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    1 HISTORY for Lua 5.1
    2 
    3 * Changes from version 5.0 to 5.1
    4   -------------------------------
    5   Language:
    6   + new module system.
    7   + new semantics for control variables of fors.
    8   + new semantics for setn/getn.
    9   + new syntax/semantics for varargs.
   10   + new long strings and comments.
   11   + new `mod' operator (`%')
   12   + new length operator #t
   13   + metatables for all types
   14   API:
   15   + new functions: lua_createtable, lua_get(set)field, lua_push(to)integer.
   16   + user supplies memory allocator (lua_open becomes lua_newstate).
   17   + luaopen_* functions must be called through Lua.
   18   Implementation:
   19   + new configuration scheme via luaconf.h.
   20   + incremental garbage collection.
   21   + better handling of end-of-line in the lexer.
   22   + fully reentrant parser (new Lua function `load')
   23   + better support for 64-bit machines.
   24   + native loadlib support for Mac OS X.
   25   + standard distribution in only one library (lualib.a merged into lua.a)
   26 
   27 * Changes from version 4.0 to 5.0
   28   -------------------------------
   29   Language:
   30   + lexical scoping.
   31   + Lua coroutines.
   32   + standard libraries now packaged in tables.
   33   + tags replaced by metatables and tag methods replaced by metamethods,
   34     stored in metatables.
   35   + proper tail calls.
   36   + each function can have its own global table, which can be shared.
   37   + new __newindex metamethod, called when we insert a new key into a table.
   38   + new block comments: --[[ ... ]].
   39   + new generic for.
   40   + new weak tables.
   41   + new boolean type.
   42   + new syntax "local function".
   43   + (f()) returns the first value returned by f.
   44   + {f()} fills a table with all values returned by f.
   45   + \n ignored in [[\n .
   46   + fixed and-or priorities.
   47   + more general syntax for function definition (e.g. function a.x.y:f()...end).
   48   + more general syntax for function calls (e.g. (print or write)(9)).
   49   + new functions (time/date, tmpfile, unpack, require, load*, etc.).
   50   API:
   51   + chunks are loaded by using lua_load; new luaL_loadfile and luaL_loadbuffer.
   52   + introduced lightweight userdata, a simple "void*" without a metatable.
   53   + new error handling protocol: the core no longer prints error messages;
   54     all errors are reported to the caller on the stack.
   55   + new lua_atpanic for host cleanup.
   56   + new, signal-safe, hook scheme.
   57   Implementation:
   58   + new license: MIT.
   59   + new, faster, register-based virtual machine.
   60   + support for external multithreading and coroutines.
   61   + new and consistent error message format.
   62   + the core no longer needs "stdio.h" for anything (except for a single
   63     use of sprintf to convert numbers to strings).
   64   + lua.c now runs the environment variable LUA_INIT, if present. It can
   65     be "@filename", to run a file, or the chunk itself.
   66   + support for user extensions in lua.c.
   67     sample implementation given for command line editing.
   68   + new dynamic loading library, active by default on several platforms.
   69   + safe garbage-collector metamethods.
   70   + precompiled bytecodes checked for integrity (secure binary dostring).
   71   + strings are fully aligned.
   72   + position capture in string.find.
   73   + read('*l') can read lines with embedded zeros.
   74 
   75 * Changes from version 3.2 to 4.0
   76   -------------------------------
   77   Language:
   78   + new "break" and "for" statements (both numerical and for tables).
   79   + uniform treatment of globals: globals are now stored in a Lua table.
   80   + improved error messages.
   81   + no more '$debug': full speed *and* full debug information.
   82   + new read form: read(N) for next N bytes.
   83   + general read patterns now deprecated.
   84     (still available with -DCOMPAT_READPATTERNS.)
   85   + all return values are passed as arguments for the last function
   86     (old semantics still available with -DLUA_COMPAT_ARGRET)
   87   + garbage collection tag methods for tables now deprecated.
   88   + there is now only one tag method for order.
   89   API:
   90   + New API: fully re-entrant, simpler, and more efficient.
   91   + New debug API.
