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This section describes the lexis, the syntax, and the semantics of Lua.
In other words, this section describes which tokens are valid, how they can be combined, and what their combinations mean.
To represent records, Lua uses the field name as an index.
The language supports this representation by providing .
The type ; that is, they can contain values of all types (except nil).
Tables are the sole data structuring mechanism in Lua; they can be used to represent ordinary arrays, symbol tables, sets, records, graphs, trees, etc.
Do not confuse Lua threads with operating-system threads.
Userdata values cannot be created or modified in Lua, only through the C API.
Lua provides automatic conversion between string and number values at run time.
Any arithmetic operation applied to a string tries to convert this string to a number, following the usual conversion rules.
Lua is intended to be used as a powerful, light-weight scripting language for any program that needs one. This host program can invoke functions to execute a piece of Lua code, can write and read Lua variables, and can register C functions to be called by Lua code.
Through the use of C functions, Lua can be augmented to cope with a wide range of different domains, thus creating customized programming languages sharing a syntactical framework.
(It is easy to build Lua interpreters that use other internal representations for numbers, such as single-precision float or long integers; see file is provided to allow arbitrary C data to be stored in Lua variables.