Selenophobia

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Selenophobia

Egor Skriptunoff-2
Hi!

According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017,
https://stackoverflow.com/insights/survey/2017/?utm_source=so-owned&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=dev-survey-2017&utm_content=blog-link#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-languages
Lua is ranked 9-th in "Most dreaded Languages" list:
2/3 of developers who are currently using Lua express no interest in continuing to use it.

That's quite unexpected.
Probably, most of SO survey respondents are Lua newcomers.
What may be the reasons for their "moon fear"?

Maybe, deceptive simplicity (hidden complexity) of the language?

-- Egor
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Re: Selenophobia

p. shkadzko
Hi,
Heh, I wanted to post this today myself but expected somebody gonna come up with it eventually.
Yes, the "most dreaded" part I noticed and was as well surprised.
I am a newcomer from Python/Java world but would like Lua to be my main language. Would have never thought somebody could consider it bad. I agree that it could be the newcomers who learnt about 1 indexing, 0 is true and silent nil stuff and their world was shattered.

ps: Well at least Lua is in the wanted list :D



On Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 8:51 PM, Egor Skriptunoff <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi!

According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017,
https://stackoverflow.com/insights/survey/2017/?utm_source=so-owned&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=dev-survey-2017&utm_content=blog-link#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-languages
Lua is ranked 9-th in "Most dreaded Languages" list:
2/3 of developers who are currently using Lua express no interest in continuing to use it.

That's quite unexpected.
Probably, most of SO survey respondents are Lua newcomers.
What may be the reasons for their "moon fear"?

Maybe, deceptive simplicity (hidden complexity) of the language?

-- Egor

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Re: Selenophobia

p. shkadzko
After some thought though, I think that in my short experience Lua is more punishable than Python. Also, keep in mind that constant "wheel reinvention" is one of those Lua "features" you can't simply brush off. You have to write code for even simplest functions that many other languages already have hence the irritation. Add to that 1-indexed arrays and other Luaish stuff. People are spoiled by high-level scripting languages and expect the same from Lua. 

Best,
Pavel

On Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 9:02 PM, p. shkadzko <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,
Heh, I wanted to post this today myself but expected somebody gonna come up with it eventually.
Yes, the "most dreaded" part I noticed and was as well surprised.
I am a newcomer from Python/Java world but would like Lua to be my main language. Would have never thought somebody could consider it bad. I agree that it could be the newcomers who learnt about 1 indexing, 0 is true and silent nil stuff and their world was shattered.

ps: Well at least Lua is in the wanted list :D



On Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 8:51 PM, Egor Skriptunoff <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi!

According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017,
https://stackoverflow.com/insights/survey/2017/?utm_source=so-owned&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=dev-survey-2017&utm_content=blog-link#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-languages
Lua is ranked 9-th in "Most dreaded Languages" list:
2/3 of developers who are currently using Lua express no interest in continuing to use it.

That's quite unexpected.
Probably, most of SO survey respondents are Lua newcomers.
What may be the reasons for their "moon fear"?

Maybe, deceptive simplicity (hidden complexity) of the language?

-- Egor


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Re: Selenophobia

Frank Kastenholz-2
In reply to this post by Egor Skriptunoff-2
On 3/24/17 3:51 PM, Egor Skriptunoff wrote:

> Hi!
>
> According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017,
> https://stackoverflow.com/insights/survey/2017/?utm_source=so-owned&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=dev-survey-2017&utm_content=blog-link#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-languages
> Lua is ranked 9-th in "Most dreaded Languages" list:
> 2/3 of developers who are currently using Lua express no interest in
> continuing to use it.
>
> That's quite unexpected.
> Probably, most of SO survey respondents are Lua newcomers.
> What may be the reasons for their "moon fear"?
>
> Maybe, deceptive simplicity (hidden complexity) of the language?

Hi

I faced this exact problem with some team-mates (other companies)
on a large contract I worked on last year. My team developed
an application environment for Lua apps to run in. The folks
developing the first application kicked back and, basically,
said "we don't want to program in Lua".

The basic reasons, as far as I could see, were
  - Unfamiliarity with it. this meant that they had to learn another
    language, another set of programming idioms, and so on.
  - For the app programmers we were working with, Lua does not have wide
    applicability beyond our particular project, so there was some degree
    of "it's not a useful addition to my resume".

