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ZeroBrane Lua IDE v1.00 released (github.com/pkulchenko)
74 points by luakiwi on May 12, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 32 comments

Looking at it, it doesn't really makes sense that this project is so unpopular. It seems to be like liteIde for golang, where the size of the community who use that language is the main reason.

I probably should start a project in lua again, but I fear that will never find other contributors, because of the language choice. Very sad, lua doesn't deserve that.

I think Lua is an amazing language and saddly the mentality to do everything in one language (Reminds me of people using MS Word for everything including spreadsheets is frustrating.

I really like the light weight small code base. That you can even do things functionally is a huge plus. If people would start using it as a scripting language for System Administration I think they would be pleasantly surprised but I guess BASH and Python/Ruby has stolen the mind share with Go seemly taking the place for a Lua in SysAdmin.

I always wonder "what happened to Lua" because it was so hot on HN when I first started reading it. Now it is rare to see anything about it. A shame really that 'product' languages like Go or Swift seem to have sucked up the oxygen it relied on. Ruby has suffered similarly but less drastically from the big elbows in terms of the HN conversation over the same time period.

I suppose that as YC has matured, there's less chance of Reddit style "Let's build it in Common Lisp" naivete and language passion making it through the selection pipeline and more social pressure toward a sound engineering tool chain...there's more optimizing around getting into YC and that influences the conversation on HN. These days "...and we're building it in Lua" is more likely to hurt social standing than help outside the context of "a side project."

Such is the price of increased stakes I guess.

>I always wonder "what happened to Lua"

It became the dominant embedded scripting language.. and still is.

Lua as a primary language was never popular, because it is not designed for that.

Lua as a primary language only makes sense for game development. Because the two other mature languages in its category (Python and Ruby) are horrible for that [1].. but better for everything else [2]. Unsurprisingly Lua is widely used in casual/mobile game development (e.g. Corona [3])

[1] Lua is more memory efficient and cache friendly and more importantly has an incremental GC + it is easy to avoid allocations in Lua.

[2] Both languages ship with much more functionality built-in + tons of libraries for everything (true for Python in particular)

[3] https://coronalabs.com/

Here's a list of (some of) the things that have 'happened' to Lua:

Torch, scientific computing for LuaJIT: http://torch.ch/

LuvIT, an event-loop driven Node-like: https://luvit.io/

Love, a 2-d game engine: https://love2d.org/

OpenResty: http://openresty.org/

eLua: http://www.eluaproject.net/

and on, and on, and on. There's never been a better time to use the language.

I only wish there was an AWS SDK - given Lua is used in the Nginx world widely, writing scripts in Lua rather than Python for DevOps makes sense.

It's a great language. Back in '06 I built a kiosk software platform on Lua. Hilariously enough I also built a REST based document store in Haskell, and we started using it probably three weeks before CouchDB came out. Weird languages are great if you're working in a field where you'll have to build everything from scratch anyway.

I wouldn't build a webapp in either of them, probably even today. The ecosystems for other languages are just too rich.

People do; CloudFlare run all their traffic through Lua for example. I know people who switched from Node to Nginx/Lua for performance. It is a tool language not a product language though in many ways.

That is what frustrates me with the name Hacker News. It really is Start Up news that fights the Hacker News side of things. I really want another alternative but I can't see something disrupting HN soon. I like lobste.rs and have invites but that has an invite only model that hasn't reached necessary mass yet.

The original name was Startup News.

Somewhere, I created a lobsters.rs account when it was first announced and before it was selective. At that time it was mostly the same stories as on HN with less conversation. I came to the conclusion that anything which broke there would wind up on HN anyway...I like the fixed-point of aggregators role that HN plays.

In fairness to HN, I don't think it is so much the startup culture per se that is driving the drift away from Lua, it's the hotness of computing and the quest for standardization...Google's list of how to become a software engineer is at the top of the page.

What I see with YC is that added features become seen as techniques...$200k worth of cloud computing credit becomes cloud computing is the solution to non-technical problems...it's like C++'s multiple inheritance - a feature looking for problems. Once the decision has been made to solve the problem with cloud computing then language choice becomes less open to aesthetic decisions. Indeed the whole business model becomes less so. The original JustinTV was about strapping a webcam to a person, thinking about cloud computing would have been an utter distraction from the basic concept. Redit was running Common Lisp on a laptop. If the cloud had been in the mix there would have been pressure to focus on infrastructure early rather than the design of the user experience. Spiking the site with fake users is consistent with the faking it implied by laptop hosting. Move it to the cloud and it seems a bit more fraudulent and less hackey.

Correct link for lobsters: https://lobste.rs/

This reminds me a lot of what happened (or didn't) to Tcl, although Lua has two major advantagen in LuaJIT and its "rocks" system, even though they probably could be exploited a bit more.

I think a general problem is the lack of a bigger standard library and access to libraries and APIs. Not needed as much if you use tcl/lua/scheme as an extension language, but pretty much essential for a stand-alone language. Note that even within the sector of new-fangled hyped languages (Rust, Go, Julia, Nim etc.), it might not be the one with the biggest library/package selection that wins -- or else we'd probably never stopped using Perl -- but it's pretty much required if you want to compete in the first place.

Unlike ruby Lua is used outside of chef recipes :) ithink in general, though, other languages fare better when solving specific problems.

(Disclaimer: I'm a heavy Lua user and think its wonderful.)

Are you not conflating ZBS with Lua? Because I think that ZBS wouldn't be possible/feasible if it weren't for the widespread and general use of Lua.

