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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Lua.org; 2 edition (5 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8590379825
  • ISBN-13: 978-8590379829
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 1.8 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 423,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
If you are using the stand-alone Lua interpreter, all you have to do to run your first program is to call the interpreter (usually named lua) with the name of the text file that contains your program. Read the first page
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DCH on 27 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is a good introduction to the Lua Programming language (v5.1), and assumes you already know how to program in another language. It starts with the basics and goes on to quite an advanced level, but at all times it's clear and easy to understand. There are plenty of examples throughout. There aren't many books on Lua, so this one should definitely be on your bookshelf if you want to program in Lua 5.1.

There's quite a lot about how Lua can interact with C, so to get the most out of it you need to know C already. But if you don't know C and just want to use Lua as a scripting language, you'll still benefit from this book.

If you're interested in calling Lua from a C program (easy), or if you want to extend Lua's capabilities by writing your own C functions (harder), then this book will show you how to do it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fred Flintstone from Gateshead on 25 July 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came across the Lua scripting language about 4 years ago and
fell in love with it. This book has the makings of a classic text that you will enjoy owning. Its so refreshing to find a well written, small book on a programming language with a huge power to weight ratio. The book covers all aspects of the language and acts as tutorial, reference and language specification. As a regular user of the AWK scripting language I would have appreciated better examples on how to acheive the AWK split() function but otherwise the book provides a large range of really useful code fragments. Congratulations to the author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By pete3894792 on 17 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very clearly written and concise book, which is something of a rarity in these days of monster tomes full of words and little information! I'm using Lua to extend a number of applications, and am using this book to help me figure-out how to do it. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Costick on 17 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's hard to define the perfect "how to" book for someone getting to know a new programming languange. So much depends on the reader's experience and aims. "Programming in Lua" (aka "the PiL book") hits the spot for me. I'm an experienced software developer with a background in Smalltalk and Java, among others.

The author wastes no time with attempts at humour, but comes across as someone genuinely trying to give the reader the optimum learning experience. There is not a sentence that I would say is superfluous. At the same time, there are no points at which I would have wanted more explanation. Coding examples or snippets are used throughout.

I'm a great believer in learning by doing. My approach to reading the book is to have my Lua interpreter open at all times and, when there is something that I don't quite understand, to try it and some variations, or to write a slightly longer Lua script ("chunk") that includes additional print statements so I can see what's going on. Common sense, really.

The essential partner for this book is the Lua Reference Manual. I've referred to it often. Not because the PiL book is unclear, but out of curiosity and wanting to know a little more. That's not a criticism of the PiL book; if anything it's another plus: it encourages the reader to experiment. Another book to consider is "Lua Programming Gems"; I have it and can see it becoming a valuable additional Lua reference, as well as a source of inspiration.

Of the 300-odd pages in the PiL book, about 80 are directly related to using Lua with C. I'm not a C programmer, but I may find these chapters of use if I need to interface with existing C libraries. That still leaves a rich source of Lua knowledge, particularly given the concise writing style of the author.

The PiL book contains a wealth of wisdom and insight into Lua, written in a style that gets the information across with the minimum of fuss. Recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Florian on 25 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this book very good. I have used Lua for over a year now in various projects but I am no Lua expert. The book describes the language itself, data structures, standard libraries and finally the C-language API used in Lua. The book covers the entire language. It covers all the basics but has also advanced topics.
In my opinion I liked most the many examples shown in the book. The examples really show the power of Lua and they show new ways to solve problems in Lua. Before this book I used Lua language’s reference manual to learn Lua. The reference manual describes the language itself well but it lacks of good examples and sometimes rationale for the constructs of the language. I also liked the style of the book. It is very readable and looks very clear.
I recommend this book for Lua programmers. I learned a lot from it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gunnar Kriik on 21 April 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I was looking into embedding Lua into a project written in C++, and this book is simply answered all my questions regarding this process. Very well written, short, and to the point.
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