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<div small>
	<a href=".">Luan</a>
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<h1><a href="manual.html">Luan Reference Manual</a></h1>

<p small>
Original copyright &copy; 2015, PUC-Rio.
Freely available under the terms of the
<a href="">Lua license</a>.
Modified for Luan.



<div contents><a href="#intro">Introduction</a></div>

<div contents>
	<a href="#basic">Basic Concepts</a>
		<li><a href="#types">Values and Types</a></li>
		<li><a href="#env">Environments</a></li>
		<li><a href="#error">Error Handling</a></li>
		<li><a href="#meta">Metatables and Metamethods</a></li>
		<li><a href="#gc">Garbage Collection</a></li>

<div contents>
	<a href="#lang">The Language</a>
		<li><a href="#lex">Lexical Conventions</a></li>
		<li><a href="#vars">Variables</a></li>
			<a href="#stmts">Statements</a>
				<li><a href="#blocks">Blocks</a></li>
				<li><a href="#chunks">Chunks</a></li>
				<li><a href="#assignment">Assignment</a></li>
				<li><a href="#control">Control Structures</a></li>
				<li><a href="#for">For Statement</a></li>
				<li><a href="#try">Try Statement</a></li>
				<li><a href="#fn_stmt">Function Calls as Statements</a></li>
				<li><a href="#local_stmt">Local Declarations</a></li>
				<li><a href="#template_stmt">Template Statements</a></li>
			<a href="#expressions">Expressions</a>
				<li><a href="#arithmetic">Arithmetic Operators</a></li>
				<li><a href="#conversions">Coercions and Conversions</a></li>
				<li><a href="#relational">Relational Operators</a></li>
				<li><a href="#logical_ops">Logical Operators</a></li>
				<li><a href="#concatenation">Concatenation</a></li>
				<li><a href="#length">The Length Operator</a></li>
				<li><a href="#precedence">Precedence</a></li>
				<li><a href="#constructors">Table Constructors</a></li>
				<li><a href="#fn_calls">Function Calls</a></li>
				<li><a href="#fn_def">Function Definitions</a></li>
		<li><a href="#visibility">Visibility Rules</a></li>

<div contents>
	<a href="#libs">Standard Libraries</a>
		<li><a href="#default_lib">Default Environment</a></li>
		<li><a href="#luan_lib">Basic Functions</a></li>
		<li><a href="#package_lib">Modules</a></li>
		<li><a href="#string_lib">String Manipulation</a></li>
		<li><a href="#binary_lib">Binary Manipulation</a></li>
		<li><a href="#table_lib">Table Manipulation</a></li>
		<li><a href="#number_lib">Number Manipulation</a></li>
		<li><a href="#math_lib">Mathematical Functions</a></li>


<h2 heading><a name="intro" href="#intro">Introduction</a></h2>

<p>Luan is a high level programming language based on <a href="">Lua</a>.  A great strength of Lua is its simplicity and Luan takes this even further, being even simpler than Lua.  The goal is to provide a simple programming language for the casual programmer with as few concepts as possible so that one can quickly learn the language and then easily understand any code written in Luan.</p>

<p>Luan is implemented in Java and is tightly coupled with Java.  So it makes a great scripting language for Java programmers.</p>

<p>Unlike Lua which is meant to be embedded, Luan is meant to be a full scripting language.  This done not by adding feature to Luan, but rather by providing a complete set of libraries.</p>

<h2 heading><a name="basic" href="#basic">Basic Concepts</a></h2>

<p>This section describes the basic concepts of the language.</p>

<h3 heading><a name="types" href="#types">Values and Types</a></h3>

Luan is a <em>dynamically typed language</em>.
This means that
variables do not have types; only values do.
There are no type definitions in the language.
All values carry their own type.

All values in Luan are <em>first-class values</em>.
This means that all values can be stored in variables,
passed as arguments to other functions, and returned as results.

There are eight basic types in Luan:
<em>nil</em>, <em>boolean</em>, <em>number</em>,
<em>string</em>, <em>binary</em>, <em>function</em>, <em>java</em>,
and <em>table</em>.
<em>Nil</em> is the type of the value <b>nil</b>,
whose main property is to be different from any other value;
it usually represents the absence of a useful value.
<em>Nil</em> is implemented as the Java value <em>null</em>.
<em>Boolean</em> is the type of the values <b>false</b> and <b>true</b>.
<em>Boolean</em> is implemented as the Java class <em>Boolean</em>.
<em>Number</em> represents both
integer numbers and real (floating-point) numbers.
<em>Number</em> is implemented as the Java class <em>Number</em>.  Any Java subclass of <em>Number</em> is allowed and this is invisible to the Luan user.  Operations on numbers follow the same rules of
the underlying Java implementation.

<em>String</em> is implemented as the Java class <em>String</em>.
<em>Binary</em> is implemented as the Java type <em>byte[]</em>.

Luan can call (and manipulate) functions written in Luan and
functions written in Java (see <a href="#fn_calls">Function Calls</a>).
Both are represented by the type <em>function</em>.

The type <em>java</em> is provided to allow arbitrary Java objects to
be stored in Luan variables.
A <em>java</em> value is a Java object that isn't one of the standard Luan types.
Java values have no predefined operations in Luan,
except assignment and identity test.
Java values are useful when Java access is enabled in Luan

The type <em>table</em> implements associative arrays,
that is, arrays that can be indexed not only with numbers,
but with any Luan value except <b>nil</b>.
Tables can be <em>heterogeneous</em>;
that is, they can contain values of all types (except <b>nil</b>).
Any key with value <b>nil</b> is not considered part of the table.
Conversely, any key that is not part of a table has
an associated value <b>nil</b>.

Tables are the sole data-structuring mechanism in Luan;
they can be used to represent ordinary arrays, sequences,
symbol tables, sets, records, graphs, trees, etc.
To represent records, Luan uses the field name as an index.
The language supports this representation by
providing <code></code> as syntactic sugar for <code>a["name"]</code>.
There are several convenient ways to create tables in Luan
(see <a href="#constructors">Table Constructors</a>).

We use the term <em>sequence</em> to denote a table where
the set of all positive numeric keys is equal to {1..<em>n</em>}
for some non-negative integer <em>n</em>,
which is called the length of the sequence (see <a href="#length">The Length Operator</a>).

Like indices,
the values of table fields can be of any type.
In particular,
because functions are first-class values,
table fields can contain functions.
Thus tables can also carry <em>methods</em> (see <a href="#fn_def">Function Definitions</a>).

The indexing of tables follows
the definition of raw equality in the language.
The expressions <code>a[i]</code> and <code>a[j]</code>
denote the same table element
if and only if <code>i</code> and <code>j</code> are raw equal
(that is, equal without metamethods).
In particular, floats with integral values
are equal to their respective integers
(e.g., <code>1.0 == 1</code>).

Luan values are <em>objects</em>:
variables do not actually <em>contain</em> values,
only <em>references</em> to them.
Assignment, parameter passing, and function returns
always manipulate references to values;
these operations do not imply any kind of copy.

The library function <a href="#Luan.type"><code>Luan.type</code></a> returns a string describing the type
of a given value.

<h3 heading><a name="env" href="#env">Environments</a></h3>

The environment of a chunk starts with only one local variable: <code><a href="#require">require</a></code>.  This function is used to load and access libraries and other modules.  All other variables must be added to the environment using <a href="http://localhost:8080/manual.html#local_stmt">local declarations</a>.

As will be discussed in <a href="#vars">Variables</a> and <a href=#assignment">Assignment</a>,
any reference to a free name
(that is, a name not bound to any declaration) <code>var</code>
can be syntactically translated to <code>_ENV.var</code> if <code>_ENV</code> is defined.

<h3 heading><a name="error" href="#error">Error Handling</a></h3>

Luan code can explicitly generate an error by calling the
<a href="#Luan.error"><code>error</code></a> function.
If you need to catch errors in Luan,
you can use the <a href="#try">Try Statement</code></a>.

Whenever there is an error,
an <em>error table</em>
is propagated with information about the error.
See <a href="#Luan.new_error"><code>Luan.new_error</code></a>.

<h3 heading><a name="meta" href="#meta">Metatables and Metamethods</a></h3>

Every table in Luan can have a <em>metatable</em>.
This <em>metatable</em> is an ordinary Luan table
that defines the behavior of the original value
under certain special operations.
You can change several aspects of the behavior
of operations over a value by setting specific fields in its metatable.
For instance, when a table is the operand of an addition,
Luan checks for a function in the field "<code>__add</code>" of the table's metatable.
If it finds one,
Luan calls this function to perform the addition.

The keys in a metatable are derived from the <em>event</em> names;
the corresponding values are called <ii>metamethods</em>.
In the previous example, the event is <code>"add"</code>
and the metamethod is the function that performs the addition.

You can query the metatable of any table
using the <a href="#Luan.get_metatable"><code>get_metatable</code></a> function.

You can replace the metatable of tables
using the <a href="#Luan.set_metatable"><code>set_metatable</code></a> function.

A metatable controls how a table behaves in
arithmetic operations, bitwise operations,
order comparisons, concatenation, length operation, calls, and indexing.

A detailed list of events controlled by metatables is given next.
Each operation is identified by its corresponding event name.
The key for each event is a string with its name prefixed by
two underscores, '<code>__</code>';
for instance, the key for operation "add" is the
string "<code>__add</code>".
Note that queries for metamethods are always raw;
the access to a metamethod does not invoke other metamethods.
You can emulate how Luan queries a metamethod for an object <code>obj</code>
with the following code:

     raw_get(get_metatable(obj) or {}, "__" .. event_name)

Here are the events:


<li><p><b>"add": </b>
the <code>+</code> operation.

If any operand for an addition is a table,
Luan will try to call a metamethod.
First, Luan will check the first operand (even if it is valid).
If that operand does not define a metamethod for the "<code>__add</code>" event,
then Luan will check the second operand.
If Luan can find a metamethod,
it calls the metamethod with the two operands as arguments,
and the result of the call
(adjusted to one value)
is the result of the operation.
it raises an error.

<li><p><b>"sub": </b>
the <code>-</code> operation.

Behavior similar to the "add" operation.

<li><p><b>"mul": </b>
the <code>*</code> operation.

Behavior similar to the "add" operation.

<li><p><b>"div": </b>
the <code>/</code> operation.

Behavior similar to the "add" operation.

<li><p><b>"mod": </b>
the <code>%</code> operation.

Behavior similar to the "add" operation.

<li><p><b>"pow": </b>
the <code>^</code> (exponentiation) operation.

Behavior similar to the "add" operation.

<li><p><b>"unm": </b>
the <code>-</code> (unary minus) operation.

Behavior similar to the "add" operation.

<li><p><b>"concat": </b>
the <code>..</code> (concatenation) operation.

Behavior similar to the "add" operation.

<li><p><b>"len": </b>
the <code>#</code> (length) operation.

If there is a metamethod,
Luan calls it with the object as argument,
and the result of the call
(always adjusted to one value)
is the result of the operation.
If there is no metamethod but the object is a table,
then Luan uses the table length operation (see <a href="#length">The Length Operator</a>).
Otherwise, Luan raises an error.

<li><p><b>"eq": </b>
the <code>==</code> (equal) operation.

Behavior similar to the "add" operation,
except that Luan will try a metamethod only when the values
being compared are both tables
and they are not primitively equal.
The result of the call is always converted to a boolean.

<li><p><b>"lt": </b>
the <code>&lt;</code> (less than) operation.

Behavior similar to the "add" operation.
The result of the call is always converted to a boolean.

<li><p><b>"le": </b>
the <code>&lt;=</code> (less equal) operation.

Unlike other operations,
The less-equal operation can use two different events.
First, Luan looks for the "<code>__le</code>" metamethod in both operands,
like in the "lt" operation.
If it cannot find such a metamethod,
then it will try the "<code>__lt</code>" event,
assuming that <code>a &lt;= b</code> is equivalent to <code>not (b &lt; a)</code>.
As with the other comparison operators,
the result is always a boolean.

<li><p><b>"index": </b>
The indexing access <code>table[key]</code>.

This event happens
when <code>key</code> is not present in <code>table</code>.
The metamethod is looked up in <code>table</code>.

Despite the name,
the metamethod for this event can be any type.
If it is a function,
it is called with <code>table</code> and <code>key</code> as arguments.
the final result is the result of indexing this metamethod object with <code>key</code>.
(This indexing is regular, not raw,
and therefore can trigger another metamethod if the metamethod object is a table.)

<li><p><b>"new_index": </b>
The indexing assignment <code>table[key] = value</code>.

Like the index event,
this event happens when
when <code>key</code> is not present in <code>table</code>.
The metamethod is looked up in <code>table</code>.

Like with indexing,
the metamethod for this event can be either a function or a table.
If it is a function,
it is called with <code>table</code>, <code>key</code>, and <code>value</code> as arguments.
If it is a table,
Luan does an indexing assignment to this table with the same key and value.
(This assignment is regular, not raw,
and therefore can trigger another metamethod.)

Whenever there is a "new_index" metamethod,
Luan does not perform the primitive assignment.
(If necessary,
the metamethod itself can call <a href="#Luan.raw_set"><code>raw_set</code></a>
to do the assignment.)

This is when a table is garbage collected.  When the table's <a href="">finalize</a> method is called by the Java garbage collector, if there is a "<code>__gc</code>" metamethod then it is called with the table as a parameter.



<h3 heading><a name="gc" href="#gc">Garbage Collection</a></h3>

Luan uses Java's garbage collection.

<h2 heading><a name="lang" href="#lang">The Language</a></h2>

This section describes the lexis, the syntax, and the semantics of Luan.
In other words,
this section describes
which tokens are valid,
how they can be combined,
and what their combinations mean.

Language constructs will be explained using the usual extended BNF notation,
in which
{<em>a</em>}&nbsp;means&nbsp;0 or more <em>a</em>'s, and
[<em>a</em>]&nbsp;means an optional <em>a</em>.
Non-terminals are shown like non-terminal,
keywords are shown like <b>kword</b>,
and other terminal symbols are shown like &lsquo;<b>=</b>&rsquo;.
The complete syntax of Luan can be found in <a href="#9">&sect;9</a>
at the end of this manual.

