Beginning Lua Programming
This book is for students and professionals who are intrigued by the prospect of learning and using a powerful language that provides a rich infrastructure for creating programs. No programming knowledge is necessary to benefit from this book except for the section on Lua bindings, which requires some familiarity with the C programming language. A certain comfort level with command-line operations, text editing, and directory structures is assumed.Software developers who have experience with functions, strings, and associative arrays can skim Chapters 2 through 5 with the caveat that certain Lua colloquialisms are introduced there along with programming concepts.
Throughout the text, sections pertaining to a particular operating system are clearly marked and can be skipped by readers working on a different platform.
This book is organized to guide you through the basics of using Lua. Its structure is as follows:
- Installing Lua on your system (Chapter 1)
- Learning the fundamentals of programming in Lua (Chapters 2 through 10)
- Reviewing standard Lua functions (Chapter 11)
- Exploring application development with Lua using packages contributed by the community (Chapters 12 through 18)
- Using Lua’s many community resources (Chapter 19)
Chapters 2 through 10 each build on concepts that are presented in its predecessors, so a sequential reading of this part of the book is advised. The summary of Lua’s built-in libraries contains examples that assume you have a good grasp of the materials presented in the first 10 chapters.
Some of the libraries and techniques presented in Chapters 12 and 13 are needed in the remaining chapters of the book. Chapters 14 through 19 are relatively independent of one another and can be read out of sequence.
You need surprisingly little in the way of computer resources to learn and use Lua. This book focuses on Windows and Unix-like (including Linux) systems, but any operating system that supports a command shell should be suitable. You’ll need a text editor to prepare and save Lua scripts.
If you choose to extend Lua with libraries written in a programming language like C, you’ll need a suitable software development kit. Many of these kits are freely available on the Internet but, unlike Lua, they can consume prodigious amounts of disk space and memory.
Chapter 18 discusses using Lua on a Palm Pilot. Even if you don’t own or have access to one of these devices, this chapter shows how you can simulate one on the major desktop systems.
From the Back Cover
Lua offers a wide range of features that you can utilize to support and enhance your applications. With this book as your guide, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of all aspects of programming with this powerful language. It will walk you through the basics, covering everything from installing Lua on your system to developing games and web sites.Experts Jung and Brown first present the fundamentals of programming and explain standard Lua functions. They then show you how to take advantage of all of the free Lua community resources that are available. Complete code samples are integrated throughout the chapters to clearly demonstrate how to apply the information. Diagrams are also included to highlight important Lua features such as stacks, hash tables, garbage collection, and function closures. All of this will help you to quickly write your own effective programs.
What you will learn from this book
- Ways to extend Lua’s operators with metamethods
- Methods on how to use tables, strings, and modules
- How to handle events naturally with coroutines
- Techniques for managing information with databases
- Tips for handling and avoiding programming errors
- Ways to create your own innovative games
- How to enhance application development using packages contributed by the Lua community
- Steps for presenting dynamic information on your web site
Who this book is for
This book is for beginning programmers, game developers, and web site developers who are interested in a simple yet powerful introduction to programming.
- Paperback: 672 pages
- Publisher: Wrox (January 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470069171
- ISBN-13: 978-0470069172