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Lua is as old as Python and Ruby. The alternative was Tcl, and the problem with it wasn't embeddability:

In 1993, the only real contender was Tcl, which had been explicitly designed to be embedded into applications. However, Tcl had unfamiliar syntax, did not offer good support for data description, and ran only on Unix platforms.


Crap, you caught me on that one. I thought it was a 2000's era language.

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