[luatex] LuaTeX as a Lua distribution

Dirk Laurie dirk.laurie at gmail.com
Mon Aug 13 08:08:48 CEST 2018

The Lua developers have steadfastly refused to sanction even the most
basic extension packages by inclusion in the Lua distribution. Until
quite recently [1], they have even stuck to the point of view that
applications should supply their own C host program.

As, of course, LuaTeX does. LuaTeX also packages a number of
extensions that have wider utility than document creation, like lfs,
socket, lpeg etc.

The temptation is therefore quite strong, especially when developing
platform-independent software, to bypass the usual channels of package
loading and rely on texlua as one's standard Lua interpreter.

[1] The Lua 5.3 manual was the first to say "Frequently, this host is
the stand-alone lua program" instead of "The Lua distribution includes
a sample host program called lua".

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