<h3 heading><a name="lex" href="#lex">Lexical Conventions</a></h3>

Luan ignores spaces and comments
between lexical elements (tokens),
except as delimiters between names and keywords.
Luan considers the end of a line to be the end of a statement.  This catches errors and encourages readability.  If you want to continue a statement on another line, you can use a backslash followed by a newline which will be treated as white space.

(also called <em>identifiers</em>)
in Luan can be any string of letters,
digits, and underscores,
not beginning with a digit.
Identifiers are used to name variables, table fields, and labels.

The following <em>keywords</em> are reserved
and cannot be used as names:

     and       break     do        else      elseif    end
     end_do    end_for   end_function        end_if    end_while
     false     for       function  goto      if        in
     local     nil       not       or        repeat    return
     then      true      until     while

Luan is a case-sensitive language:
<code>and</code> is a reserved word, but <code>And</code> and <code>AND</code>
are two different, valid names.

The following strings denote other tokens:

     +     -     *     /     %     ^     #
     &amp;     ~     |     &lt;&lt;    &gt;&gt;    //
     ==    ~=    &lt;=    &gt;=    &lt;     &gt;     =
     (     )     {     }     [     ]     ::
     ;     :     ,     .     ..    ...

<em>Literal strings</em>
can be delimited by matching single or double quotes,
and can contain the following C-like escape sequences:
'<code>\a</code>' (bell),
'<code>\b</code>' (backspace),
'<code>\f</code>' (form feed),
'<code>\n</code>' (newline),
'<code>\r</code>' (carriage return),
'<code>\t</code>' (horizontal tab),
'<code>\v</code>' (vertical tab),
'<code>\\</code>' (backslash),
'<code>\"</code>' (quotation mark [double quote]),
and '<code>\'</code>' (apostrophe [single quote]).
A backslash followed by a real newline
results in a newline in the string.
The escape sequence '<code>\z</code>' skips the following span
of white-space characters,
including line breaks;
it is particularly useful to break and indent a long literal string
into multiple lines without adding the newlines and spaces
into the string contents.

Luan can specify any character in a literal string by its numerical value.
This can be done
with the escape sequence <code>\x<em>XX</em></code>,
where <em>XX</em> is a sequence of exactly two hexadecimal digits,
or with the escape sequence <code>\u<em>XXXX</em></code>,
where <em>XXXX</em> is a sequence of exactly four hexadecimal digits,
or with the escape sequence <code>\<em>ddd</em></code>,
where <em>ddd</em> is a sequence of up to three decimal digits.
(Note that if a decimal escape sequence is to be followed by a digit,
it must be expressed using exactly three digits.)

Literal strings can also be defined using a long format
enclosed by <em>long brackets</em>.
We define an <em>opening long bracket of level <em>n</em></em> as an opening
square bracket followed by <em>n</em> equal signs followed by another
opening square bracket.
So, an opening long bracket of level 0 is written as <code>[[</code>, 
an opening long bracket of level 1 is written as <code>[=[</code>, 
and so on.
A <em>closing long bracket</em> is defined similarly;
for instance,
a closing long bracket of level 4 is written as  <code>]====]</code>.
A <em>long literal</em> starts with an opening long bracket of any level and
ends at the first closing long bracket of the same level.
It can contain any text except a closing bracket of the same level.
Literals in this bracketed form can run for several lines,
do not interpret any escape sequences,
and ignore long brackets of any other level.
Any kind of end-of-line sequence
(carriage return, newline, carriage return followed by newline,
or newline followed by carriage return)
is converted to a simple newline.

Any character in a literal string not
explicitly affected by the previous rules represents itself.
However, Luan opens files for parsing in text mode,
and the system file functions may have problems with
some control characters.
So, it is safer to represent
non-text data as a quoted literal with
explicit escape sequences for non-text characters.

For convenience,
when the opening long bracket is immediately followed by a newline,
the newline is not included in the string.
As an example
the five literal strings below denote the same string:

     a = 'alo\n123"'
     a = "alo\n123\""
     a = '\97lo\10\04923"'
     a = [[alo
     a = [==[

A <em>numerical constant</em> (or <em>numeral</em>)
can be written with an optional fractional part
and an optional decimal exponent,
marked by a letter '<code>e</code>' or '<code>E</code>'.
Luan also accepts hexadecimal constants,
which start with <code>0x</code> or <code>0X</code>.
Hexadecimal constants also accept an optional fractional part
plus an optional binary exponent,
marked by a letter '<code>p</code>' or '<code>P</code>'.
A numeric constant with a fractional dot or an exponent 
denotes a float;
otherwise it denotes an integer.
Examples of valid integer constants are

     3   345   0xff   0xBEBADA

Examples of valid float constants are

     3.0     3.1416     314.16e-2     0.31416E1     34e1
     0x0.1E  0xA23p-4   0X1.921FB54442D18P+1

A <em>comment</em> starts with a double hyphen (<code>--</code>)
anywhere outside a string.
If the text immediately after <code>--</code> is not an opening long bracket,
the comment is a <em>short comment</em>,
which runs until the end of the line.
Otherwise, it is a <em>long comment</em>,
which runs until the corresponding closing long bracket.
Long comments are frequently used to disable code temporarily.

<h3 heading><a name="vars" href="#vars">Variables</a></h3>

Variables are places that store values.
There are three kinds of variables in Luan:
global variables, local variables, and table fields.

A single name can denote a global variable or a local variable
(or a function's formal parameter,
which is a particular kind of local variable):

	var ::= Name

Name denotes identifiers, as defined in <a href="#lex">Lexical Conventions</a>.

Local variables are <em>lexically scoped</em>:
local variables can be freely accessed by functions
defined inside their scope (see <a href="#visibility">Visibility Rules</a>).

Before the first assignment to a variable, its value is <b>nil</b>.

Square brackets are used to index a table:

	var ::= prefixexp &lsquo;<b>[</b>&rsquo; exp &lsquo;<b>]</b>&rsquo;

The meaning of accesses to table fields can be changed via metatables.
An access to an indexed variable <code>t[i]</code> is equivalent to
a call <code>gettable_event(t,i)</code>.
(See <a href="#meta">Metatables and Metamethods</a> for a complete description of the
<code>gettable_event</code> function.
This function is not defined or callable in Luan.
We use it here only for explanatory purposes.)

The syntax <code>var.Name</code> is just syntactic sugar for

	var ::= prefixexp &lsquo;<b>.</b>&rsquo; Name

Global variables are not available by default.  To enable global variable, you must define <code>_ENV</code> as a local variable whose value is a table.  If <code>_ENV</code> is not defined, then an unrecognized variable name will produce a compile error.  If <code>_ENV</code> is defined then an access to an unrecognized variable name will be consider a global variable.  So then an acces to global variable <code>x</code>
is equivalent to <code>_ENV.x</code>.
Due to the way that chunks are compiled,
<code>_ENV</code> is never a global name (see <a href="#env">Environments</a>).

<h3 heading><a name="stmts" href="#stmts">Statements</a></h3>

Luan supports an almost conventional set of statements,
similar to those in Pascal or C.
This set includes
assignments, control structures, function calls,
and variable declarations.

<h4 heading><a name="blocks" href="#blocks">Blocks</a></h4>

A block is a list of statements,
which are executed sequentially:

	block ::= {stat}

Luan has <em>empty statements</em>
that allow you to separate statements with semicolons,
start a block with a semicolon
or write two semicolons in sequence:

	stat ::= &lsquo;<b>;</b>&rsquo;

A block can be explicitly delimited to produce a single statement:

	stat ::= <b>do</b> block end_do
	end_do ::= <b>end_do</b> | <b>end</b>

Explicit blocks are useful
to control the scope of variable declarations.
Explicit blocks are also sometimes used to
add a <b>return</b> statement in the middle
of another block (see <a href="#control">Control Structures</a>).

<h4 heading><a name="chunks" href="#chunks">Chunks</a></h4>

The unit of compilation of Luan is called a <em>chunk</em>.
a chunk is simply a block:

	chunk ::= block

Luan handles a chunk as the body of an anonymous function
with a variable number of arguments
(see <a href="#fn_def">Function Definitions</a>).
As such, chunks can define local variables,
receive arguments, and return values.

A chunk can be stored in a file or in a string inside the host program.
To execute a chunk,
Luan first <em>loads</em> it,
compiling the chunk's code,
and then Luan executes the compiled code.

<h4 heading><a name="assignment" href="#assignment">Assignment</a></h4>

Luan allows multiple assignments.
Therefore, the syntax for assignment
defines a list of variables on the left side
and a list of expressions on the right side.
The elements in both lists are separated by commas:

	stat ::= varlist &lsquo;<b>=</b>&rsquo; explist
	varlist ::= var {&lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; var}
	explist ::= exp {&lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; exp}

Expressions are discussed in <a href="#expressions">Expressions</a>.

Before the assignment,
the list of values is <em>adjusted</em> to the length of
the list of variables.
If there are more values than needed,
the excess values are thrown away.
If there are fewer values than needed,
the list is extended with as many  <b>nil</b>'s as needed.
If the list of expressions ends with a function call,
then all values returned by that call enter the list of values,
before the adjustment
(except when the call is enclosed in parentheses; see <a href="#expressions">Expressions</a>).

The assignment statement first evaluates all its expressions
and only then the assignments are performed.
Thus the code

     i = 3
     i, a[i] = i+1, 20

sets <code>a[3]</code> to 20, without affecting <code>a[4]</code>
because the <code>i</code> in <code>a[i]</code> is evaluated (to 3)
before it is assigned&nbsp;4.
Similarly, the line

     x, y = y, x

exchanges the values of <code>x</code> and <code>y</code>,

     x, y, z = y, z, x

cyclically permutes the values of <code>x</code>, <code>y</code>, and <code>z</code>.

The meaning of assignments to global variables
and table fields can be changed via metatables.
An assignment to an indexed variable <code>t[i] = val</code> is equivalent to
(See <a href="#meta">Metatables and Metamethods</a> for a complete description of the
<code>settable_event</code> function.
This function is not defined or callable in Luan.
We use it here only for explanatory purposes.)

An assignment to a global name <code>x = val</code>
is equivalent to the assignment
<code>_ENV.x = val</code> (see <a href="#env">Environments</a>).
Global names are only available when <code>_ENV</code> is defined.

<h4 heading><a name="control" href="#control">Control Structures</a></h4>

The control structures
<b>if</b>, <b>while</b>, and <b>repeat</b> have the usual meaning and
familiar syntax:

	stat ::= <b>while</b> exp <b>do</b> block end_while
	stat ::= <b>repeat</b> block <b>until</b> exp
	stat ::= <b>if</b> exp <b>then</b> block {<b>elseif</b> exp <b>then</b> block} [<b>else</b> block] end_if
	end_while ::= <b>end_while</b> | <b>end</b>
	end_if ::= <b>end_if</b> | <b>end</b>

Luan also has a <b>for</b> statement (see <a href="#for">For Statement</a>).

The condition expression of a
control structure must be a boolean.
Any other value type will produce an error.
This helps catch errors and makes code more readable.

In the <b>repeat</b>&ndash;<b>until</b> loop,
the inner block does not end at the <b>until</b> keyword,
but only after the condition.
So, the condition can refer to local variables
declared inside the loop block.

The <b>break</b> statement terminates the execution of a
<b>while</b>, <b>repeat</b>, or <b>for</b> loop,
skipping to the next statement after the loop:

	stat ::= <b>break</b>

A <b>break</b> ends the innermost enclosing loop.

The <b>return</b> statement is used to return values
from a function or a chunk
(which is an anonymous function).

Functions can return more than one value,
so the syntax for the <b>return</b> statement is

	stat ::= <b>return</b> [explist] [&lsquo;<b>;</b>&rsquo;]

<h4 heading><a name="for" href="#for">For Statement</a></h4>

The <b>for</b> statement works over functions,
called <em>iterators</em>.
On each iteration, the iterator function is called to produce a new value,
stopping when this new value is <b>nil</b>.
The <b>for</b> loop has the following syntax:

	stat ::= <b>for</b> namelist <b>in</b> exp <b>do</b> block end_for
	namelist ::= Name {&lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; Name}
	end_for ::= <b>end_for</b> | <b>end</b>

A <b>for</b> statement like

     for <em>var_1</em>, &middot;&middot;&middot;, <em>var_n</em> in <em>exp</em> do <em>block</em> end

is equivalent to the code:

       local <em>f</em> = <em>exp</em>
       while true do
         local <em>var_1</em>, &middot;&middot;&middot;, <em>var_n</em> = <em>f</em>()
         if <em>var_1</em> == nil then break end

Note the following:


<code><em>exp</em></code> is evaluated only once.
Its result is an <em>iterator</em> function.

<code><em>f</em></code> is an invisible variable.
The name is here for explanatory purposes only.

You can use <b>break</b> to exit a <b>for</b> loop.

The loop variables <code><em>var_i</em></code> are local to the loop;
you cannot use their values after the <b>for</b> ends.
If you need these values,
then assign them to other variables before breaking or exiting the loop.


<h4 heading><a name="try" href="#for">Try Statement</a></h4>

<p>The <b>try</b> statement has the same semantics as in Java.</p>

	stat ::= <b>try</b> block [<b>catch</b> Name block] [<b>finally</b> block] end_try
	end_try ::= <b>end_try</b> | <b>end</b>

<h4 heading><a name="fn_stmt" href="#fn_stmt">Function Calls as Statements</a></h4>

To allow possible side-effects,
function calls can be executed as statements:

	stat ::= functioncall

In this case, all returned values are thrown away.
Function calls are explained in <a href="#fn_calls">Function Calls</a>.

<h4 heading><a name="local_stmt" href="#local_stmt">Local Declarations</a></h4>

Local variables can be declared anywhere inside a block.
The declaration can include an initial assignment:

	stat ::= <b>local</b> namelist [&lsquo;<b>=</b>&rsquo; explist]

If present, an initial assignment has the same semantics
of a multiple assignment (see <a href="#assignment">Assignment</a>).
Otherwise, all variables are initialized with <b>nil</b>.

