Wishlist for PiL 3rd ed.

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Wishlist for PiL 3rd ed.

sergei karhof
I don't know if Roberto accepts custom orders ;), but here are a
couple of things I would really like to see in the third edition of
PiL:

* a brief mention of the major Lua extensions, with their main
features. Since Lua does not come with a standard library of its own,
having a schematic table of the most popular extensions is essential
for the beginners.

* something about the use of Lua on portable devices (Android,
microcontrollers, etc)

By the way, is the book release still scheduled for August 2012?

Cheers

Sergei

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Re: Wishlist for PiL 3rd ed.

Enrico Tassi
On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 03:10:16PM +0200, sergei karhof wrote:
> I don't know if Roberto accepts custom orders ;), but here are a
> couple of things I would really like to see in the third edition of
> PiL:
>
> * a brief mention of the major Lua extensions, with their main
> features. Since Lua does not come with a standard library of its own,
> having a schematic table of the most popular extensions is essential
> for the beginners.

That would be a dream coming true...

If I'm not mistaken nobody in the Lua cabal ever blessed any Lua
extension (but for lxp and luasocket I guess, that are indeed used in
Pil IIRC).
In case they change their minds, I would suggest a less static media
than a book, and to bless not only a piece of software but also its
maintainer.

In the meanwhile, you can look at the wiki, and at what the various
distrubutions of Lua (Lua for Windows, Lua Dist, luarocks, Debian, Fedora,
...) picked up, then choose the ones available on the platforms you want to
target, double check the extensions you need are still maintained and cross
your finghers hoping they will stay as such (or be ready to fork them).

Cheers
--
Enrico Tassi

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Re: Wishlist for PiL 3rd ed.

Peter Hickman-3
There is the issue that what is popular at the time of writing may not
be popular when you read it.

PiL is valid for as long as you use the version of Lua that it is
based around. Which means that the shelf life of that part of the book
is very long.

This might not be so for the libraries and therefore the book will start to age.

Personally I like PiL, it reminds me of K&R when I first saw it.

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Re: Wishlist for PiL 3rd ed.

steve donovan
On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 3:54 PM, Peter Hickman
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Personally I like PiL, it reminds me of K&R when I first saw it.

Agreed, very clearly written and not too long.  If Roberto then spends
a lot more time discussing libraries, then it becomes less effective
as an introduction to the language.

Although something like LuaFileSystem is essential equipment, and we
can forgive him if he discusses LPeg, since it is one of the jewels of
the Lua ecosystem - and a good example of creative operator
overloading.

steev d.

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Re: Wishlist for PiL 3rd ed.

Philippe Lhoste
In reply to this post by Enrico Tassi
On 23/05/2012 15:48, Enrico Tassi wrote:
> In the meanwhile, you can look at the wiki, and at what the various
> distrubutions of Lua (Lua for Windows, Lua Dist, luarocks, Debian, Fedora,
> ...) picked up, then choose the ones available on the platforms you want to
> target, double check the extensions you need are still maintained and cross
> your finghers hoping they will stay as such (or be ready to fork them).

Choosing the libraries can be controversial... Lot of people can feel annoyed to have not
been mentioned. Lot of people will think their favorite library should have been mentioned
instead of another.

As said, mentioning the wiki is more useful: no choice from the author, regular updates
(removal of dead links and such), and so on.
Also worth mentioning this mailing list...

--
Philippe Lhoste
--  (near) Paris -- France
--  http://Phi.Lho.free.fr
--  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --


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Re: Wishlist for PiL 3rd ed.

steve donovan
On Thu, May 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM, Philippe Lhoste <[hidden email]> wrote:
> As said, mentioning the wiki is more useful: no choice from the author,
> regular updates (removal of dead links and such), and so on.

It would be very useful if 'LuaForge vs 2' happened - currently it's a
static archive of projects, and I don't think Yuri has much time to
look after it.  Currently Lua projects are scattered over Github,
Google code, etc.

Basically, something like the snippets site [1] except for projects
(and it actually makes sense to integrate snippets and projects).  We
got bogged down in technology choices, but it was felt that a Lua
solution was best.

steve d.