    We addressed these two points by saying, basically, "The syntax and
    semantics of the language are easy to learn --- the hard part is
    things like programming models, libraries, and so on ... which have
    nothing to do with Lua, but are functions of the environment we
    made".  We also pointed out the difference in size between the
    O'Reilly Python books and PiL --- as a first approximation of the
    complexity of the basic language.

  - The application team did not fully grasp the reasons that we chose
    Lua for programming (instead of Java, Python, etc).

    We dealt with this by carefully explaining why we chose Lua (such as
    its size, well thought out Lua/C API, portability, and license) and
    contrasting these with other languages.

  - Lua didn't "just do things" that other languages might. One that
    hit us was performance -- initial tests of the application showed it
    taking 50x as much time as the same app coded in C++.  A few simple
    optimizations got it down to about 5x, which was acceptable. These
    were optimizations that any modern C/C++ compiler would do
    automatically.

Frank Kastenholz








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Re: Selenophobia

Sean Conner
In reply to this post by Egor Skriptunoff-2
It was thus said that the Great Egor Skriptunoff once stated:

> Hi!
>
> According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017,
> https://stackoverflow.com/insights/survey/2017/?utm_source=so-owned&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=dev-survey-2017&utm_content=blog-link#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-languages
> Lua is ranked 9-th in "Most dreaded Languages" list:
> 2/3 of developers who are currently using Lua express no interest in
> continuing to use it.
>
> That's quite unexpected.
> Probably, most of SO survey respondents are Lua newcomers.
> What may be the reasons for their "moon fear"?
>
> Maybe, deceptive simplicity (hidden complexity) of the language?

  There's some commentary about this at reddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/lua/comments/60ynhr/lua_featuring_as_9_most_dreaded_language_on_stack/

  The consensus there seems to be:  it's missing batteries and I can't get
started with it in less than 5 seconds on Windows.

  -spc (And there's some grousing about LuaRocks not being as good as it
        could be, but there's no details about what is missing from
        LuaRocks)

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Re: Selenophobia

Charles Heywood
The biggest problem I feel with Luarocks is the (lack of) documentation. I feel things could've been documented better than a GitHub​ wiki.

On Fri, Mar 24, 2017, 16:10 Sean Conner <[hidden email]> wrote:
It was thus said that the Great Egor Skriptunoff once stated:
> Hi!
>
> According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017,
> https://stackoverflow.com/insights/survey/2017/?utm_source=so-owned&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=dev-survey-2017&utm_content=blog-link#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-languages
> Lua is ranked 9-th in "Most dreaded Languages" list:
> 2/3 of developers who are currently using Lua express no interest in
> continuing to use it.
>
> That's quite unexpected.
> Probably, most of SO survey respondents are Lua newcomers.
> What may be the reasons for their "moon fear"?
>
> Maybe, deceptive simplicity (hidden complexity) of the language?

  There's some commentary about this at reddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/lua/comments/60ynhr/lua_featuring_as_9_most_dreaded_language_on_stack/

  The consensus there seems to be:  it's missing batteries and I can't get
started with it in less than 5 seconds on Windows.

  -spc (And there's some grousing about LuaRocks not being as good as it
        could be, but there's no details about what is missing from
        LuaRocks)

--
--

Software Developer / System Administrator
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Re: Selenophobia

Andrew Starks-2
In reply to this post by Sean Conner

On Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 16:10 Sean Conner <[hidden email]> wrote:
It was thus said that the Great Egor Skriptunoff once stated:
> Hi!
>
> According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017,
> https://stackoverflow.com/insights/survey/2017/?utm_source=so-owned&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=dev-survey-2017&utm_content=blog-link#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-languages
> Lua is ranked 9-th in "Most dreaded Languages" list:
> 2/3 of developers who are currently using Lua express no interest in
> continuing to use it.
>
> That's quite unexpected.
> Probably, most of SO survey respondents are Lua newcomers.
> What may be the reasons for their "moon fear"?
>
> Maybe, deceptive simplicity (hidden complexity) of the language?

  There's some commentary about this at reddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/lua/comments/60ynhr/lua_featuring_as_9_most_dreaded_language_on_stack/

  The consensus there seems to be:  it's missing batteries and I can't get
started with it in less than 5 seconds on Windows.