A chunk is also a block (see <a href="#chunks">Chunks</a>),
and so local variables can be declared in a chunk outside any explicit block.

The visibility rules for local variables are explained in <a href="#visibility">Visibility Rules</a>.

<h4 heading><a name="template_stmt" href="#template_stmt">Template Statements</a></h4>

<p>Template statements provide the full equivalent of <a href="">JSP</a> but in a general way.  Template statements write to standard output.  For example:</p>

	local name = "Bob"
	Hello <%= name %>!
	Bye <%= name %>.

<p>is equivalent to the code:</p>

	local name = "Bob"
	require("luan:Io.luan").stdout.write( "Hello ", name , "!\nBye ", name , ".\n" )

<h3 heading><a name="expressions" href="#expressions">Expressions</a></h3>

The basic expressions in Luan are the following:

	exp ::= prefixexp
	exp ::= <b>nil</b> | <b>false</b> | <b>true</b>
	exp ::= Numeral
	exp ::= LiteralString
	exp ::= functiondef
	exp ::= tableconstructor
	exp ::= &lsquo;<b>...</b>&rsquo;
	exp ::= exp binop exp
	exp ::= unop exp
	prefixexp ::= var | functioncall | &lsquo;<b>(</b>&rsquo; exp &lsquo;<b>)</b>&rsquo;

Numerals and literal strings are explained in <a href="#lex">Lexical Conventions</a>;
variables are explained in <a href="#vars">Variables</a>;
function definitions are explained in <a href="#fn_def">Function Definitions</a>;
function calls are explained in <a href="#fn_calls">Function Calls</a>;
table constructors are explained in <a href="#constructors">Table Constructors</a>.
Vararg expressions,
denoted by three dots ('<code>...</code>'), can only be used when
directly inside a vararg function;
they are explained in <a href="#fn_def">Function Definitions</a>.

Binary operators comprise arithmetic operators (see <a href="#arithmetic">Arithmetic Operators</a>),
relational operators (see <a href="#relational">Relational Operators</a>), logical operators (see <a href="#logical_ops">Logical Operators</a>),
and the concatenation operator (see <a href="#concatenation">Concatenation</a>).
Unary operators comprise the unary minus (see <a href="#arithmetic">Arithmetic Operators</a>),
the unary logical <b>not</b> (see <a href="#logical_ops">Logical Operators</a>),
and the unary <em>length operator</em> (see <a href="#length">The Length Operator</a>).

Both function calls and vararg expressions can result in multiple values.
If a function call is used as a statement (see <a href="#fn_stmt">Function Calls as Statements</a>),
then its return list is adjusted to zero elements,
thus discarding all returned values.
If an expression is used as the last (or the only) element
of a list of expressions,
then no adjustment is made
(unless the expression is enclosed in parentheses).
In all other contexts,
Luan adjusts the result list to one element,
either discarding all values except the first one
or adding a single <b>nil</b> if there are no values.

Here are some examples:

     f()                -- adjusted to 0 results
     g(f(), x)          -- f() is adjusted to 1 result
     g(x, f())          -- g gets x plus all results from f()
     a,b,c = f(), x     -- f() is adjusted to 1 result (c gets nil)
     a,b = ...          -- a gets the first vararg parameter, b gets
                        -- the second (both a and b can get nil if there
                        -- is no corresponding vararg parameter)
     a,b,c = x, f()     -- f() is adjusted to 2 results
     a,b,c = f()        -- f() is adjusted to 3 results
     return f()         -- returns all results from f()
     return ...         -- returns all received vararg parameters
     return x,y,f()     -- returns x, y, and all results from f()
     {f()}              -- creates a list with all results from f()
     {...}              -- creates a list with all vararg parameters
     {f(), nil}         -- f() is adjusted to 1 result

Any expression enclosed in parentheses always results in only one value.
<code>(f(x,y,z))</code> is always a single value,
even if <code>f</code> returns several values.
(The value of <code>(f(x,y,z))</code> is the first value returned by <code>f</code>
or <b>nil</b> if <code>f</code> does not return any values.)

<h4 heading><a name="arithmetic" href="#arithmetic">Arithmetic Operators</a></h4>

Luan supports the following arithmetic operators:

<li><b><code>+</code>: </b>addition</li>
<li><b><code>-</code>: </b>subtraction</li>
<li><b><code>*</code>: </b>multiplication</li>
<li><b><code>/</code>: </b>division</li>
<li><b><code>%</code>: </b>modulo</li>
<li><b><code>^</code>: </b>exponentiation</li>
<li><b><code>-</code>: </b>unary minus</li>

Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and unary minus are the same as these operators in Java.  Exponentiation uses Java's <a href=",%20double)">Math.pow</a> function.

Modulo is defined as the remainder of a division
that rounds the quotient towards minus infinite (floor division).
(The Java modulo operator is not used.)

<h4 heading><a name="conversions" href="#conversions">Coercions and Conversions</a></h4>

Luan generally avoids automatic conversions.
String concatenation automatically converts all of its arguments to strings.

Luan provides library functions for explicit type conversions.

<h4 heading><a name="relational" href="#relational">Relational Operators</a></h4>

Luan supports the following relational operators:

<li><b><code>==</code>: </b>equality</li>
<li><b><code>~=</code>: </b>inequality</li>
<li><b><code>&lt;</code>: </b>less than</li>
<li><b><code>&gt;</code>: </b>greater than</li>
<li><b><code>&lt;=</code>: </b>less or equal</li>
<li><b><code>&gt;=</code>: </b>greater or equal</li>
These operators always result in <b>false</b> or <b>true</b>.

Equality (<code>==</code>) first compares the type of its operands.
If the types are different, then the result is <b>false</b>.
Otherwise, the values of the operands are compared.
Strings, numbers, and binary values are compared in the obvious way (by value).

are compared by reference:
two objects are considered equal only if they are the same object.
Every time you create a new table,
it is different from any previously existing table.
Closures are also compared by reference.

You can change the way that Luan compares tables
by using the "eq" metamethod (see <a href="#meta">Metatables and Metamethods</a>).

Java values are compared for equality with the Java <a href=""><code>equals</code></a> method.

Equality comparisons do not convert strings to numbers
or vice versa.
Thus, <code>"0"==0</code> evaluates to <b>false</b>,
and <code>t[0]</code> and <code>t["0"]</code> denote different
entries in a table.

The operator <code>~=</code> is exactly the negation of equality (<code>==</code>).

The order operators work as follows.

If both arguments are numbers,
then they are compared following
the usual rule for binary operations.
Otherwise, if both arguments are strings,
then their values are compared according to the current locale.
Otherwise, Luan tries to call the "lt" or the "le"
metamethod (see <a href="#meta">Metatables and Metamethods</a>).
A comparison <code>a &gt; b</code> is translated to <code>b &lt; a</code>
and <code>a &gt;= b</code> is translated to <code>b &lt;= a</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="logical_ops" href="#logical_ops">Logical Operators</a></h4>

The logical operators in Luan are
<b>and</b>, <b>or</b>, and <b>not</b>.
The <b>and</b> and <b>or</b> operators consider both <b>false</b> and <b>nil</b> as false
and anything else as true.
Like the control structures (see <a href="#control">Control Structures</a>),
the <b>not</b> operator requires a boolean value.

The negation operator <b>not</b> always returns <b>false</b> or <b>true</b>.
The conjunction operator <b>and</b> returns its first argument
if this value is <b>false</b> or <b>nil</b>;
otherwise, <b>and</b> returns its second argument.
The disjunction operator <b>or</b> returns its first argument
if this value is different from <b>nil</b> and <b>false</b>;
otherwise, <b>or</b> returns its second argument.
Both <b>and</b> and <b>or</b> use short-circuit evaluation;
that is,
the second operand is evaluated only if necessary.
Here are some examples:

     10 or 20            --&gt; 10
     10 or error()       --&gt; 10
     nil or "a"          --&gt; "a"
     nil and 10          --&gt; nil
     false and error()   --&gt; false
     false and nil       --&gt; false
     false or nil        --&gt; nil
     10 and 20           --&gt; 20

(In this manual,
<code>--&gt;</code> indicates the result of the preceding expression.)

<h4 heading><a name="concatenation" href="#concatenation">Concatenation</a></h4>

The string concatenation operator in Luan is
denoted by two dots ('<code>..</code>').
All operands are converted to strings.

<h4 heading><a name="length" href="#length">The Length Operator</a></h4>

The length operator is denoted by the unary prefix operator <code>#</code>.
The length of a string is its number of characters.
The length of a binary is its number of bytes.

A program can modify the behavior of the length operator for
any table through the <code>__len</code> metamethod (see <a href="#meta">Metatables and Metamethods</a>).

Unless a <code>__len</code> metamethod is given,
the length of a table <code>t</code> is defined 
as the number of elements in <em>sequence</em>,
that is,
the size of the set of its positive numeric keys is equal to <em>{1..n}</em>
for some non-negative integer <em>n</em>.
In that case, <em>n</em> is its length.
Note that a table like

     {10, 20, nil, 40}

has a length of <code>2</code>, because that is the last key in sequence.

<h4 heading><a name="precedence" href="#precedence">Precedence</a></h4>

Operator precedence in Luan follows the table below,
from lower to higher priority:

     &lt;     &gt;     &lt;=    &gt;=    ~=    ==
     +     -
     *     /     %
     unary operators (not   #     -)

As usual,
you can use parentheses to change the precedences of an expression.
The concatenation ('<code>..</code>') and exponentiation ('<code>^</code>')
operators are right associative.
All other binary operators are left associative.

<h4 heading><a name="constructors" href="#constructors">Table Constructors</a></h4>

Table constructors are expressions that create tables.
Every time a constructor is evaluated, a new table is created.
A constructor can be used to create an empty table
or to create a table and initialize some of its fields.
The general syntax for constructors is

	tableconstructor ::= &lsquo;<b>{</b>&rsquo; fieldlist &lsquo;<b>}</b>&rsquo;
	fieldlist ::= [field] {fieldsep [field]}
	field ::= &lsquo;<b>[</b>&rsquo; exp &lsquo;<b>]</b>&rsquo; &lsquo;<b>=</b>&rsquo; exp | Name &lsquo;<b>=</b>&rsquo; exp | exp
	fieldsep ::= &lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>;</b>&rsquo; | <b>end_of_line</b>

Each field of the form <code>[exp1] = exp2</code> adds to the new table an entry
with key <code>exp1</code> and value <code>exp2</code>.
A field of the form <code>name = exp</code> is equivalent to
<code>["name"] = exp</code>.
Finally, fields of the form <code>exp</code> are equivalent to
<code>[i] = exp</code>, where <code>i</code> are consecutive integers
starting with 1.
Fields in the other formats do not affect this counting.
For example,

     a = { [f(1)] = g; "x", "y"; x = 1, f(x), [30] = 23; 45 }

is equivalent to

       local t = {}
       t[f(1)] = g
       t[1] = "x"         -- 1st exp
       t[2] = "y"         -- 2nd exp
       t.x = 1            -- t["x"] = 1
       t[3] = f(x)        -- 3rd exp
       t[30] = 23
       t[4] = 45          -- 4th exp
       a = t

The order of the assignments in a constructor is undefined.
(This order would be relevant only when there are repeated keys.)

If the last field in the list has the form <code>exp</code>
and the expression is a function call or a vararg expression,
then all values returned by this expression enter the list consecutively
(see <a href="#fn_calls">Function Calls</a>).

The field list can have an optional trailing separator,
as a convenience for machine-generated code.

<h4 heading><a name="fn_calls" href="#fn_calls">Function Calls</a></h4>

A function call in Luan has the following syntax:

	functioncall ::= prefixexp args

In a function call,
first prefixexp and args are evaluated.
The value of prefixexp must have type <em>function</em>.
This function is called
with the given arguments.

Arguments have the following syntax:

	args ::= &lsquo;<b>(</b>&rsquo; [explist] &lsquo;<b>)</b>&rsquo;
	args ::= tableconstructor
	args ::= LiteralString

All argument expressions are evaluated before the call.
A call of the form <code>f{<em>fields</em>}</code> is
syntactic sugar for <code>f({<em>fields</em>})</code>;
that is, the argument list is a single new table.
A call of the form <code>f'<em>string</em>'</code>
(or <code>f"<em>string</em>"</code> or <code>f[[<em>string</em>]]</code>)
is syntactic sugar for <code>f('<em>string</em>')</code>;
that is, the argument list is a single literal string.

<h4 heading><a name="fn_def" href="#fn_def">Function Definitions</a></h4>

The syntax for function definition is

	functiondef ::= <b>function</b> funcbody
	funcbody ::= &lsquo;<b>(</b>&rsquo; [parlist] &lsquo;<b>)</b>&rsquo; block end_function
	end_function ::= <b>end_function</b> | <b>end</b>

The following syntactic sugar simplifies function definitions:

	stat ::= <b>function</b> funcname funcbody
	stat ::= <b>local</b> <b>function</b> Name funcbody
	funcname ::= Name {&lsquo;<b>.</b>&rsquo; Name} [&lsquo;<b>:</b>&rsquo; Name]

The statement

     function f () <em>body</em> end

translates to

     f = function () <em>body</em> end

The statement

     function t.a.b.c.f () <em>body</em> end

translates to

     t.a.b.c.f = function () <em>body</em> end

The statement

     local function f () <em>body</em> end

translates to

     local f; f = function () <em>body</em> end

not to

     local f = function () <em>body</em> end

(This only makes a difference when the body of the function
contains references to <code>f</code>.)

A function definition is an executable expression,
whose value has type <em>function</em>.
When Luan precompiles a chunk,
all its function bodies are precompiled too.
Then, whenever Luan executes the function definition,
the function is <em>instantiated</em> (or <em>closed</em>).
This function instance (or <em>closure</em>)
is the final value of the expression.

