Meet Lua - A Two Decade Old Programming Language From Brazil Backed By A Community Of Thousands Of Users

Summary: Many people think that programming languages are difficult to learn, since they are complicated and not easy to understand. Among the many programming or scripting languages, Lua is one of the languages that can offer simplicity coupled with powerful features. Most programming languages out there have complex structures with complex features, while Lua is there to offer simplicity, while still offering robust features just like other languages. It has been used in various projects around the world, including big applications and video games, and it has been around more than 20 years since its first inception in 1993 by three Brazilian programmers at PUC-Rio.


Lua is a programming language that is designed to be simple, lightweight, and efficient.

The simplicity of Lua as a programming language has made many programmers want to utilize it in their development projects. From small to big programmers, many have used this scripting language as a part of their program.

When it comes to using the right programming languages to create various applications, developers usually prefer to use the programming language that is simple yet effective. You don’t want to spend a lot of time creating a simple program using a complex programming language. The one important rule in software development is that the language used in the software should be robust, simple, yet powerful enough to bring about all the features that you need. Some programming languages may not be able to accommodate all the features of a program, which is why there are various languages being invented to handle the problem.

Lua is a scripting language that has been around for at least two decades, and it has been used in many applications by many programmers around the world. Not only that, this programming language has also been used in various video games, such as Angry Birds, World of Warcraft, and Grim Fandango. This is proof that this scripting language is robust and powerful enough to be a part of such high quality applications and video games.

Introduction To Lua - The Two Decades Old Programming Language

To be said in simple terms, Lua is a programming language that is designed to be simple, lightweight, and efficient. The very nature of the language makes it to support various programming styles, such as object-oriented programming, procedural programming, functional programming, data description programming, and data-driven programming. This programming language is also embeddable, so that it can be included in various applications with other programming languages. For a scripting language, Lua is quite dynamic, and it has automatic memory management that is capable of incremental garbage collection. It is exactly why this simple programming language is ideal for scripting, as well as rapid prototyping and configuration.

A Little Story About Lua

Probably not many people know about Lua at this point, since it is less popular than more common programming languages that are available today. But, the fact still remains that this programming language has been in existence for more 20 years, since its first inception in 1993. Throughout the years, this programming language has undergone various improvements done by the supporting community of programmers.

Lua was created for the first time by three programmers from Brazil, which are Roberto Ierusalimschy, Waldemar Celes, and Luiz Henrique de Figueredo. These programmers were a team at PUC-Rio, which is Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil. Subsequent developments of Lua were done at LabLua, which is still a part of PUC-Rio university. Lua itself means moon in the Portuguese language.

Why Lua Is Being Used In Various Projects

The simplicity of Lua as a programming language has made many programmers want to utilize it in their development projects. From small to big programmers, many have used this scripting language as a part of their program. This program has been used in Photoshop Lightroom, Ginga, Angry Birds, World of Warcraft, Grim Fandango, and other projects. At least, there are 5 reasons why many programmers choose to use this simple programming language in their projects.

The first reason is the performance of the scripting language itself. When we talk about interpreted scripting language, Lua stands as one of the fastest scripting languages in this area, as proven with various benchmark programs. The second reason is its ability to be embeddable. This scripting language can easily be embedded in various applications that use bigger programming languages, such as Java, C++, C, Perl, Ruby, Smalltalk, and more. The third reason is that this programming language is simple yet powerful. Not many simple languages can have powerful applications like Lua. There are various features that are offered by this scripting language, which is impressive enough, judged by its simple structure.

The fourth reason is that Lua is small and lightweight. In other words, it doesn’t burden the applications or programs in which it is used. It is small in size, yet very useful. The fifth reason is the free license. With the open-source license that it has, Lua can be used by anyone for free, and also, the source code can be edited as you need.

Lua Has Received Countless Positive Feedback From The Users

As a programming language that is simple and easy to use, Lua has been used by hundreds of programmers for thousands of projects that they create. Along its development time, Lua has received countless positive feedback from the software developers that use this scripting language for their projects. For instance, Alex Lucard said that this is the programming language that is used in the Grim Fandango video game, and it is proven that Lua can be used to create one of the best games out there. Veli Pekka complimented Lua in Dolphin scripting as a fast, light, and portable scripting language that is easy to use with a screen reader.

The License To Use Lua

Lua is a free scripting or programming language that can be used by anyone, anywhere, without any restrictions. It means that the users can use the software for any projects, whether commercial or non-commercial, without the need to pay for any license or royalty fee. There is one requirement, though, which is to be expected from the users who decide to use this programming language in their projects. They should include at least a logo of Lua or a reference about its use in the software documentation.