  -spc (And there's some grousing about LuaRocks not being as good as it
        could be, but there's no details about what is missing from
        LuaRocks)

I thought that this critic was thoughtful:





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Re: Selenophobia

Tim Hill
In reply to this post by Frank Kastenholz-2

On Mar 24, 2017, at 1:21 PM, Frank Kastenholz <[hidden email]> wrote:

The basic reasons, as far as I could see, were
- Unfamiliarity with it. this meant that they had to learn another
  language, another set of programming idioms, and so on.
- For the app programmers we were working with, Lua does not have wide
  applicability beyond our particular project, so there was some degree
  of "it's not a useful addition to my resume".

  We addressed these two points by saying, basically, "The syntax and
  semantics of the language are easy to learn --- the hard part is
  things like programming models, libraries, and so on ... which have
  nothing to do with Lua, but are functions of the environment we
  made".  We also pointed out the difference in size between the
  O'Reilly Python books and PiL --- as a first approximation of the
  complexity of the basic language.

- The application team did not fully grasp the reasons that we chose
  Lua for programming (instead of Java, Python, etc).

  We dealt with this by carefully explaining why we chose Lua (such as
  its size, well thought out Lua/C API, portability, and license) and
  contrasting these with other languages.

- Lua didn't "just do things" that other languages might. One that
  hit us was performance -- initial tests of the application showed it
  taking 50x as much time as the same app coded in C++.  A few simple
  optimizations got it down to about 5x, which was acceptable. These
  were optimizations that any modern C/C++ compiler would do
  automatically.

+1 on all this, which matches exactly my experience in the same situation.

—Tim

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Re: Selenophobia

Vadim A. Misbakh-Soloviov
In reply to this post by Frank Kastenholz-2
>   - Lua didn't "just do things" that other languages might. One that
>     hit us was performance -- initial tests of the application showed it
>     taking 50x as much time as the same app coded in C++.  A few simple
>     optimizations got it down to about 5x, which was acceptable. These
>     were optimizations that any modern C/C++ compiler would do
>     automatically.

That reminded me the case, when I wrote crypt_sha256 (or 512? Whatever) on Lua
(just for preactice), and it was 2x-5x faster than reference C/C++
implementation from the author of the document (Ulrich Drepper, AFAIRC) :)

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Re: Selenophobia

Russell Haley
In reply to this post by Sean Conner
Sorry for the top post.

Funny, most of the reasons quoted for not liking Lua are some of the things I find most appealing. 

Russ

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Virgin Mobile network.
  Original Message  
From: Sean Conner
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2017 2:10 PM
To: Lua mailing list
Reply To: Lua mailing list
Subject: Re: Selenophobia

It was thus said that the Great Egor Skriptunoff once stated:

> Hi!
>
> According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017,
> https://stackoverflow.com/insights/survey/2017/?utm_source=so-owned&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=dev-survey-2017&utm_content=blog-link#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-languages
> Lua is ranked 9-th in "Most dreaded Languages" list:
> 2/3 of developers who are currently using Lua express no interest in
> continuing to use it.
>
> That's quite unexpected.
> Probably, most of SO survey respondents are Lua newcomers.
> What may be the reasons for their "moon fear"?
>
> Maybe, deceptive simplicity (hidden complexity) of the language?

There's some commentary about this at reddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/lua/comments/60ynhr/lua_featuring_as_9_most_dreaded_language_on_stack/

The consensus there seems to be: it's missing batteries and I can't get
started with it in less than 5 seconds on Windows.

-spc (And there's some grousing about LuaRocks not being as good as it
could be, but there's no details about what is missing from
LuaRocks)


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Re: Selenophobia

Alex Larsen
In reply to this post by Vadim A. Misbakh-Soloviov

Was this with the PUC-Rio Lua?



From: [hidden email] <[hidden email]> on behalf of Vadim A. Misbakh-Soloviov <[hidden email]>
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2017 8:19 PM
To: [hidden email]; Lua mailing list
Subject: Re: Selenophobia
 
>   - Lua didn't "just do things" that other languages might. One that
>     hit us was performance -- initial tests of the application showed it
>     taking 50x as much time as the same app coded in C++.  A few simple
>     optimizations got it down to about 5x, which was acceptable. These
>     were optimizations that any modern C/C++ compiler would do
>     automatically.

That reminded me the case, when I wrote crypt_sha256 (or 512? Whatever) on Lua
(just for preactice), and it was 2x-5x faster than reference C/C++
implementation from the author of the document (Ulrich Drepper, AFAIRC) :)

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Re: Selenophobia

Pierre Chapuis
In reply to this post by Sean Conner
March 24, 2017 10:10 PM, "Sean Conner" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The consensus there seems to be: it's missing batteries and I can't get
> started with it in less than 5 seconds on Windows.