Parameters act as local variables that are
initialized with the argument values:

	parlist ::= namelist [&lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; &lsquo;<b>...</b>&rsquo;] | &lsquo;<b>...</b>&rsquo;

When a function is called,
the list of arguments is adjusted to
the length of the list of parameters if the list is too short,
unless the function is a <em>vararg function</em>,
which is indicated by three dots ('<code>...</code>')
at the end of its parameter list.
A vararg function does not adjust its argument list;
instead, it collects all extra arguments and supplies them
to the function through a <em>vararg expression</em>,
which is also written as three dots.
The value of this expression is a list of all actual extra arguments,
similar to a function with multiple results.
If a vararg expression is used inside another expression
or in the middle of a list of expressions,
then its return list is adjusted to one element.
If the expression is used as the last element of a list of expressions,
then no adjustment is made
(unless that last expression is enclosed in parentheses).

As an example, consider the following definitions:

     function f(a, b) end
     function g(a, b, ...) end
     function r() return 1,2,3 end

Then, we have the following mapping from arguments to parameters and
to the vararg expression:

     CALL            PARAMETERS
     f(3)             a=3, b=nil
     f(3, 4)          a=3, b=4
     f(3, 4, 5)       runtime error
     f(r(), 10)       runtime error
     f(r())           runtime error
     g(3)             a=3, b=nil, ... --&gt;  (nothing)
     g(3, 4)          a=3, b=4,   ... --&gt;  (nothing)
     g(3, 4, 5, 8)    a=3, b=4,   ... --&gt;  5  8
     g(5, r())        a=5, b=1,   ... --&gt;  2  3

Results are returned using the <b>return</b> statement (see <a href="#control">Control Structures</a>).
If control reaches the end of a function
without encountering a <b>return</b> statement,
then the function returns with no results.

<h3 heading><a name="visibility" href="#visibility">Visibility Rules</a></h3>

Luan is a lexically scoped language.
The scope of a local variable begins at the first statement after
its declaration and lasts until the last non-void statement
of the innermost block that includes the declaration.
Consider the following example:

     x = 10                -- global variable
     do                    -- new block
       local x = x         -- new 'x', with value 10
       print(x)            --&gt; 10
       x = x+1
       do                  -- another block
         local x = x+1     -- another 'x'
         print(x)          --&gt; 12
       print(x)            --&gt; 11
     print(x)              --&gt; 10  (the global one)

Notice that, in a declaration like <code>local x = x</code>,
the new <code>x</code> being declared is not in scope yet,
and so the second <code>x</code> refers to the outside variable.

Because of the lexical scoping rules,
local variables can be freely accessed by functions
defined inside their scope.
A local variable used by an inner function is called
an <em>upvalue</em>, or <em>external local variable</em>,
inside the inner function.

Notice that each execution of a <b>local</b> statement
defines new local variables.
Consider the following example:

     a = {}
     local x = 20
     for i=1,10 do
       local y = 0
       a[i] = function () y=y+1; return x+y end

The loop creates ten closures
(that is, ten instances of the anonymous function).
Each of these closures uses a different <code>y</code> variable,
while all of them share the same <code>x</code>.

<h2 heading><a name="libs" href="#libs">Standard Libraries</a></h2>

The standard Luan libraries provide useful functions
that are implemented both in Java and in Luan itself.
How each function is implemented shouldn't matter to the user.
Some of these functions provide essential services to the language
(e.g., <a href="#Luan.type"><code>type</code></a> and <a href="#Luan.get_metatable"><code>get_metatable</code></a>);
others provide access to "outside" services (e.g., I/O).

<h3 heading><a name="default_lib" href="#default_lib">Default Environment</a></h3>

This is provided by default as a local variable for any Luan code as described in <a href="#env">Environments</a>.

<h4 heading><a name="require" href="#require"><code>require (mod_uri)</code></a></h4>

Example use:

	local Table = require "luan:Table.luan"

Could be defined as:

	local function require(mod_name)
		return <a href="#Package.load">Package.load</a>(mod_name) or <a href="#Luan.error">Luan.error</a>("module '"..mod_name.."' not found")

A special case is:

	require "java"

This enables Java in the current chunk if that chunk has permission to use Java.  If the chunk doesn't have permission to use Java, then an error is thrown.

<h3 heading><a name="luan_lib" href="#luan_lib">Basic Functions</a></h3>

Include this library by:

	local Luan = require "luan:Luan.luan"

The basic library provides basic functions to Luan that don't depend on other libaries.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.do_file" href="#Luan.do_file"><code>Luan.do_file ([uri])</code></a></h4>

Could be defined as:

	function Luan.do_file(uri)
		local fn = <a href="#Luan.load_file">Luan.load_file</a>(uri) or <a href="#Luan.error">Luan.error</a>("file '"..uri.."' not found")
		return fn()

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.error" href="#Luan.error"><code>Luan.error (message)</code></a></h4>

Throws an error containing the message.

Could be defined as:

	function Luan.error(message)
		<a href="#Luan.new_error">Luan.new_error</a>(message).throw()

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.eval" href="#Luan.eval"><code>Luan.eval (text [, source_name [, env]])</code></a></h4>

Evaluates <code>text</code> as a Luan expression.

Could be defined as:

	function Luan.eval(text,source_name, env)
		return <a href="#Luan.load">Luan.load</a>( "return "..text, source_name or "eval", env )()

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.get_metatable" href="#Luan.get_metatable"><code>Luan.get_metatable (table)</code></a></h4>

If <code>table</code> does not have a metatable, returns <b>nil</b>.
if the table's metatable has a <code>"__metatable"</code> field,
returns the associated value.
Otherwise, returns the metatable of the given table.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.hash_code" href="#Luan.ipairs"><code>Luan.hash_code (v)</code></a></h4>

Returns the hash code of <code>v</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.ipairs" href="#Luan.ipairs"><code>Luan.ipairs (t)</code></a></h4>

Returns an iterator function
so that the construction

	for i,v in ipairs(t) do <em>body</em> end

will iterate over the key&ndash;value pairs
(<code>1,t[1]</code>), (<code>2,t[2]</code>), ...,
up to the first nil value.

Could be defined as:

	function Luan.ipairs(t)
		local i = 0
		return function()
			if i < #t then
				i = i + 1
				return i, t[i]

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.load" href="#Luan.load"><code>Luan.load (text, [source_name [, env [, persist]]])</code></a></h4>

Loads a chunk.

The <code>text</code> is compiled.
If there are no syntactic errors,
returns the compiled chunk as a function;
otherwise, throws an error.

The <code>source_name</code> parameter is a string saying where the text came from.  It is used to produce error messages.  Defaults to "load".

If the <code>env</code> parameter is supplied, it becomes the <code>_ENV</code> of the chunk.

The <code>persist</code> parameter is a boolean which determines if the compiled code is persistently cached to a temporary file.  Defaults to <code>false</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.load_file" href="#Luan.load_file"><code>Luan.load_file (file_uri)</code></a></h4>

Similar to <a href="#Luan.load"><code>load</code></a>,
but gets the chunk from file <code>file_uri</code>.
<code>file_uri</code> can be a string or a uri table.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.new_error" href="#Luan.new_error"><code>Luan.new_error (message)</code></a></h4>

Creates a new error table containing the message assigned to "<code>message</code>".  The error table also contains a <code>throw</code> function which throws the error.  The table also contains a list of stack trace elements where each stack trace element is a table containing "<code>source</code>", "<code>line</code>", and possible "<code>call_to</code>".  The table also has a metatable containing "<code>__to_string</code>" to render the error.

To print the current stack trace, you could do:

	Io.print( Luan.new_error "stack" )

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.pairs" href="#Luan.pairs"><code>Luan.pairs (t)</code></a></h4>

If <code>t</code> has a metamethod <code>__pairs</code>,
calls it with <code>t</code> as argument and returns the
result from the call.

returns a function
so that the construction

	for k,v in pairs(t) do <em>body</em> end

will iterate over all key&ndash;value pairs of table <code>t</code>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-print"><code>print (&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h3>
Receives any number of arguments
and prints their values to <code>stdout</code>,
using the <a href="#pdf-tostring"><code>tostring</code></a> function to convert each argument to a string.
<code>print</code> is not intended for formatted output,
but only as a quick way to show a value,
for instance for debugging.
For complete control over the output,
use <a href="#pdf-string.format"><code>string.format</code></a> and <a href="#pdf-io.write"><code>io.write</code></a>.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.range" href="#Luan.range"><code>Luan.range (start, stop [, step])</code></a></h4>

Based on <a href="">the Python range() function</a>, this lets one iterate through a sequence of numbers.

Example use:

	for i in range(1,10) do
		Io.print("count up:",i)
	for i in range(10,0,-1) do
		Io.print("count down:",i)

Could be defined as:

	function Luan.range(start, stop, step)
		step = step or 1
		step == 0 and <a href="#Luan.error">Luan.error</a> "bad argument #3 (step may not be zero)"
		local i = start
		return function()
			if step > 0 and i <= stop or step < 0 and i >= stop then
				local rtn = i
				i = i + step
				return rtn

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.raw_equal" href="#Luan.raw_equal"><code>Luan.raw_equal (v1, v2)</code></a></h4>

Checks whether <code>v1</code> is equal to <code>v2</code>,
without invoking any metamethod.
Returns a boolean.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.raw_get" href="#Luan.raw_get"><code>Luan.raw_get (table, index)</code></a></h4>

Gets the real value of <code>table[index]</code>,
without invoking any metamethod.
<code>table</code> must be a table;
<code>index</code> may be any value.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.raw_len" href="#Luan.raw_len"><code>Luan.raw_len (v)</code></a></h4>

Returns the length of the object <code>v</code>,
which must be a table or a string,
without invoking any metamethod.
Returns an integer.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.raw_set" href="#Luan.raw_set"><code>Luan.raw_set (table, index, value)</code></a></h4>

Sets the real value of <code>table[index]</code> to <code>value</code>,
without invoking any metamethod.
<code>table</code> must be a table,
<code>index</code> any value different from <b>nil</b>,
and <code>value</code> any Lua value.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.set_metatable" href="#Luan.set_metatable"><code>Luan.set_metatable (table, metatable)</code></a></h4>

Sets the metatable for the given table.
If <code>metatable</code> is <b>nil</b>,
removes the metatable of the given table.
If the original metatable has a <code>"__metatable"</code> field,
raises an error.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.stringify" href="#Luan.stringify"><code>Luan.stringify (v [,options])</code></a></h4>

Receives a value of any type and converts it to a string that is a Luan expression.  <code>options</code> is a table.  If <code>options.strict==true</code> then invalid types throw an error.  Otherwise invalid types are represented but the resulting expression is invalid.  If <code>options.number_types==true</code> then numbers will be wrapped in functions for their type.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.to_string" href="#Luan.to_string"><code>Luan.to_string (v)</code></a></h4>

Receives a value of any type and
converts it to a string in a human-readable format.

If the metatable of <code>v</code> has a <code>"__to_string"</code> field,
then <code>to_string</code> calls the corresponding value
with <code>v</code> as argument,
and uses the result of the call as its result.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.type" href="#Luan.type"><code>Luan.type (v)</code></a></h4>

Returns the type of its only argument, coded as a string.
The possible results of this function are
"<code>nil</code>" (a string, not the value <b>nil</b>),
and "<code>java</code>".

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.values" href="#Luan.values"><code>Luan.values (&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h4>

Returns a function so that the construction

	for i, v in Luan.values(&middot;&middot;&middot;) do <em>body</em> end

will iterate over all values of <code>&middot;&middot;&middot;</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Luan.VERSION" href="#Luan.VERSION"><code>Luan.VERSION</code></a></h4>

A global variable (not a function) that
holds a string containing the current Luan version.

<h3 heading><a name="package_lib" href="#package_lib">Modules</a></h3>

Include this library by:

	local Package = require "luan:Package.luan"

The package library provides basic
facilities for loading modules in Luan.

<h4 heading><a name="Package.load" href="#Package.load"><code>Package.load (mod_uri)</code></a></h4>

Loads the given module.
The function starts by looking into the <a href="#Package.loaded"><code>Package.loaded</code></a> table
to determine whether <code>mod_uri</code> is already loaded.
If it is, then <code>Package.load</code> returns the value stored
at <code>Package.loaded[mod_uri]</code>.
Otherwise, it tries to load a new value for the module.

To load a new value, <code>Package.load</code> first checks if <code>mod_uri</code> starts with "<b>java:</b>".  If yes, then this is a Java class which is loaded by special Java code.

Otherwise <code>Package.load</code> tries to read the text of the file referred to by <code>mod_uri</code>.  If the file doesn't exist, then <code>Package.load</code> returns <b>false</b>.  If the file exists, then its content is compiled into a chunk by calling <a href="#Luan.load"><code>Luan.load</code></a>.  This chunk is run passing in <code>mod_uri</code> as an argument.  The value returned by the chunk must not be <b>nil</b> and is loaded.

If a new value for the module successful loaded, then it is stored in <code>Package.loaded[mod_uri]</code>.  The value is returned.

<h4 heading><a name="Package.loaded" href="#Package.loaded"><code>Package.loaded</code></a></h4>

A table used by <a href="#Package.load"><code>Package.load</code></a> to control which
modules are already loaded.
When you load a module <code>mod_uri</code> and
<code>Package.loaded[mod_uri]</code> is not <b>nil</b>,
<a href="#Package.load"><code>Package.load</code></a> simply returns the value stored there.

This variable is only a reference to the real table;
assignments to this variable do not change the
table used by <a href="#Package.load"><code>Package.load</code></a>.

<h3 heading><a name="string_lib" href="#string_lib">String Manipulation</a></h3>

Include this library by:

	local String = require "luan:String.luan"

This library provides generic functions for string manipulation,
such as finding and extracting substrings, and pattern matching.
When indexing a string in Luan, the first character is at position&nbsp;1
(not at&nbsp;0, as in Java).
Indices are allowed to be negative and are interpreted as indexing backwards,
from the end of the string.
Thus, the last character is at position -1, and so on.