I write my apps in MOAI, when I need a GUI (Go when I don't). For my needs, SublimeText has ben enough - of course when DanielSWolf brought MOAI support to the ZBS codebase, I checked it out - and abandoned ZBS - going back to ST2.

The reason - while ZBS may be a great Lua IDE, with integrated debugging and other features - its just not that great an editor - at least, it doesn't have the ethos of being a "programmers editor" which SublimeText does. SublimeText has its thorns and warts of course too, but it is a smooth and fast editor when you get to know it.

I've been able to get a lot of work done with MOAI and SublimeText, but it may work because I don't have high expectations/demands - source-level debugging, while nice, is not really necessary for my way of doing things. SublimeText, being a superlative editor, gives me most of what I need - for everything else, there is "$ cscope -R -s $MOAI_SDK_DIR" ...

Text Editor and IDE are two different beast.

Basically I read you like text editors and you don't like or need an IDE.

I like IDE for certain languages (R) or I like Juypter (IPython) for interactive interpretations and I like text editors (VIM) for most other languages.

Oh I use the IDE-like features of SublimeText, its not just an editor but also a pretty good way to organize - or at least navigate - my projects. I've gotten over the need for symbolic links (where a defined var is 'clickable' to go to the definition) and so on, because ST provides sufficiently powerful navigation methods ..

ST navigation methods are very good. ZBS v1.0 includes fuzzy search for files, symbols, and library functions (including Moai API) and v1.10 (out soon) will include substantially redesigned and improved search functionality (including replace-in-files preview), so you may want to give it another try.

I'm going to keep my ZBS chops up, whatever happens, even though I've bought ST anyway, its always good to know when you do something really better than my current toolset. ;)

You ever look at Text Adept? (http://foicica.com/textadept/) It's basically emacs written in Lua. It is, unsurprisingly, a pretty good Lua editor. Always seemed like a cool project, but I always end up back with emacs. Still I wish him and the ZBS folks lot of luck.

My current 'favourite' Lua-based editor is antirez' LOAD81: http://github.com/antirez/load81

In short, long live the next editor! :)

Hah! That's fantastic, I'm tempted to play around with it just for the C64 inspired editor. Brings back memories of copying game code out of magazines into that blue on blue screen.

Lua is a great language with an excellent implementation in LuaJIT. I love it!

Also, I think you'd be surprised at the contributors that come out of the woodwork when you start up a good project, regardless of the language.

Can you imagine if we could have had Lua in the browser from the start? So much time would have been saved. Now Javascript, with ES6, is good enough to rival Lua in features. This kills the intent to learn Lua because if you are going to learn a dynamic language properly, might as well learn JS. There are way more jobs and projects made in it. About ZeroBrane IDE now. It's an amazing IDE and I love using it.

What's the state about https://luvit.io/ ? Or are there other similar projects?

I think Nodejs gave JS a big popularity boost.

> Or are there other similar projects?

There are at least half a dozen somewhat related projects: nginx_lua, tir2, luajit.io, luanode, tarantool, lusty, plus a bunch of libuv bindings.

And yeah, a single lua 'killer app' could do a lot for the language's popularity (elua comes close, but is a bit niche).

There are quite a lot of people using Lua, unfortunately they use it for a wildly diverse set of things, so it is a but harder to get people to work on projects together, but it does happen. What kind of project are you thinking of?

I love Lua and I'm doing AI with it (with a veneer of electronics). What do you have in mind?

I really like ZeroBrane Studio. Congratulations to the team!

I use it to play around with Lua and MOAI[0]. I started using it for the debugger, but the other features made it my default editor for Lua.

If you don't know Lua, give it a try. It's a really well designed language, with all the feautures you really need[1], and awesome performance.

[0] A multiplatform game development framework [1] Well, almost. I'd like to have immutable data structures, like Python's tuples

Tuples Lua is a good functional language for me.

[1] http://lua-users.org/wiki/FunctionalTuples

Very nice! I was unaware that such a feature-rich editor for Lua existed. Thank you!

Here was my experience trying out ZeroBrane:

1) Install software on my Ubuntu machine

2) Play around with it for a while

3) Close it and go do something else

4) Discover that ZeroBrane has hijacked a ton of file type associations, so now any remotely text-file-ish file opens in ZeroBrane

5) Swear, go looking for way to remove those associations

6) Fail completely

Seriously, I have no idea where it squirreled away all its new file association settings, but after multiple attempts I have yet to find them all. So I still have to deal with certain file types trying to open in ZeroBrane that have nothing to do with Lua at all.

So, ZeroBrane devs: if your goal was to make me think "oh, I hate that thing" every time I hear the word "ZeroBrane"... good news!

ZeroBrane Studio dev here: I don't have anything in the installer that changes any of the existing type associations. I do have a plugin that registers file extensions on Windows, but it requires explicit user action. This is how the Linux installer script looks like: https://gist.github.com/pkulchenko/3574e47ba1ad89501f91 and I welcome suggestions on how to improve it.

The only extension based code I have in the IDE is from the project tree where you can launch the application linked to a particular file, but the IDE doesn't change any of the associations.

I'm not sure what happened in your case and will be happy to investigate (my email is in github profile).

Update: I did further investigation and it turned out that in the .desktop file it's associated with MimeType=text/plain;application/lua, so it could get associated with text files. I've pushed a change to limit that to only Lua files. My apologies for the inconvenience.

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