   92   Implementation:
   93   + faster than ever: cleaner virtual machine and new hashing algorithm.
   94   + non-recursive garbage-collector algorithm.
   95   + reduced memory usage for programs with many strings.
   96   + improved treatment for memory allocation errors.
   97   + improved support for 16-bit machines (we hope).
   98   + code now compiles unmodified as both ANSI C and C++.
   99   + numbers in bases other than 10 are converted using strtoul.
  100   + new -f option in Lua to support #! scripts.
  101   + luac can now combine text and binaries.
  102 
  103 * Changes from version 3.1 to 3.2
  104   -------------------------------
  105   + redirected all output in Lua's core to _ERRORMESSAGE and _ALERT.
  106   + increased limit on the number of constants and globals per function
  107     (from 2^16 to 2^24).
  108   + debugging info (lua_debug and hooks) moved into lua_state and new API
  109     functions provided to get and set this info.
  110   + new debug lib gives full debugging access within Lua.
  111   + new table functions "foreachi", "sort", "tinsert", "tremove", "getn".
  112   + new io functions "flush", "seek".
  113 
  114 * Changes from version 3.0 to 3.1
  115   -------------------------------
  116   + NEW FEATURE: anonymous functions with closures (via "upvalues").
  117   + new syntax:
  118     - local variables in chunks.
  119     - better scope control with DO block END.
  120     - constructors can now be also written: { record-part; list-part }.
  121     - more general syntax for function calls and lvalues, e.g.:
  122       f(x).y=1
  123       o:f(x,y):g(z)
  124       f"string" is sugar for f("string")
  125   + strings may now contain arbitrary binary data (e.g., embedded zeros).
  126   + major code re-organization and clean-up; reduced module interdependecies.
  127   + no arbitrary limits on the total number of constants and globals.
  128   + support for multiple global contexts.
  129   + better syntax error messages.
  130   + new traversal functions "foreach" and "foreachvar".
  131   + the default for numbers is now double.
  132     changing it to use floats or longs is easy.
  133   + complete debug information stored in pre-compiled chunks.
  134   + sample interpreter now prompts user when run interactively, and also
  135     handles control-C interruptions gracefully.
  136 
  137 * Changes from version 2.5 to 3.0
  138   -------------------------------
  139   + NEW CONCEPT: "tag methods".
  140     Tag methods replace fallbacks as the meta-mechanism for extending the
  141     semantics of Lua. Whereas fallbacks had a global nature, tag methods
  142     work on objects having the same tag (e.g., groups of tables).
  143     Existing code that uses fallbacks should work without change.
  144   + new, general syntax for constructors {[exp] = exp, ... }.
  145   + support for handling variable number of arguments in functions (varargs).
  146   + support for conditional compilation ($if ... $else ... $end).
  147   + cleaner semantics in API simplifies host code.
  148   + better support for writing libraries (auxlib.h).
  149   + better type checking and error messages in the standard library.
  150   + luac can now also undump.
  151 
  152 * Changes from version 2.4 to 2.5
  153   -------------------------------
  154   + io and string libraries are now based on pattern matching;
  155     the old libraries are still available for compatibility
  156   + dofile and dostring can now return values (via return statement)
  157   + better support for 16- and 64-bit machines
  158   + expanded documentation, with more examples
  159 
  160 * Changes from version 2.2 to 2.4
  161   -------------------------------
  162   + external compiler creates portable binary files that can be loaded faster
  163   + interface for debugging and profiling
  164   + new "getglobal" fallback
  165   + new functions for handling references to Lua objects
  166   + new functions in standard lib
  167   + only one copy of each string is stored
  168   + expanded documentation, with more examples
  169 
  170 * Changes from version 2.1 to 2.2
  171   -------------------------------
  172   + functions now may be declared with any "lvalue" as a name
  173   + garbage collection of functions
  174   + support for pipes
  175 
  176 * Changes from version 1.1 to 2.1
  177   -------------------------------
  178   + object-oriented support
  179   + fallbacks
  180   + simplified syntax for tables
  181   + many internal improvements
  182 
  183 (end of HISTORY)