<h4 heading><a name="String.char" href="#String.char"><code>String.char (&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h4>

Receives zero or more integers.
Returns a string with length equal to the number of arguments,
in which each character has the internal numerical code equal
to its corresponding argument.

<h4 heading><a name="String.encode" href="#String.encode"><code>String.encode (s)</code></a></h4>

Encodes argument <code>s</code> into a string that can be placed in quotes so as to return the original value of the string.

<h4 heading><a name="String.find" href="#String.find"><code>String.find (s, pattern [, init [, plain]])</code></a></h4>

Looks for the first match of
<code>pattern</code> (see <a href="">Pattern</a>) in the string <code>s</code>.
If it finds a match, then <code>find</code> returns the indices of&nbsp;<code>s</code>
where this occurrence starts and ends;
otherwise, it returns <b>nil</b>.
A third, optional numerical argument <code>init</code> specifies
where to start the search;
its default value is&nbsp;1 and can be negative.
A value of <b>true</b> as a fourth, optional argument <code>plain</code>
turns off the pattern matching facilities,
so the function does a plain "find substring" operation,
with no characters in <code>pattern</code> being considered magic.
Note that if <code>plain</code> is given, then <code>init</code> must be given as well.

If the pattern has captures,
then in a successful match
the captured values are also returned,
after the two indices.

<h4 heading><a name="String.format" href="#String.format"><code>String.format (formatstring, &middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h4>

Returns a formatted version of its variable number of arguments
following the description given in its first argument (which must be a string).
The format string follows the same rules as the Java function <a href=",%20java.lang.Object...)"><code>String.format</code></a> because Luan calls this internally.

Note that Java's <code>String.format</code> is too stupid to convert between ints and floats, so you must provide the right kind of number.

<h4 heading><a name="String.gmatch" href="#String.gmatch"><code>String.gmatch (s, pattern)</code></a></h4>

Returns an iterator function that,
each time it is called,
returns the next captures from <code>pattern</code> (see <a href="">Pattern</a>)
over the string <code>s</code>.
If <code>pattern</code> specifies no captures,
then the whole match is produced in each call.

As an example, the following loop
will iterate over all the words from string <code>s</code>,
printing one per line:

	local s = "hello world from Lua"
	for w in String.gmatch(s, [[\w+]]) do

The next example collects all pairs <code>key=value</code> from the
given string into a table:

	local t = {}
	local s = "from=world, to=Lua"
	for k, v in String.gmatch(s, [[(\w+)=(\w+)]]) do
		t[k] = v

For this function, a caret '<code>^</code>' at the start of a pattern does not
work as an anchor, as this would prevent the iteration.

<h4 heading><a name="String.gsub" href="#String.gsub"><code>String.gsub (s, pattern, repl [, n])</code></a></h4>

Returns a copy of <code>s</code>
in which all (or the first <code>n</code>, if given)
occurrences of the <code>pattern</code> (see <a href="">Pattern</a>) have been
replaced by a replacement string specified by <code>repl</code>,
which can be a string, a table, or a function.
<code>gsub</code> also returns, as its second value,
the total number of matches that occurred.
The name <code>gsub</code> comes from <em>Global SUBstitution</em>.

If <code>repl</code> is a string, then its value is used for replacement.
The character&nbsp;<code>\</code> works as an escape character.
Any sequence in <code>repl</code> of the form <code>$<em>d</em></code>,
with <em>d</em> between 1 and 9,
stands for the value of the <em>d</em>-th captured substring.
The sequence <code>$0</code> stands for the whole match.

If <code>repl</code> is a table, then the table is queried for every match,
using the first capture as the key.

If <code>repl</code> is a function, then this function is called every time a
match occurs, with all captured substrings passed as arguments,
in order.

In any case,
if the pattern specifies no captures,
then it behaves as if the whole pattern was inside a capture.

If the value returned by the table query or by the function call
is not <b>nil</b>,
then it is used as the replacement string;
otherwise, if it is <b>nil</b>,
then there is no replacement
(that is, the original match is kept in the string).

Here are some examples:

     x = String.gsub("hello world", [[(\w+)]], "$1 $1")
     --&gt; x="hello hello world world"
     x = String.gsub("hello world", [[\w+]], "$0 $0", 1)
     --&gt; x="hello hello world"
     x = String.gsub("hello world from Luan", [[(\w+)\s*(\w+)]], "$2 $1")
     --&gt; x="world hello Luan from"
     x = String.gsub("4+5 = $return 4+5$", [[\$(.*?)\$]], function (s)
           return load(s)()
     --&gt; x="4+5 = 9"
     local t = {name="lua", version="5.3"}
     x = String.gsub("$name-$version.tar.gz", [[\$(\w+)]], t)
     --&gt; x="lua-5.3.tar.gz"

<h4 heading><a name="String.lower" href="#String.lower"><code>String.lower (s)</code></a></h4>
Receives a string and returns a copy of this string with all
uppercase letters changed to lowercase.
All other characters are left unchanged.

<h4 heading><a name="String.match" href="#String.match"><code>String.match (s, pattern [, init])</code></a></h4>

Looks for the first <em>match</em> of
<code>pattern</code> (see <a href="">Pattern</a>) in the string <code>s</code>.
If it finds one, then <code>match</code> returns
the captures from the pattern;
otherwise it returns <b>nil</b>.
If <code>pattern</code> specifies no captures,
then the whole match is returned.
A third, optional numerical argument <code>init</code> specifies
where to start the search;
its default value is&nbsp;1 and can be negative.

<h4 heading><a name="String.matches" href="#String.matches"><code>String.matches (s, pattern)</code></a></h4>
Returns a boolean indicating whether the <code>pattern</code> can be found in string <code>s</code>.
This function is equivalent to

     return String.match(s,pattern) ~= nil

<h4 heading><a name="String.regex_quote" href="#String.regex_quote"><code>String.regex_quote (s)</code></a></h4>
Returns a string which matches the literal string <code>s</code> in a regular expression.  This function is simply the Java method <a href=""><code>Pattern.quote</code></a>.

<h4 heading><a name="String.rep" href="#String.rep"><code>String.rep (s, n [, sep])</code></a></h4>
Returns a string that is the concatenation of <code>n</code> copies of
the string <code>s</code> separated by the string <code>sep</code>.
The default value for <code>sep</code> is the empty string
(that is, no separator).
Returns the empty string if <code>n</code> is not positive.

<h4 heading><a name="String.reverse" href="#String.reverse"><code>String.reverse (s)</code></a></h4>
Returns a string that is the string <code>s</code> reversed.

<h4 heading><a name="String.split" href="#String.match"><code>String.split (s, pattern [, limit])</code></a></h4>

Splits <code>s</code> using regex <code>pattern</code> and returns the results.  If <code>limit</code> is positive, then only returns at most that many results.  If <code>limit</code> is zero, then remove trailing empty results.

<h4 heading><a name="String.sub" href="#String.sub"><code>String.sub (s, i [, j])</code></a></h4>

Returns the substring of <code>s</code> that
starts at <code>i</code>  and continues until <code>j</code>;
<code>i</code> and <code>j</code> can be negative.
If <code>j</code> is absent, then it is assumed to be equal to -1
(which is the same as the string length).
In particular,
the call <code>string.sub(s,1,j)</code> returns a prefix of <code>s</code>
with length <code>j</code>,
and <code>string.sub(s, -i)</code> returns a suffix of <code>s</code>
with length <code>i</code>.

If, after the translation of negative indices,
<code>i</code> is less than 1,
it is corrected to 1.
If <code>j</code> is greater than the string length,
it is corrected to that length.
If, after these corrections,
<code>i</code> is greater than <code>j</code>,
the function returns the empty string.

<h4 heading><a name="String.to_binary" href="#String.to_binary"><code>String.to_binary (s)</code></a></h4>

Converts a string to a binary by calling the Java method <a href=""><code>String.getBytes</code></a>.

<h4 heading><a name="String.to_number" href="#String.to_number"><code>String.to_number (s [, base])</code></a></h4>

When called with no <code>base</code>,
<code>to_number</code> tries to convert its argument to a number.
If the argument is
a string convertible to a number,
then <code>to_number</code> returns this number;
otherwise, it returns <b>nil</b>.

The conversion of strings can result in integers or floats.

When called with <code>base</code>,
then <code>s</code> must be a string to be interpreted as
an integer numeral in that base.
In bases above&nbsp;10, the letter '<code>A</code>' (in either upper or lower case)
represents&nbsp;10, '<code>B</code>' represents&nbsp;11, and so forth,
with '<code>Z</code>' representing 35.
If the string <code>s</code> is not a valid numeral in the given base,
the function returns <b>nil</b>.

<h4 heading><a name="String.trim" href="#String.trim"><code>String.trim (s)</code></a></h4>

Removes the leading and trailing whitespace by calling the Java method <a href=""><code>String.trim</code></a>.

<h4 heading><a name="String.unicode" href="#String.unicode"><code>String.unicode (s [, i [, j]])</code></a></h4>

Returns the internal numerical codes of the characters <code>s[i]</code>,
<code>s[i+1]</code>, ..., <code>s[j]</code>.
The default value for <code>i</code> is&nbsp;1;
the default value for <code>j</code> is&nbsp;<code>i</code>.
These indices are corrected
following the same rules of function <a href="#String.sub"><code>String.sub</code></a>.


<h4 heading><a name="String.upper" href="#String.upper"><code>String.upper (s)</code></a></h4>
Receives a string and returns a copy of this string with all
lowercase letters changed to uppercase.
All other characters are left unchanged.
The definition of what a lowercase letter is depends on the current locale.

<h3 heading><a name="binary_lib" href="#binary_lib">Binary Manipulation</a></h3>

Include this library by:

	local Binary = require "luan:Binary.luan"

<h4 heading><a name="Binary.binary" href="#Binary.binary"><code>Binary.binary (&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h4>

Receives zero or more bytes (as integers).
Returns a binary with length equal to the number of arguments,
in which each byte has the internal numerical code equal
to its corresponding argument.

<h4 heading><a name="Binary.byte" href="#Binary.byte"><code>Binary.byte (b [, i [, j]])</code></a></h4>

Returns the internal numerical codes of the bytes <code>b[i]</code>,
<code>b[i+1]</code>, ..., <code>b[j]</code>.
The default value for <code>i</code> is&nbsp;1;
the default value for <code>j</code> is&nbsp;<code>i</code>.
These indices are corrected
following the same rules of function <a href="#String.sub"><code>String.sub</code></a>.

<h4 heading><a name="Binary.to_string" href="#Binary.to_string"><code>Binary.to_string (b [,charset])</code></a></h4>
If <code>charset</code> is not nil then converts the binary <code>b</code> to a string using the Java <a href="[],%20java.lang.String)">String constructor</a>, else makes each byte a char.

<h3 heading><a name="table_lib" href="#table_lib">Table Manipulation</a></h3>

Include this library by:

	local Table = require "luan:Table.luan"

This library provides generic functions for table manipulation.
It provides all its functions inside the table <code>Table</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Table.clear" href="#Table.clear"><code>Table.clear (tbl)</code></a></h4>

Clears the table.

<h4 heading><a name="Table.concat" href="#Table.concat"><code>Table.concat (list [, sep [, i [, j]]])</code></a></h4>

Given a list,
returns the string <code>list[i]..sep..list[i+1] &middot;&middot;&middot; sep..list[j]</code>.
The default value for <code>sep</code> is the empty string,
the default for <code>i</code> is 1,
and the default for <code>j</code> is <code>#list</code>.
If <code>i</code> is greater than <code>j</code>, returns the empty string.

<h4 heading><a name="Table.copy" href="#Table.copy"><code>Table.copy (tbl [, i [, j]])</code></a></h4>

If <code>i</code> is <code>nil</code>, returns a shallow copy of <code>tbl</code>.
Otherwise returns a new table which is a list of the elements <code>tbl[i] &middot;&middot;&middot; tbl[j]</code>.
By default, <code>j</code> is <code>#tbl</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Table.insert" href="#Table.insert"><code>Table.insert (list, pos, value)</code></a></h4>

Inserts element <code>value</code> at position <code>pos</code> in <code>list</code>,
shifting up the elements
<code>list[pos], list[pos+1], &middot;&middot;&middot;, list[#list]</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Table.is_empty" href="#Table.is_empty"><code>Table.is_empty (tbl)</code></a></h4>

<h4 heading><a name="Table.pack" href="#Table.pack"><code>Table.pack (&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h4>

Returns a new table with all parameters stored into keys 1, 2, etc.
and with a field "<code>n</code>" with the total number of parameters.
Note that the resulting table may not be a sequence.

<h4 heading><a name="Table.remove" href="#Table.remove"><code>Table.remove (list, pos)</code></a></h4>

Removes from <code>list</code> the element at position <code>pos</code>,
returning the value of the removed element.
When <code>pos</code> is an integer between 1 and <code>#list</code>,
it shifts down the elements
<code>list[pos+1], list[pos+2], &middot;&middot;&middot;, list[#list]</code>
and erases element <code>list[#list]</code>;
The index <code>pos</code> can also be 0 when <code>#list</code> is 0,
or <code>#list + 1</code>;
in those cases, the function erases the element <code>list[pos]</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Table.size" href="#Table.size"><code>Table.size (tbl)</code></a></h4>

<h4 heading><a name="Table.sort" href="#Table.sort"><code>Table.sort (list [, comp])</code></a></h4>

Sorts list elements in a given order, <em>in-place</em>,
from <code>list[1]</code> to <code>list[#list]</code>.
If <code>comp</code> is given,
then it must be a function that receives two list elements
and returns true when the first element must come
before the second in the final order
(so that <code>not comp(list[i+1],list[i])</code> will be true after the sort).
If <code>comp</code> is not given,
then the standard Lua operator <code>&lt;</code> is used instead.

The sort algorithm is not stable;
that is, elements considered equal by the given order
may have their relative positions changed by the sort.

<h4 heading><a name="Table.unpack" href="#Table.unpack"><code>Table.unpack (list [, i [, j]])</code></a></h4>

Returns the elements from the given list.
This function is equivalent to

     return list[i], list[i+1], &middot;&middot;&middot;, list[j]

By default, <code>i</code> is 1 and <code>j</code> is <code>list.n or #list</code>.