[1] http://snippets.luacode.org/

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Re: Wishlist for PiL 3rd ed.

Enrico Tassi
In reply to this post by Philippe Lhoste
On Thu, May 24, 2012 at 10:09:03AM +0200, Philippe Lhoste wrote:
> Choosing the libraries can be controversial... Lot of people can
> feel annoyed to have not been mentioned. Lot of people will think
> their favorite library should have been mentioned instead of
> another.

Well, I had in mind more the selection of standard set of quality
batteries, rather than a despotic sentence to death for uninteresting
extensions. And this just means extra responsibility for their
(consensual) authors, not extra fame.

The point is that today you know Lua runs everywhere and it is well
supported. What about the extensions? Are they portable? Will they be
supported in the future? Will they be ported to Lua 5.2?

These are real issues if you plan to use Lua as a general purpose language.

Cheers
--
Enrico Tassi

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RE: Wishlist for PiL 3rd ed.

Thijs Schreijer
Just my 2 cts; Some things that would have made my life easier when learning
Lua;

1) Layout of the Lua system (see
http://lua-users.org/lists/lua-l/2012-04/msg00880.html for an example). Some
diagrams on this topic would work wonders for starters to grasp how it all
fits together.

2) some visual explanation of the stack concept, positive and negative
indexes. Adding a few pictures would work wonders here as well.

3) more hard-core but still relevant judging by the number of questions on
the list; some more attention to multi-threading and callbacks (info on the
wiki is mostly ordered by solutions, not by use-case, which makes it hard)

In general I just like diagrams to explain stuff, which the book is short
of.

Like I said, just my 2 cts.
Thijs


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Re: Wishlist for PiL 3rd ed.

Roberto Ierusalimschy
In reply to this post by sergei karhof
> By the way, is the book release still scheduled for August 2012?

I hope to have the text finished by then, by it will take a while longer
to have the book published.

-- Roberto

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Re: Wishlist for PiL 3rd ed.

Andrew Starks
In reply to this post by Peter Hickman-3

On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 8:54 AM, Peter Hickman <[hidden email]> wrote:

Personally I like PiL, it reminds me of K&R when I first saw it.


[Hi all! First post, but this topic made me jump the lurking barrier...]

I think this point is well made. PiL as a language is much like the book: simple and no simple-r. 

My personal point of view is that I was introduced to Lua from the web, where I was able to learn that, yes, there are modules and through enough effort, I could eventually find them. Once I fell into love with the design of the language and its ideas, I bought the book.

The appeal of Lua and PiL, is that both can be held within my small brain. I know what is in both, right now. So, the shorter the book, the easier it is to master the ideas of everything in it, which is not to say that you can easily master the language (or computer science), itself. The attitude that I have to approaching the language is deeply effected by the page count and anyone's attitude is going to affect the level of effort they put into doing so.

A related point is that a big thick book with a list of things that change faster than the language does is only going to make the book that much more frustrating when I come back to it and it "doesn't even cover the new XXX module!"

My favorite quote regarding Lua is (paraphrased) 

"I needed a module and chose the Lua Way: Poked around for a couple of hours, found a couple that met my needs and then wrote my own."

I know where to go to find modules: the web. Then I find Luarocks and the wiki. Those are great resources but lately github has become more relevant to me, and that's sad because those projects are not put into a larger Lua Context. They're only the result of what I find by accident of my searching ability. My perception is that, relative to Lua's significance to a broad range of people that might be curious about it, things are fragmented, stale, awesome and somewhat hard to find. That's a web problem, however. THE book on the Lua Programing language is not the tool in which to fix that.

With that, my PiL suggestion (which others are free to shoot down):

I love how the book teaches Lua through examples. Some examples that I'd like to see used might include:
-Some of the basics of event loop programming
-Emulating or supporting message passing patterns. 
-How you might solve a problem using callbacks and how that might be expressed in lua.
-How method chaining might be used.

What I might be getting at is that PiL, like The C Programming Language, was actually pretty good at teaching some important concepts in CSCI. The examples in it were fantastic and if I would change anything, I would perhaps pick some good concepts as mechanisms to teach some of the new material in 5.2

My .02 cents. :)

-Andrew Starks

Sent from my iRon.