and Win95. 

> * easy syntax - we want that our project partners who are engineers not 
>   experienced in informatics to be able to understand and to write scripts

Can't comment too much. Our customers (the people we produced the system for) were able 
to use the scripts but much preferred GUI interfaces anyway.

> * license conditions which allow flexible use in application projects

We never released the testing engine for commercial use. 

> * C code integration not by generated interface stubs but by calling 
>   register methods from C.

Yes and no. To do meaningful work (AFAIK) you have to produce a simple set of C wrappers 
around your own functions and register those. Very simple and it can be automated. See ToLUA or
SWIG tools.

> * code development policy with strong commitment to interface stability

Amen ! Seems to be answered by LUA so far !

Good Luck and I hope this helps.
     Jim Jackl-Mochel