<h3 heading><a name="number_lib" href="#number_lib">Number Manipulation</a></h3>

Include this library by:

	local Number = require "luan:Number.luan"

<h4 heading><a name="Number.double" href="#Number.double"><code>Number.double (x)</code></a></h4>
Returns <code>x</code> as a double.

<h4 heading><a name="Number.float" href="#Number.double"><code>Number.float (x)</code></a></h4>
Returns <code>x</code> as a float.

<h4 heading><a name="Number.integer" href="#Number.integer"><code>Number.integer (x)</code></a></h4>
If the value <code>x</code> is convertible to an integer,
returns that integer.
Otherwise throws an error.

<h4 heading><a name="Number.long" href="#Number.long"><code>Number.long (x)</code></a></h4>
If the value <code>x</code> is convertible to an long,
returns that long.
Otherwise throws an error.

<h4 heading><a name="Number.long_to_string" href="#Number.long_to_string"><code>Number.long_to_string (i, radix)</code></a></h4>
Converts long value <code>i</code> to a string by calling <code><a href=",%20int)">Long.toString</a></code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Number.type" href="#Number.type"><code>Number.type (x)</code></a></h4>
Returns a string for the numeric type of <code>x</code>.  Possible return values include "<code>integer</code>", "<code>long</code>", "<code>double</code>", and "<code>float</code>".

<h3 heading><a name="math_lib" href="#math_lib">Mathematical Functions</a></h3>

Include this library by:

	local Math = require "luan:Math.luan"

This library provides basic mathematical functions.
It provides all its functions and constants inside the table <code>Math</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.abs" href="#Math.abs"><code>Math.abs (x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the absolute value of <code>x</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.acos" href="#Math.acos"><code>Math.acos (x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the arc cosine of <code>x</code> (in radians).

<h4 heading><a name="Math.asin" href="#Math.asin"><code>Math.asin (x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the arc sine of <code>x</code> (in radians).

<h4 heading><a name="Math.atan" href="#Math.atan"><code>Math.atan (y, x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the arc tangent of <code>y/x</code> (in radians),
but uses the signs of both parameters to find the
quadrant of the result.
(It also handles correctly the case of <code>x</code> being zero.)

<h4 heading><a name="Math.ceil" href="#Math.ceil"><code>Math.ceil (x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the smallest integral value larger than or equal to <code>x</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.cos" href="#Math.cos"><code>Math.cos (x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the cosine of <code>x</code> (assumed to be in radians).

<h4 heading><a name="Math.deg" href="#Math.deg"><code>Math.deg (x)</code></a></h4>

Converts the angle <code>x</code> from radians to degrees.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.exp" href="#Math.exp"><code>Math.exp (x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the value <em>e<sup>x</sup></em>
(where <code>e</code> is the base of natural logarithms).

<h4 heading><a name="Math.floor" href="#Math.floor"><code>Math.floor (x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the largest integral value smaller than or equal to <code>x</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.fmod" href="#Math.fmod"><code>Math.fmod (x, y)</code></a></h4>

Returns the remainder of the division of <code>x</code> by <code>y</code>
that rounds the quotient towards zero.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.huge" href="#Math.huge"><code>Math.huge</code></a></h4>

A value larger than any other numerical value.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.log" href="#Math.log"><code>Math.log (x [, base])</code></a></h4>

Returns the logarithm of <code>x</code> in the given base.
The default for <code>base</code> is <em>e</em>
(so that the function returns the natural logarithm of <code>x</code>).

<h4 heading><a name="Math.max" href="#Math.max"><code>Math.max (x, &middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h4>

Returns the argument with the maximum value,
according to the Lua operator <code>&lt;</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.max_integer" href="#Math.max_integer"><code>Math.max_integer</code></a></h4>
An integer with the maximum value for an integer.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.min" href="#Math.min"><code>Math.min (x, &middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h4>

Returns the argument with the minimum value,
according to the Lua operator <code>&lt;</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.min_integer" href="#Math.min_integer"><code>Math.min_integer</code></a></h4>
An integer with the minimum value for an integer.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.modf" href="#Math.modf"><code>Math.modf (x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the integral part of <code>x</code> and the fractional part of <code>x</code>.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.pi" href="#Math.pi"><code>Math.pi</code></a></h4>

The value of <em>&pi;</em>.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.rad" href="#Math.rad"><code>Math.rad (x)</code></a></h4>

Converts the angle <code>x</code> from degrees to radians.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.random" href="#Math.random"><code>Math.random ([m [, n])</code></a></h4>

When called without arguments,
returns a pseudo-random float with uniform distribution
in the range  <em>[0,1)</em>.  
When called with two integers <code>m</code> and <code>n</code>,
<code>Math.random</code> returns a pseudo-random integer
with uniform distribution in the range <em>[m, n]</em>.
(The value <em>m-n</em> cannot be negative and must fit in a Luan integer.)
The call <code>Math.random(n)</code> is equivalent to <code>Math.random(1,n)</code>.

This function is an interface to the underling
pseudo-random generator function provided by Java.
No guarantees can be given for its statistical properties.

<h4 heading><a name="Math.sin" href="#Math.sin"><code>Math.sin (x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the sine of <code>x</code> (assumed to be in radians).

<h4 heading><a name="Math.sqrt" href="#Math.sqrt"><code>Math.sqrt (x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the square root of <code>x</code>.
(You can also use the expression <code>x^0.5</code> to compute this value.)

<h4 heading><a name="Math.tan" href="#Math.tan"><code>Math.tan (x)</code></a></h4>

Returns the tangent of <code>x</code> (assumed to be in radians).

<h2>6.8 &ndash; <a name="6.8">Input and Output Facilities</a></h2>

The I/O library provides two different styles for file manipulation.
The first one uses implicit file handles;
that is, there are operations to set a default input file and a
default output file,
and all input/output operations are over these default files.
The second style uses explicit file handles.

When using implicit file handles,
all operations are supplied by table <a name="pdf-io"><code>io</code></a>.
When using explicit file handles,
the operation <a href=""><code></code></a> returns a file handle
and then all operations are supplied as methods of the file handle.

The table <code>io</code> also provides
three predefined file handles with their usual meanings from C:
<a name="pdf-io.stdin"><code>io.stdin</code></a>, <a name="pdf-io.stdout"><code>io.stdout</code></a>, and <a name="pdf-io.stderr"><code>io.stderr</code></a>.
The I/O library never closes these files.

Unless otherwise stated,
all I/O functions return <b>nil</b> on failure
(plus an error message as a second result and
a system-dependent error code as a third result)
and some value different from <b>nil</b> on success.
On non-POSIX systems,
the computation of the error message and error code
in case of errors
may be not thread safe,
because they rely on the global C variable <code>errno</code>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-io.close"><code>io.close ([file])</code></a></h3>

Equivalent to <code>file:close()</code>.
Without a <code>file</code>, closes the default output file.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-io.flush"><code>io.flush ()</code></a></h3>

Equivalent to <code>io.output():flush()</code>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-io.input"><code>io.input ([file])</code></a></h3>

When called with a file name, it opens the named file (in text mode),
and sets its handle as the default input file.
When called with a file handle,
it simply sets this file handle as the default input file.
When called without parameters,
it returns the current default input file.

In case of errors this function raises the error,
instead of returning an error code.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-io.lines"><code>io.lines ([filename &middot;&middot;&middot;])</code></a></h3>

Opens the given file name in read mode
and returns an iterator function that
works like <code>file:lines(&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code> over the opened file.
When the iterator function detects the end of file,
it returns no values (to finish the loop) and automatically closes the file.

The call <code>io.lines()</code> (with no file name) is equivalent
to <code>io.input():lines("*l")</code>;
that is, it iterates over the lines of the default input file.
In this case it does not close the file when the loop ends.

In case of errors this function raises the error,
instead of returning an error code.

<hr><h3><a name=""><code> (filename [, mode])</code></a></h3>

This function opens a file,
in the mode specified in the string <code>mode</code>.
It returns a new file handle,
or, in case of errors, <b>nil</b> plus an error message.

The <code>mode</code> string can be any of the following:

<li><b>"<code>r</code>": </b> read mode (the default);</li>
<li><b>"<code>w</code>": </b> write mode;</li>
<li><b>"<code>a</code>": </b> append mode;</li>
<li><b>"<code>r+</code>": </b> update mode, all previous data is preserved;</li>
<li><b>"<code>w+</code>": </b> update mode, all previous data is erased;</li>
<li><b>"<code>a+</code>": </b> append update mode, previous data is preserved,
  writing is only allowed at the end of file.</li>
The <code>mode</code> string can also have a '<code>b</code>' at the end,
which is needed in some systems to open the file in binary mode.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-io.output"><code>io.output ([file])</code></a></h3>

Similar to <a href="#pdf-io.input"><code>io.input</code></a>, but operates over the default output file.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-io.popen"><code>io.popen (prog [, mode])</code></a></h3>

This function is system dependent and is not available
on all platforms.

Starts program <code>prog</code> in a separated process and returns
a file handle that you can use to read data from this program
(if <code>mode</code> is <code>"r"</code>, the default)
or to write data to this program
(if <code>mode</code> is <code>"w"</code>).

<hr><h3><a name=""><code> (&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h3>

Equivalent to <code>io.input():read(&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-io.tmpfile"><code>io.tmpfile ()</code></a></h3>

Returns a handle for a temporary file.
This file is opened in update mode
and it is automatically removed when the program ends.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-io.type"><code>io.type (obj)</code></a></h3>

Checks whether <code>obj</code> is a valid file handle.
Returns the string <code>"file"</code> if <code>obj</code> is an open file handle,
<code>"closed file"</code> if <code>obj</code> is a closed file handle,
or <b>nil</b> if <code>obj</code> is not a file handle.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-io.write"><code>io.write (&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h3>

Equivalent to <code>io.output():write(&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-file:close"><code>file:close ()</code></a></h3>

Closes <code>file</code>.
Note that files are automatically closed when
their handles are garbage collected,
but that takes an unpredictable amount of time to happen.

When closing a file handle created with <a href="#pdf-io.popen"><code>io.popen</code></a>,
<a href="#pdf-file:close"><code>file:close</code></a> returns the same values
returned by <a href="#pdf-os.execute"><code>os.execute</code></a>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-file:flush"><code>file:flush ()</code></a></h3>

Saves any written data to <code>file</code>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-file:lines"><code>file:lines (&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h3>

Returns an iterator function that,
each time it is called,
reads the file according to the given formats.
When no format is given,
uses "<code>l</code>" as a default.
As an example, the construction

     for c in file:lines(1) do <em>body</em> end
will iterate over all characters of the file,
starting at the current position.
Unlike <a href="#pdf-io.lines"><code>io.lines</code></a>, this function does not close the file
when the loop ends.

In case of errors this function raises the error,
instead of returning an error code.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-file:read"><code>file:read (&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h3>

Reads the file <code>file</code>,
according to the given formats, which specify what to read.
For each format,
the function returns a string or a number with the characters read,
or <b>nil</b> if it cannot read data with the specified format.
(In this latter case,
the function does not read subsequent formats.)
When called without formats,
it uses a default format that reads the next line
(see below).

The available formats are


<li><b>"<code>n</code>": </b>
reads a numeral and returns it as a float or an integer,
following the lexical conventions of Lua.
(The numeral may have leading spaces and a sign.)
This format always reads the longest input sequence that
is a valid prefix for a number;
if that prefix does not form a valid number
(e.g., an empty string, "<code>0x</code>", or "<code>3.4e-</code>"),
it is discarded and the function returns <b>nil</b>.

<li><b>"<code>i</code>": </b>
reads an integral number and returns it as an integer.

<li><b>"<code>a</code>": </b>
reads the whole file, starting at the current position.
On end of file, it returns the empty string.

<li><b>"<code>l</code>": </b>
reads the next line skipping the end of line,
returning <b>nil</b> on end of file.
This is the default format.

<li><b>"<code>L</code>": </b>
reads the next line keeping the end-of-line character (if present),
returning <b>nil</b> on end of file.

<li><b><em>number</em>: </b>
reads a string with up to this number of bytes,
returning <b>nil</b> on end of file.
If <code>number</code> is zero,
it reads nothing and returns an empty string,
or <b>nil</b> on end of file.

The formats "<code>l</code>" and "<code>L</code>" should be used only for text files.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-file:seek"><code>file:seek ([whence [, offset]])</code></a></h3>

Sets and gets the file position,
measured from the beginning of the file,
to the position given by <code>offset</code> plus a base
specified by the string <code>whence</code>, as follows:

<li><b>"<code>set</code>": </b> base is position 0 (beginning of the file);</li>
<li><b>"<code>cur</code>": </b> base is current position;</li>
<li><b>"<code>end</code>": </b> base is end of file;</li>
In case of success, <code>seek</code> returns the final file position,
measured in bytes from the beginning of the file.
If <code>seek</code> fails, it returns <b>nil</b>,
plus a string describing the error.

The default value for <code>whence</code> is <code>"cur"</code>,
and for <code>offset</code> is 0.
Therefore, the call <code>file:seek()</code> returns the current
file position, without changing it;
the call <code>file:seek("set")</code> sets the position to the
beginning of the file (and returns 0);
and the call <code>file:seek("end")</code> sets the position to the
end of the file, and returns its size.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-file:setvbuf"><code>file:setvbuf (mode [, size])</code></a></h3>

Sets the buffering mode for an output file.
There are three available modes:


<li><b>"<code>no</code>": </b>
no buffering; the result of any output operation appears immediately.

<li><b>"<code>full</code>": </b>
full buffering; output operation is performed only
when the buffer is full or when
you explicitly <code>flush</code> the file (see <a href="#pdf-io.flush"><code>io.flush</code></a>).

<li><b>"<code>line</code>": </b>
line buffering; output is buffered until a newline is output
or there is any input from some special files
(such as a terminal device).