I answered on Reddit, but I will say it again here: the only way
I found to have a decent experience using Lua on Windows is through
https://github.com/Tieske/luawinmulti. It only depends on a C
compiler (MinGW or MSVC) and gives you a working, self-contained
Lua with a working LuaRocks. This should be what we point Windows
users to.

--
Pierre Chapuis

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Re: Selenophobia

steve donovan
On Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 12:12 PM, Pierre Chapuis <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I answered on Reddit, but I will say it again here: the only way
> I found to have a decent experience using Lua on Windows is through
> https://github.com/Tieske/luawinmulti

Interesting! We had Lua for Windows and it created satisfaction for a
while - well-curated but not buildable from source, and tied to that
old dreadful VS 2005 runtime.  A worthy successor is LuaDist's
'Batteries' project but there really hasn't been enough time and
energy put into a seamless experience.

I've always found the determination of people to hate 1-based indexing
puzzling. After all, it's not an offset, it's an index.  But each to
their own. I'm a happy Lua scripter and there's too much damn magic in
Python.

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Re: Selenophobia

Joseph Manning
On 2017-Mar-25 (Sat) at 12:42 (+0200), steve donovan wrote:

>> I've always found the determination of people to hate 1-based indexing
>> puzzling. After all, it's not an offset, it's an index.  But each to
>> their own.

Steve,

   Yes!  In fact, 1-based indexing is one of the ( several ) reasons
   that I like Lua.  I detest either using, or teaching, the unnatural
   "0 to length-1" pattern of many other "high-level"(?) languages.

   But you're right -- "each to their own".  0 versus 1 debates are
   similar to emacs versus vi debates :-)

Joseph

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joseph Manning / Computer Science / UCC Cork Ireland / [hidden email]
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Re: Selenophobia

Martin
In reply to this post by Egor Skriptunoff-2


On 03/24/2017 12:51 PM, Egor Skriptunoff wrote:

> According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017,
> https://stackoverflow.com/insights/survey/2017/?utm_source=so-owned&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=dev-survey-2017&utm_content=blog-link#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-languages
> Lua is ranked 9-th in "Most dreaded Languages" list:
> 2/3 of developers who are currently using Lua express no interest in
> continuing to use it.
>
> That's quite unexpected.
> Probably, most of SO survey respondents are Lua newcomers.
> What may be the reasons for their "moon fear"?
>
> Maybe, deceptive simplicity (hidden complexity) of the language?
>
> -- Egor

I think Lua is a great language for creating your own worlds. Worlds
where basic entities are low-level linked functions, lua functions and
lua tables. OOP, JSON, XML, DOM, SQL, machine learning, WebGL and
other abstractions are not supplied.

Probably majority of responders of StackOverflow wishes them. And
wishes them in one and only canonic form.

I think that guys find nearly ideal imaginary language whose
distribution occupies 60GiB and includes libraries for anything (but
exactly one library for something). Where creating and distributing
your own libraries is strictly forbidden or hardened by compliance
with "standards". Where printed documentation weights over 100kg.
Where someone may spent 20 years to become "guru" in usage of some
these libraries. Where is government-like system of certificates
(ranks). Where backward compatibility is dogma. Is this a "language"
of future?

Should it be said that Lua is NOT such language? (And hope will
never be.)

-- Martin

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Re: Selenophobia

p. shkadzko
Machine learning IS supplied, batteries included. 

The survey is obviously biased (73% web devs). 

Here is a nice post "Goodbye, Lua": https://realmensch.org/2016/05/28/goodbye-lua/
Which I think puts all Lua strengths and weaknesses very nicely.

On Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 10:12 PM, Martin <[hidden email]> wrote:


On 03/24/2017 12:51 PM, Egor Skriptunoff wrote:
> According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017,
> https://stackoverflow.com/insights/survey/2017/?utm_source=so-owned&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=dev-survey-2017&utm_content=blog-link#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-languages
> Lua is ranked 9-th in "Most dreaded Languages" list:
> 2/3 of developers who are currently using Lua express no interest in
> continuing to use it.
>
> That's quite unexpected.
> Probably, most of SO survey respondents are Lua newcomers.
> What may be the reasons for their "moon fear"?
>
> Maybe, deceptive simplicity (hidden complexity) of the language?
>
> -- Egor

I think Lua is a great language for creating your own worlds. Worlds
where basic entities are low-level linked functions, lua functions and
lua tables. OOP, JSON, XML, DOM, SQL, machine learning, WebGL and
other abstractions are not supplied.