For the last two cases, <code>size</code>
specifies the size of the buffer, in bytes.
The default is an appropriate size.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-file:write"><code>file:write (&middot;&middot;&middot;)</code></a></h3>

Writes the value of each of its arguments to <code>file</code>.
The arguments must be strings or numbers.

In case of success, this function returns <code>file</code>.
Otherwise it returns <b>nil</b> plus a string describing the error.

<h2>6.9 &ndash; <a name="6.9">Operating System Facilities</a></h2>

This library is implemented through table <a name="pdf-os"><code>os</code></a>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-os.clock"><code>os.clock ()</code></a></h3>

Returns an approximation of the amount in seconds of CPU time
used by the program.

<hr><h3><a name=""><code> ([format [, time]])</code></a></h3>

Returns a string or a table containing date and time,
formatted according to the given string <code>format</code>.

If the <code>time</code> argument is present,
this is the time to be formatted
(see the <a href="#pdf-os.time"><code>os.time</code></a> function for a description of this value).
Otherwise, <code>date</code> formats the current time.

If <code>format</code> starts with '<code>!</code>',
then the date is formatted in Coordinated Universal Time.
After this optional character,
if <code>format</code> is the string "<code>*t</code>",
then <code>date</code> returns a table with the following fields:
<code>year</code> (four digits), <code>month</code> (1&ndash;12), <code>day</code> (1&ndash;31),
<code>hour</code> (0&ndash;23), <code>min</code> (0&ndash;59), <code>sec</code> (0&ndash;61),
<code>wday</code> (weekday, Sunday is&nbsp;1),
<code>yday</code> (day of the year),
and <code>isdst</code> (daylight saving flag, a boolean).
This last field may be absent
if the information is not available.

If <code>format</code> is not "<code>*t</code>",
then <code>date</code> returns the date as a string,
formatted according to the same rules as the ISO&nbsp;C function <code>strftime</code>.

When called without arguments,
<code>date</code> returns a reasonable date and time representation that depends on
the host system and on the current locale
(that is, <code></code> is equivalent to <code>"%c")</code>).

On non-POSIX systems,
this function may be not thread safe
because of its reliance on C&nbsp;function <code>gmtime</code> and C&nbsp;function <code>localtime</code>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-os.difftime"><code>os.difftime (t2, t1)</code></a></h3>

Returns the difference, in seconds,
from time <code>t1</code> to time <code>t2</code>
(where the times are values returned by <a href="#pdf-os.time"><code>os.time</code></a>).
In POSIX, Windows, and some other systems,
this value is exactly <code>t2</code><em>-</em><code>t1</code>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-os.execute"><code>os.execute ([command])</code></a></h3>

This function is equivalent to the ISO&nbsp;C function <code>system</code>.
It passes <code>command</code> to be executed by an operating system shell.
Its first result is <b>true</b>
if the command terminated successfully,
or <b>nil</b> otherwise.
After this first result
the function returns a string plus a number,
as follows:


<li><b>"<code>exit</code>": </b>
the command terminated normally;
the following number is the exit status of the command.

<li><b>"<code>signal</code>": </b>
the command was terminated by a signal;
the following number is the signal that terminated the command.


When called without a <code>command</code>,
<code>os.execute</code> returns a boolean that is true if a shell is available.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-os.exit"><code>os.exit ([code [, close]])</code></a></h3>

Calls the ISO&nbsp;C function <code>exit</code> to terminate the host program.
If <code>code</code> is <b>true</b>,
the returned status is <code>EXIT_SUCCESS</code>;
if <code>code</code> is <b>false</b>,
the returned status is <code>EXIT_FAILURE</code>;
if <code>code</code> is a number,
the returned status is this number.
The default value for <code>code</code> is <b>true</b>.

If the optional second argument <code>close</code> is true,
closes the Lua state before exiting.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-os.getenv"><code>os.getenv (varname)</code></a></h3>

Returns the value of the process environment variable <code>varname</code>,
or <b>nil</b> if the variable is not defined.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-os.remove"><code>os.remove (filename)</code></a></h3>

Deletes the file (or empty directory, on POSIX systems)
with the given name.
If this function fails, it returns <b>nil</b>,
plus a string describing the error and the error code.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-os.rename"><code>os.rename (oldname, newname)</code></a></h3>

Renames file or directory named <code>oldname</code> to <code>newname</code>.
If this function fails, it returns <b>nil</b>,
plus a string describing the error and the error code.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-os.setlocale"><code>os.setlocale (locale [, category])</code></a></h3>

Sets the current locale of the program.
<code>locale</code> is a system-dependent string specifying a locale;
<code>category</code> is an optional string describing which category to change:
<code>"all"</code>, <code>"collate"</code>, <code>"ctype"</code>,
<code>"monetary"</code>, <code>"numeric"</code>, or <code>"time"</code>;
the default category is <code>"all"</code>.
The function returns the name of the new locale,
or <b>nil</b> if the request cannot be honored.

If <code>locale</code> is the empty string,
the current locale is set to an implementation-defined native locale.
If <code>locale</code> is the string "<code>C</code>",
the current locale is set to the standard C locale.

When called with <b>nil</b> as the first argument,
this function only returns the name of the current locale
for the given category.

This function may be not thread safe
because of its reliance on C&nbsp;function <code>setlocale</code>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-os.time"><code>os.time ([table])</code></a></h3>

Returns the current time when called without arguments,
or a time representing the date and time specified by the given table.
This table must have fields <code>year</code>, <code>month</code>, and <code>day</code>,
and may have fields
<code>hour</code> (default is 12),
<code>min</code> (default is 0),
<code>sec</code> (default is 0),
and <code>isdst</code> (default is <b>nil</b>).
For a description of these fields, see the <a href=""><code></code></a> function.

The returned value is a number, whose meaning depends on your system.
In POSIX, Windows, and some other systems,
this number counts the number
of seconds since some given start time (the "epoch").
In other systems, the meaning is not specified,
and the number returned by <code>time</code> can be used only as an argument to
<a href=""><code></code></a> and <a href="#pdf-os.difftime"><code>os.difftime</code></a>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-os.tmpname"><code>os.tmpname ()</code></a></h3>

Returns a string with a file name that can
be used for a temporary file.
The file must be explicitly opened before its use
and explicitly removed when no longer needed.

On POSIX systems,
this function also creates a file with that name,
to avoid security risks.
(Someone else might create the file with wrong permissions
in the time between getting the name and creating the file.)
You still have to open the file to use it
and to remove it (even if you do not use it).

When possible,
you may prefer to use <a href="#pdf-io.tmpfile"><code>io.tmpfile</code></a>,
which automatically removes the file when the program ends.

<h2>6.10 &ndash; <a name="6.10">The Debug Library</a></h2>

This library provides
the functionality of the debug interface (<a href="#4.9">&sect;4.9</a>) to Lua programs.
You should exert care when using this library.
Several of its functions
violate basic assumptions about Lua code
(e.g., that variables local to a function
cannot be accessed from outside;
that userdata metatables cannot be changed by Lua code;
that Lua programs do not crash)
and therefore can compromise otherwise secure code.
Moreover, some functions in this library may be slow.

All functions in this library are provided
inside the <a name="pdf-debug"><code>debug</code></a> table.
All functions that operate over a thread
have an optional first argument which is the
thread to operate over.
The default is always the current thread.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.debug"><code>debug.debug ()</code></a></h3>

Enters an interactive mode with the user,
running each string that the user enters.
Using simple commands and other debug facilities,
the user can inspect global and local variables,
change their values, evaluate expressions, and so on.
A line containing only the word <code>cont</code> finishes this function,
so that the caller continues its execution.

Note that commands for <code>debug.debug</code> are not lexically nested
within any function and so have no direct access to local variables.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.gethook"><code>debug.gethook ([thread])</code></a></h3>

Returns the current hook settings of the thread, as three values:
the current hook function, the current hook mask,
and the current hook count
(as set by the <a href="#pdf-debug.sethook"><code>debug.sethook</code></a> function).

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.getinfo"><code>debug.getinfo ([thread,] f [, what])</code></a></h3>

Returns a table with information about a function.
You can give the function directly
or you can give a number as the value of <code>f</code>,
which means the function running at level <code>f</code> of the call stack
of the given thread:
level&nbsp;0 is the current function (<code>getinfo</code> itself);
level&nbsp;1 is the function that called <code>getinfo</code>
(except for tail calls, which do not count on the stack);
and so on.
If <code>f</code> is a number larger than the number of active functions,
then <code>getinfo</code> returns <b>nil</b>.

The returned table can contain all the fields returned by <a href="#lua_getinfo"><code>lua_getinfo</code></a>,
with the string <code>what</code> describing which fields to fill in.
The default for <code>what</code> is to get all information available,
except the table of valid lines.
If present,
the option '<code>f</code>'
adds a field named <code>func</code> with the function itself.
If present,
the option '<code>L</code>'
adds a field named <code>activelines</code> with the table of
valid lines.

For instance, the expression <code>debug.getinfo(1,"n").name</code> returns
a table with a name for the current function,
if a reasonable name can be found,
and the expression <code>debug.getinfo(print)</code>
returns a table with all available information
about the <a href="#pdf-print"><code>print</code></a> function.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.getlocal"><code>debug.getlocal ([thread,] f, local)</code></a></h3>

This function returns the name and the value of the local variable
with index <code>local</code> of the function at level <code>f</code> of the stack.
This function accesses not only explicit local variables,
but also parameters, temporaries, etc.

The first parameter or local variable has index&nbsp;1, and so on,
following the order that they are declared in the code,
counting only the variables that are active
in the current scope of the function.
Negative indices refer to vararg parameters;
-1 is the first vararg parameter.
The function returns <b>nil</b> if there is no variable with the given index,
and raises an error when called with a level out of range.
(You can call <a href="#pdf-debug.getinfo"><code>debug.getinfo</code></a> to check whether the level is valid.)

Variable names starting with '<code>(</code>' (open parenthesis) 
represent variables with no known names
(internal variables such as loop control variables,
and variables from chunks saved without debug information).

The parameter <code>f</code> may also be a function.
In that case, <code>getlocal</code> returns only the name of function parameters.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.getmetatable"><code>debug.getmetatable (value)</code></a></h3>

Returns the metatable of the given <code>value</code>
or <b>nil</b> if it does not have a metatable.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.getregistry"><code>debug.getregistry ()</code></a></h3>

Returns the registry table (see <a href="#4.5">&sect;4.5</a>).

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.getupvalue"><code>debug.getupvalue (f, up)</code></a></h3>

This function returns the name and the value of the upvalue
with index <code>up</code> of the function <code>f</code>.
The function returns <b>nil</b> if there is no upvalue with the given index.

Variable names starting with '<code>(</code>' (open parenthesis) 
represent variables with no known names
(variables from chunks saved without debug information).

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.getuservalue"><code>debug.getuservalue (u)</code></a></h3>

Returns the Lua value associated to <code>u</code>.
If <code>u</code> is not a userdata,
returns <b>nil</b>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.sethook"><code>debug.sethook ([thread,] hook, mask [, count])</code></a></h3>

Sets the given function as a hook.
The string <code>mask</code> and the number <code>count</code> describe
when the hook will be called.
The string mask may have any combination of the following characters,
with the given meaning:

<li><b>'<code>c</code>': </b> the hook is called every time Lua calls a function;</li>
<li><b>'<code>r</code>': </b> the hook is called every time Lua returns from a function;</li>
<li><b>'<code>l</code>': </b> the hook is called every time Lua enters a new line of code.</li>
with a <code>count</code> different from zero,
the hook is called also after every <code>count</code> instructions.

When called without arguments,
<a href="#pdf-debug.sethook"><code>debug.sethook</code></a> turns off the hook.

When the hook is called, its first parameter is a string
describing the event that has triggered its call:
<code>"call"</code> (or <code>"tail call"</code>),
<code>"line"</code>, and <code>"count"</code>.
For line events,
the hook also gets the new line number as its second parameter.
Inside a hook,
you can call <code>getinfo</code> with level&nbsp;2 to get more information about
the running function
(level&nbsp;0 is the <code>getinfo</code> function,
and level&nbsp;1 is the hook function).

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.setlocal"><code>debug.setlocal ([thread,] level, local, value)</code></a></h3>

This function assigns the value <code>value</code> to the local variable
with index <code>local</code> of the function at level <code>level</code> of the stack.
The function returns <b>nil</b> if there is no local
variable with the given index,
and raises an error when called with a <code>level</code> out of range.
(You can call <code>getinfo</code> to check whether the level is valid.)
Otherwise, it returns the name of the local variable.

See <a href="#pdf-debug.getlocal"><code>debug.getlocal</code></a> for more information about
variable indices and names.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.setmetatable"><code>debug.setmetatable (value, table)</code></a></h3>

Sets the metatable for the given <code>value</code> to the given <code>table</code>
(which can be <b>nil</b>).
Returns <code>value</code>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.setupvalue"><code>debug.setupvalue (f, up, value)</code></a></h3>

This function assigns the value <code>value</code> to the upvalue
with index <code>up</code> of the function <code>f</code>.
The function returns <b>nil</b> if there is no upvalue
with the given index.
Otherwise, it returns the name of the upvalue.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.setuservalue"><code>debug.setuservalue (udata, value)</code></a></h3>

Sets the given <code>value</code> as
the Lua value associated to the given <code>udata</code>.
<code>udata</code> must be a full userdata.

Returns <code>udata</code>.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.traceback"><code>debug.traceback ([thread,] [message [, level]])</code></a></h3>

If <code>message</code> is present but is neither a string nor <b>nil</b>,
this function returns <code>message</code> without further processing.
it returns a string with a traceback of the call stack.
The optional <code>message</code> string is appended
at the beginning of the traceback.
An optional <code>level</code> number tells at which level
to start the traceback
(default is 1, the function calling <code>traceback</code>).

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.upvalueid"><code>debug.upvalueid (f, n)</code></a></h3>

Returns a unique identifier (as a light userdata)
for the upvalue numbered <code>n</code>
from the given function.

These unique identifiers allow a program to check whether different
closures share upvalues.
Lua closures that share an upvalue
(that is, that access a same external local variable)
will return identical ids for those upvalue indices.

<hr><h3><a name="pdf-debug.upvaluejoin"><code>debug.upvaluejoin (f1, n1, f2, n2)</code></a></h3>

Make the <code>n1</code>-th upvalue of the Lua closure <code>f1</code>
refer to the <code>n2</code>-th upvalue of the Lua closure <code>f2</code>.

<h1>7 &ndash; <a name="7">Lua Standalone</a></h1>

Although Lua has been designed as an extension language,
to be embedded in a host C&nbsp;program,
it is also frequently used as a standalone language.
An interpreter for Lua as a standalone language,
called simply <code>lua</code>,
is provided with the standard distribution.
The standalone interpreter includes
all standard libraries, including the debug library.
Its usage is:

     lua [options] [script [args]]
The options are:

<li><b><code>-e <em>stat</em></code>: </b> executes string <em>stat</em>;</li>
<li><b><code>-l <em>mod</em></code>: </b> "requires" <em>mod</em>;</li>
<li><b><code>-i</code>: </b> enters interactive mode after running <em>script</em>;</li>
<li><b><code>-v</code>: </b> prints version information;</li>
<li><b><code>-E</code>: </b> ignores environment variables;</li>
<li><b><code>--</code>: </b> stops handling options;</li>
<li><b><code>-</code>: </b> executes <code>stdin</code> as a file and stops handling options.</li>
After handling its options, <code>lua</code> runs the given <em>script</em>.
When called without arguments,
<code>lua</code> behaves as <code>lua -v -i</code>
when the standard input (<code>stdin</code>) is a terminal,
and as <code>lua -</code> otherwise.

When called without option <code>-E</code>, 
the interpreter checks for an environment variable <a name="pdf-LUA_INIT_5_3"><code>LUA_INIT_5_3</code></a>
(or <a name="pdf-LUA_INIT"><code>LUA_INIT</code></a> if the versioned name is not defined)
before running any argument.
If the variable content has the format <code>@<em>filename</em></code>,
then <code>lua</code> executes the file.
Otherwise, <code>lua</code> executes the string itself.

When called with option <code>-E</code>,
besides ignoring <code>LUA_INIT</code>,
Lua also ignores
the values of <code>LUA_PATH</code> and <code>LUA_CPATH</code>,
setting the values of
<a href="#pdf-package.path"><code>package.path</code></a> and <a href="#pdf-package.cpath"><code>package.cpath</code></a>
with the default paths defined in <code>luaconf.h</code>.

All options are handled in order, except <code>-i</code> and <code>-E</code>.
For instance, an invocation like

     $ lua -e'a=1' -e 'print(a)' script.lua
will first set <code>a</code> to 1, then print the value of <code>a</code>,
and finally run the file <code>script.lua</code> with no arguments.
(Here <code>$</code> is the shell prompt. Your prompt may be different.)

Before running any code,
<code>lua</code> collects all command-line arguments
in a global table called <code>arg</code>.
The script name goes to index 0,
the first argument after the script name goes to index 1,
and so on.
Any arguments before the script name
(that is, the interpreter name plus its options)
go to negative indices.
For instance, in the call

     $ lua -la b.lua t1 t2
the table is like this:

     arg = { [-2] = "lua", [-1] = "-la",
             [0] = "b.lua",
             [1] = "t1", [2] = "t2" }
If there is no script in the call,
the interpreter name goes to index 0,
followed by the other arguments.
For instance, the call

     $ lua -e "print(arg[1])"
will print "<code>-e</code>".
If there is a script,
the script is called with parameters
<code>arg[1]</code>, &middot;&middot;&middot;, <code>arg[#arg]</code>.
(Like all chunks in Lua,
the script is compiled as a vararg function.)

In interactive mode,
Lua repeatedly prompts and waits for a line.
After reading a line,
Lua first try to interpret the line as an expression.
If it succeeds, it prints its value.
Otherwise, it interprets the line as a statement.
If you write an incomplete statement,
the interpreter waits for its completion
by issuing a different prompt.

In case of unprotected errors in the script,
the interpreter reports the error to the standard error stream.
If the error object is not a string but 
has a metamethod <code>__to_string</code>,
the interpreter calls this metamethod to produce the final message.
Otherwise, the interpreter converts the error object to a string
and adds a stack traceback to it.

When finishing normally,
the interpreter closes its main Lua state
(see <a href="#lua_close"><code>lua_close</code></a>).
The script can avoid this step by
calling <a href="#pdf-os.exit"><code>os.exit</code></a> to terminate.

To allow the use of Lua as a
script interpreter in Unix systems,
the standalone interpreter skips
the first line of a chunk if it starts with <code>#</code>.
Therefore, Lua scripts can be made into executable programs
by using <code>chmod +x</code> and the&nbsp;<code>#!</code> form,
as in

(Of course,
the location of the Lua interpreter may be different in your machine.
If <code>lua</code> is in your <code>PATH</code>,

     #!/usr/bin/env lua
is a more portable solution.)

<h1>8 &ndash; <a name="8">Incompatibilities with the Previous Version</a></h1>

Here we list the incompatibilities that you may find when moving a program
from Lua&nbsp;5.2 to Lua&nbsp;5.3.
You can avoid some incompatibilities by compiling Lua with
appropriate options (see file <code>luaconf.h</code>).
all these compatibility options will be removed in the future.

Lua versions can always change the C API in ways that
do not imply source-code changes in a program,
such as the numeric values for constants
or the implementation of functions as macros.
you should not assume that binaries are compatible between
different Lua versions.
Always recompile clients of the Lua API when
using a new version.

Similarly, Lua versions can always change the internal representation
of precompiled chunks;
precompiled chunks are not compatible between different Lua versions.

The standard paths in the official distribution may
change between versions.

<h2>8.1 &ndash; <a name="8.1">Changes in the Language</a></h2>

The main difference between Lua&nbsp;5.2 and Lua&nbsp;5.3 is the
introduction of an integer subtype for numbers.
Although this change should not affect "normal" computations,
some computations
(mainly those that involve some kind of overflow)
can give different results.

You can fix these differences by forcing a number to be a float
(in Lua&nbsp;5.2 all numbers were float),
in particular writing constants with an ending <code>.0</code>
or using <code>x = x + 0.0</code> to convert a variable.
(This recommendation is only for a quick fix
for an occasional incompatibility;
it is not a general guideline for good programming.
For good programming,
use floats where you need floats
and integers where you need integers.)

The conversion of a float to a string now adds a <code>.0</code> suffix
to the result if it looks like an integer.
(For instance, the float 2.0 will be printed as <code>2.0</code>,
not as <code>2</code>.)
You should always use an explicit format
when you need a specific format for numbers.

(Formally this is not an incompatibility,
because Lua does not specify how numbers are formatted as strings,
but some programs assumed a specific format.)

The generational mode for the garbage collector was removed.
(It was an experimental feature in Lua&nbsp;5.2.)


<h2>8.2 &ndash; <a name="8.2">Changes in the Libraries</a></h2>

The <code>bit32</code> library has been deprecated.
It is easy to require a compatible external library or,
better yet, to replace its functions with appropriate bitwise operations.
(Keep in mind that <code>bit32</code> operates on 32-bit integers,
while the bitwise operators in standard Lua operate on 64-bit integers.)

The Table library now respects metamethods
for setting and getting elements.

The <a href="#pdf-ipairs"><code>ipairs</code></a> iterator now respects metamethods and
its <code>__ipairs</code> metamethod has been deprecated.

Option names in <a href=""><code></code></a> do not have a starting '<code>*</code>' anymore.
For compatibility, Lua will continue to ignore this character.

The following functions were deprecated in the mathematical library:
<code>atan2</code>, <code>cosh</code>, <code>sinh</code>, <code>tanh</code>, <code>pow</code>,
<code>frexp</code>, and <code>ldexp</code>.
You can replace <code>math.pow(x,y)</code> with <code>x^y</code>;
you can replace <code>math.atan2</code> with <code>math.atan</code>,
which now accepts one or two parameters;
you can replace <code>math.ldexp(x,exp)</code> with <code>x * 2.0^exp</code>.
For the other operations,
you can either use an external library or
implement them in Lua.

The searcher for C loaders used by <a href="#pdf-require"><code>require</code></a>
changed the way it handles versioned names.
Now, the version should come after the module name
(as is usual in most other tools).
For compatibility, that searcher still tries the old format
if it cannot find an open function according to the new style.
(Lua&nbsp;5.2 already worked that way,
but it did not document the change.)


<h2>8.3 &ndash; <a name="8.3">Changes in the API</a></h2>


Continuation functions now receive as parameters what they needed
to get through <code>lua_getctx</code>,
so <code>lua_getctx</code> has been removed.
Adapt your code accordingly.

Function <a href="#lua_dump"><code>lua_dump</code></a> has an extra parameter, <code>strip</code>.
Use 0 as the value of this parameter to get the old behavior.

Functions to inject/project unsigned integers
(<code>lua_pushunsigned</code>, <code>lua_tounsigned</code>, <code>lua_tounsignedx</code>,
<code>luaL_checkunsigned</code>, <code>luaL_optunsigned</code>)
were deprecated.
Use their signed equivalents with a type cast.

Macros to project non-default integer types
(<code>luaL_checkint</code>, <code>luaL_optint</code>, <code>luaL_checklong</code>, <code>luaL_optlong</code>)
were deprecated.
Use their equivalent over <a href="#lua_Integer"><code>lua_Integer</code></a> with a type cast
(or, when possible, use <a href="#lua_Integer"><code>lua_Integer</code></a> in your code).


<h1>9 &ndash; <a name="9">The Complete Syntax of Lua</a></h1>

Here is the complete syntax of Lua in extended BNF.
As usual in extended BNF,
{A} means 0 or more As,
and [A] means an optional A.
(For operator precedences, see <a href="#3.4.8">&sect;3.4.8</a>;
for a description of the terminals
Name, Numeral,
and LiteralString, see <a href="#3.1">&sect;3.1</a>.)


	chunk ::= block

	block ::= {stat} [retstat]

	stat ::=  &lsquo;<b>;</b>&rsquo; | 
		 varlist &lsquo;<b>=</b>&rsquo; explist | 
		 functioncall | 
		 label | 
		 <b>break</b> | 
		 <b>goto</b> Name | 
		 <b>do</b> block <b>end</b> | 
		 <b>while</b> exp <b>do</b> block <b>end</b> | 
		 <b>repeat</b> block <b>until</b> exp | 
		 <b>if</b> exp <b>then</b> block {<b>elseif</b> exp <b>then</b> block} [<b>else</b> block] <b>end</b> | 
		 <b>for</b> Name &lsquo;<b>=</b>&rsquo; exp &lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; exp [&lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; exp] <b>do</b> block <b>end</b> | 
		 <b>for</b> namelist <b>in</b> explist <b>do</b> block <b>end</b> | 
		 <b>function</b> funcname funcbody | 
		 <b>local</b> <b>function</b> Name funcbody | 
		 <b>local</b> namelist [&lsquo;<b>=</b>&rsquo; explist] 

	retstat ::= <b>return</b> [explist] [&lsquo;<b>;</b>&rsquo;]

	label ::= &lsquo;<b>::</b>&rsquo; Name &lsquo;<b>::</b>&rsquo;

	funcname ::= Name {&lsquo;<b>.</b>&rsquo; Name} [&lsquo;<b>:</b>&rsquo; Name]

	varlist ::= var {&lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; var}

	var ::=  Name | prefixexp &lsquo;<b>[</b>&rsquo; exp &lsquo;<b>]</b>&rsquo; | prefixexp &lsquo;<b>.</b>&rsquo; Name 

	namelist ::= Name {&lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; Name}

	explist ::= exp {&lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; exp}

	exp ::=  <b>nil</b> | <b>false</b> | <b>true</b> | Numeral | LiteralString | &lsquo;<b>...</b>&rsquo; | functiondef | 
		 prefixexp | tableconstructor | exp binop exp | unop exp 

	prefixexp ::= var | functioncall | &lsquo;<b>(</b>&rsquo; exp &lsquo;<b>)</b>&rsquo;

	functioncall ::=  prefixexp args | prefixexp &lsquo;<b>:</b>&rsquo; Name args 

	args ::=  &lsquo;<b>(</b>&rsquo; [explist] &lsquo;<b>)</b>&rsquo; | tableconstructor | LiteralString 

	functiondef ::= <b>function</b> funcbody

	funcbody ::= &lsquo;<b>(</b>&rsquo; [parlist] &lsquo;<b>)</b>&rsquo; block <b>end</b>

	parlist ::= namelist [&lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; &lsquo;<b>...</b>&rsquo;] | &lsquo;<b>...</b>&rsquo;

	tableconstructor ::= &lsquo;<b>{</b>&rsquo; [fieldlist] &lsquo;<b>}</b>&rsquo;

	fieldlist ::= field {fieldsep field} [fieldsep]

	field ::= &lsquo;<b>[</b>&rsquo; exp &lsquo;<b>]</b>&rsquo; &lsquo;<b>=</b>&rsquo; exp | Name &lsquo;<b>=</b>&rsquo; exp | exp

	fieldsep ::= &lsquo;<b>,</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>;</b>&rsquo;

	binop ::=  &lsquo;<b>+</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>-</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>*</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>/</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>//</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>^</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>%</b>&rsquo; | 
		 &lsquo;<b>&amp;</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>~</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>|</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>&gt;&gt;</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>&lt;&lt;</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>..</b>&rsquo; | 
		 &lsquo;<b>&lt;</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>&lt;=</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>&gt;</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>&gt;=</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>==</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>~=</b>&rsquo; | 
		 <b>and</b> | <b>or</b>

	unop ::= &lsquo;<b>-</b>&rsquo; | <b>not</b> | &lsquo;<b>#</b>&rsquo; | &lsquo;<b>~</b>&rsquo;



<SMALL CLASS="footer">
Last update:
Fri Jan 16 00:58:20 BRST 2015
Last change: minor edit