Probably majority of responders of StackOverflow wishes them. And
wishes them in one and only canonic form.

I think that guys find nearly ideal imaginary language whose
distribution occupies 60GiB and includes libraries for anything (but
exactly one library for something). Where creating and distributing
your own libraries is strictly forbidden or hardened by compliance
with "standards". Where printed documentation weights over 100kg.
Where someone may spent 20 years to become "guru" in usage of some
these libraries. Where is government-like system of certificates
(ranks). Where backward compatibility is dogma. Is this a "language"
of future?

Should it be said that Lua is NOT such language? (And hope will
never be.)

-- Martin


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Re: Selenophobia

Enrico Colombini
In reply to this post by Sean Conner
On 24-Mar-17 22:09, Sean Conner wrote:
>   The consensus there seems to be:  it's missing batteries and I can't get
> started with it in less than 5 seconds on Windows.

Nowadays "programming language" is as ambiguous as "operating system":
for most people it does not actually mean a programming language alone,
but also a development environment, a full set of libraries (possibly
including GUI design end programming) all of which should be installable
with a couple of clicks and no preliminary study.

 > -spc (And there's some grousing about LuaRocks not being as good as it
 >  could be, but there's no details about what is missing from
 >  LuaRocks)

I may be wrong, but I am under the impression that LuaRocks libraries
installation requires a C compiler. Not a problem on Linux (etc.) but
definitely a problem on Windows.
This cuts out the vast majority of learners-to-midrange programmers:
after all, why use an accessible language if to use it you need a 'hard'
language?

I would like to stress that this is not a criticism of Lua (which I
love) or of LuaRocks (a quite worthy project), but simply a
consideration about the mounting costs of supporting lazy... er, typical
programmers.

--
   Enrico

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Re: Selenophobia

Enrico Colombini
In reply to this post by steve donovan
On 25-Mar-17 11:42, steve donovan wrote:
> Interesting! We had Lua for Windows and it created satisfaction for a
> while - well-curated but not buildable from source, and tied to that
> old dreadful VS 2005 runtime.  A worthy successor is LuaDist's
> 'Batteries' project but there really hasn't been enough time and
> energy put into a seamless experience.

And a seamless experience is what is expected of modern software. Actual
language qualities are appreciated much later, and unfortunately not by all.

> I've always found the determination of people to hate 1-based indexing
> puzzling. After all, it's not an offset, it's an index.

Ingrained habits are hard to break, especially for people used to a
single language or a single programming paradigm.

> But each to their own. I'm a happy Lua scripter and there's too much
> damn magic in Python.

Too much of everything, I would say. Language and libraries seem to
exhibit a high degree of redundancy :-)

To sum it up, I do not think chasing majority approval would be a good
recipe for a work well done.

--
   Enrico

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Re: Selenophobia

Andrew Starks-2
In reply to this post by Pierre Chapuis

On Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 05:12 Pierre Chapuis <[hidden email]> wrote:
March 24, 2017 10:10 PM, "Sean Conner" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The consensus there seems to be: it's missing batteries and I can't get
> started with it in less than 5 seconds on Windows.

I answered on Reddit, but I will say it again here: the only way
I found to have a decent experience using Lua on Windows is through
https://github.com/Tieske/luawinmulti. It only depends on a C
compiler (MinGW or MSVC) and gives you a working, self-contained
Lua with a working LuaRocks. This should be what we point Windows
users to.

--
Pierre Chapuis

My current favorite solution is ZeroBraneStudio, which "just works" on the three major platforms, if you're just trying to make things run. It does not provide a luarocks install and it doesn't provide the ability to export a sandbox, but it does give you a functioning debugger and many of the other niceties of a real environment. 

It would be wonderful to see Lua as a first class citizen in VS. 

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Re: Selenophobia

Egor Skriptunoff-2
In reply to this post by Frank Kastenholz-2
On Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 11:21 PM, Frank Kastenholz wrote:

I faced this exact problem with some team-mates (other companies)
on a large contract I worked on last year. My team developed
an application environment for Lua apps to run in. The folks
developing the first application kicked back and, basically,
said "we don't want to program in Lua".


Such applications may deserve marking with special logo :-)
https://i.imgur.com/ID1C7fp.png

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